Wildlife and Warfare: The Life of James Stevenson-Hamilton

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More than any other individual, James Stevenson-Hamilton can be credited with the creation of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. In 1902, when the South African War ended, Stevenson-Hamilton swopped his military career for the more uncertain calling of a game warden. Under his supervision the small, neglected and war-ravaged Sabi Game Reserve expanded in stature and size. By the time he retired in 1946, the Kruger National Park had become as one of the great national parks of the world. The evolution of the Kruger National Park was his life's work, but Stevenson-Hamilton kept his many other interests alive. During the First World War, he fought in Gallipoli and Egypt. In 1917, he was seconded to a civilian administrative post in the southern Sudan where he remained until 1921. During the late 1920s and 1930s, he consolidated the development of the Kruger Park. After his retirement, he remained in South Africa and lived with his wife and family near White River in the Eastern Transvaal. Stevenson-Hamilton's wildlife accomplishments have been well documented and appreciated, especially in South Africa, but the rest of his long life has remained obscure. This biography examines the diversity of his ninety-year lifespan, a task made possible by his meticulous journal which - like many Victorians - he maintained almost every day from the age of 13, until just a week before his death in 1957.