Wilhelmina Sherriff Bain

Wilhelmina Sherriff Bain

Wilhelmina Sherriff Bain (pictured here on her wedding day in 1914) was one of a few feminists who vehemently opposed the South African War. She gained notoriety after a speech she gave at the annual conference of the National Council of Women in 1900 in which she claimed that New Zealand:

had thrown itself headlong into the melee of old-world turmoil. We had selected from our young men those of the very finest physique … and we had sent them across the Tasman Sea and the Indian Ocean to slay boys of 16 and old men of 70, or be slain in the attempt.… Our poor British boys were led through the black night … that they might bayonet to death Boers slumbering within their tents, and the horror was justified.… But when the Boers committed any special atrocity, our language failed to express enough reprobation.

Otago Daily Times, 11 May 1900, p. 2

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