Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
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  • Location: South Africa

You Will Be Safe Here

You Will Be Safe Here

Why a Booktrail?

1901, 2010: The book that will change the way you see the world.

  • ISBN: 978-1408886083
  • Genre: Historical, Inspired by true events, LGTBQ

What you need to know before your trail

2010. Sixteen-year-old outsider Willem just wants to be left alone with his books and his dog. Worried he’s not turning out right, his ma and her boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Training Camp. Here they ‘make men out of boys’. Guaranteed.

1901. The height of the second Boer War in South Africa. Sarah van der Watt and her son are taken from their farm by force to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp where, the English promise: they will be safe.

Travel Guide

Travel to South Africa for a shocking history lesson

Author’s note

The author explains that the idea for the novel came from a photo in a newspaper. That boy was Raymond Buys and he’s just been killed in a camp not unlike New Dawn. He was just fifteen. This book is dedicated to him

History behind the story

Emily Hobhouse travelled to South Africa in 1901 and it was she who courageously reported on the camps. She created a national debate that led to her being pilloried and was a thorn in the side of respective British governments.

However, when she died in 1926, her ashes were taken to Bloemfontein and was give a state funeral. She now resides below the great obelisk on the site of the first concentration camp where the Anglo-Boer Museum stands.

Camps like New Dawn still operate across South Africa. They are for white boys only and run by soldiers like the General who believe that one day white South Africa will rise again and finally right the historic wrongs of the Boer Wars. Parents pay to send their sons to these places hoping they will drill in the toughness and discipline formerly instilled by National Service (which ended in 1993).

BookTrail Boarding Pass: You Will Be Safe Here

Destination/location: South Africa  Author/guide: Damian Barr  Departure Time: 1901, 2010

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