Lincolnshire author and farming journalist Alan Stennett has just released a book about his grandfather and his brother, Herbert and Athur Stennett, two farmer’s sons from Billingborough, who went out to South Africa in 1900 to fight in the Boer War.
The new book, Lincolnshire Lads On The Veldt, is based on their letters home to the family in Billingborough, a visit that Alan and his wife Sue made to South Africa, and a series of newspaper reports from another volunteer.
Born and brought up in Billingborough, Alan attended Carres Grammar School for a year before the family moved to another part of the county and he now lives at Kirkstead Bridge, Near Woodhall Spa
The two young men were among a group of volunteers who set out from Lincolnshire to fight in South Africa with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment in the Boer War of 1899-1903.
Herbert’s grandson, Alan had transcribed the letters for the benefit of the family, but realised that there was an opportunity to make something more of them when he found reports in a local paper from another soldier, Private David Wilkie, in the same group of Volunteers.
“I realised they could be put together to show what it was like to take part in one of the last Imperial wars,” he said. In their reports they wrote about their boots, bad food, big rivers to cross and the reception from unfriendly locals. Herbert was among a group of Lincolns ambushed at a pass called Silkaatsnek. ‘Lincolnshire Lads on the Veldt’ is £11.99 from local bookshops or from Alan, plus £1.50 p&p, at Woodhall Junction, Kirkstead Bridge, Woodhall Spa, LN10 6QX.