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Networks of concern, boundaries of compassion: British relief in the South African War

Gill, Rebecca (2012) Networks of concern, boundaries of compassion: British relief in the South African War. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 40 (5). pp. 827-844. ISSN 0308-6534

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Abstract

In the South African War (1899-1902) and its aftermath, wounded combatants and interned Boer civilians were the subjects of extensive transnational relief efforts. Focusing on the aid proffered by the British Red Cross Society, the pro-imperialist Victoria League and the rival Boer Home Industries scheme, this paper explores how gifts of time and material were invested with competing hopes and aspirations for Britain’s role in South Africa. In this context food and hand-made textiles represented more than mere commodities. It also meant that, though expressing genuine sympathy and concern, benefactors did not share a ‘humanitarian’ ideal. These gifts brought undoubted comfort and saved life. They also provided new imaginative vistas on empire and war, and galvanised domestic political networks. But the implication of these numerous benevolent impositions was a lack of co-ordination and the privileging of relief workers’ ethical commitments with little thought as to how these gifts would be received.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
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Depositing User: Rebecca Gill
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 09:20
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2013 10:25
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/14767

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