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Category: Smith’s Official Diary of the War in South Africa

These volumes contain the official war diary of Frederick Smith, Veterinary Lieutenant Colonel, Army Veterinary Department. This diary was written in triplicate using carbon paper. A copy was sent to the War Office, and another to the Principal Veterinary Officer of South Africa.

Frederick Smith’s Official War Diary Book A – 11 Jul to 22 Sep 1900

Diary entries include: This volume of the diary commences on the 11 Jun 1900, when Smith is stationed at Pretoria. It is addressed to an unnamed Colonel. It begins by relating past events including Smith’s arrival at Pretoria from Bloemfontein on the 17 May and meeting Colonel Grierson, Chief of Staff. From the 11 Jun, it is assumed the diary is written day by day. There is a gap in the diary from the 5 to 25 July, and from the 26 July it seems that Smith is based at Kroonstad…

Frederick Smith’s Official War Diary Book B – 22 Sep 1900 to 14 Jan 1901

Diary entries include: The diary starts on p10 of the volume commencing on 22 Sept 1900, when Smith is stationed at Kroonstad. Smith leaves Kroonstad for Bloemfontein on 18 Dec, where he stays for one week, leaving for Cape Town on 25 Dec where he arrives on 27 Dec. There are diary entries for most days. This volume chiefly relates Smith’s daily work managing the care of horses used by the Armed Services, via the set up of Field Veterinary Hospitals…

Frederick Smith’s Official War Diary Book C – 15 Jan 1901 to 26 Feb 1901

Diary entries include: This volume starts with a continuation of the entry for 14 Jan 1901 from the preceding volume when Smith is stationed in Cape Town. There are diary entries for most days.The volume chiefly relates to Smiths daily work overseeing the allocation of staff and resources to the various veterinary hospitals and remount depots in the vicinity of Cape Town. Locations mentioned include: …

Frederick Smith’s Official War Diary Book D – 27 Feb 1901 to 10 Jul 1901

At the time of writing this diary, Smith is stationed in Cape Town except for a three month period (March-May) when he seems to have been based in the Kimberley area. The volume ends on 10 July 1901. There are diary entries for most days except for the period from 24 April – 22 May when Smith has injured his right arm (as he explains on 22 May). The volume chiefly relates to Smith’s daily work overseeing the allocation of staff and resources to the various veterinary hospitals and remount depots in the vicinity of Cape Town. Locations mentioned include: …