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Anglo Boere Oorlog/Boer War (1899-1902) - POW ST Helena

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Profiles

  • Jan Carl van der Merwe, 2h11 (1877 - 1964)
    Oupa Jan Carl van der Merwe en sy familie is een van drie families wat met die trein Rhodesia toe gegaan het om 'n nuwe begin te maak na die Anglo Boere Oorlog (1899-1902). Die Delport, Keyter en Van d...
  • Charles Smith (1873 - 1958)
    Charles Smith, (1873 - 1958) St. Helena’s last surviving Boer War prisoner He was captured by the British in South Africa and had been shipped along with the Boer general, Piet Cronje and 512 ot...
  • Gert Johannes Cornelis Deysel (c.1860 - c.1899)
    Was ‘n krygsgevangene in ST Helena tydens die Anglo Boere oorlog van 1899-1902 waar hy oorlede is.

The purpose of this project is to gather profiles of these men who are on Geni and to share interesting tales and anecdotes about individuals. Please collaborate...

ST HELENA

Approximately 5,866 POW were held in the following camps:

Prisoner’s Weekly rations:

5 days a week 1 lb. fresh meat 2 days a weeks 1 lb. preserved meat Every day 1.25 lbs bread, vegetables, condiments, sugar and coffee

4 prisoners chose to remain on island and raise families: Alfred Smith and his brother Charles, Harry James Piek, a Nielson and a Vanguard; their descendants still live on island.

Camps

  • Deadwood No.1 The Camp Commandant was Major S.H. Marden. The prisoners were housed mainly in canvas tents, and huts which they later built themselves from biscuit tins.
  • Deadwood No.2 or Peace Camp Set up for prisoners who wanted to return to South Africa and fight for the British.
  • Broad Bottom Established early 1901 after quarrels between Free Staters and Transvaalers. The Camp Commandant was Lieutenant Colonel H.O.P. Wright.
  • High Knoll Fort Recalcitrant or insubordinate prisoners were briefly incarcerated at the Fort
  • Jamestown Some POWs were given permission to work as household servants cooks and grooms, and were allowed to live in the homes. For those not provided for, a two-section camp was built in the Government Gardens and the Botanical Gardens for accommodation at night. The Officer in Charge was Captain Fisher.

Shipping

"The S.S. 'Milwaukee' landed at St. Helena on 14th April, 1900, with 514 prisoners, including General Piet Cronje, Mrs Cronje and his military staff. General and Mrs Cronje were accommodated at Kent Cottage, some distance from Deadwood from where he used to ride to visit his men.

A week after the 'Milwaukee', the steamship, 'Lake Erie' arrived with another batch of 394 prisoners including 34 officers.

On 1st May 1900 the transport ship, 'Bavarian' brought 1 099 men.

Another ship to bring prisoners was the 'Mongolian' when it landed 649 men on 3rd February, 1901 bringing the total to that date to 4 689 men.

The number of prisoners was swollen during the beginning of 1902 with the arrival of the 'Orient' with 1 050 prisoners and the 'Brittania' with 39 officers, among them General Ben Viljoen.

St Helena thus held both the first and last of the important Boer generals captured during the war. The death rate of approximately 3%, is proof that the conditions under which the prisoners lived on the island were of a high order". In addition to the above, The New York Times of June 28th 1900 reported the following: JAMESTOWN, St. Helena, June 27. -- Sarel Eloff, President Kruger's grandson, who was captured by the British at Mafeking, landed here to-day with eleven officers and ninety-eight troopers, mostly foreigners. The prisoners were immediately sent on to Deadwood the prison camp. Most of the Boers at Deadwood are in good health, and thus far there has been but one death from enteric fever.

Escape

Considering the isolation of St Helena, surrounded by thousands of square miles of ocean, escape was virtually impossible. Yet, on 2 February 1901, Lieut. Sarel Eloff, grandson of president Kruger, who while do parole met 2 or 3 other prisoners – a Smith and Johnson, and made a determined attempt at Sandy Bay. Having collected a quantity of provisions, the four men seized (or bought a fishing boat for 25 pounds) an old fishing boat in which to make their escape. However, fishermen removed the oars and, despite a struggle, managed to hold on to them. The prisoners climbed into the boat and tore up the bottom boards, intending to use them as paddles. Finding them to be useless, the prisoners then returned to the beach and tried in vain to bribe the fishermen, offering them a good sum in exchange for the boat and oars. In the meantime, a messenger had been sent to report the occurrence and soon after dawn a guard arrived from Deadwood Camp to arrest the escapees.

The best known attempt was Colonel Schiel who had previously commanded the Republican artillery in Natal, and was taken prisoner at Elandslaagte. For trying to escape by a Dutch ship which touched at Jamestown, he was locked up to High Knoll Fort.

Another escape was attempted by two French prisoners. Whilst bathing off the beach at Rupert's Bay, they tried to swim to a ship at anchor. Spotted by the guardship, guns were directed against them and they were challenged, whereupon one turned and swam back to Rupert's Bay, whilst the other swam to the landing steps at Jamestown, only to be escorted back to camp. A notable attempt was that of Jansen, Who swam to a British warship 'Beagle', hid in the hold, and was only discovered on the following day.

The most enterprising attempt to escape was by made by Andries Smorenburg who made a crate and "mailed" himself from Saint Helena on the Union Castle Mail Ship SS Goth. In the event he was discovered when the ship was out at sea, landed at Ascension, handed over to the authorities and returned to St. Helena.

Finally, an Italian by name Beldaracki made good his escape. He met some Spaniards who visited Napoleon's tomb, swam to their boat at anchor in the harbour made good his escape and afterwards wrote from Barcelona to some prisoners at Deadwood Camp

Newspapers printed on St. Helena by the POWs were De Krygsgevangene (The Captive) and Kampkruimels.

The Widow(s) And Orphans’ Fund

A commission was formed with the following members, to collect curios and send them to Holland.

  • Kommandant Eloff as chairman
  • Mr H Everett as secretary
  • Mrs Neilsen
  • Van Huijsteen
  • Coetzee
  • Van Wijkas

POWs

A

B

  • Louis Johannes Buys 1900-1964
  • Herbert Baumann Compiled a scrap album of photographs, autographs, letters received by prisoners, military passes and copies of the prisoners own camp newspaper. Contracted an eye disease during this time which ultimately blinded him.

C

  • Job Cordier One of General Cronje's bodyguard, He must have been a lively, jovial man and soon made friends in Jamestown and earned the attention of Mr Barclay, the hotel proprietor. who obtained permission to employ him.

H

J

M

N

P

  • Hendrik James Piek of Villafort Ladybrand. Probably the same Harry Piek who stayed or more likely returned to St Helena as he is listed as leaving on the ship 'Oratava'

R

S

V

  • Herman Wilhelm von Below, Dutch volunteer, POW, Springs, Transvaal. Captured June 1900 , released 01 Aug 1902.

Z

Finnish POWs

  • Aberg, Karl, from Helsinki, also spelled Oberg or Akerberg
  • Backman, Otto, 23 years of age, wounded at Scholtznek
  • Backman, Simon, stayed on St Helena after the war, carpenter
  • Backman, Sunnion (?)
  • Erikson, Isak, stayed on St Helena after the war, carpenter, perhaps the same as
  • Erikson, I. on the Boer Cemetery in Knollcombs
  • Gustafson, Matts, also went by the name Knuts
  • Johansson, Johan Jakob, died on St Helena Sept. 11, 1900, also went by the name Gastgivars
  • Johnson, Erik
  • Johnson (Johansson), Herman, also went by the name Gunnila, died on St Helena
  • Korhonen, Gabriel, received a prize for a walking stick he made on St Helena
  • Lingberg, Ernst Evert, born 1864, wrote book about the war and the time as a prisoner, also made paintings
  • Mattson, Matt, from Kalajoki
  • Mickelsen, Johan, from Vora
  • Nelson/Nilsson, Matt/s, born at Laggnas, Marsala Finland 1875, 25 years, at monument in Knollcombs, Died 7 June 1901
  • Nikulen, Teodor, (Nikulainen), married to Rosa Frieman. POW, at St Helena?
  • Nyman, Jan or Johan, from Oravais, can be found on a photo from St Helena
  • Ollus,?
  • Rank, Johan or Johannes, from Munsala
  • Schoutz, Johan, from Vasa, made a model in Deadwood
  • Spara, Johan Jakobsson, from Kantlax, died on St Helena
  • Stenroos, Carl, from Lumparland, Aland islands
  • Wiklund, Johan Niklas, from Vexala, Munsala, blacksmith in Deadwood

Russian POWs

  • Yakov Yakovlevich Prede
  • Ernst Ewert Lindberg
  • Johannes Rank
  • Jacob Johanson
  • Mats Nielson possibly the same Nielson who remained in St Helena
  • Johan Nilas Wiklund
  • Simon Backman (or Buchman)
  • J. Mikkelson
  • Jan Nyman
  • Isak Erikson
  • Herman Johanson
  • Eric Johanson
  • Prince Nikolai
  • Bagration-Mukhransky

Died in St Helena

Knollcombe Cemetery

  • Johan Jakob Johansson Scandinavian volunteer. Name is mistakenly written Jakobsson buried in grave number 18a
  • Matts from Laggnäs Finnish volunteer, name is missing. (possibly Nielson)
  • Willem Jacobus Johannes Marnewick
  • Rudlph Johannes van den Berg 1868-1900
  • A.F. Ter Meulen 27 years
  • G. Gerbere 29 years
  • T.P. Pieterse 40 years
  • J.P.L.v.d. Berg .. 31
  • J.J. Grobler ... 51
  • J. Boltman .... 40
  • W.J. Oosthuizen . 33
  • J.F. Roselt .... 29
  • J.F. Viljoen ... 20
  • S.P. du Plessis .. 34
  • R.J.v.d. Berg .. 50
  • G.J.C. Deysel .. 45
  • R.A. Opperman . 22
  • J.J. de Beer .... 17
  • G.J. van Zyl ... 41
  • F. Wehlan .... 40
  • W.A. Hallat ... 26
  • A.J. van Wyk ... 54
  • G.C. Lindeque .. 65
  • G.J. du Toit ... 33
  • J. Johnson .... 24
  • F. Correlis .... 21
  • J.A. Steyn .... 56
  • G.R. Loggrenberg . 19
  • P.C.J. Faber ... 51
  • H.W. Buys .... 21
  • C.J.H. du Plooy . 64
  • F.H. McDonald .. 27
  • M.T. Goddefroy . 19
  • S. Dobeich .... 34
  • C.P. Brand .... 27
  • J.P. Steyn .... 18
  • D.J. Lubbe .... 47
  • P.J. Badenhorst .. 25
  • M.C. Rosslee ... 18
  • I.J. Oberholzer .. 35
  • M.J.H. Boshoff .. 30
  • F.A. Gerber ... 27
  • A.F. Termeulen .. 25
  • W. Nielsen .... 25
  • F.P. Pieterse ... 39
  • C.E. Blignaut ... 45
  • H. Krause .... 66
  • H. Venter (Veld Cornet) ...... 43
  • C.J. Geyer .... 61
  • J.P. Mostert ... 48
  • D.G. Fouche ... 27
  • B.J. van Zyl ... 42
  • J.S. du Toit ... 40
  • P.A. Kotze .... 37
  • A.F. Dreyer ... 48
  • J.J. Smit ..... 27
  • J.J. Buitendach .. 45
  • J. van Deventer .. 62
  • A.M. Muller ... 44
  • J.J. Meintjies ... 35
  • J. Toeset ..... 32
  • M.J.S. de Kock . 65
  • J.T. Martens (Veld Cornet) ... 57
  • W.J.C. van Rensburg 33
  • J.S. Venter ... 64
  • A. Kleinhans ... 58
  • F. van de Vlugt .. 43
  • F.A. Naude ... 48
  • J.F. Naude .... 30
  • T. van Sittert ... 19
  • J.F.Otto ..... 45
  • J.C. Schoeman .. 44
  • G.F. Lubbe ... 33
  • G.A. Fritz .... 30
  • N.S. Maritz ... 48
  • J.J. Brits ..... 34
  • J.L. Pretorius .. 31
  • S.J. du Plooy ... 46
  • A. McGrath .... 51
  • F.J. Labuschagne (Adj) 54
  • J.H. Broese ... 48
  • C. de J. Bloem .. 53
  • R.S. Meyer .... 16
  • P.F. Bosman ... 39
  • H.J. Bantjes ... 20
  • J.H. Hattingh .. 60
  • C.W. Rooyen .. 47
  • J.C.S. Fourie ... 60
  • H.F. Cox .... 34
  • A. Viljoen .... 32
  • M.J. Buitendach . 51
  • H. Roos ..... 22
  • J.P. Meintjies ... 60
  • J.F. Oosthuizen .. 53
  • A.J. Heefer ... 49
  • G. Fairchild .... 35
  • I.S. le Roux ... 36
  • A.M. Meiring .. 74
  • C.P. Joubert ... 60
  • F.P.J. Botha ... 46
  • J.G. Beneke ... -
  • R.P. Diedericks .. 19
  • R.F. du Plessis .. 47
  • C.J. Beukes .... 64
  • E.J. Meyer .... 29
  • F.N. Joubert ... 33
  • J.J.S. Kemp ... 37
  • P.C. Snyman ... 45
  • L.C. Taljaard ... 62
  • D.J.A. Koekemoer . 24
  • J.S. Malan .... 62
  • W.J. Snyman (Comdt) ..... 36
  • M.J. Mathyssen .. 62
  • W.N. Pienaar .. 21
  • D.J. van Niekerk . 57
  • A.N. Pienaar ... 27
  • G.P.S. Badenhorst ... 33
  • H.J. Badenhorst .... 58
  • J.J. Barkhuizen .... 55
  • J.D. Beneke ...... 53
  • D.A. v. d. Berg .... 33
  • v.d. Berg .... -
  • P.V. Biljoen ...... 37
  • B.N. Botes ....... 68
  • F. Botha ........ -
  • F.W. Botha ...... 24
  • S.F. Botha ...... 31
  • R.J. Buitendag ..... 28
  • N.P. Campher ..... 17
  • P. Daffne ..... 52
  • W.P.V. Deventer ... 46
  • S.C. Dirker ...... 29
  • A.J.S.V. Emmenis .. 24
  • J. Erikson ....... 31
  • C.F. Ferreira ..... 22
  • F.S. Grobbelaar .... -
  • J.S. Grobbelaar .... 20
  • D.J. Harmse ...... 25
  • Dr G.A. Harmse .... 20?
  • S.A. Harmse ...... 16
  • S.F. Ingerer ...... -
  • W.J. Jordaan ..... 29
  • P.P.J. Kruger ..... 19
  • J.C. Lademan .... 26
  • A.H. Lamprecht .... 24
  • B.J. Liebenberg .... 74
  • S.P.v.d. Linde .... 65
  • P.S. Lubbe ...... 32
  • J.J. Marnewick .... 61
  • B.J. v.d.Merwe .... 42
  • D.A. v.d.Merwe ... 28
  • W.A.D.J.C. Nel ... 61
  • J.C. Oosthuizen .... 30
  • A.J. Pienaar ...... 34
  • H.P. Pieters ...... 31
  • C.J. Petgieter ..... 33
  • J.H. Retief ...... 22
  • M. Breedt ....... -
  • J.A. Sadie ...... 36
  • J.C. Schoeman ..... 44
  • F.A.C. Smit ..... 32
  • D. de Sousa ...... 27
  • T.G. Steenkamp .... 56
  • D. Steyn ........ -
  • B.J. Stone ....... 24
  • J. Strydom ...... 63
  • J.N.S. Strydom .... 46
  • H. du Toit ...... 44
  • A. du Toit ...... -
  • C.S. Venter ...... 32
  • P. Viljoen ....... -
  • A.A. de Villiers .... 29
  • D.H.J. Vorster .... -
  • C.J.J. van Vuuren ... 51
  • C.J. van Vuuren .... 47
  • C. van Vuuren ..... -
  • J.D. v.d. Westhuizen .. 41
  • J.M. de Wet ...... 27
  • P.J. Willemse ..... 23
  • J.N. van Wyk ..... 24
  • F.C. Wynand ..... 21
  • G.I. van Zyl ...... 19

Died and Buried at Sea

Those who died on sea on the way to St. Helena were buried at sea.

How to Participate

If you have an ancestor who was in the ABW as POW on ST HELENA:

  1. Get yourself added as a collaborator
  2. Navigate to your ancestor's profile
  3. Under the "More Actions" link choose "Add to Project"
  4. Select the "POW ST HELENA" project

How to add a link is explained in the attached document - Adding links to Geni profiles to projects.

Optional:

  • Include in the "About Me" section of each person a brief biographical sketch of their lives. Also include their Settler party and ship name and arrival date if known
  • Include a photograph/painting of your ancestor if one exists.
  • Your ancestor's profiles should be marked as "public" and not "private".
  • All included profiles should include full identifying information including birth and death dates as well as birth and death locations. It would also be very helpful if the immediate family of your pioneer ancestor, (their parents, siblings and children) profiles were public profiles also.
  • Do not make public any profiles of living people.

NOTE: All POWs included on this project will have their profiles editable by other geni.com collaborators of this project. The object of reproducing the list here is to see if these people can be located on Geni and perhaps develop trees from them. To take part in any project - you do need to first be a collaborator - so join the project. See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!