The Diary of Charlie Moses

Extracts from the remarkable diary of an English-born bank clerk, stranded in the Afrikaner stronghold of the Orange Free State during the Boer War. Edited by Franzjohan Pretorius and Iain R. Smith.

The South African War of 1899-1902 (also known as the Anglo-Boer War) was the biggest, costliest and most humiliating war fought by Britain between 1815-1914. Its causes, course and consequences continue to fascinate. It was a remarkably literary war, which generated some notable poetry and a large number of eye-witness accounts on both sides. Many of these were written by combatants, some of them as diary-letters which were sent home in instalments and later published.

Between October 1899 and May 1900, Charlie Moses wrote such a diary-letter, addressed to his parents. This gives a vivid and engaging account of how the course of the war was followed by a patriotic ‘Britisher’ who was isolated, with a couple of others, in the centre of one of the two Boer republics. Maurice Charles Moses was born in Southampton, England, on March 25th, 1879 and died in Frankfort,

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