Item 2008.1.2.2.2.1 - Confidential Diary - South African Constabulary - 1902-1906

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Confidential Diary - South African Constabulary - 1902-1906

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Reference code

2008.1.2.2.2.1

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Date(s)

  • 13 May 1902 - 10 Apr. 1906 (Creation)

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Biographical history

Samuel Benfield Steele was born at Purbrook, Medonte, County Simcoe, Ontario on 5 January 1848 to Captain Elmes Steele and Anne MacIan Macdonald. His father served under Nelson and other Admirals in the Napoleonic Wars, moving to Canada in 1832, with his first wife and family. After the death of his first wife, Captain Steele married Sam's mother, and they had six childre, Sam being the eldest.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Large, hard-bound diary; typewritten entries

The diaries described as Confidential Diary, contain the following instructions, typed affixed to some of the diaries:

"The Inspector General wishes Officers Commanding Divisions will be so good as to keep personal diaries in duplicate carbon books, and to post the copy to him, confidentially, every day. He himself has been doing this with the High Commissioner and it is found to save a great deal of trouble and correspondence. He recommends Officers Commanding Divisions to adopt a similar course with their sub-divisional or district Officers. The Diary should show chiefly important questions that crop up and in what manner they are settled, suggestions, general points of progress, movements, special orders issued, notes on health, horses, crime, casualties, points from subordinates' diaries, etc., etc. The diary is easily kept by keeping a notebook going during the day and writing it up in the Diary at night. In this way the High Commissioner is kept duly informed of everything that is going on throughout the Corps, a great deal of Official cross-correspondence is saved, and at the same time, if filed, a useful record is kept that can be referred back to at any time. Signed: By Order, J.S. Nicholson, Colonel, Chief Staff Officer, South African Constabulary

"The Inspector General wishes Officers Commanding Divisions will be so good as to keep personal diaries in duplicate carbon books, and to post the copy to him, confidentially, every day. He himself has been doing this with the High Commissioner and it is found to save a great deal of trouble and correspondence. He recommends Officers Commanding Divisions to adopt a similar course with their sub-divisional or district Officers. The Diary should show chiefly important questions that crop up and in what manner they are settled, suggestions, general points of progress, movements, special orders issued, notes on health, horses, crime, casualties, points from subordinates' diaries, etc., etc. The diary is easily kept by keeping a notebook going during the day and writing it up in the Diary at night. In this way the High Commissioner is kept duly informed of everything that is going on throughout the Corps, a great deal of Official cross-correspondence is saved, and at the same time, if filed, a useful record is kept that can be referred back to at any time. Signed: By Order, J.S. Nicholson, Colonel, Chief Staff Officer, South African Constabulary

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Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Typed version of SAC diaries of same time period.

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Physical storage

  • Text Box: 12
  • Folder: 2