Arthur tried joining the army on numerous occasions but was either too young
or too unfit to do so, except for a brief time in 1900 when the country needed
soldiers for the Boer War. They failed to realise his age (14) and his father,
not wanting to let a great financial asset slip away from the family, sent in
a letter explaining the truth.
Obviously this caused further dissatisfaction for Arthur with his father since
the army was a clear cut way of getting out of his dreadful living conditions.
It would have provided him all his basic needs without having to work his way
out of poverty in the expected way. Working one’s way out of poverty generally
meant a lifetime of hardships and a lack of the excitement that Arthur greatly
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