Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 131 )
‘Thank you, Gentleman, could I have two more volunteers,’ I asked, two more troopers came to the front of the class. ‘An arm in a sling, if you please,’ once again the manoeuvre was performed perfectly. ‘Thank you, Doctor,’ said the Colonel, ‘ It is obvious that you are putting my men to good use.’
After the initial week, I doubled the amount of men that I was training, as it seemed to be a feasible prospect. The weeks flew by and before I knew it we were docking at Capetown. I had rather hoped that I might be allowed to remain with the Yeomanry, as I had made many friends amongst their ranks, both Officers and men.
But alas it was not to be, when after disembarking at Capetown, I reported to Army Headquarters for my assignment. I was told I was being sent to Concentration Camp No.1 which was apparently near to a place called Bloemfontein. I was to travel there in the morning aboard the Mail coach.
I made a few enquiries and found that it was supposedly a refugee camp for displaced Boer Family’s, for the most part, women and children with the odd male. The conditions I was told were appalling, with many of the children sick or dying.
There was already a volunteer Doctor in residence, I was to join and assist him in every way possible. From what I could glean from the men on the Mail wagon, it was a terrible place. The Major in charge was a martinet with an implacable hatred of the Boers. He had apparently lost men in a Boer ambush, so now he was reduced to glorified jailer.
(C) Damian Grange 2019