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South African Memories: Social, Warlike And Sporting (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press)

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Lady Sarah Isabella Augusta Wilson, nee Churchill (1865-1929), was the youngest daughter of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough and aunt of Winston Spencer Churchill. The Daily Mail newspaper recruited Lady Sarah after one of its correspondents, Ralph Hellawell, was arrested by the Boers as he tried to get out of the besieged town of Mafeking to send his dispatch. Lady Sarah was in the right place at the right time to step into the journalistic breach, having moved to Mafeking with her husband, Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon Chesney Wilson Royal Victorian Order (M. V.O. ) at the start of the war, where he was aide-de-camp to Colonel Robert Baden- Powell, commanding officer at Mafeking. Baden-Powell asked her to leave Mafeking for her own safety after the Boers threatened to storm the British garrison. When she re-entered Mafeking she found it had not been attacked as predicted. Instead over four miles of trenches had been dug and 800 bomb shelters built to protect the residents from the constant shelling of the town. Although untrained as a reporter, Lady Sarah soon gained a huge following among Mail readers back in England who appreciated her matter-of-fact writing style.

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