Harry Smith's Last Throw

For all discussions relating to the Seventh, Eigth and Nineth Cape Frontier Wars fought between 1846 and 1878.

Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Keith Smith » 15 Jan 2012 00:53

May I give a short plug to the publication of my new book, Harry Smith's Last Throw: The Eighth Frontier War 1850-1853. The book is to be published by Frontline Books (a subsidiary of Pen and Sword) about 15 March. The 'blurb' giving a brief description of the contents is a follows:

'This book tells the often harrowing story of the Eighth Frontier War against the Xhosa people of the Eastern Cape, often from the viewpoint of those actually doing the fighting. It was the longest of those wars and it was to be followed by the Ninth, and last, in 1877-1878. By that time there remained little of the Xhosa lands which they had once called their own, the extent of which had been eroded after almost every war.

'The Xhosa had previously fought with some chivalry, refusing to make war on white women and children, just as they had in their own internecine wars. This war changed all that and chivalry was cast aside by both sides. It is often a gritty story, with atrocities committed by both white and black, but it is also leavened with the dry, mordant humour that only a serving British soldier can provide.

'The "Harry Smith" of the title is the famous 19th century British soldier, Sir Henry George Wakelyn Smith, who served at the Cape of Good Hope on two occasions. The first was in the years 1828-1835, during which he was second-in-command to Sir Benjamin D’Urban. This ended with Smith departing the Cape under a cloud after his involvement in the murder of the Xhosa paramount chief Hintsa.

'His second period of service, between 1847 and 1853, was as Sir Harry Smith, baronet, the hero of Aliwal. His appointment there was as Governor and High Commissioner. Although Smith claimed to have ended the Seventh Frontier War in 1847, shortly after his arrival, his greater claim to fame was his management of the Eighth War, which he himself did much to foster. In particular, the book endeavours to evaluate Smith’s role as one of the prime causes of the war.'

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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Brett Hendey » 15 Jan 2012 06:59

Hi Keith

Thanks for letting us know about the book.

Regards
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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Les Waring » 15 Jan 2012 12:01

Hello Keith, Les Waring (Montevideo) here.

It's always interesting to learn about the 'other side' of people who are held up as models.It seems odd that, given his rather unsavoury activities in South Africa, that the towns of Harrismith and Ladysmith have not been renamed, as have several in that country. And, given the modern fanaticism for political correctness, that the Community College in Whittlesea (?) should still be named after him.

I've known of Harry Smith in two contexts related to my interests . First as a young lieutenant of the 95th Rifles on his first campaign,storming the breach at Montevideo in 1807 and second at the Battle of Sobraon, Sikh Wars, recommending Sgt. Bernard McCabe, later a hero of the Siege of Lucknow, for a commission.

One question about his movements just prior to taking up his appointment in 1847. I know that he had previously been in India. Did he return to Britain in the interim? Do you have any details and dates of his movements at that time?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Les W.
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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Mark » 15 Jan 2012 18:41

Thank you for the heads-up on your new book, Keith! Looks like a great addition to have in the personal library! :)

Mark
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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Keith Smith » 15 Jan 2012 23:29

Les

Yes, Smith had returned to England prior to his appointment as Governor at the Cape.

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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Les Waring » 01 Feb 2012 11:35

Keith. Les Waring here.

Belated thanks for the info.

I needed Harry Smith to be in England in 1846-1847 for fictional purposes, preferably making a visit to his native Cambridgeshire with Lady Smith.
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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Keith Smith » 12 Mar 2012 01:22

All

Just a quick reminder that Harry Smith's Last Throw is to be released 15 March. Thanks.

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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby roconn » 01 Apr 2013 18:32

Keith:

Altho' Harry Smith may be perceived as less than an ideal as an Officer and Gentleman &c but I have read it was his legendary (?) ability to curse in a non-repetitive stream of invective that gave rise to a certain admiration from his Other Ranks.

Has your book been officially launched as of 15th March as prviously mentioned?

rgds

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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby Keith Smith » 01 Apr 2013 23:03

Roconn

Smith did have something of a 'potty' mouth and seems to have used it to aid his bullying tactics. The book was published as I said, 15 March 2012. The book is still available but if you can't locate a copy, go to http://www.frontline-books.com.

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Re: Harry Smith's Last Throw

Postby peterwhitla » 19 Dec 2014 13:07

Hello Keith,

In your research for Harry Smith's Last Throw did you come across a young officer with the 45th who was appointed as a magistrate to the Xhosa chief, Maqoma?

All good wishes,

Peter
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