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‘We are having a very enjoyable game’: Britain, sport and the South African War, 1899–1902

Donaldson, Peter (2017) ‘We are having a very enjoyable game’: Britain, sport and the South African War, 1899–1902. War in History, 25 (1). ISSN 0968-3445. E-ISSN 1477-0385. (doi:10.1177/0968344516652422) (KAR id:63264)


This article explores the relationship between sport and war in Britain during the South African War, 1899–1902. Through extensive press coverage, as well as a spate of memoirs and novels, the British public was fed a regular diet of war stories and reportage in which athletic endeavour and organized games featured prominently. This contemporary literary material sheds light on the role sport was perceived to have played in the lives and work of the military personnel deployed in South Africa. It also, however, reveals a growing unease over an amateur-military tradition which equated sporting achievement with military prowess.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0968344516652422
Uncontrolled keywords: South African War, sport, newspapers, public opinion, cult of athleticism
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Peter Donaldson
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2017 11:11 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 00:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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