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South Africa and the War – Bolton Man’s Letter Attitude of the Afrikaaner

January 1940

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 06 January 1940

South Africa and the War

Bolton Man’s Letter Attitude of the Afrikaaner

A former Bolton man, Mr. W. H. Law, B.A., now Principal of the biggest boys’ preparatory school in South Africa, has sent us an interesting letter which throws light on the present political atmosphere in the Union.

Mr. Law, incidentally was the Bolton correspondent of this newspaper for a period, writing the Bolton notes from 1901 to 1904. and was a member of Bolton cricket team under the late Thomas Washington.

“The ‘South Yorkshire Times’ arrives here more or less regularly even though it is war-time” writes Mr. Law. “The English section here is nearly solid behind General Smuts and there is a good following of Afrikaans speakers, too, as Colonel Denys Reitz has been telling you. There are many ‘Afrikaaners’ who are like the Irishmen of the Eire portion and will not listen to argument or accept any evidence from the English press. They are prejudiced against the British point of view and fasten on to any news from Zeesen or elsewhere which suits their point of view.

“My daughter, a young B.A., is bilingual and talks to them in both languages, but has to admit that she makes little impression on some who “won’t see” and, though supposed to be educated, have read little outside their own textbooks and papers. Still Smuts, Hofmeyer and Reitz are three fine allies —able courageous and experienced in the ways of their opponents, Hertzog, Malan, Pirow and Co

“The country is prosperous. Income tax is 1s. in the £ (5%) with a rebate of £400 for married men and £100 per child under 21 years.”

Mt. Law is Hon Secretary of the Playing Fields Association out there and is anxious to have details about similar work in this category such as that of , the Miners’ Welfare. and social service schemes inaugurated by big firms in South Yorkshire.

His address is: “Wyndham,’ Oakhurst Avenue, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa, and he would be very glad to hear from anyone who can give practical information about methods and achievements over here in the movement in which he has interested himself in South Africa.