The first shots of the Boer War were fired at Kraaipan on 12 October 1899. Winston Churchill, though he had left his Regiment, the 4th Hussars, in the previous March, was eager as ever to be within the sound of the guns and wasted no time in getting himself accredited to the Morning Post as war correspondent. He sailed from Southampton aboard the Dumottar Castle on 14 October and reached Cape Town on the 31st. For the next eight months he filed his copy regularly for the Morning Post and it is these despatches which were later reprinted in book form as London to Ladysmith via Pretoria and Ian Hamilton's March. They are here published together, giving a vivid and spirited picture of the conditions under which the war was fought and of the problems which confronted the long untried British Army when faced with the dogged and determined resistance of the Boers.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, and after several years in the army, became a newspaper correspondent and then an MP. After Chamberlain's defeat in May 1940, Churchill formed a coalition government and as Prime Minister led Britain through the Second World War. Defeated in the July 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition, and then became Prime Minister once more in 1951. In his last years he was often described as 'the greatest living Englishman'. He was knighted in 1953, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature the same year.