A representative of the Limerick Leader had the opportunity to travel with Colonel Schiel, the German officer who commanded the Boer artillery during the early stages of the South African War. Schiel was wounded at Elandslaagte, captured by the British, and held as a prisoner in St. Helena for two years. Upon his release, he was eager to learn about current events, including Colonel Lynch’s trial. Schiel expressed his admiration for the Irish soldiers who fought alongside the Boers and the support the people of Ireland provided for the Transvaal and Free State populations. He believes that permanent peace in South Africa hinges on the actions of the British Government. Though still recovering from his ordeals, Schiel left a positive impression on his fellow travelers with his affable and straightforward demeanour.
During the conversation, Schiel mentioned his admiration for the brave Irishmen who fought on the Boer side during the war, emphasizing that the people of the Transvaal and the Free State will always remember the sympathy and support extended to them by the people of Ireland in their struggle for independence. Schiel appeared surprised and impressed by the length of time the Boers had remained on the battlefield and shared that if they thought they could have fought longer with a chance of success, they would never have surrendered. Colonel Schiel came across as a resilient and experienced military man, and his insights on the South African War offered a unique perspective to his fellow travelers. His story serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding different sides and perspectives in historical conflicts, as well as the ever-present potential for lasting peace through fair treatment and negotiation.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Wednesday 30 July 1902