A Few Months with the Boers: The War Reminiscences of a Russian Nursing Sister

TitleA Few Months with the Boers: The War Reminiscences of a Russian Nursing Sister
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1977
AuthorsIzedinova, Sophia, and Christopher Moody
Number of Pages258

Originally published in Russian in 1903, this autobiography of a Russian nurse in South African during the Boer Wars (1799-1902) tells the story of  twelve young Russian and Dutch nurses who volunteered to accompany a Russian/Dutch ambulance brigade to nurse the Boer forces. They arrived in Pretoria in February 1900. For the next four months, Sophia served in field hospitals in several theatres. Starting at Poplar Grove and Brandfort her group was an integral front line force and suffered great hardship from a lack of proper victuals, poor transport arrangements and, in many cases, incompetence on the part of the Boer generals. She served in Christiana, Winburg, Kroonstad, Elandsfontein outside Germiston and finally Fourteen Streams on the Vaal River. Frequently under fire and suffering hardship shared with the civilian population, they were at one time left behind when general Du Toit retreated without informing the hospital. Because of the danger the nurse were exposed to he ordered the nurses' evacuation and they returned to Pretoria, which was then in disarray in the face of the advancing British forces. There the ambulance group was disbanded and the Russian nurses returned to Russia. Here the author resolved to bring the Boer cause to the notice of her countrymen and in 1903 published her memoires, which were  translated into English in 1976.

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