Boer War – Letter from Tim Roper, Denaby Footballer

July 1900

Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 6.

Letter from Tim Roper, the Denaby Footballer.

The following letter has been received from Tim Roper, the footballer, dated May 27, 1900, Newcastle, South Africa:

Dear mother and father.

Just a few lines to let you know that I received the parcels all right. I received them on the Queen’s Birthday. We had just halted after a 10 miles March, and we were ordered to fall in, and give three cheers for Her Majesty.

I shortly afterwards heard the post bugle sounded, and I received a parcel, and half an hour later, the money and cigars, and we shared them amongst Ballie, Corbett, Mick Coyne, and myself, and they were just grand, I can tell you, for we cannot get up on a Sunday morning and go to our coats get a cigar or a bottle of ginger beer either.

We have had it hard during the last fortnight, for we have been on the march, and busily engaged repairing bridges, and we have only been on half rations, consisting of three and four biscuits per day, and a small portion of corn beef, and for bread, I don’t know the taste of it now; it seems so long since I had any, and I would freely gave half a crown for one loaf if I could get it.

We are moving up to the front again, for there are about 10,000 Boers at LaingĀ“s Nek, and General Buller is on Majuba Hill, and we have about 40,000 troops here, and there are going to push forward and join Buller and then I think we shall soon have the end.

Tell Mr Weston, we received the money or right, and Corbett and Bally thank you very much for his kindness, but there is no canteen to spend it at year, but tell him we will not forget to drink his health, and wish him much happiness and long life when we get inside a canteen again. We are going to send him a letter sometime today, so you can tell to look out.

I don’t know what to think about the footballer’s losing the match for the Hatchard Cup; tell them it is time they ceased playing.

I saw in the “Mexborough Times” about a running match between Davis and Lang, and which Davis won by about 5 yards. In reference to that man He says he has received letters from his wife in reply to them, so please enclose the name in your next letter.

By the time you receive this, I shall probably be on my way home .