I was reading through the letters written by Captain Warren Wynne, R.E. while on his way to South Africa in December, 1878 on board S.S. Walmer Castle. His early writings home seem to reflect that he thought there would be little interest in the war.
“I wonder whether the papers at home will have accounts of our little campaign.” (page 13)
"I wonder whether the London papers will send out any correspondent to inform people at home of our doings. I hope so, for I shall find it difficult to communicate with you when in the field. I expect, however, that the Afghan affair will so eclipse ours that but scanty notice will be taken of it,…” (page 14)
Source: “Memoir of Capt. W.R.C. Wynne”, By Lucy Wynne, Warren Richard C. Wynne
In December, 1878 Captain Warren Wynne, Royal Engineers, left England for duty in South Africa in the Zulu War. Upon arrival his company was assigned to Colonel Pearson’s Number One Column. Wynne was the designer of Fort Tenedos on the Tugela, and Fort Eshowe, where he became one of its besieged from 23 January to 4 April, 1879. In March he came down sick. After the Relief of Eshowe he returned to Fort Pearson, on the Lower Tugela, where on April 9, 1879, his birthday, he died at the age of 36.
This book contains the letters written by Captain Wynne to his wife, as well as extracts from his journal (which starts on page 107.)
It can be read on line for free:
As things turned out there was a lot of notice at home, and in the newspapers, for this little war, and there still is today. So, Captain Wynne, may I say, we were well informed of your doings, and they were well done indeed!
Petty Officer Tom