Many thanks for sharing this link. When you read the letters home in the many regimental histories from serving soldiers in SA you realise how much the men looked forward to contact from home. It rated perhaps only second to having enough food!
In this case the mail from Canada passed through many hands as evidenced by the number of postmarks on some of the covers displayed in the link. No wonder it took a long time to reach the recipient.
You certainly get to feel the patriotic fervour in many of the colourful envelopes and cards.
This must be a very good reference which I will refer to in future. Many of the designs, all with an interest in the Boer War may already be familiar with. I would recommend everyone to take the time to read through this fascinating piece of work.
A couple of stories within the article particularly caught my eye and lead me to a couple of questions though not really direct questions about the specific topic, if I may. I would very much appreciate comment from the forum please.
1---one letter mentions the departure of the "Pomeranians" as part of the 1st Canadian Contingent. Who were they?
2---another letter referring to a man wounded at Paardeberg was sent to the wonderfully named "Miss Huskisson's Soldier's Home". I am guessing this was a convalescent home for the wounded? Who was Miss Huskisson? No doubt a benevolent soul.
You're right about the importance of these letters in adding richness and colour to our understanding of this and other conflicts. When you read the despatches, they can sound very sterile as they list the movements, times and numbers involved. The letters, as the philately site and many of Berenice's posts show, give us a personal dimension which is so important to a fuller appreciation of the life and times of these men and women.
I did a search for Pomeranians and found myself in a whole world of canine sites which is quite unusual for me. I have raised the question to one of my Canadian colleagues and will see what he says. I would also expect that Mike will have the answer.
Percy Huskisson was a member of the South African General Mission. I am guessing the woman you mention was his daughter?
Mr. Percy Huskisson, of the South African General Mission, quickly secured the use of the native day school, which was also the worship room for the Wesleyan natives, and fitted it up as a Soldiers' Home. He and his colleague, Mr. Darroll, were indefatigable in their efforts on behalf of the men, and night by night the newly transformed Home was crowded. Lord Methuen himself opened it, and personally thanked the workers for their splendid services on the field of battle. In the course of his address, he said: 'I have heard of newspaper correspondents risking their lives when they are well paid for it, but you fellows seem to have no idea of danger; the shadow of the Almighty seems over you, or you would have been, ere this, in your graves, with many more of our brave men.' But under the shadow of the Almighty, the workers were secure, and are secure to-day!
I have an update on the epithet question. My colleague says 'I believe the term must refer to the S.S. POMERANIAN that transported some of the Canadians to South Africa. Another rather cramped little vessel took the RCRI and was called the S.S. SARDINIAN and the compressed passengers called themselves the Sardines!'