David Dorward


The South African War was important in moulding the Australian Federation and in the creation of national self-identity. The controversies surrounding the rebel figure, Breaker Morant, addressed by Shirley Walker in an earlier issue of Kunapipi, continually resurface in the popular press, encompassing as that figure does many ambiguities of Australian national mythology that found expression at Gallipoli. 1 Memoirs and celebratory accounts of the war abound in which, however, the war is set apart, projected as an event outside: men seemingly returned and got on with their lives. Scant attention has been given to the significance of the South African experience to the men, to the 'curios' and other memorabilia brought home or to the impact of these on cultural perceptions.2 This article focuses on the 'Boer War album' of Major Walter Howard Tunbridge, an officer commanding the Third Queensland Mounted Infantry, and on the perspective, values, and the events portrayed. 3



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