Mafeking – Siege in the African Sun
Denise Austin spent some of her early formative years listening to her grandmother Ida May’s stories about her life as a child during the Siege of Mafeking during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899.
She has long wanted to write a book, incorporating some of her Granny’s stories, and this is the result.
It is primarily a work of fiction, documenting the lives a typical ‘Settler’ family in the town during the Siege, but also an historically accurate ‘journal’ of the day to day happenings during the course of the Siege.
This combination of styles makes for a fascinating read into a period during which the eyes of the British Empire were focussed on this dusty little town on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, in one of the remotest areas of South Africa.
As a bonus, she gives us a look at two of the most colourful charachters of the Siege – Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, later founder of the world-wide scouting movement, and Lady Sarah Wilson (née Churchill, aunt to Winston Charchill), who became one of the world’s first female war correspondents.