Our First Foreign War

The impact of the South African War 1899–1902 on New Zealand

Nigel Robson

The fascinating account of an often overlooked war

When war broke out between the British Empire and the Boer republics in 1899, New Zealand was among Britain’s most enthusiastic supporters. Many welcomed the opportunity to prove their nation’s military capabilities and its loyalty to the Empire.

Although the numbers sent to South Africa were small, the response at home was on a grander scale. Contributions to the war effort flooded in and New Zealanders closely followed the fortunes of their contingents in the field and the drama of the sieges of Mafeking, Kimberley and Ladysmith. Patriotic men, women and children packed fund-raising events and joined military volunteer and school cadet corps.

This is the first book to examine a phenomenon that has few parallels in New Zealand history. It offers a finely grained analysis of the nation’s response to the South African War, and the conflict’s enduring impact on New Zealand.

. . . an engaging read . . . This is quite an achievement, and long overdue. Robson’s analysis is wide-ranging and thorough.’ — Peter Wood, New Zealand Journal of History

‘. . . an important and timely study. It has taken far too long for a scholar to analyse the domestic impacts of the South African War — hopefully Robson’s compelling lead will soon inspire many other researchers to follow’ — David Littlewood, Kete

‘. . . richly researched and engagingly told’ — Mike Houlahan, Otago Daily Times

To look inside, click here.

  • CATEGORY: Ebooks, History, Military history
  • ISBN: 9780995140707
  • ESBN: 9780995122918
  • PUBLISHER: Massey University Press
  • IMPRINT: Massey University Press
  • PUBLISHED: 08/04/2021
  • PAGE EXTENT: 416
  • FORMAT: Soft cover
Profile image for Nigel Robson

Nigel Robson is a senior historian at the Office of Māori Crown Relations — Te Arawhiti.