LANCE SGT. G. WEBSTER 1900 - 1902 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY INTIMATELY DETAILING THE BATTLE SERVICE OF THE LOYAL NORTH LANCASHIRES UP TO AND INCLUDING LORD METHUEN'S BATTLE AT HARTY RIVER
KIMBERLEY SOUTH AFRICA 1900 Fair
On offer is a superb manuscript relic the Boer War being the handwritten diary of Lance Sgt. G. Webster, 1st L.N.L. Reg't, South Africa [Loyal North Lancashires] detailing Webster's active service from Sunday July 15th 1900 - October 24th 1901 and then a later entry titled "July 3 1902 an Account of Lord Methuen's Fight at Harty River 7-3-02 by an Eye Witness". The content is nothing short of fantastic as Webster records page after page of battle encounters, skirmishes, camps, marches, prisoners, killed, wounded etc. with names of places, people and events including many entries concerning Baden Powell. While the majority of writings are specific to South Africa there are entries of greater scope including Queen Victoria's death. The 120+ page diary is well filled with no blanks which historians and researchers of the era will find a super primary account of the Boer War. The diary is in rough shape, the front cover is still barely attached, the back is missing and the text block is loose and some pages are loose but all accounted for. HISTORICAL NOTES: One online source provides: 'Boer War, 1899-1902 Officers of the 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, c. 1899. In 1899, the Loyal Regiment found itself assigned to South Africa. With hostilities seeming likely in the aftermath of the Jameson Raid, the De Beers company became increasingly concerned with the security of its operations in Kimberly. Although a town guard and other volunteer formations had been raised, the De Beers Company and citizens of Kimberly petitioned for additional security measures. On 7 October 1899, an artillery battery and four companies of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment were dispatched to secure the town under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Kekewich. Five days later, with the start of hostilities, Boer forces arrived and began to isolate Kimberley. For the next 126 days, the North Lancs and the local militias would be cut off and subjected to regular shelling from the Boer artillery. The siege was finally lifted when Brigadier-General Sir John French's Cavalry Division was able to break through the Boer lines on 15 February 1900. With its commander and four of its companies under siege in Kimberly, the balance of the 1st Battalion served with Lord Methuen. Together with the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, 2nd Northampton Regiment, and 2nd King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), they formed the 9th Brigade of the 1st Division. They served with 9th Brigade at the Battles of Belmont, Modder River and Magersfotein. Following the relief of Kimberly in February 1900, the battalion. The Loyals would remain a part of Methuen's command until July when it was detached to guard Oliphant's Nek. However, on 8 August, they abandoned this task at the orders of Colonel Baden-Powell and left the area unguarded. This allowed Christiaan de Wet to escape the British forces attempting to catch him. Although this allowed him escape, it was ruled that orders received by the Loyals were the cause, and the regiment escaped censure. The end of 1900 found 1st Loyals back with the 9th Brigade. As part of the brigade, they took part in actions around Klerksdorp. Remaining under Lord Methuen's command for the rest of the war, the Loyals provided men to formed into mounted infantry companies as the war shifted from large engagements into a guerrilla war. The Loyals would continue to serve throughout the guerrilla phase, engaging Boer commandos on a number of occasions until the end of the war with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging.' Overall Fair.