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I was born in 1928 in Bethehem, South Africa, and was schooled at St Henry's in Durban. I attended Rhodes University in Grahamstown from 1945 to mid year 1946. Then having been accepted by Oxford University, I sailed through Suez on a converted troopship full of young people going to study in Europe.
At Oxford University I lived in Worcester College for two years before moving into digs with friends. I then studied retailing and textiles in London, visiting cotton and woollen mills in Manchester and other northern England cities. During this period I was able to visit western Euopean countries as the Cold War settled in. I made many friends in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, even though many Dutch mocked my "kinder taal" of Afrikaans!
In 1951 I journeyed home by boat from Naples to Alexandria and then by train, bus and paddle steamer up the Nile, ever southwards to my home in Westville, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
I worked for the family business established by my grandfather, George Walter Ross. I unfortunately did not see much of him but my Campbell grandparents were much closer and I loved them dearly. To me the words "oupa" always had a ring of kindness to it.
I married and had many children, enjoying playing with them and telling stories I made up depending on what sort of tale they seemed to like.
When my wife of 46 years died the three daughters who were now living in Australia invited me to move abroad, to Western Australia, which I did in 2005. My three daughters had to go on with their busy lives, coping with families which gave me time to continue with the research and writing of Boer War books that I'd been doing since 2001. I was fortunate enough to meet an Australian woman Anne, who had a grown family. There was a happy wedding with many children and grandchildren from both sides in attendance. Reared in country Western Australia Anne stands no nonsense and speaks her mind on many committees where she is sometimes treasurer of the outfit. I enjoy a skilled cook who is a voracious reader. How lucky I have been!
on Nov. 16, 2016 :
This author writes dialogue so well... and certainly knows his history! Arthur O'Driscoll is the larrikin Irish Boer who is a leader with a Boer Commando when he discovers his sister is working as a nurse on the side of the British. The author has written a companion book An Irish Nurse which is about Arthur's sister and written from the British perspective - both great reads and well worth reading one after the other.
(reviewed 5 years after purchase)
on Aug. 25, 2013 :
An Irish Nurse in Africa and its companion novel The Irish Boer (both available on Smashwords) were originally written as one novel. The publishers refused it as it was over 300,000 words which is apparently forbidden for a first time author. So Brian Ross tried to split the book and in my opinion ruined it (hence only three stars) as unless you read them both at the same time as the author suggests, everything seems out of sync. I wish he would put it back together and re-publish it under another title. I would read it again.
Having said that, the books are still a good read. The author writes dialogue well and realistically. His battle scenes make one feel part of the fight. The stories occur in roughly the first year of the Second Anglo-Boer War(1899-1902) and follow actual historical events quite closely. Francis O'Driscoll is an Irish nurse who finds herself on the side of the British while the Irish Boer is her brother Arthur who leads a Boer Commando fighting for his adopted homeland.
Full disclosure: Arthur and Francis were my Great Grandmother Ross's brother and sister. The Irish background details in the book are true as are SOME of their adventures. Francis was indeed a nurse with the British army and Arthur did lead a Boer Commando which participated in some of the battles described in the book.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)