Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Conan Doyle's Knighthood

In the 1902 publication entitled, The War in South Africa: Its Causes and Conduct, Conan Doyle responded to all of the charges leveled against the British. For example, he declared that the “concentration camps” were really refugee camps that the government of Great Britain was duty bound to create. Housing was needed for the women and children displaced during the war. He admitted that the mortality rate in the camps was high. However he pointed out that this was because of disease rather than bad treatment. Many British troops died from the same cause and so Conan Doyle reasoned that the civilians in the camps were being treated at least as well as Great Britain treated its own troops.

While Conan Doyle called his work a “pamphlet” it was actually around sixty thousand words in length. Amazingly, he completed the work in only eight days.

The work was a success. It was widely read and public opinion about Great Britain’s conduct in the Boer Was softened. As a result of this contribution to his country’s welfare Conan Doyle was notified that King Edward VII wanted to make him a knight bachelor.


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