Sunday 7 December 2014

"Clearly My Duty" - Jack Gilmour's Letters from the Boer War

"Clearly My Duty" - Jack Gilmour's Letters from the Boer War (buy from Amazon) 
Jack Gilmour, Patrick Mileham, Paperback - 256 pages (November 1994) Tuckwell Press;
ISBN: 1898410348

Sir John Gilmour, known as Jack Gilmour at the time of the Anglo-Boer War, was a subaltern in the Fife Light Horse. He volunteered at the first call for the Imperial Yeomanry in December 1899. The Fife Light Horse provided the 20th Company of the 6th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry (the Scottish Yeomanry). The 20th saw much action including the battle of Nooitgedacht (13, December 1900).

These letters are well written providing not only a record of life on campaign but also an insight into the interests of a wealthy young man  educated at Cambridge University; politics, fox hunting, the future of Yeomanry and conscription amongst others. Gilmour was promoted to command the 20th and he also commanded the 14th Fife and Forfar Yeomanry in the Palestine Campaign during World War I.

The letters have been unobtrusively edited by Patrick Mileham, an expert on the Yeomanry and author of the The Yeomanry Regiments. The text is supported by a number of clear photographs showing many named men of the 20th in various uniforms.

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