Hayward Young & Co

You Are Viewing

A Blog Post

Anglo-Boer War

At the start of your walk through history on the Hayward Young Centennial Walkway, you will come across the following verse:

In a large and sunlit land,

Where no wrong bites to the bone,

I will lay my hand in my neighbour’s hand,

And together we will atone

For the set folly and the red breach

And the black waste of it all;

Giving and taking counsel each

Over the cattle-kraal. [1]

Rudyard Kipling,  in this extract, captures in plain English the spirit of the time as he so often did. It was written in 1903. In 1899, the world’s greatest empire had launched a war of aggression against two small farmer-republics – and almost lost.  When the Juggernaut of British power eventually had utterly crushed the Boer people in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, and after a brief and unhappy period of Anglicization had met with only resistance and failure, wiser counsels prevailed.   The jingoism of the early days of the Boer War had soon been humbled by defeat after defeat; British policy swung rapidly to reconciliation.

[1] By Rudyard Kipling, written in 1903, a poem called The Settler, as a gesture of reconciliation between “boer en Brit” after the Boer War. Very popular at the time. From “The Settler – South African war ended – May 1902” in  Stories and poems, ed R L Green, Dent, London.