Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 140 )
With the arrival of Miss Hobhouse everything changed. The camp seemed revitalised, the Boer women were happy because they had found both an ally and benefactor. The troops were happy because Miss Hobhouse had rendered the Commandant all but impotent. They to a man despised him, but were forced to obey him.
As for Arthur and I, we were content, among her baggage Miss Hobhouse had bought a supply of the medicines that we so desperately needed. Now we could see our patient’s health improve, instead of praying that they survive.
Miss Emily Hobhouse did not stay for long, but the changes she bought about changed all of our lives for the better, and if only for that, I salute her!
When she left to return to London, she promised that she would see that more medicines were sent on the first available ship. She was appalled at the number of lives that had been lost, both among the Boer inmates and the British troops.
It is a little-Known fact that during the Boer war more troops died of illness and poor care than were killed or wounded in the conflict. With the correct medicines now made available to us, many of our bed-ridden would have a chance of survival.
And all of this was due to the crusading spirit of one very charitable lady, God bless her. On her return to London, her report on the conditions in South Africa almost bought down the Government of the time.
(C) Damian Grange 2019