The Petticoat Commando


Read by Richard Kilmer

(4.6 stars; 29 reviews)

In introducing the English version of this book I venture to bespeak a welcome for it, not only for the light which it throws on some little-known incidents of the South African war, but also because of the keen personal interest of the events recorded. It is more than a history. It is a dramatic picture of the hopes and fears, the devotion and bitterness with which some patriotic women in Pretoria watched and, as far as they could, took part in the war which was slowly drawing to its conclusion on the veld outside.

I do not associate myself with the opinions expressed by the writer as to the causes of the war or the methods adopted to bring it to an end, or as to the policy which led to the Concentration Camps, and the causes of the terrible mortality which prevailed during the first months of their existence. On these matters many readers will hold different opinions from the writer, or will prefer to let judgment be in suspense and to look to the historian of the future for a final verdict. We are still too near the events to be impartial. But this book does not challenge or invite controversy. Fortunately for South Africa, most of us on both sides can now discuss the events of the war without bitterness and understand and respect the feelings of those who were most sharply divided by these events from ourselves.

The greater part of the narrative comes from a diary kept during the war with unusual fullness and vividness. The difficulty experienced by the writer of the diary in communicating to friends outside Pretoria information about what was passing inside, and in unburdening herself of the feelings roused in her by the events of the war, made the diary more than usually intimate. To understand fully many of the narratives which have been transferred from it to this book, it must be remembered that one is reading, not something written from memory years after the event, but rather the record of a conversation at the time, in which the diarist is describing the events as if to a friend who shares to the full all her own feelings and to whom she can speak without reserve.

Much has happened in the ten years which have passed since the end of the war. The country which was distracted by the conflicting ideals and interests of its different Governments and peoples has become the Union of South Africa. It is now one State. It remains that it should call forth a spirit of patriotism and nationality which will unite and not divide its people.(Introduction by Patrick Duncan) (10 hr 7 min)

Chapters

Introduction 3:26 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Scene Of Action 22:57 Read by Richard Kilmer
How The Mines Were Saved 14:40 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Surrender Of The Golden City 12:46 Read by Richard Kilmer
Martial Law Under The Enemy 15:14 Read by Richard Kilmer
Only A Bit Of Ribbon Gay! 5:56 Read by Richard Kilmer
Passes and Permits 16:15 Read by Richard Kilmer
Postage By Strategy 12:44 Read by Richard Kilmer
Outwitting The Censor 13:07 Read by Richard Kilmer
Jan Celliers, Poet And Patriot 16:20 Read by Richard Kilmer
A Little Adventure With The British Soldier 15:17 Read by Richard Kilmer
Prisoner Of War 21:59 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Concentration Camps 24:25 Read by Richard Kilmer
A Consular Visit To Irene Camp 17:56 Read by Richard Kilmer
New Developments 18:25 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Formation Of The National Scouts Corps 11:23 Read by Richard Kilmer
A Consignment of Explosives 6:17 Read by Richard Kilmer
The First Interview With Spies, Introducing Two Heroes 15:09 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Case Of Spoelstra 22:20 Read by Richard Kilmer
Diamond Cut Diamond! 12:25 Read by Richard Kilmer
Thanksgiving And Humiliation 11:40 Read by Richard Kilmer
Filippie And COo 16:24 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Secret Railway Time-Table 14:57 Read by Richard Kilmer
The System Employed By The Secret Committee 15:11 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Death Of Adolph Krause 10:42 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Shoemaker At Work 8:01 Read by Richard Kilmer
Bitten By Our Own Dogs 9:09 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Betrayal Of The Secret Committee. A Memorable Day Of Trouble 18:19 Read by Richard Kilmer
Hansie Earning The Vote 16:09 Read by Richard Kilmer
A War Baby And A Curious Christening 15:26 Read by Richard Kilmer
Forming A New Committee 10:48 Read by Richard Kilmer
"Tea For Two" 6:09 Read by Richard Kilmer
Kidnapping Mauser The Kitten 13:17 Read by Richard Kilmer
The First Spies At Harmony 15:53 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Captain's Visit 17:24 Read by Richard Kilmer
Memories Bitter-Sweet 6:51 Read by Richard Kilmer
A Silent Departure. "Fare Thee Well" 11:57 Read by Richard Kilmer
Betrayed 14:48 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Raid On Harmony 16:57 Read by Richard Kilmer
The Watchword. Oiling The Hinges 22:46 Read by Richard Kilmer
Peace, Peace--And There Is No Peace 32:17 Read by Richard Kilmer
Conclusion 3:25 Read by Richard Kilmer