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South Africa Journal and Letters 1900, 8 Oct. 1899 - 1 Oct. 1900

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10082/1

Scope and Contents

HATF volunteered to serve as a surgeon in the South African War on 13 October 1899 and left Liverpool for Cape Town on 2 November. It is understood that he returned to England in October 1900.
Contains single bound volume of journal entries and typescript letters sent from HATF to his mother, Mary Louisa Fairbank, during the period of his service in the South African War. The letters begin with a description of HATF's voyage to South Africa on board RMS Servia via Queenstown, Ireland and Saint Vincent. Following disembarkation in Cape Town, the letters recount HATF's ten-month progress from Cape Town to Pretoria with descriptions of marches, camps, field hospitals, encounters with the Boers, treatment of the wounded and leisure activities.
Inserted at the back of the volume and now placed in a separate folder are the following items:
1. Telegram from Princess Helena Christian of Schleswig-Holstein to [William] Fairbank (1850-1929), Hon. Surgeon to Her Majesty’s Household at Windsor Castle and HATF's uncle, 12 October, 1899
2. Acceptance of offer (unsigned) to serve as a surgeon to Her Majesty's Forces in South Africa, 13 October 1899
3. Letter from Princess Helena Christian of Schleswig-Holstein to HATF wishing him success in his work in South Africa, 16 October 1899
4. Programme for 'A Grand Concert' held aboard the RMS Servia on 22 November 1899. HATF makes reference to the concert in his journal entry for 23 November
5. Pencil sketch of 'Fairbank & his gee'
6. Manuscript statement by HATF recording the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Farrier Corporal Edward Frederick Goodwin and Corporal Ernest Albert Railton, both of Kitchener's Horse, on 21 September 1900. HATF had collected the bodies of the deceased from Hekpoort and had heard eyewitness accounts of how the two soldiers were shot by a Boer in cold blood. The statement was prepared for the Military Governor at Pretoria. HATF make reference to the incident in his journal entry for 23 September
7. Portion of printed large-scale coloured map of South Africa showing the Orange Free State and the Transvaal with some sections missing, published by G. W. Bacon & co., c.1899


  • Creation: 8 Oct. 1899 - 1 Oct. 1900


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The collection is open for researchers using Cambridge University Library.


1 volume(s) (1 bound volume)

1 folder(s) (1 folder)

Language of Materials