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History of Ladysmith House

history 1            history
Ladysmith House was built in 1900 by a local fisherman by the name of Thomas Thomson.  Being the first house to be built in the hill, he purchased the ground for his future home and also the strip of ground running up from the beach at the bottom of the hill from local landowner Lewis Garriock, the strip of ground would become Ladysmith Road as it is today. "But why Ladysmith?" many people ask, "Was there a Lady Smith living here at some time?" some people have wondered. The explanation is a simple matter of the building of the house coinciding with the Relief of the Seige of Ladysmith, South Africa during the Boer War (1899-1902).  Sir Winston Churchill, then a young war correspondent was present at the Relief of Ladysmith after having been taken prisoner and escaping earlier during the war.  It must have been a time of great jubilation to be liberated as "the garrison (British Army) inside had been for four months holding the enemy at bay with the point of the bayonet, it was famished for food, it was rotten with fever, and yet when the relief came and all turned out well, General White's first greeting was characteristically unselfish and loyal as he raised his helmet and cried "We will give three cheers for the Queen". 
Whether or not Thomas the fisherman had any personal connection with the Seige of Ladysmith (some say he did) is not known for sure. Whatever the reasons were for his choice of name for the house, although he could not have known it at the time, he began a trend, as just down the road is a house named "Kimberley" called after the South African gold mining town, and further down still you will find another house named "Pretoria", which is of course the capital of South Africa - a little bit of the Southern Hemisphere in Shetland!!


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