Bacon & the Art of Living ->Chapter 5: Seeds of War

Introduction to Bacon & the Art of Living

The story of bacon is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s when most of the important developments in bacon took place. The plotline takes place in the 2000s with each character referring to a real person and actual events. The theme is a kind of “steampunk” where modern mannerisms, speech, clothes and practices are superimposed on a historical setting.  Modern people interact with old historical figures with all the historical and cultural bias that goes with this.


Seeds of War

Johannesburg, December 1889

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First house in Johannesburg

My Career Choice – Riding Transport

My dad was a magistrate in the district of Woodstock in Cape Town.  He was my best friend in the entire world and when I told him that I did not desire to study further, as he did after school, but rather choose to ride transport between Cape Town and Johannesburg, he did not like it, but he supported me.  He saw why I had to do it.

I did not follow any particular passion other than a general quest for adventure.  Ancient ways were disappearing and wanted to get up close and personal with it before it was gone.  There was the almost wholesale slaughter by hunters for sport and food; the discovery of diamonds at Kimberley and gold on the Rand brought people from around the world with strange new customs with no regard for the land. Apart from the adventure, riding transport was a very lucrative undertaking.  In those days there were only two ways to make money quickly.  One was to join the diggings in Kimberley and take your chances there and the other was to ride transport between either the harbour cities of Cape Town and the interior or Durban to the interior.  (1)

When I told my dad my plans he did not immediately reply.  Not for days. I could tell he was thinking about it.  At night I heard my bedroom door in the old house open; watching me as I lay half asleep. Later I would know how it is when you look at your kids and you see their total lifespan in one glance.  A few days later, when I came home from the mountain with Minette, he called me to the stables.  There was a mare, light brown with a white mark on her forehead.  I never saw her before.  My dad handed me the rains. “Her name is Lady!” he said. “You will need a good horse.  The road between the Colony and the Rand is long!” We never spoke about it again.

The Route Between Johannesburg and the Cape Colony

The morning of my first expedition to Johannesburg came.  The three wagons left at 2:00 in the morning.  The plan was that I would follow later and catch up with them outside town. I heard the driver call the name of the oxen and cracking the whip as they moved down the hill from our house towards the main road out of Cape Town, past the Shambles abattoir where David de Villiers Graaff now ran Combrink & Co. and the new city railway station was being constructed. I was too excited to go back to sleep.  At 5:00 a.m. my mom called me.  The coffee and rusks were ready.

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Greenmarket Square, photo supplied by Michael Fortune.

The coal stove warmed the kitchen.  My dad poured the coffee into the saucer and slurped it up.  That’s how he drank it – every morning before the sun was up.  He walked over to the hat rack where he fetched his felt hat and cravats and said to me, “Come, I ride with you till you catch up with the wagons.”  When we got to the wagons my dad stopped and I rode up next to him.  We shook hands.  Firm and warm.  As if we would never see each other again.  “Look after yourself!  Be careful!  Be vigilant! Bring back great stories and when you are back – tell me everything!”

This became our routine.  My dad would ride out with me until I got to the wagons.  He would greet me in almost the exact same way every time.  Months later upon my return, my dad would be waiting for me at the Durbanville hills and we would ride back together the last few hours.  He would tell me about my brothers and how their studies are progressing and the health of my mom. He would have me recount in the greatest detail every event of my trip, always spurring me on to “leave out nothing!”  Even though he did not formally approve of how I chose to occupy myself, I knew that he was vicariously living every moment through me.  When I heard him re-tell my stories to Uncle Jacobus, sitting under the big trees next to his enormous home by large wooden tables, eating the finest bacon imported from C & T Harris in Wiltshire, England, I knew that he was proud of me and did not care that people frowned upon the choices I made.

We all knew that Johannesburg would soon be reached from Cape Town by a two-day train ride. (3) The advantage for the businessman and the material development of the continent was clear, but a deep sadness came over me every time I think of it, knowing that I was part of the last generation to see this land unspoiled.  My dad also knew this and when I told him one day how few elephants I saw between Cape Town and Worcester, he remarked that we came to build a new land but in reality, we were destroying it.  “Soon,” he said, “the great beasts of the field who made the roads we travel on and who sustained life here for untold generations would be gone and having destroyed nature – on what will we pray then?”

Plain Street, Johannesburg. Supplied by Michael Fortune.

My dad was a great fan of Alexander von Humboldt, the Prussian naturalist who explored South America. He learned many of Von Humboldt’s books off by heart. Von Humboldt wrote eloquently on the destruction of South America by colonization, and my dad often pointing out the same progression in our land.

It was indeed the giant elephants who created the network of connecting roads across Africa.  No other animal has the ability to clear a road through rugged terrain like a herd of them.  Ancient elephant migration paths across Africa have been used by other animals since the dawn of time.  They were the arteries that distributed humanity across this vast land acting as human migration routes.  African tribes travelled it, to trade salt and copper.  European settlers with their ox wagons used these paths to connect territories.  Dutch farmers, disgruntled by the abolition of slavery and in general revolt against the Cape Government, trecked along with them out of the Colony into the interior to form a new people, the Boers.  Along these ancient roads, I now transport material and supplies to small rural settlements.

Danie Jacobs

Besides disappearing nature, I was hungry to meet “real people.”  Take Daniel Jacobs as a good example.  One night at a dry riverbed outside Kimberly, a slightly older Boer asked if we could camp together for the night.  He was travelling alone and our transport party provided him with the security in numbers for the night which lone travellers lack.  He was on his way to Johannesburg on government business.  No sooner did he introduce himself when I realised that he was one of those “real people” I always hoped to meet on my travels.

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Market Street, Jh., c. 1890.  Courtesy of Nico Moolman

Daniel Jacobs was an impressive man.  His stature was tall and astute, and his mannerism was enduring and kind.  His mind was keen and alert.  He had a love for history and a keen intellect.  I liked him and I liked what he likes!  We spoke till late in the night.  Despite his energy, Daniel had a sadness about him which I did not fully understand.  Was it a sadness or a realism about life?  I was unsure.

I told him stories of our adventures on Table Mountain.  He knew Cape Town well but has not been on Table Mountain as often as Minette, Achmat, Taahir, and I.  Despite this, we had the same experience that in nature we meet God.  In the simplest interaction with animals; the witnessing of grand vistas; breathtaking sunsets; stormy highveld afternoons; Cape winter winds – for us, these were the heavenly choruses praising the Creator.

We spoke about all these matters.  Later that night he took out a notebook from the pocket of his black jacket.  He opened it and angled it against the fire to read.  Of course, he knew his words, and as he read he dropped his hands, holding his notebook and reciting it from memory. A poem.  He penned it, one of his many travels to Johannesburg from the Colony.  In Afrikaans.  The simple words and phrases mixed and precipitated a word image that I later often recalled when I would see vast herds of game on the Highveld or feel the rain in my face as I crossed the salt lakes on the other side of Kimberly. Of spiritual barnes – the reservoir of the words of God contained in our experience of nature.

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Bloemfontein district, 1890s; Courtesy of Nico Moolman

He titled it GEESTESKUUR                                        Spiritual Barn

Kom kinders van Suid-Afrika                                  Come, Children of South Africa,
Kom luister na die stem van God                            Come and listen to the voice of God
Wat die wind daar buite dra                                    Carried by the wind out there
Die sang van die duif in die dennebos                   The song of the dove in the pine grove
Die geskarrel van die veldmuis op soek na kos   The felt mouse running and looking                                                                                             for food
O Here u natuur                                                          Oh, Lord, your nature
Is vir ons ‘n geesteskuur.                                          For us, it is a spiritual barn

Kom kinders van Suid-Afrika                                  Come, Children of South Africa,
Kom luister na die stem van God                           Come and listen to the voice of God
Wat die wind daar buite dra                                   Carried by the wind out there
Die breek van die branders teen die kus             The breaking of the waves against the                                                                                          coast
Die gekras van die seemeeu op soek na vis         Noisy seagulls looking for food
O Here u natuur                                                        Oh LORD, your nature
Is vir ons ‘n geesteskuur                                         For us, it is a spiritual barn  (2)

We parted the next day and I knew that a friendship was struck for life.  It is these encounters with real people that inspire me.

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Daniel Jacobs

The Jordaan’s and the Theology of Andries Pretorius

I don’t just marvel when it happens – no, I actively seek out those who will make an impact on me.  To me, people like Daniel Jacobs are like wild animals and nature.  They define this land and yet, people like them are disappearing.

The rugged Boers of the interior with their stubbornness, coffee, beskuit and biltong. They farm this desolate land and live semi-pastoral, semi-hunter existences.  For all their striving for independence, they are becoming completely subjected to European laws and customs.  Soon, the only features that will set them apart from European trends will be their almost universal disdain for the English, their strict Calvinist religion, and their language (and of course moerkoffie, beskuit, and biltong).

I heard stories, no doubt exaggerated, as these tales are, of Englishmen who lost their way, and when they happened upon a Boer homestead, being turned away without food or water only to die in the wilderness.  I wonder if these stories were fact or fables intended as a warning for English would-be travellers to these lands.

Theologically, they remained isolated and free from the softening that took place in Europe and England of the harsh positions following the reformation.  In a way, it was much on account of their faith that they were able to endure the hardships of the frontier, as was the case in countries like America.

In any event, I wanted to travel through their lands and experience their warm culture, their openness to strangers (as long as you don’t speak English), the perseverance of their faith and their dedication to their own family and kind, before their way of life as frontiersmen change forever.

I once stayed on a farm in the district of Potchefstroom, owned by Petrus Jordaan. His father knew the legendary Boer leader after whom Pretoria was named, Andries Pretorius, personally.  The Jordaan family was a traditional Boer family who lived exactly the kind of life that I wanted to observe up-close.  The immediate and extended family all lived together.  There was strength in numbers, something that was very useful in a frontier situation.

Everybody had their work each day.  There was no time to be idle, except on a Sunday, which was the Lord’s Day.  Mealtimes were very important. Everybody gathered for breakfast, lunch, and supper around Petrus Jordaan’s big dining room table.  A bowl of water was poured and passed from one person to the next and everybody washed their hands in it.  The water was never changed during the washing and the visitor always washed last.  Only then was the water thrown out.

Each meal was an elaborate affair with food that people from the city could only dream of.  At night, after supper, one of the kids would run to fetch the big family bible.  It was handed down from generation to generation, translated into old Dutch.  Petrus would read a passage and pray.  After bible reading, the family lingered at the table and shared stories from the day until either Petrus or his dad, Stefanus, would get up and announce that it was a hard day and time to retire to bed.

One such evening, Petrus’ father, Oom Stefanus Jordaan told me about Andries Pretorius.  Under his leadership, a group of Boers tried to set up a republic south of the Vaal River.  A struggle for independence followed lasting seven or eight years until the British won a decisive battle at Boomplaats and Pretorius fled across the Vaal with a group of his followers to set up the Republic of the Transvaal (“Trans,” as in “across” and “Vaal,” as in “the Vaal river”).

The Khoi and the San had their beliefs which shaped their actions.  I had mine and Pretorius had his.  I wanted to understand why a faction of the Boers seemed so preoccupied with enslaving the people of this land.  Oom Stefanus did not mind when I asked him about it.  He explained that for Pretorius and some of his follower’s slavery is an inherent right and duty of the white man in this savage land.  One of Pretorius’ favourite scriptures was from the Old Testament, where Israel was commanded to either slay or enslave the surrounding nations.  To him, the natives were the people of the cities who were “far off,” and he had the Divine command to enslave them.  His was the nation of God, the chosen, who would bring God’s light into a savage, godless land. The Boers had a God-given right to occupy the lands of these people.  They were to him the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites whom the Lord had commanded to destroy. (4)

The policy has been carried out in a cruel and relentless way.  Entire tribes were massacred.  Adults were killed and children carried off and indentured on farms.  Indenture was a savage replacement for slavery where the indentured person could be sold as a tradable commodity.  They sometimes received a small allowance for their labour and sometimes not. The big supposed advantage over slavery was that the period of indenture had a definite end-date when they would be freed and when they would sometimes receive additional compensation for their labour, or sometimes not.  They would, sometimes, be given land from the farmer to settle permanently on at the end of the indenture, and, sometimes, nothing. Oom Stefanus told me how even leaders like Paul Kruger participated in these schemes and that the policy was almost universal in the Transvaal Republic. (5)

Indignation rose up in my heart against this cruelest of practices when I heard things like Petrus Jordaan’s wife say that after a few years, these young ones accept their fate and become accustomed to their new life, as the memories of their parents fade.  They become so loyal to the Boer family that they are prepared to fight against the English with the Boers. When I hear stories like these, my mind wanders back to the Cape and the many black friends I grew up with and call my friends to this day.

Oom Pieter Rademan

I have family who lives close to Johannesburg where I love visiting when we camp out at the Vaal river before we cross. I would leave my wagons in the care of a foreman and undertake the 12 hours ride to his farm. Oom Pieter Jacobus Rademan (born 13 September 1838) grew up in Swellendam in the Cape Colony and moved north to the Orange Free State where he met and married Susanna Maria Geldenhuys from Kroonstad.  He settled at Rooiwal in 1872 where they now live with their 10 children. Oom Piet represents everything that I respect and love about the Boer people.

When I started the transport company, I would camp on his farm and bring him building material from the Cape.  These days, his barns and homestead are all built, and I carry only tobacco for Oom Piet that my dad sends him and spices for Aunt Santjie in my saddlebag.  The trip to Rooiwal is a short and pleasant detour.  Sometimes I will take Aunt Santjie thread from my mom or recipe books from a dealer in Adderley Street. (6)

Oom Piet lived to the ripe old age of 99.  I was, in later years, told the story that when Oom Piet was advanced in years, he thought that his dominie (pastor) did not visit him often enough (home visitation by the pastor was very important to the Boers). He instructed his workers to harness the horses and prepare the carriage.  He rode to Vredefort where he stopped in front of the pastor’s house.  Ds. Van Vuuren invited him to get down and come in, but he refused.  He told Ds. Van Vuuren he is an old man and may pass away any day now.  He is scared that he will die and when he gets to heaven, the Lord will ask him how it’s going with his servant in Vredefort and that he will have to tell the Lord that he does not know because Ds. Van Vuuren no longer visits him at his home! (7)

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Oom Piet Rademan at his horse buggy, which he rode till his death at 99.

Oom Piet’s faith is of a milder nature than some of the extreme positions of the Transvaal Boers. He was a kind and gentle man. His is a sincere faith similar to that of my uncle, Dominie Jan (my mother’s brother), Oom Sybrand and Oom Giel.  These are all family members who became dominies in the NG Kerk.

Oom Piet was a simple man who tended his Afrikaner cattle and planted his mielies on the rocky hills surrounding his simple but functional home.  His children are the backbone of his workforce and the small number of natives who work for them are treated in fairness and allowed to live in the way that they have been accustomed to for hundreds of years, receiving a wage at the end of every week. (5) There are, for sure, stories doing the rounds in the family of him and his wife, who could be hard taskmasters if the workers did not perform their duties up to standard, but of the practice of indenture there was no sign and they desired nothing else but the peaceful existence of all peoples.

Oom Piet’s farm became a place where I would have some of my happiest times in the interior.  I visited there as often as I could.  In later years my grandfather, Oupa Eben, and grandmother, Ouma Susan, obtained the farm next to him, Stillehoogte. (7) The northern Free State became my second home and from their farm, I could see the herds of wild animals starting to dwindle, even during the short time I rode transport.

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Clocolan district; Courtesy of Nico Moolman

The African Peoples

What is true for the Boers was true for the indigenous African tribes. Their cultures have been in decline since the Dutch, German, French and the English arrived at the Cape of Good Hope and ventured into their lands.  I grew up with the boys from all the different peoples of this land but often wondered about their beliefs and stories and language before they came to the Cape.  Now they are Christian and Muslim and they speak English or Dutch, as I do.  I wondered what their language was in Malaysia or India, in Madagascar and in Mozambique.  What were the names of their gods and what stories did their parents tell them of their ancestors? What games did their people play, which they don’t even know?

I have seen the Khoi burial sites at the foot of Signal Hill.  I heard the stories of how they danced when the full moon appeared and how the mountain was sacred to them.  It saddened me that I could not find a single Khoi boy who could teach me their songs or who knew their legends of Table Mountain.  Did their warriors and hunters ever climb to the top?  What did they call this breathtaking rock planted at the tip of the great African land?

I knew the caves where escaped slaves hid out on the mountain; I heard from the old people how one could see their fires burn at night against the mountain slopes from town; but these were sad stories, testimony to the cruelty of humans.  Even as a child when I first heard these accounts, I wondered who they were and what stories they could tell.  Likewise, I wondered about the stories of the Khoi.  Lost stories.  Of a spirit world that existed in the dreams and trances of their Sharma’s and old people.  These spurred me on to find and tell the stories of Africa which I still hear before they disappear forever.

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Career Choices

I knew I had to find another career. This was not to say that riding transport was not financially rewarding or insanely exciting. Some years I was able to come home with as much as GBP4000 ($20 000) in my pocket, every 6 months.  Without knowing it, I was receiving a better education than any university could offer and that while I was building up cash reserves for a much bigger adventure.  Still, my repertoire of remarkable stories grew ever larger.

Above all, I wanted to understand why things are happening in our beautiful land which was taking place. What was the thinking at the heart of so much hatred I could see? And then again, if I spend time with my Boer family on their own or with my black friends alone, these are some of the heartiest people on earth and I have the time of my life. Each person is unique and teaches me about life and about our natural world. Different peoples have different cultures and yet, I could see the value of each people and how they did things were beautiful!

Still, my career choices, I was certain, would be impacted by the gathering clouds of war!

1960

Many years later, when I looked back at these notes I wrote years earlier, with the hindsight of the South African War, fought between the Boers and Britain, I realised how right we were in our evaluation of events.  I saw darker days ahead as the diabolical policies of Apartheid start to take hold of this beautiful land and is bent on stripping our black fellow countrymen of their dignity and will surely lead to unspeakable atrocities.

I started collecting photos from the Anglo-Boer War, featured in Chapter 17: The Boers (Our Lives and Wars).  These photos serve to remind me and my descendants not only of what the Brit did to the Boers, but how the Afrikaner did the same thing to the black South African, of all tribes.  Likewise, it serves as a powerful monument to the foolishness of the British government in their lust for power, money and domination. Irrespective of faith or creed, it is true that the heart of man is more deceptive than all else and that all humanity has within its soul the propensity to perform unspeakable evil.  The art of living is, as the skill of making bacon, something which does not come naturally to us.  To embrace all that is good in life, to be tolerant, to give, expecting nothing in return and to know that our time on earth is short and is best lived by compassion and caring for everyone around us is something we have to nurture in our children and in our own hearts, every day.


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(c) eben van tonder

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Notes

(1) The exact same options were identified by the Moor brothers in the late 1800s living in Natal, sons of English (Irish?) immigrants.  1872, the oldest of the Moor brothers, FR Moor, went to Kimberly to make his fortune.  His brother, JW Moor, later became important in the history of bacon in South Africa when he along with other farmers from the Estcourt area created the First Farmers Cooperative Bacon Company in 1917.  JW was the chairman.  This company later changed its name to Eskort, the iconic South African bacon producer.

(2) The railway linking Johannesburg and Cape Town were completed in 1892.

(3)  Daniel Jacobs write: “Nadat ek my Nasionale Diensplig voltooi het, was ek nog vir ongeveer ag jaar betrokke by Stellenbosch Kommando met die hou van o.a. jeugkampe vir veral Kleurlingkinders. Ek dink dit was hier by die laat 1980’s toe ons vir ‘n week lank ‘n tipe Weerbaarheidskursus van die Weermag by die Voortrekkers se Wemmershoek-terrein naby Franscchoek bygewoon het. Ons moes elke oggend alleen iewers gaan sit en stiltetyd hou. Ek het toe die een oggend in ‘n denenbos gesit. Terwyl ek daar sit het ek baie bewus geraak van God se teenwoordigheid. Ek het toe die eerste strofe van die gediggie geskryf na aanleiding van wat ek daar beleef het. Alles wat ek hier skryf – geluid van die wind – duiwe se sang en die geskarrel van die veldmuis het ek waargeneem terwyl ek daar gesit het. As ek my oë toemaak kan ek nog in my geestesoog die veldmuis sien wegskarrel. Ek het later jare (seker so 4-5 jaar gelede) die tweede versie bygevoeg tydens ‘n Mannekamp by die Mooihawens Kampterrein in Bettiesbaai.

(4)  Recorded by Trollop in his history of South Africa; cited in a newspaper article about slavery in the Transvaal.  Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 30 December 1880, page 4, “The Revolt of the Pro-Slavery Boers.”

(5)  From an article, setting out the case for the First Anglo-Boer war of 1880/ 1881 and the continued annexation of the Transvaal; published in The Times (London, Greater London, England), 22 Feb 1881, page 9.

(6)  Information supplied by Nerine Rademan Leonard and Jan Kok.

(7)  The story was told by Oom Jan Kok, my mother’s oldest brother.  Oom Pieter was their grandfather on their mother’s side, which makes him my great-grandfather.  My grandmother, Ouma Susan, was taking care of Oom Piet till his death and was only allowed to marry my grandfather, Oupa Eben after Oom Piet passed away.  On the day of his death, his pipe was still warm.  He smoked till the day of his death.

(8)  Stillehoogte was the farm of my grandparents, Oupa Eben and Ouma Susan.  Every long-weekend and every school holiday we spent on the farm in the Northern Free State.

Stillehoogte belonged to Oom Piet Rademan and Ouma Santjie inherited it from her father.  My Ouma Susan Kok inherited the farm since she had the Rademan (Geldenhuys name – Susanna Maria).

Aunt Meraai (Oom Sybrand and Oom Michiel Straus’s mom) had inherited the farm Leeuspruit because she had her Grandmom Uys’ name and Leeuspruit belonged to  Oom Giel Uys.

As far as Oom Jan knows, the farm Stillehoogte was a farm on its own and not part of Rooiwal. The other Rademan children also inherited land in this area. Oom Jan is also not sure if this was part of Rooiwal. Oom Freek got the farm Rosebank. Oom Attie got the farm Goudinie , Oom Lourence the farm Windhoek. All these could have been one farm because they border each other.

Reference

M’Cater, J..  1869. Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. With Notice of the other Denominations. A historical Sketch.  Ladysmith, Natal. W & C Inglis.

Tisani, E. V. “Nxele and Ntsikana” (MA diss., University of Cape Town, 1987), p107

Photo Credit

The Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, Ohio), 1 November 1908, Page 31.

Chapter 17: The Boers (Our lives and Wars)

Bacon & the Art of Living 1

Chapter 17: The Boers (Our Lives and Wars)

The Afrikaner Nation and Boers feature prominently in my story of bacon. The first and second Anglo-Boer war shaped our land and provided the motivation for setting up the bacon company. Here are photos from the time immediately before and after the second Anglo-Boer War (ABW). It allows the reader to visualise the context better. I dedicate this section to my friends who bring to life the Afrikaner, referred to as Boers, the Brits, and the black and coloured South Africans who fought in these wars and lived through these times.

Australians in the ABW

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Australian soldiers in the Anglo-Boer war, c. 1901. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais

Black Refugees, soldiers and ordinary people

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From the album of photographs of the 14th Brigade (Lincoln Regiment) Field Hospital in the Boer War in the Welcome Library. Photo provided by Andries Pretorius.
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Sol Plaatjies
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Reference: http://historicalpapers-atom.wits.ac.za/sannc-delegation-to-england-1914; Deputation of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) to England in 1914, in protest of the Native Land Act of 1913. The members of the SANNC delegation to England as shown in the photograph were Thomas Mapikela, Doctor Walter Rubusana, Reverend John Dube, Saul Msane and Solomon Plaatje.

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Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1876-1932) Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Sol Plaatje during his visit to England. The driver of the car is Henry Carsle, an Estate agent from Sussex, and next to him his wife Louise. Also in the car are their children Mary, the oldest of their daughters, Eleanor, Faith and Brock.

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Willem Snowball Prisoner of War. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Black man at war ABW. Photo by Martin Plaut.
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Black men at war ABW. Photo by Martin Plaut.
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Photo supplied by Chris Pretorius.

Martin Plaut writes about the role of ‘black Boers’, as they refer to black people fighting for the Boer nations, and says that the role of these ‘black Boers’ is captured in this British ditty:

‘Tommy, Tommy, watch your back
There are dusky wolves in cunning Piet’s pack
Sometimes nowhere to be seen
Sometimes up and shooting clean
They’re steathy lads, stealthy and brave
In darkness they’re awake
Duck, Duck, that bullet isn’t fake.

Chris Pretorius posted a quote about Plaatjies: “In 1932, Solomon Tshekisho (Sol) Plaatje, intellectual, journalist, linguist, politician, translator and writer, born at Doornfontein near Boshof, OFS in 1876, passed away in Soweto at the age of 56. He was (amongst others) court translator for the British during the Siege of Mafeking and diarized his experiences, which was published posthumously.”

Bloemfontein

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Bloemfontein se ou markplein vanaf die dak van die Poskantoor. 1880’s. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.
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Voor Bloemfontein teer strate gehad het. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.

Boer Warrior

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Hans Swart. Photo supplied by Nico Moolman. Sent to him by Piet Lombard from Heilbron.
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Bittereinders vas gestaan tot die laaste! Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Boer gesin “Sharpshooters”Oud en Jonk was deel van die oorlog ABO 1899-1902. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais‎.
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Danie Theron en Pres.Steyn in gesprek. ABO 1899-1902. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Boer warriors. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Anglo-Boere Oorlog helde bymekaar as senior Oudstryders gedurende die 1940’s. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.

Brandwater Basin (Where my great Grandfather surrendered to the British – ABW)

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Sentry at a blockhouse in the Brandwater Basin. Photo supplied by Jaun de Vries.

British POW’s

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British Prisoners of War at the Waterval Camp North of Pretoria. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Bermuda, Hawkins Island

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Prisoners of war on Hawkins Island, Bermuda. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels‎.
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Prisoners of war on Hawkins Island, Bermuda. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels‎.
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Prisoners of war on Hawkins Island, Bermuda. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels‎.

Cape Town

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Kaapstad hawe…1870’s. Foto beskikbaar gestel deur Nico Moolman.
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‘n Ingekleurde Poskaart van Kaapstad uit die jare 1870/80’s. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.
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The Pier, Rogge Bay, Cape Town. Sundays were a favoured day for outings on the Pier at the end of Adderley Street. In this photo from the early 1900s, people gather on the beach to watch fishermen bring in their catch while a number of small fishing boats lie at anchor at in the lee of the Pier. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.

Children, Concentration Camps and War

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Jong boerekinders tydens die oorlog in Johannesburg. (Uit: Erwe vir ons kinders: Kinderhelde 1) Photo supplied by Jaun de Vries.
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Picture had been taken during the 1930’s. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.
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MEDICAL STAFF IN THE BLOEMFONTEIN CONCENTRATION CAMP AND ONE OF THE PATIENTS (HER NAME WAS LIZZIE VAN ZYL). Photo by Elria Wessels.
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MEDICAL STAFF IN THE BLOEMFONTEIN CONCENTRATION CAMP AND ONE OF THE PATIENTS (HER NAME WAS LIZZIE VAN ZYL). Photo by Elria WesselsTony Van Der Helm writes that “she is holding a cloth doll under her right shoulder and evidently died within the hour after the photo was taken. Speaking under correction, I think the doll was given to her by Emily Hobhouse.”
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Women on their way to a concentration camp. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Women on their way to a concentration camp. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Women on their way to a concentration camp. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Crossing the River

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British artillery crossing a stream. Location unknown! From album of photographs of the 14th Brigade (Lincoln Regiment) Field Hospital in the Boer War in the Welcome Library. Photo supplied by Andries Pretorius. Photo supplied by Andries Pretorius.
British artillery crossing a stream. Location unknown! From album of photographs of the 14th Brigade (Lincoln Regiment) Field Hospital in the Boer War in the Welcome Library. Photo supplied by Andries Pretorius. Photo supplied by Andries Pretorius.
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Crossing the Vaal. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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British forces crossing a river! Exact location not given. From the album of photographs of the 14th Brigade (Lincoln Regiment) Field Hospital in the Boer War in the Welcome Library. Photo supplied by Andries Pretorius.
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“Ei Kona horse” ABW labourers crossing a stream on their way to work From the album of photos of the 14th Brigade (Lincoln Regiment) Field Hospital in the Boer War in the Welcome Library.

Colesberg ABW

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British Scouts Firing at a Boer Patrol Commando near Colesberg! Photo supplied by Dirk Marais

Convoy

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Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.

Genl. De Wet, Christiaan.

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Pres.MT Steyn en Genl.De Wet met besoek aan Pres.Steyn se plaas Onze Rust 1909. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Die sout van die aarde. Tant Nelie en oom Christiaan. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.
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Christiaan De Wet and boet Piet de Wet…. ( amongst others.) Here with Prez Steyn ……….Pre ABW… Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.
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A rather sad ending to a fighting man’s career. Gen De Wet on the backseat of a motor car after being captured during the rebellion 1914/15. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.
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What De Wet loved best during the ABW. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.
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De Wet being escorted in Norvalspont Camp by cheerful ladies after Surrender briefing. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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Gen De Wet oversees the stacking of captured British munitions at Roodewal before blasting it to smithereens…OHS…. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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General De Wet’s bodyguard and staff. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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‘The Big 3’ Generals in Netherlands – 22 August 1902 de Wet, de la Rey and Botha . Photo Credit – Nico Moolman
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Genl De Wet , addressing the bewildered at Norvalspont con camp on the peace conditions ..post Melrose House agreement . Later to be known as the Peace of Vereeniging. ABW Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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Genl De Wet drumming up support for the Boer cause in Potchefstroom in August 1900 , after the first farms were torched by the British. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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The family De Wet…During the ABW. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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De Wet riding through Kroonstad with Archie Coulson ( interpreter) to his right and other staff members. Archie’s brother fought on British side. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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Genl De Wet and his son Danie. …Danie was later killed in action at Mushroom Valley Winburg during the Rebellion of 1914. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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Braving the cold ….De Wet and French ….Talking Peace… End of ABW. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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This amazing set of photos by Dirk Marais. Generaal De Wet en sy Kommando 1901 Potchefstroom.
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This amazing set of photos by Dirk Marais. Generaal De Wet en sy Kommando 1901 Potchefstroom.

The newspaper article is from a 1950’s Sunday Times article.  Who is the “Pieter” referred to in the article?  There was a Pieter de Villiers Graaff who was known as the Cape Rebel (Kaapse Rebel). He was a cousin of Sir David de Villiers Graaff, who is featured prominently in my work on bacon.  Pieter participated in 25 battles in the ABW against the English and on 24 March 1901 he was captured and sent to India as a POW where he remained for the duration of the war.  I doubt if the Sunday Times article refers to him.  He did, however, have a son, also named Pieter de Villiers Graaff.  He was born on December 16, 1911 and passed away on July 11, 1988.  He was 76.

(Reference: Sir David Pieter de Villiers-Graaff, https://www.geni.com/people/Pieter-Graaff/6000000013388531529# and https://www.geni.com/people/Pieter-Hendrik-de-Villiers-Graaff/6000000007158098655)

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This amazing set of photos by Dirk Marais. Generaal De Wet en sy Kommando 1901 Potchefstroom.
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Funeral of Mrs CR de Wet at Dewetsdorp in May 1934. A forgotten widow. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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Funeral of Mrs CR de Wet at Dewetsdorp in May 1934. A forgotten widow. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.
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Funeral of Mrs CR de Wet at Dewetsdorp in May 1934. A forgotten widow. Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.

Farm Life

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Op “Viljoenshoek ” se plaaswerf naby Lindley 1920’s.  Foto supplied by Nico Moolman.

Diyatalawa and Ragama, Ceylon (Diyatalawa is where my great grandfather was a POW – ABW)

Dirk Marais writes about the Diyatalawa Garrison:

The Diyatalawa Garrison is a common name used for collection of military bases of the Sri Lanka Army located in and around the garrison town Diyatalawa in the Uva Province. Sometimes it is referred to as the Diyatalawa Cantonment. It is one of the oldest military garrisons in Sri Lanka. It is home to the several training centers of the army, including the Sri Lanka Military Academy and has a detachment of the Gemunu Watch. The Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps maintains a base hospital in Diyatalawa. SLAF Diyatalawa is situated in close proximity.

It is not exactly known as to when Diyatalawa became a training station for troops, but available records show that it was selected around 1885, when the British Army first established a garrison at Diyatalawa. At that time training was conducted at the Imperial Camp, which is presently occupied by the Gemunu Watch troops. In 1900, the British War Office constructed a concentration camp in Diyatalawa to house Boer prisoners captured in the Second Boer War. Initially constructed to house 2500 prisoners and 1000 guards and staff, the number of prisoners increased to 5000. During World War I an internment camp for enemy aliens was set up.

Early in World War II the camp was reopened and German nationals resident in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as many sailors, like those removed from the Asama Maru in violation of international law, were housed here. Also imprisoned were Buddhist monks of German extraction like Nyanaponika and Govinda Anagarika who had acquired British citizenship. In June 1941 most of the sailors were transferred to Canada. The section for Germans was sensibly divided in a pro- and anti-Nazi wing. There was also a section set up to house Italian POWs. After the Japanese started bombing the island, inmates were on 23 February 1942 transferred to camps on the mainland. Males usually went to Dehradun.

After independence the facilities of the British Army were taken over by the newly established Ceylon Army, and Diyatalawa became the primary training grounds for the young army with the establishment in 1950 the Army Recruit Training Depot later renamed at the Army Training Centre. Several of the army’s regiments were resided here, 1st Field Squadron, Ceylon Engineers (1951), Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (1956), Gemunu Watch (1962).

The Royal Navy had a rest camp, HMS Uva, which was situated at Diyatalawa with recreational facilities; this was later taken over by the Royal Ceylon Navy in 1956, commissioning it as HMCYS Rangalla and established its training center there. They had to move out in 1962 and it was taken over by the Gemunu Watch.

On 14 March 2013, the Security Forces Headquarters – Central the youngest of the seven commands of the Sri Lanka Army was formed at Diyatalawa. Prior to this Diyatalawa served as an Area Headquarters.

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Rugby field, Prisoner of War Camp, Diyatalawa, Ceylon. Photo by Elria Wessels‎.

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POW Carting firewood. Prisoner of War Camp, Diyatalawa, Ceylon. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais
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Main Gate Diyatalawa POW Camp Ceylon and the camp and some of the POWs held there. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Diyatalawa POW Camp Ceylon. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Diyatalawa POW Camp Ceylon, Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Diyatalawa POW Camp Ceylon, Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Diyatalawa POW Camp Ceylon, Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Kinders as so Jonk as Krygsgevangenes geneem hoe hartseer! Diyatalawa Camp, Ceylon. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Prisoner of War, POW Camp, Ragama, Ceylon. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Prisoner of War, POW Camp, Ragama, Ceylon. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Prisoner of War, POW Camp, Ragama, Ceylon. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Dorsland Trek

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Daar was die Groot Trek in Suid Afrika gewees , maar dan die Dorsland – Angola trekkers. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.

Duitswes

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‘ Die osse stap aan deur die stowwe..geduldig..gedienstig…gedwee..” Duitswes…1915. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.

Eastern Cape

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Boer trenches at Hlangweni. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels‎.

Free State

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Nagmaal te Heilbron. 1890’s. Photo supplied by Nico Moolman.

Housing

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‘n Ou kantstraat Boere-dorpshuis in die platteland …. 1890’s. Photo supplied by Nico Moolman.

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Horses

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‘n Ou negatief se kiekie. Photo supplied by Nico Moolman.

Howick British Concentration Camp for Boer Women and Children

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Howick Concentration Camp and some women and children waiting for the water. Some children and women in front of their tents. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Howick Concentration Camp and some women and children waiting for the water. Some children and women in front of their tents. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Howick Concentration Camp and some women and children waiting for the water. Some children and women in front of their tents. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Howick Concentration Camp and some women and children waiting for the water. Some children and women in front of their tents. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Indigenous Houses (Used by Boers in the ABW)

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30125 x5 Correspondents scrutinizing a hut in the Boer Laager at Klipdrift.  Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Johannesburg

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Johannesburg Market Square. 1895. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Johannesburg Market Square, photo supplied by dirk Marais.
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Transvaal Gold Mine. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Joubert Park, a pleasure resort in Johannesburg. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Post office in Jeppe Street, Johannesburg. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.
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De Korte Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The main street leading to the cemetery and the township of Vrededorp, where a large number of Dutch reside. Photo and description supplied by Dirk Marais.
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View of Johannesburg. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.

Kimberley

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Mens kan skaars glo elke delwer het sy eie kleim gedelf te Kimberley 1876. Photo supplied by Nico Moolman.

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Kimberley
Zulu ‘Boys’ Working at De Beers Diamond Mines, Kimberley, South Africa. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.

Kruger, President

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Prez Kruger…enkele weke voor die uitbreek van die Anglo-Boere Oorlog.. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.

Klipdrift ABW

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A Hut at the Boer Laager – Klip – Drift ABO. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais

Timo Kok

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Timo Kok tydens WO II

Last Voortrekker

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Photo supplied by Dirk Marais.

Louis Botha

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In ou Vryheid…1887.. Die latere generaal Louis Botha staan 3de van regs. Foto verskaf deur Nico Moolman.

Naauwpoort

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Boers shoeing horses at Naauwpoort. Photo supplied by Dirk Marais

Northern Cape ABW

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The Royal Irish Regiment crossing the North Kaap River: 20 September 1900.. Photo supplied by Hilton Teper‎.

The Royal Irish Regiment recruited from the counties of Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny. It served in South Africa with General Hart’s Irish Brigade. Around 30,000 Irishmen saw service with the British Army in South Africa.

Iain Hayter writes, “There were a number of instances where Irish fought Irish in the ABW and many poems poems were written, the Irish being so lyrical………
We are leaving dear old Dublin
The gallant famous fifth;
We’re going to the Transvaal
Where the Boers we mean to shift.
We are the sons of Erin’s Isle –
Modem Musketeers:
The famous Fifth Battalion
Of the Dublin Fusiliers.
Let this conflict be a warning
To all Britannia’s foes;
Not to tease her ftirious lion
As on his way he goes.
For if they do, they’ll fmd they’re wrong
And won’t get volunteers
To stand in the face of a Regiment
Like the Dublin Fusiliers

and

On the mountain side the battle raged, there was no stop or stay;
Mackin captured Private Burke and Ensign Michael Shea,
Fitzgerald got Fitzpatrick, Brannigan found O ’Rourke,
Firmigan took a man named Fay – and a couple of lads from Cork.
Sudden they heard McManus shout, ‘Hands up or I’ll run you through’.
He thought it was a Yorkshire ‘Tyke’ – ’twas Corporal Donaghue!
McGany took O ’Leary, O ’Brien got McNamee,
That’s how the ’English fought the Dutch’ at the Battle of Dundee.
The sun was sinking slowly, the battle rolled along;
The man that Murphy ‘handed in’, was a cousin of Maud Gonne,
Then Flanagan dropped his rifle, shook hands with Bill McGuire,
For both had carried a piece of turf to light the schooh-oom fire …
Dicey brought a lad named Welsh; Dooley got McGurk;
Gilligan turned in Fahey’s boy – for his father he used to work.
They had marched to fight the English – but Irish were all they could see –
That’s how the ‘English fought the Dutch’ at the Battle of Dundee.

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Anthony Scott asked a friend to colour the photo in, supplied by Hilton Teper‎.

Russians in the ABW

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Lt. Col. Maximov ( A Russian volunteer) with Gen. Kolbe. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels‎.

Simons Town POW’s

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POW CAMP AT BELLEVUE SIMON’S TOWN AND SOME OF THE PRISONERS. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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POW CAMP AT BELLEVUE SIMON’S TOWN AND SOME OF THE PRISONERS. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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POW CAMP AT BELLEVUE SIMON’S TOWN AND SOME OF THE PRISONERS. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Spioenkop

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British troops climbing Spioenkop. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels‎.
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Photo supplied by Elria Wessels‎.

Smuts

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Tydens die Britse koningshuis besoek aan Suid Afrika in 1947 het hulle ook Standerton aangedoen. My ma Dora het hierdie foto geneem waar Generaal Jan Smuts vir prinses Elizabeth aan Oudstryders van die Anglo Boere oorlog voorstel My oupa Niklaas Moolman was ook die dag daar maar het botweg geweier om aan hulle voorgestel te word.Daaroor was my pa erg omgekrap. ( So met die uitsoek van my ou robbies, gister weer die kiekie ontdek ) Photo supplied by Nico Moolman.
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Die Uniegebou op 4 Augustus 1915 en dring aan op gelyke regte. Glas negatief. Geen ander foto hiervan op rekord nie. Foto beskikbaar gemaak deur Nico Moolman.

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Jan Smuts
Statesman Jan Smuts at the Opening of the Voortrekker Monument 16 December 1949. Photo and description by Dirk Marais.
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The two princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, together with South African prime minister, Jan Smuts, stayed at the Natal National Park in the Drakensberg. Photo and description by Dirk Marais.
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Crowds at the funeral of the South African wartime Prime Minister, General Jannie Smuts on 15 September 1950. Photo and description by Dirk Marais.

Steyn

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St Helena, Broadbottom Camp, Deadwood Camp.

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Deadwood Camp St Helena. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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POWs in Broadbottom Camp, St Helena. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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POWs in Broadbottom Camp, St Helena. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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POWs in Broadbottom Camp, St Helena. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Treaty of Vereeniging, signed on 31 May 1902 (end of ABW2)

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Transvaal Representatives after the signing of the peace treaty with the British. Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.

Van Tonder

GJ van Tonder
Foto verskaf deur Giel Venter.

Gideon Jacobus van Tonder was born in 1864 in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape (then the Cape Colony). He passed away in 1924 in the Free State.  He is buried at the Rustfontein Dam, which is located on the Modder River near Thaba ‘Nchu. He was the owner of the farm Brakfontein in that area.  He also resided at 21 Hill Street, Bloemfontein. From 1894 to 1900 he was minister of Agriculture in the Orange Free State Government.  Giel Venter from Fauresmith gave me this information. Giel is one of his descendants.  If Gideon was still alive we would have spent many days talking about farming and animal husbandry and of course, bacon curing!

When President Steyn was out of the country or on leave, he acted as State President on numerous occasions.  When the ABW broke out, he resigned from government after his son, Hansie, was killed at the battle of Magersfontein.  Genl. De Wet wrote about it in his book, Three Years’ War.

De Wet wrote: “I can only remember three instances of anyone being hurt by the shells. A young burgher, while riding behind a ridge and thus quite hidden from the enemy, was hit by a bomb, and both he and his horse were blown to atoms. This youth was a son of Mr. Gideon van Tonder, a member of the Executive Council.”

I am planning a visit to Giel, as soon as it is permitted and will update this section with much more information.

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In the photo is Gideon Jacobus van Tonder, his wife and children in 1914.  Hansie is not there. Killed in Magersfontein, 1899.  Another photo sent to me by Giel Venter and beautifully preserved in the Van Tonder House he set up in Fauresmith.

Vredefort Concentration Camp ABW

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Concentration Camp at Vredefort, Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Concentration Camp at Vredefort, Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.
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Sports day for the inhabitants of Vredefort Concentration Camp.  Photo supplied by Elria Wessels.‎

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(c) eben van tonder

Chapter 16.00: Family Photos

Bacon & the Art of Living 1

Family Photos

A very big part of the art of living is family! Here I feature different sets of family photos. The kids are fortunate to have two extra sets of extended families involved in their lives also. Here we feature the families of all the parents, step-parents, uncles, aunts and further extended family.

Oom Jan Kok

Oom Jan is my mom’s brother. He sent me the following set op photos.

Oom Jan stuur hierdie fotos vir ons op 28 Desember 2017. Vir die lys van al Oom Jan se bydraes, besoek Oom Jan Onthou. Ek pos dit als as deel van “Bacon and the art of living” en in besonder, deel van die gedeelte wat handel oor “The Art of Living”.


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Sannie se doop, 1940. Oupa Eben, Ouma Susan, Tannie Meraai en Oupa Giel. Ouma Santjie met haar naamgenoot. Foto geneem op Leeuspruit.

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My Oupa Grootjie, Piet Rademan by sy perdekar waarmee hy tot kort voor sy dood op 99 nog gery het.

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Ouma Susan, Sannie en Uysie en My hond Karools. Foto geneem op Leeuspruit.

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Met Oupa Jan Kok se 70ste verjaarsdag by die rivier op Parys. Die familie het daar saamgetrek vir die okkasie. Agter: Sannie, Myra Kok, Gill Kok, Mariet Bosman, Ronnie Bosman, Jantjie Bosman. Voor: Jan Kok, Ouma Hannie Oupa se tweede vrou), Uysie Kok, Oupa Jan en Leon Kok.

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Met my doop, 1942. Agter: Oom Dolf Bosman met Jantjie, Tannie Meraai, Ouma Santjie Uys, Ouma Magrietha (Oupa se eerste vrou), Oupa Eben met Sannie. Middel: Oupa Giel Uys, Ouma Susan Kok met my op haar skoot, Oupa Jan Kok (Wat my gedoop het) Voor: Mariet en Ronnie Bosman. Ek was seker een van die eerste blanke kinders wat in die Swart kerk gedoop is, en as gevolg van die Apartheidswette mag my doop nie in die boeke van die Sendingkerk opgeteken word nie, maar wel in die “Wit” gemeente, Heilbron Suid.

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Moet darem die foto van hierdie aantreklike jong man byvoeg. 21 Jaar oud in 1963. 🙂

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Vier geslagte Kok. Van Agter: Ek vermoed dit was Oupa Jan se ma met die name Jacoba Johanna Elizabeth (Geb Theron op 04 Januarie 1855). Oupa Jan Kok (Gebore 04 April 1880). Oom Johan Kok (Oupa Eben se oudste broer, gebore op 02 Mei 1908). Ek vermoed dit is oom Johan se oudste dogter, Gillian Louise Kok, Gebore op 18 Oktober 1934. Sy is getroud met Roy Tustin. Hy was ‘n prof in Veeartsenykunde aan Tukkies)

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Joretha en Oups Eben op Lady.

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My Oupagrootjie, Piet Rademan, op sy 95 ste verjaarsdag in 1933

In hierdie tyd skryf Ouma Santjie die volgende brief aan Ma in Potchefstroom :

Liefste Susan,

Ons het gister jou brief gekry baja dankie, ek was spyt om te sien dat jy so virkoude is, ek hoop darem dit gaan beter, met ons gaan dit goed ons is nou weer baja gesond. Pappie se oor is ook heel te maal gesond. Jy het seker nog nie gehoor dat Aunt Chathrina weer ?n seuntjie het nie, hy is die 23 ste gebore, hy is vndag 8 dae oud, laaste Dinsdag was sy net baja siek toe was ou Green daarheen hy sê dit is ook die griep wat sy het, maar nou gaan dit weer beter. Oom Freek was gister hier, Pieter was ook hier, ons vra vir hom wat is daar hy se daar is ?n bobbejaan ek vra wat is sy naam hy se Fransie

Hendrik van aunt Kotie was mos ook so baja siek, laats Sondag was ou Green daar en Maandag was Dr Heyns weer daar hy het glo Inflamatie, gister het oom Freek gese was hy bietjie beter maar vandag het ek nog nie weer gehoor nie, ek dink die dag met die Vandiesie het hy seker koue gekry want dit was mos so?n nare dag gewees.

Die ou Klein Kaffertjie van ou Viljoen het laaste Vrydag vir Brand, dit was mos so vreeslik koud daardie dag, en die meid het glo buite kant vuur gemaak en toe gaan sy mis optel toe sy sien toe was die ou kaffertjie in die volle vlam, Pappie het toe nog dieselfde middag die dokter daarheen laat gaan maar nog die selfde nag is hy dood.

Dina is vanaand hier, ons was vanmiddag daar en Maria het so aangehou laat sy moet saam kom.

Pappie het daarom die jaard vir die huis Klaar dit lyk net ewe gaaf.

Die hoenders by die windpomp le nog nie eers nie hier by die huis begin hulle nou net tamenlik te le

Oom Attie hulle het Saterdag nag hier geslaap en Miss Boshoff ook sy was saam met oom Attie hulle.

Hoe gaan dit met aunt Miem? Word sy nou al beter en wat se sy sal die dokter haar kan help ?

Mariaatjie was tog te hoog oor die brief wat sy van jou gekry het. Ek het nog nie eers aunt Cathrina se seun gesien nie.

Pappie had mos so ‘n skade met sy skape die Honde was daar onder, en hulle het 9 doodgebyt en nog ‘n hele paar stukkend gebyt. Die arme ou Bok het hulle net so verniel hy sal ook seker nog dood gaan, nou weet hulle nog nie eers wie se honde dit was nie, dis daarom ‘n vreeslike skade.

Nou liewe Susan die nieuws is nou op en ek is al vaak baja groete van Dina, Pappie, Mariaatjie en van mammie.

Jou liefhebbende moeder,

Sannie Uys

(I retained the original words used in the letter for historical context and accuracy. The word “Kaffertjie” is a derogatory term, the use of which is prohibited by law in SA)

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Die eerste bladsy van die brief wat Ouma aan Ma geskryf het in die koshuis op Potchefstroom.

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Die huis op Leeuspruit waarin ek gebore is op 03 Mei 1942

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Ek en Sannie en Uysie saam met Oupa Giel en Ouma Santjie. Ek vermoed die Baba by Ouma is Sybrand Strauss

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My fris boerevoorste. Oupagrootjie Piet Rademan met sy vyf dogters. Voor: Annie (Crause) en Santjie (Uys). Agter: Sarah (Smit), Kowa (Marx) en Nelie (Schoeman).

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Oupa Giel en Ouma Santjie saam met hulle 7 Kleinkinders. Sannie, Sybrand, Uysie, ek, Santjie, Giel en Marietjie.

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Sannie as klein dogtertjie met ‘n hanslam wat aan ‘n bottel drink

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Sannie, Uysie en ek by die Vuurtoring by Kaappunt met ons besoek in 1948.

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Die Blou Chef waarmee ons in 1952 die woonwa Winklespruit toe gesleep het.

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Met vakansie by Bananabeach. VLNR : Cecil, Miemie, Myra en Mike Webb, Sannie, Ma het ek en Pa. Ek vermoed Uysie het die foto geneem. Let tog op die das van Cecil op vakansie geddra het. Ek en Uysie roei saam met maats op ‘n boot in die Riviermond. Ek dink hulle was Opperman.

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Oom Jan staan by die plaalhek naby die huis op Leeuspruit


My Mom’s Photo Album 1 and 2


My Mom’s Photo Album 3 – Photos of my dad, his side of the family, the Kokke and my mom and dad’s wedding.


Photos of Mom and Dad