Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-11 > 1194922770

From: "Carmen DiGiacomo" <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Boer War
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 21:59:30 -0500
References: <>

Bill, I was wondering when someone from the list would make the John McBride
connection to the Boer War. Great input!

Suggested reading. 'The Boer War' by Thomas Pakenham. Published by Avon
Books, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 79-4779 - ISBN:

The first paragraph of the introduction reads:
" The war declared by the Boers on 11 October 1899 gave the British, in
Kipling's famous phrase, 'no end of a lesson'. The British public expected
it to be over by Christmas. It proved to be the longest (two and
three-quarter years), the costliest (over 200 million pound sterling), the
bloodiest (at least twenty-two thousand British, twenty-five thousand Boer
and twelve thousand African lives) and the most humiliating war for Britain
between 1815 and 1914".


----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill King" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 5:59 PM
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Boer War

> On Veteran's Day, I read with great personal interest the article on the
> Boer War. This is a part of Chicago Irish history that I can find little
> details. The Michael O'Hara in the article was my father's uncle.
> When gold and diamonds were discover in the free states that are today The
> Union of South Africa, the English arrived to take over. The original
> Dutch settlers known as Boers began a losing battle to hold on to control.
> The only outside help that they received were from Irish volunteers, not
> mercinaries, under the leadership of John McBride. McBride wanted to study
> British military tactics as he was of the opinion that Ireland would soon
> have to go to war with the British to gain independence. The only group
> outside of Ireland to join him were from Chicago. McBride fought his way
> with the Boers across South Africa before returning to Ireland. A few
> years later, he married Maud Gonne who is frequently connected with
> William Butler Yeats. McBride's tumultuous marriage did produce one
> child - Sean. John took part in the 1916 rising. For this action he was
> executed by the English. Sean went on to help found UNESCO and Amnesty
> International. For his actions he was awarded the !
> Nobel Peace Prize in 1974. As for the Chicago group, many if not all may
> have given their lives helping the Boers. I hope some of you have
> information on their fate.
> Bill King
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