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Author Topic: French Letter - Can someone translate?  (Read 937 times)
jtalbot0001
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« on: May 27, 2018, 09:45:56 AM »

Something different....... I have recently acquired this letter which was written by a French Soldier serving with Boers during the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. (Many foreign nationals rallied to the cause, such as Americans, Irish, Swedish, German, and many more). Only 300 French took part so this is pretty scarce, and I can gather in the letter he took part in the Thaba Nchu engagement in the Orange Free State which is documented between 29 April and 1 May 1900. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks, Jon.


* French Soldier in South Africa.jpg (315.43 KB, 1116x866 - viewed 229 times.)

* Letter.jpg (251.93 KB, 881x1155 - viewed 214 times.)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 09:52:33 AM by jtalbot0001 » Logged

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Val Beechey
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2018, 02:58:29 PM »

Where’s Nordine when you want him. Send a PM to Napoleon John. He’ll translate for you.
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Mrs Steptoe
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 08:30:20 AM »

 I can only call upon my schoolgirl French,but until Nordine can step in:

                My Dear Friend,
                                          I have finally received baptism by fire at the Battle of Thaba Nchu.The first of May and the 30th April.
   I myself have been under English shell which was over our heads.
  I do not have the time,unfortunately,to write more to you. Since the 15th April we have been riding for 10 hours per day,on average.
       Excuse me for writing on this piece of paper,but I have no other.
   Good things to all my comrades,M Hougeut and M.Nottir Noubbez, following(?) the 10th battalion the 67th line(?) and Roger(?)
                            With a good handshake,
                                       Roger Didier.
Address if you care to: M.Aubert,French Consul,Pretoria,Transvaal.


   Sideways down the page: "We have 1 French dead,2 injured and 5 English prisoners".


          A very rough translation,but gives you an idea! Hope it helps.

   https://www.angloboerwar.com/books/96-hales-campaign-pictures-of-the-war/1971-hales-battle-of-constantia-farm-thaba-nchu
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 11:38:12 AM by Mrs Steptoe » Logged
jtalbot0001
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2018, 11:50:04 AM »

Many thanks for the translation, and it does help very much.

This line "Good things to all my comrades,M Hougeut and M.Nottir Noubbez, following(?) the 10th battalion the 67th line(?) and Roger(?)"

After the names I see it says "pas surtout" (I only know it said surtout after Google corrected what I was typing in - and looking back at the word it is correct) and this translates too "not especially". But going by what you said it started with, and doing more research on the 10th and 67th, he is saying "Good things to all my comrades (names), not especially (nor forgetting?) 10th Chasseurs (French Light Infantry), the 67th Line Infantry, and Roger (the receiver of the letter must know who Roger is). I am guessing that as the writer knows these two regiments that he could have originally have served with one of these.

More research to do still....

Thanks again, Jon
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