Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Boer War

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Boer War

Postby Sherlock Holmes » 20 Jan 2009 13:57

Hello all,

Just thought some of you might find the following information interesting. Of course as all of you, if not many, would know, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was author of the famous Sherlock Holmes detective series (as well as a number of other books). The website I quote from (ie. the second linked website) has two great photos of the man in uniform.

He was knighted ("Sir Arthur") in 1902 for his work in Boer War propaganda (particularly the pamphlet The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct) [...]


During the South African war (1899-1902) Doyle served for a few months as senior physician at a field hospital, and wrote THE WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA, in which he took the imperialistic view.


Source: http://sirconandoyle.com/html/index.php

And also the following quote (this is the site with the two photographs - well worth visiting to view the photos of Sir Doyle in uniform):

When the Boer War started, Conan Doyle declared to his horrified family that he was going to volunteer. Having written about many battles, without the opportunity to test his skills as a soldier, he felt this would be his last opportunity to do so. Not surprisingly, being somewhat overweight at the age of forty, he was deemed unfit to enlist. Without losing an instant, he volunteered as a medical doctor and sailed to Africa in February of 1900. There, instead of fighting bullets, Conan Doyle had to wage a fierce battle against microbes. During the few months he spent in Africa, he saw more soldiers and medical staff die of typhoid fever, than of war wounds. The Great Boer War, a five hundred-page chronicle, published in October of 1900, was a masterpiece of military scholarship. It was not only a report of the war, but also a highly intelligent and well-informed commentary about some of the organizational shortcomings of the British forces at the time.


Source: http://www.sirarthurconandoyle.com/Biography/biography9.htm

Has anyone here read The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct? Any comments on the title?

Does anyone have any further information on his involvement in the Boer War?

Were there any other famous figures in this particular conflict?

Kindly,

Nick
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Re: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Boer War

Postby DavidB » 20 Jan 2009 14:10

Hi Nick,

Were there any other famous figures in this particular conflict?


We could probably start a whole thread on that one! :D
Famous for non-military reasons I take it?

1. Arthur Conan Doyle
2. Winston Churchill
3. Mohandas K. Gandhi
4. Robert Baden-Powell
5. Lawrence "Titus" Oates - ill-fated member of Scott's 1912 Antarctic expedition
6. Mary Kingsley
7. Giuseppe Garibaldi II (grandson of the GG..does that count?) :D
any other offers?
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Re: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Boer War

Postby Brett Hendey » 21 Jan 2009 06:14

On the Boer side there were Louis Botha and J C Smuts, who both became Prime Ministers of South Africa. Smuts at least did get international status during and shortly after World War II.

Botha, Churchill and Gandhi were all present during the Battle of Spioen Kop and had they died in this battle the history of the world would have been very different.

Regards
Brett
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Re: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Boer War

Postby Sherlock Holmes » 21 Jan 2009 14:41

Apart from Churchill and Gandhi :D

Thank you both for the extra personalities.

There are a few listed here:

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Boer/individuals.html

Some of the names I know of (Kitchener and Rhodes for example).

Hmm, Amoaful73, it seems as though you were right about this possibly becoming a thread all of its own!

Cheers

Nick
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