News & events


13 April 2018

Killed while batting for the empire

IOL News

South Africa has just demolished Australia in a dramatic series. Today, the Proteas bat for all South African cricketers. But, in a truth stranger than fiction, there were once seven South Africas in cricket. Seven overlapping national boards – each simultaneously running their own leagues, provincial competitions and South African teams came into existence between 1915 and the 1961 during the segregation and apartheid eras.

Over 22 million people died in the biggest war yet experienced by humanity. Half of them were civilians. New types of high-impact weapons like machine guns, poison gas and, for the first time, tanks and aircraft were used in conflict.

When Britain entered the war, South Africa as part of the Empire automatically became part of it too. Shocked by the mass slaughter, a generation of anti-war poets, like Wilfred Owen, emerged, riling against the notion that “it is sweet and honourable to die for your country”.

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IOL News

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