Guest blogs and bloggers

Robbie Cheadle and Women During the Time of Ghost and His Gold

Robbie Cheadle’s latest book, A Ghost and his Gold, takes place during the Boer Wars, two important South African conflicts that few outside the country understand. They were between the Brits fighting for the Crown and Dutch settlers (called Boers) fighting for their way of life. The First resulted in Boer victory and the eventual independence of the South African Republic in 1884. But the discovery of gold reignited British Imperial interests and in 1899, the Second Anglo Boer War broke out.  The Boer women played an important role and eventually, the British leadership realised that subduing them was the only way to a successful end to the war.

Robbie’s book takes place during the Second of these two…

The role of women in the Second Anglo Boer War


At the end of the 19th century when the Second Anglo Boer War broke out, the European world ran on a patriarchal model that viewed males as naturally superior to females. Although some important legal, educational, professional, and personal changes took place during the Victorian era with regards to the role of women, law and custom still enforced female dependency on males. This is the environment in which the women who played a role in the Second Anglo Boer War lived.

The Boer women

In 1835 the Dutch speaking colonists of the British-run Cape Colony migrated on mass into the interior of South Africa to escape British rule. From that time, the women played a significant role in shaping the decisions made by their menfolk and, consequently, the future of South Africa.

The mothers and wives of the Burghers who lived and farmed in the two Boer Republics that existed prior to the Second Anglo Boer War were extremely patriotic. Long before the Boer ultimatum and its expiry on 11 October 1899, which signalled the commencement of hostilities between the British Empire and the two Boer Republics, the Boer women were preparing for war. The women made clothing, knapsacks, and bread bags for their husbands and sons who were certain to go on commando.

Some women even accompanied their men and lived in the laagers, encampments formed by a circle of wagons, in order to prepare meals and look after their menfolk.

After war was declared, the women stepped in to supply the men with food and other supplies, thereby filling a great planning defect on the part of the governments of the two Boer Republics. The women also assisted in the hospitals looking after the wounded and ran the farms in the absence of their menfolk. The women had to attend to the flocks and herds of livestock, work in the fields, and drive ox-wagons.

The Boer women also came to the aid of the English foreigners, called Uitlanders, who were too poor to leave the Republics prior to the commencement of hostilities. These people quickly became destitute and the Boer women established depots where food and clothing were distributed, as well as soup kitchens to help feed starving Uitlanders.

The following extract from an article from The War Reporter Weekly Edition published on 18 May 1900 illustrates the behaviour and attitudes of the Boer women at that time:

“It is clear that the loyal and proud Boer women specially detest deserters. Every day we hear of cases where women have notified the Republican military authorities of the presence of deserters on their own or neighbouring farms. Some deserters’ wives threaten them that they will take up their rifles and take their places to serve in the commandos. Some women are deadly serious about the possibility of forming women’s commandos.”

About Robbie


I am a South African writer specialising in historical, paranormal and horror novels and short stories. I am an avid reader in these genres and my writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, the Bronte sisters, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough. 

I was educated at the University of South Africa where I achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. I was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000. 

I have worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and have written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. I have won several awards over my twenty year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

I have been published a number of anthologies and have two published YA books, While the Bombs Fell and Through the Nethergate. I have recently published my first adult novel called A Ghost and His Gold which is partly set in South Africa during the Second Anglo Boer War.

Books by Robbie

A Ghost and His Gold

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle? 

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lies in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

Through the Nethergate

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Purchase links

TSL Books (paperback) (ebook)

A Ghost and His Gold:

Through the Nethergate:

Amazon US

Stay in Touch







Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021.

122 thoughts on “Robbie Cheadle and Women During the Time of Ghost and His Gold

  1. Hi Robbie – so interesting to read your post here in Jacqui’s blog … I need to read your book … as I have a direct connection (not blood relation) with Emily Hobhouse, whom you may have heard of … she supported the Boers during the war, against the British Government. So I do know the period, but it’s not my family, so I really need to stay away from … in fact the Boers paid for her to have a house in St Ives Cornwall (where the recent G7 summit has been held – at which Ramaphosa came over for) until she died in 1926. Anyway – that’s another story completely … I’ll be reading yours. Take care and stay safe – Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Jacqui – I realised I should have added … she was a Cornish lady … as too she championed the Boer women, while she worked with Gandhi, who lived in SA for a while, on the Spinning Project.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Hilary, I know about Gandhi’s time in South Africa, but I did not know she was Cornish. I am very keen to visit Cornwall. My aunt lived there for years. We tried to visit during a December/January holiday in 2009/10, but the weather was so bad and the roads slippery so we weren’t able to make the trip.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Hilary, how wonderful for me to come across someone who is related in some way to Emily Hobhouse. She is so famous here and her reports on the concentration camps formed part of my research for this book. I did not know that the Boers paid for her house, but I am pleased to know that. She did a huge amount for my country during this war.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Robbie – I’m glad to read that you’re aware of her for her support during the Boer Wars … lots to ‘talk about’ sometime … cheers for now – Hilary

        I’ll probably email you separately shortly … cheers H

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I was impressed with the strength of the women you portrayed during the Boer war, Robbie. It must have been a terrifying time, yet they stood with their menfolk and did what needed to be done.
    Enjoyed this book, particularly the historical elements.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for this interesting post, Jacqui. While I’d heard of the Boer wars before, I never realized what exactly they were about and when they happened. Since I’m from Belgium and speak Dutch, I’ve always been interested in the South African language (Afrikaans) and events. Robbie’s book certainly has a fascinating premise!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Thank you to Jacqui Murray from Worddreams blog for hosting me with a post about the role of women in the Second Anglo Boer War. Jacqui writes wonderful books and has a well research and fascinating series of books about early man. Do take a look around while you are there.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The book sounds interesting and women are often overlooked in history. While I knew of the war, I didn’t know much of it until I read Candice Millard’s wonderful book, “Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill.” He had his start in South Africa!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I am reading this fascinating book right now. The strength and determination of these women are amazing. But I am appalled at how they are treated in the concentration camps. I am a slow reader but can’t put this book down.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I started this book yesterday, Jacqui. I’m a quarter of the way in, but I already have a sense of the strength of the women in the story and history. I enjoyed this post and look forward to lots of reading today!! Great job, Robbie.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Jacqui, I too was taken with the role of women in this superb book! Their resilience was incredible and as was their absolute belief in the war. They are definitely some of the most memorable characters in the book!

    Liked by 3 people

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