Winston Churchill, is captured by Boer forces during the Anglo

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Churchill

Wednesday, 15 November 1899

Winston Churchill joined the British army in 1893 and developed a keen interest in war correspondence. Some of his early literary works were reports on various military campaigns. This led Churchill to work as a war correspondent for The Morning Post, in which he was to cover the occurrences of the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa. Soon after his arrival in South Africa, he accompanied a scouting expedition on an armored train. The train was ambushed by the Boers and on 15 November 1899, Churchill was captured and imprisoned in a Prisoner of War (POW) camp. He managed to escape, and with the assistance of an English mine manager, made his way to Delagoa Bay. Hailed as a hero in England, Churchill then joined the army that marched on Mafikeng. On his return to England, he published a volume on his experiences during the war in South Africa.

Later, Churchill turned his attention to politics, winning a seat in Parliament in the 1906 general election. He became the Chancellor of Exchequer (Cabinet Minister) in 1924 upon rejoining the Conservative Party. Churchill was outspoken on a number of issues, such as the danger of Germans re-armament after World War One. His warnings against Hitler were largely ignored, but at the outbreak of the Second World War, his foresight was acknowledged and he became the war-time Prime Minister. His speeches and military strategy were a great encouragement to the British.

Churchill was said to have a very close relationship with South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts, who offered him great support during the Second World War.

 

References:
• Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000. Kaapstad:Human& Rousseau.
•  War Correspondent. The Winston Churchill Centre [online] Available at: winstonchurchill.org [Accessed 10 November 2009]

Last updated : 14-Nov-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011