Lead: Fearful of increasing British power in southern Africa, the two Boer Republics declared war in 1899. Twenty-five year old Winston Churchill, correspondent for the London Morning Post, was taken as a prisoner of war.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Churchill was a descendant of one of England's great families, the son of the Duke of Marlborough. He was a graduate of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and had army service in India and the Sudan. There he displayed great personal bravery but irritated his superiors. They did not like his practice of combining journalism and soldiering. Periodically, he would send accounts of his experiences to newspapers back in England. This smacked of too much self-promotion for the British high command. After a failed attempted to enter Parliament Churchill signed on as a war correspondent following the troops into the spreading hostilities of the South African conflict. On November 15, 1899 he caught a ride on an armored troop train destined for Ladysmith northeast of Durban. Out in the countryside, the train was ambushed by, the Boers, South Africans of Dutch descent, who had been scoring such hits through the use of guerrilla tactics and their knowledge of the countryside. They would eventually lose their war with 350,000 colonial troops, but in the early months of the war, Boer raids posed a formidable challenge to Britain's attempts at pacification.

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