Over 100 years ago Harry Harbord Morant (the Breaker) was shot by a firing squad in Pretoria. Thus began his ascension to national hero: over the years, some Australians have managed to turn his disgrace into distinction, to the point where some are now seeking a British pardon for Morant.
Workhouse-born Edwin Murrant, educated by the Freemasons, emigrated on a GBP1 passage to Australia at the age of nineteen and found work on a cattle station in Queensland. Murrant spent the next sixteen years in Australia as a bushman, balladeer and all-round chancer renowned for his riding skills. Changing his name to Harry Harbord Morant, he claimed to be the son of an admiral. At the start of the Anglo-Boer war he joined the army and went to South Africa, eventually becoming a lieutenant in the Bushveldt Carbineers, an irregular unit fighting in Northern Transvaal. Enraged by the death of a friend in battle, he instigated the murder of prisoners by way of revenge. A missionary who knew too much was also killed under suspicious circumstances.
Arrested and tried, he was sentenced to death and shot. Australians suggest he did not have a `fair go' and was martyred by Lord Kitchener. Others remain fixed in their opinions: he took the law into his own hands and paid the ultimate price for his crimes. This intensively researched book, featuring a wealth of new information, reveals the truth behind the legend of Breaker Morant.
Born in Bournemouth, Joe West attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. As an infantryman and then a helicopter pilot he served in the Caribbean, South East Asia, Europe and Ireland. Leaving the army he flew helicopters to oil rigs in the North Sea and India. He is now retired. Roger Roper was born in Wells, Somerset and studied Acoustical Engineering at the University of Southampton. After living in Australia for twelve years, he returned to the UK and completed his archaeology degree at Bristol, where he works as an engineer and archaeologist.