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Catalogue 43 Anglo-boer War #1589/8

Blake (Col. J.Y.F.)


A Personal Narrative of the Commander of the Irish Brigade

Published: Boston, 1903

Stock Number: #1589/8

Price: R3,000


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411 pages, 8vo (210 x 150 mm), frontispiece portrait, many illustrations, green cloth with a photograph of Blake mounted on a horse laid on upper cover, neatly recased, fore-edge and bottom edge uncut, new endpapers, a very good copy.

Hackett (R.G.) South African War Books An Illustrated Bibliography page 88: Experiences of an American officer in the service of the Boer republics. Blake commanded a group of Irish patriots numbering about 350 on onset of hostilities. The 'Irish Brigade' was active in natal taking part in the Tugela operations. In May 1900 the volunteers were employed in the Orange Free State and soon thereafter were fighting in the Transvaal. By late August 1900, with both republics under British control, the Irish Brigade was disbanded. Many volunteers departed South Africa via Koomati Poort, others joined various commandos to continue the war. Col. Blake remained active with Boer forces to the end of the campaign.John Young Filmore Blake was born October 6, 1856 in Bolivar, Missouri, and died January 24, 1907, in New York City. An Irish-American soldier, freedom fighter, and lecturer, he was an ardent advocate of resistance to British imperialism. He headed to South Africa as gold prospector.While in South Africa he became deeply involved in the Second Boer War, leading foreign volunteers assisting the Boer republics in their resistance to British annexation. He returned to the United States after the war to a hero's welcome and the lecture circuit. He subsequently published a memoir of his African experience, A West Pointer With The Boers. Blake's memoir is conceived as a highly critical expose of the motives and actions of Great Britain, particularly in its support of Cecil Rhodes. He also lingers on the British maltreatment of black Africans and Afrikaners alike, and the honour and decency of Boer partisans in defending their liberty and families.