This episode takes us to Christmas 1901 and the battle of Groenkop near Bethlehem in the Free State where General Christiaan de Wet catches the British offguard on the top of a two hundred foot high kopje.
We will also hear how the opposition party leader Lloyd George narrowly escapes being lynched as a pro-Boer Brit in a night of extreme violence as you’ll hear.
The wobble that Chamberlain the Liberal Unionist leader and Sir Alfred Milner were most worried about had begun back in England. The Tax-payer was now fully aware that they were funding a war in South Africa that never seemed to end.
The Times newspaper had led a revolt against the government as we heard in previous podcasts. Lord Kitchener was ignored as he complained asbout the fact that most of the new soldiers arriving in South Africa could neither ride nor shoot straight.
That was nothing new in the eyes of the British public. They had heard that excuse since October 1899 and it was now wearing extremely thin. Parliament had been prorogued until after the New Year but mounting expenditure and public anger might force government to go into session again at such a late date in the year.
Winston Churchill was pro-government, yet was also warning about what he called a disquietening situation which in his words was as “momentous as it was two year ago”.