2 December 2003
CHURCHILL, Sir W.L.S. Autograph letter signed ('Winston') to Pamela Plowden, Government House, Natal, 28 January 1900, 8 pages, 8°; envelope.
'I AM REALLY ENJOYING MYSELF IMMENSELY': CHURCHILL WRITES FROM AMID THE 'CHANGING SCENES AND CONTINUAL CHANCES' OF THE BOER WAR. There has been 'another serious reverse: having lost some 70 officers & 1500 men to little purpose'; but he remains confident that if the political will in London remains firm victory is not in doubt -- 'though if the killing go on at this rate I wonder who will be left to see it'. Churchill himself has just had five days continually under fire -- 'once the feather in my hat was cut through by a bullet. But in the end I came serenely through'. He is concerned about his brother Jack, as he had not anticipated that he would arrive before the relief of Ladysmith was achieved: whereas now 'we have the bloodiest fight of the war immediately before us - a supreme effort to break through the Boer lines. We are but grains of sand in the waves of the sea'. Churchill argues against Pamela's advice that he should return from the war -- 'My place is here: here I stay - perhaps for ever' - and laments the fact that she did not take the opportunity of coming out with his mother and brother as a secretary. He reports on a friend, Brintash Stewart -- 'very talkative and happy. He likes being shot at' - and returns to the reverses of the campaign, 'The scenes on Spionkop were among the strangest and most terrible I have ever witnessed'. He advises Pamela against close attention to what is said in the Press, and rails against a critic of the war: 'Who is it will apportion God's blessings and cursings? ... The result alone can prove upon whose arms the sun shines'.
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