Second Boer War - Research Help

#1
Hello,

I'm currently conducting some research into the Second Boer War, with specific reference to the army-run refugee camps. I'm hoping to find out who on the ground was actually responsible for the camps and which regiments were given the job/how the staff heirarchy worked etc? Any help would be appreciated.

Many thanks.
 
#2
Hello,

I'm currently conducting some research into the Second Boer War, with specific reference to the army-run refugee camps. I'm hoping to find out who on the ground was actually responsible for the camps and which regiments were given the job/how the staff heirarchy worked etc? Any help would be appreciated.

Many thanks.
Where's Tropper when you need him?
 
#4
Hi, thanks for your reply. I'm travelling down to the archives in about a months time, but as I won't have much time there I wanted to have a general idea of what to look for with regards to specific regiments etc. Most of what I have found so far is very general and focuses on the conditions rather than the running/organisation of the camps. Cheers
 
#6
Ask a German as they worked along the same lines in the 1940's .
 
#7
Might be worth you contacting the Archives before hand so that they can advise you on what to look at. You'll need some ID and a utility bill for a reader's ticket
Yep I have done, thanks. I've got plenty to go and look at from the Government point of view and on the conditions of the camps, but just need a bit of info as to where to start to find more on the running itself, which I know was left to the army. Thanks
 
#9
Thanks for the link. I've read extracts of the Fawcett report via Hansard and believe there is an original copy along with a lot of Millicent Fawcett's papers in the Women's Library, which I'll be visiting when I travel to London for TNA. Looks like it will be a very interesting read.

As you've said it is a touchy subject for some. Seems to be a certain level of hysteria on both sides when trying to research things like this, I found the same during my work on Kenya.
 
#10
I'm wondering if the local British garrison troops guarded the Boer POW camps, particularly in India, St Helena, Bermuda, and Ceylon. Perhaps home in on a particular cantonment/station, identify which British units were stationed there and delve into their regimental archives. A difficult and laborious task whichever route you take, good luck.
 
#11
Although no British units are mentioned, look here >>> The Concentration Camps
The list of reference books may be of some assistance, although they are mostly obscure or out of publication.

*** Perhaps these lists are a place to start: Regiments that fought in the second Boer War from
Regiments that fought in the boer war? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers
(and apologies if you have already done this part of the research ***


British army units: http://www.angloboerwar.com/imperial-uni…

For the Yeomanry: http://www.angloboerwar.com/imperial-yeo…

S.African Commonwealth units: http://www.angloboerwar.com/south-africa…

Canadian units: http://www.angloboerwar.com/canadian-uni…

Australian units: http://www.angloboerwar.com/australian-u…

New Zealan units: http://www.angloboerwar.com/new-zealand-…

Indian units: http://www.angloboerwar.com/indian-units
 
#12
I'm wondering if the local British garrison troops guarded the Boer POW camps, particularly in India, St Helena, Bermuda, and Ceylon. Perhaps home in on a particular cantonment/station, identify which British units were stationed there and delve into their regimental archives. A difficult and laborious task whichever route you take, good luck.
I'm so sorry, I mis-read your question. Do you mean the Concentration Camps?
 

Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
there's a doco series on it somewhere. quite good if memory serves.
 
#14
It's interesting how they describe them as POW camps. Or was it only in the second world war that they changed the name to concentrationcamps? Out of interest, did any of the British soldiers (and/or officers) got tried for war crimes against the Boer civilians like they did later on with their German successors?
 
#15
I think the British DID call the internment camps in which the Boer women and children were held Concentration Camps, though the male combatants were incarcerated in POW Camps outside of South Africa (where life wasn't half bad). IIRC several British and Empire soldiers were tried (and executed) for war crimes - the most (in)famous being 'Breaker' Morant.
 
#16
It's interesting how they describe them as POW camps. Or was it only in the second world war that they changed the name to concentrationcamps? Out of interest, did any of the British soldiers (and/or officers) got tried for war crimes against the Boer civilians like they did later on with their German successors?
Boer war concentration camps were not in any intended way or purpose similar to WW2 German extermination camps. However poorly the concept was carried out, the British camps were supposed to be a temporary way of separating enemy combatants from their civil support base. The German system set out to imprison and exterminate sections of the population.

The Germans prototyped their extermination camps in German South West Africa even before the Boer War.
 
#17
Boer war concentration camps were not in any intended way or purpose similar to WW2 German extermination camps.
Ok, then explain to me the systematically burning down of the farms,killing the livestock and deporting women and children to concentration camps and starve them to death there. To me it holds a lot of similarities with what the Nazi's in WW2 did. And they came with the lame excuse of ' Wir haben es nicht gewusst' too.
 
#18
Ok, then explain to me the systematically burning down of the farms,killing the livestock and deporting women and children to concentration camps and starve them to death there. To me it holds a lot of similarities with what the Nazi's in WW2 did. And they came with the lame excuse of ' Wir haben es nicht gewusst' too.
I think the difference being that the British didn`t intend for the women and children to perish, that seems to be more the fault of piss poor administration/logistics and management on the part of the people responsible for running the camps. There is no evidence to suggest that the British had a programme for exterminating non combatants at the time.
The idea of removing segments of the population from local areas and concentrating them in camps was simply to deny support and shelter to the Boer guerrillas, an idea which was carried over to the hamlet programmes used in the Malayan and Vietnam conflicts. Neither of these can in any way be compared to the Nazis 'final solution' camps.
 

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