The Boer War

The Boer War has been nearly forgotten about in our history books, yet it was arguable the hardest fought war of Queen Victoria's reign and saw the largest army that Britain fielded in the 19th century. It lasted from 1899 to 1902 and included many of the horrors that were to become more familiar in the later and even more bloody conflicts of the 20th century.

Concentration camps; trenches; machine guns; scorched earth policy; bad generalship; guerrilla warfare: all these terms became familiar to the British public. Some of the British generals were also to become famous: Kitchener and French in particular.

I covered this war in a series of three fiction books and one non fiction. The fiction followed the career of a young Scottish Borderer, Drew Selkirk, through the three stages of the war: the opening major battles; the period of British success and the long drawn out guerrilla campaigns. The non fiction included the entire text of the journal of Private Robert Brown of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Soldier of the Queen

The opening stages of the war when young Drew Selkirk leaves his home as a Border horseman and serves with the Royal Borders at the battles of Modder River and Magersfontein before being drawn into the siege of Kimberley. En route he falls in love with Georgina Drongan, but class differences drive them apart.

'Entertaining and diligently researched'
Michael J. Hunt

Horseman of the Veldt

Drew Selkirk continues his military career. Newly commissioned, he commands Selkirk's Reivers, one of many small units of horse and uses his Border skills to pursue new adventures.

"Archibald's writing really comes into its own in the well researched dramatic portrayal of battles against the Boers. He has greatly to his credit successfully described the confusion, heroism, brutality, compassion and stupidity which characterised those encounters on the Veldt."
T. Ken Jones 

Selkirk of the Fethan

Captain Drew Selkirk leads his Reivers on another savage mission as the Boer War grinds to a bitter end.

He returns home a different man, but with the Fethan Valley welcome its prodigal son?

Aspects of the Boer War

A readeable background history of the Boer War that includes a verbatim transcript of the diary of Private Robert Brown, the inspiration for the novels.