Private John Jackson's Boer War Diary

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''SPECIAL, WAR.' 'SPECIAL, WAR'. Such were the words that caught my ear one gloomy night in October 1899 as I wandered on my way home through the streets of Chichester. I knew what the words meant to myself and, as well, to thousands more and those sad hearts that would be left to weep in solitude and anxiety, some dear one to mourn, the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice so dear.

As I walked on my way homeward, I pondered over the struggle just commencing in South Africa, where the Boer stood for his Independence and the Englishman his rights. The war cloud had risen the eve had been setting, the first shots exchanged. I knew before many days I would get the summons to go and help swell the ranks that fought for English honour, and that before long I would have to leave all I held most dear to heart and soul. Alas for the circumstances that compel, at the call of duty a soldier must obey, he questions not the cause but cheerfully goes to uphold the honour of his Island birth.

I am going to try and write a rough outline of a soldier's life on active service or the thoughts of a private soldier. It may be just called a Diary...