The Unknown Force by Ian Gleeson – Hardcover
Second hand book in good condition. A rare find
This work is about the other men of South Africa who served in uniform during two World Wars – men whose contribution in those awful conflicts is relatively unknown. They are the thousands of men of colour – black, Indian, coloured – who voluntarily attested and served their country during the wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.;The book covers the period before days of the official apartheid dogma. However, during that time certain discriminatory laws had already been enacted and the inequality of life between the white and non-white people of the country had long before manifested itself. Racial discrimination in the military sphere was entrenched in the Defence Act of 1912 – only citizens of “European” descent could be enlisted as combatants.;Paradoxically, the country’s non-white citizens could voluntarily enlist for military service, without being permitted to bear arms. Yet they served, answering the call to duty for a variety of reasons. They served in both wars in a range of functions – from guards and drivers to hospital orderlies, cooks and clerks – confined to the seemingly more mundane and less spectcular tasks of war. And in those roles they achieved far more than, perhaps, could have been expected of them under the unfair conditions.