Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers One hundred years ago

The war in South Africa: Mr Kipling's hospital sketches

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:933

In the Daily Mail of May 1st and 2nd Mr. Rudyard Kipling continues his graphic sketches of the wounded in the military hospitals which he has recently visited. Incidentally he bears witness to the splendid stuff, physical and mental, of which the Colonial volunteers, who are fighting their Mother's quarrel so bravely, are made. He sees in these young men the best hopes for the future development of the land which has been “starved by policy and craft through many years lest an incompetent race should be found out before the face of the nations.” We may assume, he says, that among the hospitals there are 300 Canadians of the very stamp and breed we require—young, sound, clean, intelligent, well educated, of whom 75 per cent hold or have held land. These men, he urges, should be induced to settle in South Africa. Mr. Kipling gives a vivid picture of the sufferings and hopes and fears of our wounded soldiers now lying in the hospitals of South Africa, and of the efficiency and devotion with which they are tended. (BMJ 1900;i:1112.)

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