Much revealing light on pioneer conditions in Rhodesia is shed by the diaries of Dan Judson and his wife, Maynie, which form the basis of this book.
Dan Judson, whose adventurous youth in Cape Town during the stirring days of the old Cape Colony makes fascinating reading, is perhaps best remembered for his leadership in the Mozoe Patrol episode of the Mashona Rebellion of 1896. This was but one aspect of a full life which centered around his work as a telegraphist when this medium was the foremost means of communication. At the age of 29, he was appointed to reconstruct, reorganize and take charge of the Telegraph in Mashonaland. The accounts of his field work, particularly the many dangerous jobs undertaken in maintaining communications during the Rebellion, are of great interest. He played important roles in the Gwelo laager, on which there is an informative chapter, and with the Charter Patrol. Dan took part in the relief of Mafeking, and was in charge of the guard of honor at Rhodes's funeral in the Matzos. In World War 1 he served in the Balkans for several years with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Although the belated efforts by Judge Vintcent to win recognition for Judson's meritorious part in the Maze Patrol were unsuccessful, they bring to light a new facet of this historic event.
Maynie, who married Dan at the age of 17, travelled much of the way from Beira to Mashonaland by donkey cart and set up home in the pioneer settlement of Salisbury. Hereditary makes dramatic, and sometimes touching, references to life in the bush when accompanying her husband, to their modest home, and to her billet in the Salisbury jail with her infant daughter at the time of the laager. She showed sublime courage and tenacity.
False Dawn--the period before the real development of Rhodesia began--analyses and describes the Maze Patrol, and reveals some little known facts. The value of the work lies in the richness and authenticity of its historical source material.Its Index and numerous illustrations will be welcomed by the researcher; indeed, the book will be read with pride by all Rhodesians, and enjoyed especially by women readers.
Hardback - good condition
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