Sir Walter Stanford, the grandson of 1820 Settlers, grew up speaking Xhosa as well as English. His formal education at Lovedale Missionary Institution ended when he was only 12 and he was immediately appointed Assistant Magistrate to his uncle at Glen Grey. Thus began his long career in the Department of Native Affairs in the Cape Colony, and a life-long commitment to encouraging mutual understanding and fairness between the English colonial government and the African population.

He rose to be Chief Magistrate of the Transkei Territories, Head of the Department of Native Affairs in the Cape Colony, served in the South African War as Director of War Recruiting for World War I and Commissioner for returning soldiers. As a member of the Convention for the Union of South Africa, he advocated universal franchise, irrespective of race or colour. If he had succeeded in this, South Africa’s history might have been very different.

In this book, his great-granddaughter, Celia Edey, brings to life the personality of a much loved and respected man and recounts the adventures of his forebears and those of his wife, Sarah Alice Walker. It is the story of one family and its influence on South Africa over 150 years of the 19th and 20th centuries.