Searching for the Queen's Cowboys, Tony Maxwell

Searching for the Queen's Cowboys, Tony Maxwell

The Strathcona Horse was a privately-raised Canadian cavalry regiment that was formed for service in South Africa during the Boer War by Donald Smith, Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, one of the richest men in Canada. When this unit came to the attention of the author he decided to film a documentary on the unit, and after conducting a great deal of research in Canada made a trip to South Africa to film and continue his research.

This book has three main interwoven strands. The first, a travelogue that follows the author around South Africa as he filmed his documentary, provides the overall structure. This is mixed with memories of the author's childhood in apartheid South Africa and on the recent history of the country and with a series of accounts of incidents during the Boer War, most but not all involving the Strathcona Horse. There is also a good section on the Zulu War, inspired by a visit to the battlefields.

The mix changes during the book - at the start the travelogue is dominant, along with its thought-proving observations on the current state of South Africa, prompted by the author's conversions with a wide cross-section of South Africans. Later the Boer War comes to the fore, and by the end is dominant. Maxwell has successfully balanced the different elements of his book to produce an interesting personal view of South Africa and of the Boer War.

1 - Lord Strathcona's Cowboys
2 - London
3 - Africa
4 - Pretoria
5 - Mpumalanga
6 - Lydenburg
7 - Politics and War
8 - Kruger's Legacy
9 - Wolvespruit
10 - Isandlwana
11 - Rorke's Drift
12 - Spion Kop
13 - The Hunt for De Wet
14 - Magersfontein
15 - The City of Gold

Author: Tony Maxwell
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 340
Publisher: Bratonmax
Year: 2010

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