Dr Lindsay Morgan’s talk on Taking the Guns to Ladysmith at a meeting on 27th April.
This was a fascinating talk full of unexpected revelations. It was an adventure in the early life of Admiral Walker-Heneage-Vivian of Clyne Castle who was, in later life, the second President of the Gower Society. In one of the early engagements of the Second Boer War a large British force concentrated at the garrison town of Ladysmith were suffering disastrously at the hands of superior Boer forces. The then Lieutenant Heneage was part of a naval contingent who docked at Durban to assist in the engagement. The guns being provided were the actual ship’s guns from HMS Powerful. They were unshipped and transported by train to the area and eventually altered the course of the engagement by scoring a direct hit to disable the high-powered gun, Long Tom, that was ravaging the troops and the town. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the talk was that it was researched from two separate contemporary sources: the diary of Lieutenant Heneage himself and the account by the War Correspondent on the scene, none other than Conan Doyle (later Sir Arthur).