Boer War Diary

[See also additional information below for further explanation]



8th. Sept. Fri.
This morning about 7 o/c I was urgently called to the orderly room to find a telegram from Simla ordering the Regiment to mobilize and prepare for service in case we should be detailed for S. Africa. Naturally excitement reigned supreme, whilst wires were sent to all officers on leave in the country & to all detachments & furlough men.
Fiennes, who was in temporary command, wanted to be ready to start on Monday or Tuesday at latest! Thought it was quite feasible if we could only get those on leave back in time.
As I am doing Adjutant while Bell is at home, I shall have my hands pretty full.

9th. Sat.
Working all day. Got through the horse inspection & most of the men. Little turned up from Simla. The Authorities have kept the whole thing very dark & would not even give him a hint that we were to go.

11th. Monday
Got the order today saying we detailed for Services in S. Africa.

15th. Friday
The work of preparation is progressing rapidly & had we only

been complete in mobilization stores, would only be waiting for the depot men to get ready. These came in this morning – odds and ends keep turning up from all parts of India.

Sun. 17th Sept.
The entraining of the baggage was begun today as it was thought possible that we might leave tomorrow, but as no news came during the morning, we knocked off.
It has been a real hard 10 days’ work from daybreak till dinner, precious little sleep, 3 to 4 consecutive hours being all I have had owing to being called up at all hours of the night by urgent wires.

Mon. 18th. 
We got the Bombay Concentration programme this morning saying we were to arrive at Drolali at day-break 23rd, and sail on the 24th, halting at Jhansi, Hoshangabad & Drolali. This means leaving Muttra on Wednesday morning early. In the afternoon a wire came saying all the fellows at home were rejoining in Natal, including the Colonel


Original digital file


Date published

1899 (Diary)

Format of the original

Handwritten diary


  • E R Gordon

Additional information

This record contains sample pages from the original, hand-written diary of ER Gordon, combined with a transcript of the diary that was typed up some time ago.

The transcript on this page is of the diary itself, not the typed version.

The original diary contains 6 hand-written pages up to 23 September 1899, and the typed version 7 pages up to 14 October 1899.

The full copies of each of these are available at the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank for those interested in reading more.

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