VREDEFORT ROAD CAMP AND NATIVE CAMP
- Photo’s from the website of eGGSA link above
People in this camp
People who died in this camp
Vredefort Road Vredefort Road was the orphan of the camp system. It was located in the flat maizelands of the Free State highveld, at a station now known as Greenlands, on the railway line south of the town of Vredefort. It was popular neither with the camp authorities nor with later historians of the camps, and it was probably only established because the military did not know what to do with the hundreds of blacks and whites who congregated near the military encampment at the end of 1900. Inspector Daller described the place in May 1901 as ‘a bare stoney bleak spot on the slope of a hillside’, while George Brink, the superintendent’s son, noted that it was ‘laid out on a bare slope of a flint-stoned kopje in a notoriously bad hail belt. . . . Not a tree was in sight, and the nearest water supply was about three miles distant’.1 With little water, often short of supplies and vulnerable to Boer attack, the camp inmates (for there was a large black camp as well as a smaller white one), led difficult and restricted lives. Yet, ironically, we know more about daily life at Vredefort Road than many other camps. Vredefort Road was probably formed towards the end of 1900 and it was managed initially by Lieutenant R. Splaine of the 3rdDurham Light Infantry. When the civilian administration took over in February 1901, there was a population of 163 whites and nearly 1,000 blacks.. Splaine struggled to deal with the black refugees still pouring in for he had no more room and no food. Shortly after he was removed but he was not replaced for some time and the Vredefort Road medical officer, J.P. Walker, was left to negotiate the erection of hospital tents and the provision of medical care.2 By the end of February some kind of administration had been set in place but it remained haphazard. The camps were not at Vredefort Road station at all, but some three miles to the south, and many of the refugees were simply ‘scattered all around’. Stores were not kept in the camp and tents were in short supply. ‘The refugees have a very unpleasant time of it on account of the incessant rains and bad state of tents’, Inspector Daller noted. The first official report, sent in by the local officer commanding, Colonel C.M. Keighley, also commented that food supplies were ‘not good’ because of the great increase in numbers. The hospital had not been erected because of a shortage of tents, and the water supply was only ‘fair’. Civilian staff had not yet arrived. A trickle of medical reports provided the only other information about the camps. Fortunately health was ‘good’although some typhoid had appeared in the white camp. Finally, in March 1901 Mr Nowers was appointed as superintendent but he lacked the ability to run these difficult camps. Although he had been a good magistrate, in the camp he seemed ‘helpless, nervous and rather wanting in common sense’, Inspector Daller thought. The clerk, the son of the local contractor, was both very young and‘stupid’. The only intelligent staff member whttp://www2.lib.uct.ac.za/mss/bccd/Histories/Vredefort_Road/as Mr Daneel, the black superintendent . http://www2.lib.uct.ac.za/mss/bccd/Histories/Vredefort_Road/
- Maria Susanna van Biljon 1882-1902
Camp Details Name: Vredefort Road NRC Date closed: Unique ID: 35
Blue names Geni Profiles
Black names Not on Geni Yet
They died in this Camp
- Johanna Catharina Herbst 1879 - 18 April 1902
- Cause of death – Enteric
- Willem Hendrik Jacobus Casparus Johannes Herbst 11 May 1825 - 22 October 1902
- Cause of death – Heart Disease
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