New material and information regarding the Anglo Boer War continues to emerge on an ongoing basis. This work, until now an unknown document, is another such example shedding new light on the war which took place more than a hundred years ago. This is a wonderful contribution to the literature of the Anglo Boer War, more so because of the observation of an intelligent observer. Quite a number of incidents in this war have been clarified for me and put into perspective through Poole’s writing.
Young Robert Poole set off from Aldershot in England in October 1899, his mission, to become part of the British attempt to subdue the obstinate Boer republics in South Africa. He would have realised at the time that this was not going to be ‘a walk in the park’ but a major event in his life, an event important enough to be recorded for posterity. He therefore kept a diary in which he meticulously recorded his thoughts, impressions and observations, for the entire first year of the war. His personal account of the war makes this work so much more authentic and useful in comparison to memoirs written years after the events, when recollections and memories are faded and blurred.