Angels of Mercy: Foreign Women in the Anglo-Boer War

Angels of Mercy tells true stories of compassion and courage of altruistic foreign women in the Anglo-Boer War.
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19,95 € *

Title: Angels of Mercy
Subtitle: Foreign Women in the Anglo-Boer War
Author: Chris Schoeman
Imprint: Zebra Press
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781770224995 / ISBN 978-1-77022-499-5
Hardcover, dustjacket, 16 x 24 cm, 264 pages, several b/w photographs


In the late nineteenth century, many women began to realise that the world was opening up to them. They became aware of the exploits of women travellers, explorers and missionaries, such as Mary Kingsley, Isabelle Eberhardt and others. By then, with the rise of the suffrage movement, the stage of war was no longer the exclusive domain of men, and women were increasingly claiming their share in upholding the honour of their country. After the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War in October 1899, hundreds of women left for South Africa to assist in the war effort. Their reasons were varied: some had philanthropic motives, though with no real intention of roughing it in the bush or on the open veld, while others went for the sheer excitement, or, perhaps more dubiously, in the pursuit of pleasure.

But there were also those who had a genuine desire to do good and to help the victims of war. The women came to Africa from all over the world, but whatever their origins, they all came to live and work under harsh conditions that were quite foreign to them. This book tells the story of those altruistic women, two of whom died during their ministrations, and while the backdrop is the brutalities of war, this is also a story of the lighter side of life in South Africa at the time. Based on the women's diaries and letters, as well as other wartime sources, this is a tale of endurance; of dealing with scorching heat, freezing cold and suffocating dust, the threat of snakes, scorpions and soldiers; and, probably worst of all, of dealing with the death of men under their care.

Content: Angels of Mercy: Foreign Women in the Anglo-Boer War

Author's note
Map: Orange Free State and Southern Transvaal, c.1900
In Florence's footsteps: Georgina Pope
A pioneer in her field: Nellie Gould
Courage under fire: Elin Lindblom
Walking the line: Alice Bron
The 'New Woman': Mary Kingsley
The madness of war: Lisette Hellemans
A courageous woman: Martha Bidmead
Death in a foreign land: Clara Evans
From educator to caregiver: Wijtske Sijbrandi
Rebuilding through education: Maud Graham
'The Learned Eleventh': Hilda Ladley
Answering the call to the camps: Margaret Mclnnes