Kruger, (Charles) Rayne 1922-2002
KRUGER, (Charles) Rayne 1922-2002
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 29, 1922, in Queenstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa; died December 21, 2002. Historian, businessman, and author. Kruger had a varied career that spanned several occupations, but he is probably best remembered as the author of Goodbye, Dolly Gray: The Story of the Boer War (1959). Kruger attended Witwatersrand University for a year before leaving to join the law firm Bowen, Sessel & Goudvis as a law clerk in 1942; he was also involved in amateur theater, where he met his first wife, the British actress Nan Munro. With the start of World War II, Kruger tried to enlist in the military, but poor eyesight led him instead to join the British Merchant Navy as a steward. After the war, he completed his law education in South Africa, but instead of working as an attorney, he was hired by the British Broadcasting Corporation's World Service as a news reader. He also began writing novels, among them Tanker (1952), The Spectacle (1953), and Ferguson (1957). His greatest acclaim came not with fiction, however, but with his Boer War history. His book The Devil's Discus: The Death of King Ananda of Siam (1964), about the suicide of the king of Siam, caused political upheaval in the country that would eventually become Thailand and resulted in his being prohibited by the Thai government from ever entering the country again. In later life Kruger became an astute businessman, forming the real estate company Sohox Partners and assisting with his second wife's restaurant business. He also became intensely interest in Chinese history, and his last book, All under Heaven, reflects this interest.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Daily Telegraph (London, England), January 9, 2003. Times (London, England), January 1, 2003, p. 27.