South African correspondence of James Dick

Scope and Content

Letters written by Dick in South Africa, 164 pages, with two maps and four photographs relating to Southern Africa. The collection is accompanied by two pieces of correspondence between Nancy Dick and D.H. Simpson, R.C.S. Librarian, 1976, regarding the presentation of the papers to the Society.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Dick (1862-1926) was born at Shotts in Scotland and educated at George Watson School and Edinburgh University. He emigrated to South Africa in his twenties, and became manager of Steel Murray & Co., merchants in Durban. In December 1890 he was made Lieutenant in the C (Caledonian) Company of the Natal Royal Rifles (later the Durban Light Infantry). After serving in the Boer War, he commanded the newly-raised volunteer corps, the Natal Rangers, during the Zulu Rebellion of 1906. The forces were demobilised in July 1906, but were called out again in November 1907 following the murder of the loyal chief, Mpumela. On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 a second battalion of the Durban Light Infantry was raised under Dick's command for the invasion of German South-West Africa. The Battalion arrived at Walfisch Bay on 29 January 1915, but was not involved in any fighting, and returned to Durban on 9 July, disbanding on the 18th. James Dick died in Edinburgh in 1926.

Access Information

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Acquisition Information

Presented by Miss Nancy Dick, March 1976.

Note

Includes index.

Other Finding Aids

MSS 5

MSS Addenda, vol. III.

A catalogue of the collection can be found on ArchiveSearch.

Related Material

The R.C.S. Manuscripts Collection includes an account by James Dick of a journey he took in East Africa in 1912, RCMS 154.

Bibliography

There are numerous references to James Dick, and some portraits, in A.C. Martin, 'The Durban Light Infantry', vol. I (1969). For information on the conflict in Southern Africa in 1906-1907 see Shula Marks, 'Reluctant rebellion', 1970.

Additional Information

This collection level description was created by RAS using information from the original typescript catalogue.

Dick, James, 1862-1926