(Through extracts from her letters) Winnie recalled that her Father met Cecil John Rhodes in about 1897 or 8 in Johannesburg and he had started laying the telegraph route before the start of the Boer War. She added that he was on the train when Mafeking was relieved. He then got the trunk route through to Bulawayo about 1902 (for which Rhodes gave him a farm on the Khami river,) before returning to Johannesburg. He went back to Rhodesia with Allen Wilson's Column in 1903 and then Rhodes asked him to go up to Northern Rhodesia for the B. S. A. Co. to put in electricity for the Territory.
He was in charge of establishing the telegraph route through to Bulawayo from Mafeking.
[There is some confusion as to the date concerning this enterprise for details on his life refer to NF2 Lucy Tarr's contributions on the Sturman family to follow after the main collection on the Nolan family]
[Winnie Sturman wrote later, when elderly and may no longer have remembered all the dates exactly: ?At the end of the Boer War, CECIL RHODES, whom my father had got to know, during the Siege of Mafeking, suggested that SQUIRES might take the telegraph route through to Bulawayo, which he did. Rhodes had initiated the railway route through to Bulawayo with the idea of a Cape to Cairo railway system.]
[This seems unlikely because Rhodes was in Kimberley during the Boer War (1899 to 1902) but it is quite possible that Rhodes got to know of Arthur Squires through an associate of his called James Sivewright, who was an ex-telegraph engineer, although it was written of him, ?the able but reputably unscrupulous James Sivewright (Commissioner of Crown Lands and Public Works) was deeply distrusted for his financial and political methods [but] with specialised knowledge of railways. Rhodes was casual, secretive and highhanded. Sivewright was in his confidence as Rhodes found him indispensable both administratively and politically?. Sivewright was given a knighthood for his distinguished services on railway matters, this being announced on 2nd September 1892 at the opening of the Johannesburg railway. He was considered to be Rhodes factotum and confidential agent]
Winnie's reminiscences relate:
My father got to know KING [Chesikedi (NF1b Query 3 ?spelling ?)] KHAMA of Bechuanaland (Botswana) very well and the old King helped tremendously with labour, as the Trunk Route progressed, which reached Bulawayo somewhere about 1902.
The week before Squires reached Bulawayo, Rhodes rode into his camp, and I should imagine, over a bottle of brandy, Rhodes said, ?Squires, when will you reckon to reach Bulawayo?? ?A week today. Sir?. ?You are a liar, Squires, but if you are there a week today, you may peg a farm on the Khami River?. True to his promise, Rhodes gave him the farm, which he stocked with cattle, but they were all shot during the Rinderpest? [The rindepest ran through the cattle country in 1896]
Phillip's version relates that Arthur Squires told Rhodes that he was not a farmer by choice and so Rhodes arranged for him to become manager of the Livingstone Cold Storage Company in recognition of his efforts in taking the telegraph line through to Bulawayo.
[It seems possible that this was a second encounter with Rhodes since he travelled about a great deal checking up on progress made over his various enterprises and that Squires having tried farming, without success, was then occupied with the supervision of a further extension of the telegraph northwards. In any case, he ended up working at the Cold Storage Company and residing in Livingstone]
Then, as Phillip reports: In order to proceed through Bechuanaland, as was arranged in November, 1895 (but delayed owing to effects of the Jameson Raid until the following year) Squires required labour and so he made arrangements with Chesikede Khama, who supplied him with 4000 African labourers to help erect the telegraph line and the Chief enjoined Squires ?not to punish any of them if they did not do as they were told. Instead,? he said, ?just report them to me and I shall see they get suitably punished?, meaning whipped or worse.
The telegraph connection was through to Bulawayo, completed and in use by 1897.
Winnie continues: ?Squires then proceeded to put in communications between Bulawayo and Salisbury, returning to Johannesburg, and then joining the 1903 Pioneer Column under ALLEN WILSON. [this seems to be in error as the column was commanded by Lt. Col. Pennefather and the episode concerning Allen Wilson is usually referred to as the Allen Wilson Patrol as follows.] He fought in the Matabele and Shona Rebellions, in charge of Signals under DAN JUDSON, who was Comptroller of Posts & Telegraphs. Squires was transferred to Salisbury very shortly before the Allen Wilson Patrol chased LOBENGULA over the Shangani River and were all killed by the Matabele. He was then attached to the Mazoe Patrol, fighting the Shona.
RHODES, BARNEY BARNATO and one or two other South African Magnates had formed the British South African Coy. in London, and Northern Rhodesia was being settled. Rhodes invited Squires to go up and install electricity for the new township of Livingstone.?