excerpt from 'Starting from Victoria' pp. 35-36 (238 words)

excerpt from 'Starting from Victoria' pp. 35-36 (238 words)

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Starting from Victoria

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[Leonard Ellisdon’s second job as an office boy, in Old Broad Street, included running errands around London. The three-month siege of Ladysmith ended 28 February 1900; the eight-month siege of Mafeking was lifted 17 May 1900. Both events led to huge celebrations]. 


Whilst with this firm the Boer War was raging and I remember the relief of Ladysmith and Mafeking very well. At the time of Ladysmith, I wended my way to Mansion House where there was a solid mass of people, all men as far as I could see, cheering and waving and I nearly got squashed to death ; but it was mild in comparison with Mafeking. Throughout the morning I could hear the crowd cheering in the distance, and so when lunchtime arrived… [I] hastened to the Mansion House where the scene was almost indescribable […] I suppose a half hour had flown since I joined the crowd and I thought it was high time I went [back to work]; but could I extricate myself? Oh dear no! It was as hopeless as trying to push down the Tower of London. Many had joined the crowd during their luncheon break and the crowd was now solid and compact, some singing, “The Soldiers of the Queen”, and others, “The Absent Minded Beggar”, and the residue cheering and shouting. I was properly mangled by then and it took me an hour to get free […]

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excerpt from 'Starting from Victoria' pp. 35-36 (238 words)


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