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SA Auction #90 begins on 15 Apr 2021

US Auction #7 begins on 17 Jun 2021

Elder (Alexander William)


FROM 27TH OCTOBER 1899- 31ST MAY 1902.

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Alexander William Elder, 1st Argyll & Sutherland highlanders.  (Private ?)

Manuscript diary in two lined notebooks with marbled paper boards and  cloth backs. One is in a khaki cloth cover with the title written on the upper  cover.

First notebook comprises 59 closely written pages. The second appears  to be a fair copy of the first and ends abruptly on 6th April 1901 on page 49. It  covers the same ground as the first. Neither is a daily diary but are accounts  written later.

Elder describes the regiment's embarkation from Dublin and arrival in  Cape Town and entrainment for de Aar. He gives a vivid account of his  experience at the Battle of Modder River on 28th November and draws a small  sketch map of the battle. He writes in the fair copy, 'we swept on into the  fatal first gun - and then and only then, there blazed out upon us 4 miles of  rifles, cannon and machine guns, we then realised from General to Private, that  we had walked unwittingly into the fiercest battle so far fought in the war.'  He continues to the battle of Magersfontein and on 11th December his collapse  from sun stroke. The diary continues on 19th February with an account of the  battle of Paardeberg and an the surrender of Cronje. He then contracts  dysentery and is moved to Kimberly to convalesce describing the town soon after  its liberation. Upon recovering he rejoins his regiment in Bloemfontein and  describes the advance to Pretoria. The final part of the diary finds him  engaged in the North Eastern and Western Transvaal and suffering a light wound.  The regiment returned to England in May 1902.

  • Size: 200 165 mm
  • Sold By: Clarke's Africana & Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Paul Mills
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 021 794 0600
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  • Trade Associations: ABA - ILAB, SABDA

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