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.