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Two note books compiled by John George Parker-Toulson containing an account of his experiences as a trooper in the Belingwe Field Force under the command of Captain D. Tyrie Laing during the Matabele Rebellion, and of other incidents during eight years spent as a mining engineer in Bulawayo and elsewhere in Africa, 1889-97. Manuscript on paper, 157 pages, folio, leather-backed cloth, spines damaged.

J.G. Parker-Toulson was the son of a Yorkshire squire, John Parker-Toulson of Skipwith Hall. Born about 1865 he was apprenticed to Beasley & Co. in Liverpool and left for South Africa in 1889. Based in Bulawayo he joined the Belingwe Field Force which bacame part of the force of about one thousand men under the command of Colonel Carrington [later General Sir Frederick Carrington] which was ordered to crush the uprising in Matabeleland. Parker-Toulson describes his service in Laing's Patrol between May and July 1896 and the fierce actions in one of which he was severely wounded. He was taken to the Base Hospital at Usher's Farm and later to the Memorial Hospital at Bulawayo where he recovered. Help had been offered to Laing by Colonel Baden-Powerll', patrol which returned to the main column once Laing and his men were safe. After his release from hospital Parker-Toulson worked for the Bulawayo Timber Company and then resumed his mining career. His account is drawn from his own observations, newspapers and dispatches. He sums up the tribulatins of 1896:

'First their [sic] were the locusts, then cam that Jameson's raid. If it had been a success it would have been a fine thing ...but being a failure it ruined thousands. Then we ahd the Rind[er] pest and the same year the two dynamite explosions ...then the native rising in Rhoderia and Mashonaland with all the murders attached and of course after that followed the great depression owing to their being no food in the country?

He gives an account of the development of Bulawayo during the time he lived there and he describes in detail the celebrations to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. These were attended by C.J. Rhodes and the Hon Arthur Lawley. He describes the speech made by Rhodes for which he had great admiration and quotes in great detail the subsequent discussions held by Rhodes and Lawley with the MAtabele elders who had been summond to a conference in Bulawayo.
Major D. Tyrie Laing (formerly 93rd Highlanders) wrote a history of his service with the Belingwe Field Force entitled The Matabele Rebellion, 1896, London [1897].
Lawley (later 6th Baron Wenlock) later a coloniel governor was administrator of Matabeleland.
Five photograps of Parker-Toulsonn as a boy, in his uniform and in later life are included in the lot.
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