boer war

Its funny how the passage of time allows for terribly serious things to become humorous. I just received the following note from my mother. She was forwarding it from her aunt in Wisconsin.

I heard from Paul Lambie in Scotland and we are fourth cousins. He has a lot of info but I need to get more familiar with the software package, Family Tree Maker. He also said that one of our distant relatives was the first Australian killed in the Boer war. He was shot off of his horse. When I told some of my friends that, they said, you know Australia was where they sent all of the convicts from England. Now you know what kind of friends I have. Anyway it’s fun to get info about our Scottish heritage.

I found that funny, the idea that one of my ancestors was the first person killed in a war. Other people can point to ancestors who built great cathedrals, helped draft the constitution, or crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower. I have the first person to die in a war against aboriginal Australians. I dont know much about Australian history, or about the Boer war, but wasnt that a war that pitted well-armed Europeans against barefoot pygmies in grass skirts? I find the thought of my ancestor being hit in the head by a boomerang thrown by a pygmy to be hilariously funny… It makes me wonder if perhaps the first person to die in every war throughout history might be a distant relative of mine.

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