Memorializing the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 is a study of a group of memorials to soldiers who fought in a now nearly forgotten war, and deals with the many factors influencing why there was such an unprecedented number of memorials compared to those to previous conflicts like the Crimean War, fifty years earlier. One of the most important issues was the impact of changes in the organization of the British Army in the late 1800s, particularly the creation of locally-based regiments, heavily manned by volunteers drawn from local communities.
The book includes a detailed commentary on the social conditions in England that also account for the unprecedented number of commemorations of this conflict. It discusses the variety of forms memorials took: informal – drinking fountains, ‘Spion Kop” stands at football stadiums; formal – stained glass windows, statues, etc., and the numerous and diverse places where they were located: cathedrals, town squares, public schools and universities. The growth of the national press and the rise of literacy is dealt with in detail, as well as the telegraph, whose invention meant that news became available overnight. Space is given to discuss the expression of Victorian prosperity in public works. The part played by the established church is well documented and an insight is given into the contribution of Imperialism, patriotism and jingoism. All these factors explain the motivation for the memorials’ creation.
The book is illustrated with photographs and articles from newspapers of the day. Appendices cover those who are not commemorated, lost memorials, those who unveiled the memorials, colonial involvement and more. Memorializing the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 will appeal particularly to social historians and students of military and social history.