An Australian war correspondent in Ladysmith: The siege report of Donald Macdonald of the Melbourne Argus

  • Ian Van der Waag Military History Department, University of Stellenbosch (Military Academy)
Keywords: An Australian war correspondent in Ladysmith, Donald Macdonald, Melbourne Argus, Covos-Day, How we kept the flag flying, the siege of Ladysmith, Second Anglo-Boer War, the battle at Elandslaagte, 100-day siege

Abstract

Some one hundred years ago, South Africa was torn apart by the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). To mark this cataclysmic event, Covos-Day is publishing a series of books. The first is a facsimile of Donald Macdonald's enduring story of How we kept the flag flying through the siege of Ladysmith I and this is followed by several other titles including another Ladysmith-siege diary: one written by George Maidment, a British army orderly.2 Such a publication programme is a monumental and laudable effort. It allows both reflections upon a calamitous episode in South African history and, as is the case of How we kept the flag flying, an opportunity for the collector to acquire old titles, long-out-of-print, at reasonable prices. Donald Macdonald was born in Melbourne, Victoria on 6 June 1859. After a short career as a teacher, he joined the Corowa Free Press and, in 1881, the Melbourne Argus. A nature writer and cricket commentator,) he arrived in South Africa on 21 October 1899, the day of the battle at Elandslaagte, as war correspondent to the Melbourne Argus. This book, How we kept the flag flying, was born from his experiences and frustrations whilst holed-up in Ladysmith throughout the 100-day siege, whilst the war raged and was reported on by journalists elsewhere.
Published
2012-02-08
How to Cite
Van der Waag, I. (2012). An Australian war correspondent in Ladysmith: The siege report of Donald Macdonald of the Melbourne Argus. Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies, 30(1). https://doi.org/10.5787/30-1-165
Section
Review Articles