I am looking for information on Captain Ian Maitland, who went with the 2nd battalion Scots Guards to South Africa on the Britannic in March 1900. There are several letters by him preserved in the Waring of Lennel collection in the National Records of Scotland, but I know nothing of his background. His letters describe campaigning with Rundle near Lange Drift in October 1900, first burning farms, then, in a change of policy, taking away all food, forage and women.
Thanks for that, as you say eliminating false leads is helpful. The Ian Maitland I am interested in was born, I would think, in the early to mid 1870s. I have found almost all of the people he mentions in his letters on the database here, which is excellent, but not him. Yet he was there, with 2 Battalion Scots Guards, everything fits.
Thanks again, but I am sure the person I am researching is Ian. I don't think he is any direct relation to the Earls of Lauderdale. He crops up in a series of letters he writes to Clementine Hay, daughter of the Marquis of Tweeddale, whom he wishes to marry. Feelings are reciprocated, but Ian has little money and the marriage does not take place; she later marries Walter Waring, who serves in the South African war with the Life Guards, and is in the database. Ian does describe campaigning in great detail. For example, he serves as Brigade Major to "Bar" (Maj Gen Barrington, commanding the 16th Brigade) on a trek to supply the garrison at Bethlehem, and on arrival goes round with him inspecting the defences: "“They are commanded by a Col. Oakes who is nothing short of a nincompoop, everything was disgracefully untidy and badly managed. He is a dissenter and does nothing beyond read his bible & preach in the chapel. He won’t take the smallest trouble about anything & almost refuses to expose his men to the enemy. Bar gave him a rare wigging.” I didn't find Colonel Oakes in the database either!.
I will be going to look at more of this correspondence early next week and will post if I find further details of my Ian. Thanks again.