Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 139 )
Apparently, Arthur was only here until June, He had enlisted on a six-month volunteer contract. My own enlistment was until the end of hostilities, the way things were shaping we may be returning home together.
We were both eagerly awaiting the arrival of Miss Emily Hobhouse, from what we had heard of her, and what Arthur knew of her. Arthur was certain that her tour of inspection would alter the conditions of the Boer families for the better.
Whether the Commandant liked it or not, her way would prevail, she had the backing of many prominent politicians who sought to appease the Boer nation and avoid further conflict. Although the Boers knew nothing of her, rumours had spread around the camp of changes to come, they were eagerly awaiting to see if these changes would be for the better.
When Miss Hobhouse arrived she went directly to the Boer, issuing blankets, soap and foodstuffs. All of which her charity had funded and bought from London itself. She listened to the many complaints from the Boer womenfolk, nursed their babies, played with their children and within a couple of days had won the hearts and trust of all of them.
After she had achieved this, she came to the hospital to visit the sick and wounded. She was disgusted by the conditions that she found, due to lack of suitable medicines and food. With Arthur and I in toe, she stormed in to the Commandants Office and told him what a despicable specimen of humanity he was to deny food and the proper medical facilities to the people in his care. When she returned to London she would demand that he be immediately replaced, but until then she gave him a list of her immediate requirements. He was just about to protest, but she glared at him, he slumped back in his chair, a beaten man.
(C) Damian Grange 2019