Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas everybody! Thankyou for your support and positive comments over the past year. I have only been a blogger for one year and I have loved it!

Now to continue with our trip to the Concentration Camp Cemetry with "snippets" of the Anglo Boer War.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Klerksdorp Cemetry  & The Anglo Boer war  .... cont

On the same day that we visited our local Military and Boer War Concentration Camp Cemetry, I had the honour of meeting Mr. Roelf Marx who is an ex-teacher and retired curator of the Klerksdorp  Museum. He was curator for 28 yrs and after his retirement he continued with research on the history of the town, which led him to write a beautiful and informative book - "Klerksdorp 175. 1837-2012". It is written in Afrikaans and is filled with historical photographs and information. Makes for fascinating reading!

Since I am so passionate about history in general and our local history, I have summoned the help and knowledge of our local Historian Bert Gaffen and hope to give you some insight into the history of Klerksdorp and the Anglo Boer War, without boring those followers who are not too keen on history. So I trust that you will find this post insightful and interesting and hope that you will be so kind as to leave some comments.

"In war there is no such thing as innocence." (Quoted : Bert Gaffen)

Sadly we never studied or heard about the cruelty at the concentration camps - at school and while  growing up. I wish I knew why? .... and we also never heard about the blacks who were thrown into separate concentration camps by the British.

The villians of the Anglo Boer War were the Boers!
                                       The victors of the Anglo Boer War were the British!

The Anglo Boer War 1899 - 1902,  'proved to be the longest (2 & 3/4 yrs), the costliest (over 200 million pounds), the bloodiest (22 000 British, 25 000 Boers, 12 000 African lives) and the most humiliating war that Britian fought between 1815 & 1914! (excerpt from 'The Boer War' by Thomas Packenham). The Anglo Boer War almost bankrupted the British government.

The British soldiers' graves lie in a neat, well-kept part of our War Cemetry which is maintained by the British Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Approximately 50 British soldiers were killed at the Battle of Yzerspruit on 25 February 1902. They took 3 guns and 160 wagons full of provisions for the British Garrison.

There were about 1000 soldiers from both sides who were involved in this.

Koos de la Rey was the Boer Commanding General and this was a major victory for the Boers.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Visit to Klerksdorp Military & Concentration Camp Cemetry!

I recently discovered that our local Historian Bert Gaffen takes visitors to our  beautiful Military and Concentration Camp Cemetry! I have never met somebody like Bert! You don't need Google or an Encyclopedia when you are with Bert! His knowledge and passion for History and anything of geographical value, surpasses anything else I have heard!

Anyway, Mom, Bev and I met Bert on Monday morning at our local Museum and drove out to the old cemetry. I wasn't too sure what to expect, as the last time I drove past there, it looked like an overgrown scrapyard which may house the homeless or unexpected criminals! Should I have taken my double-barrel shotgun with for protection? What did we let ourselves in for?   Hmmmm.... Anyway too late to turn around now! There's safety in numbers as the saying goes.....  Much to our surprise we were met with a neatly kept garden filled with colourful shrubs, plants and well-maintained trees! I was shocked! We were all shocked! Another surprise caught us offguard!!.... and that's the......
........ caretaker! He is a wonderful kindly gentleman who goes by the name "oom Alfred Louw" who is assisted by Oupa - a keen gardener and gentleman himself. I later discovered that Oom Alfred's son Eugene is also involved with this mammoth project of maintaining the gardens at the cemetry.......all at their own expense! These two citizens / businessmen have donated a huge sum of money to the maintenance and support of this project! I am in awe of these people who take great pride in what they have started. All I can say is .....THANKYOU and I want the world to know about this!...
.....before I take you down memory lane and back to our Anglo Boer War!

Oom Alfred - seated in the vehicle & Eugene standing.

Oupa the gardener who admitted that he loves his job and working there.

Bert Gaffen - our local Historian

Mom taking a stroll through our beautiful gardens

Pride of India taking pride in the garden!

Thankyou Oom Alfred & Danlou Motors!

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time for our tour around the cemetry and some very interesting snippets of info regarding the War!