Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), poet, novelist and
writer or children's short stories, is primarily
associated with India but also spent time in South
1891, on the advice of his doctor, Kipling embarked
on a sea voyage in which he first visited South
Africa on his way to Australia, New Zealand and
In 1898 Kipling began travelling to southern
Africa for winter vacations almost every year. In
South Africa Kipling met and befriended
Rhodes, who gave him a house.
During his early visits he began collecting
material for another of his children's classics, the
Just So Stories for Little Children, published in
1902. Two of the typically South African short
stories include "The
Elephant's Child" (which name-checks
Grahamstown and the Limpopo River) and "How
the Leopard Got His Spots."
In 1899 on the outbreak of the
Anglo-Boer War, Kipling became involved in a
campaign for service charities, named after
one of his poems, "The
In 1990 Kipling visited South Africa
again, where he continued war work and
writings, including two weeks in
Bloemfontein on the newspaper The Friend,
published by the British army.
famous poem "If" was written in
Leander Starr Jameson's
personal qualities at overcoming the
difficulties of the Jameson Raid, for which
he largely took the blame.
Dead Memorial in
was built at the behest of
Cecil Rhodes to
honour those who died defending
during the siege of Kimberley in 1899-1900.
the base of the memorial is an inscription
by Kipling, which he wrote
specifically for this memorial: "This for a
charge to our children in sign of the price
we paid. The price that we paid for freedom
that comes unsoiled to your hand. Read,
revere and uncover, here are the victors
laid. They that died for their city being
son's of the land."