The Anglo Boer War (1899-1902)
This project is an extension of the The Anglo Boer War (1899-1902). The main focus of the main project is to feature the prominent figures of the war. This project is a place where we can add information about both British/Colonial and Boer foot soldiers who fought in the Anglo-Boer War, somewhere to assemble profiles of these men who are on Geni and to share interesting tales and anecdotes about them.
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- Please add the relevant profiles of soldiers (not their entire descendants - only those who fought in the war). This is easily done from the profile page using the Add to project link. Only profile profiles can be added to projects.
- If you have interesting stories or anecdotes about someone who fought in this war please add him to the relevant section below with a brief description, adding full details to the "About" section on the profile.
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On 11 Oct 1899 the Boers declared war on the British after Britain rejected the Transvaal ultimatum which had demanded that all disputes between the two states be settled by arbitration; that British troops on the borders be withdrawn; and that troops bound for South Africa by ship should not disembark.
The Orange Free State joined the Transvaal in accordance with the alliance of 1897. During the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) the Boer commando formed the backbone of the Boer forces. The commandos disbanded after the declaration of peace in 1902.
Each commando was named after the town it was attached to (e.g. Bloemfontein Commando). Each town was responsible for a district, divided into wards. The commando was commanded by a kommandant and each ward by a veldkornet or field cornet. The commando was made up of volunteers, all officers were appointed by the members of the commando, and not by the government. Every burger (i.e. citizen) between 16 and 60 was on standby with immediate notice to be ready to report within a few hours to an assembly point stated in the notice. The message usually was delivered by a dispatch rider to people on his list, then each one notified another few on their list, and so on. Although the commandos lacked discipline, they knew the veld were toughened through struggling to farm a harsh and forbidding land. This lack of conventional military forces resulted in over confidence in the well-disciplined and organised British Army, few of whose generals understood South African conditions.
The Kommando was not restricted to a certain size. It could be anything from platoon size (12-30 fighters) up to a regiment (2,000) or a brigade (5,000). The size depended on the task and the commander’s rank usually reflected the Kommando’s size (although rank and size might often be mismatched, such as in the case of the young and brilliant General Wynand Malan who often commanded small raiding forces, and General Jan Smuts who commanded only 200-500 men in some raids into the Cape colony).
Every burger had to have at least one horse with saddle, a rifle with a minimum amount of cartridges , and usually 7 days of provisions to be kept ready in case of call-up.
Provisions consisted of Biltong (dried, salted meat) dried homemade biscuits, and coffee with sugar. Extras in the form of home brewed “Mampoer” (Moonshine) was optional but always present. Blankets and bedrolls were attached to the saddles or a group’s were put on a horse or mule drawn cart. Cattle-drawn carts or wagons as typically used in British troop columns, suitable to accompany foot-slogging infantry, were considered too slow for military operations based on the cavalry concept. The Boers had no infantry and all ranks were mounted. There were no infantry footsloggers – and so the Commandos were extremely mobile. A dismounted Boer would soon be captured - many Boers had extra horses.
Information about those who fought for the Boers can be found at Anglo Boer War Museum
Service men - Boers
- Barend Herculaas Herbst 1872 - 1957
- Christiaan Frederik Herbst 1858
- Johannes Gerhardus Herbst 1852
- Joseph Cornelis Herbst 1881 - 23 July 1901
- Philippus Jacobus Herbst 1871 - 1941
- Willem Jacobus Herbst 1874 - 1936
- Willem Hendrik Jacobus Casparus Herbst 1848 - 1902
- Abraham Benjamin Joubert 1865
- Abraham Benjamin Joubert 1861
- Albertus Gustavus Joubert 1873 - 1939
- Carel Herculaas Jacobus Joubert 1879 - 23 March 1901
- Christiaan Gerhardus Joubert 1857 - 1921
- Christiaan Gerhardus Joubert 1865 - 31 October 1901
- Christoffel Johannes Joubert
- Cornelis Ignatius Michael Joubert 1867
- Daniel Francois Joubert 1849 - 1902
- Daniel Jacobus Joubert 1855
- Daniel Johannes Joubert 1873 - 7 March 1901
- David Johannes Joubert 1849 - 1903
- David Johannes Joubert 1870 - 1945
- David Johannes Joubert 1882 - 1935
- Francois Jacobus Joubert 1863 - 1929
- Francois Jacobus Joubert 1875 - 1965
- Francois Jacobus Joubert 1878 - 18 November 1899
- Francois Johannes Joubert 1865 - 1934
- Frederik Jacobus Joubert 1862 - 1941
- Frederik Jacobus Joubert 1886
- Frederik Johannes Joubert 1847 - 1916
- Frederik Johannes Joubert 1885 - 1965
- Gerhardus Josua Joubert 1878
- Gideon Jacobus Johannes Joubert 1866
- Gideon Johannes Joubert 1860 - 1932
- Gideon Pieter Joubert 1881
- Hendrik Johannes Joubert 1862 - 1939
- Hendrik Stephanus Joubert 1866-1949
- Hermanus Joubert 1849 - 2 September 1901
- Hermanus Joubert 1868
- Izak Jacob Joubert 1878
- Jacob Daniel de Bruyn Joubert 1848
- Jacobus Francois Joubert 1848
- Jacobus Francois Joubert 1864 - 1929
- Jacobus Petrus Joubert 1877 - 1929
- Jan Johannes Joubert 1865 - 1923
- Jan Johannes Joubert 1867 - 17 August 1901
- Jan Johannes Joubert 1883 - 1923
- Jan Hendrik Joubert 1848 - 1943
- Jan Hendrik Victor Joubert 1884
- Johannes Jacobus Joubert 1861 - 21 October 1899
- Johannes Jacobus Joubert 1875
- Johannes Lodewyk Joubert 1880 - 1970
- Johannes Nicolaas Rudolph Joubert 1844
- Jotham Joubert 1868 - 1947
- Jozua Joubert 1865
- Marthinus Joubert 1852
- Marthinus Godfried Joubert 1858 - 1946
- Marthinus Jacobus Joubert 1853 - 7 August 1901
- Marthinus Johannes Joubert 1849 - 1940
- Marthinus Stephanus Joubert 1861 - 1929
- Marthinus Stephanus Joubert 1885
- Pieter Gabriel Joubert 1836 - 1914
- Pieter Johannes Joubert 1838
- Pieter Johannes Joubert 1873
- Pieter Johannes Venter Joubert 1870 - 1948
- Pieter Jozua Joubert 1858 - 1937
- Stephanus Johannes Joubert 1867
- Willem Francois Joubert 1880
- Willem Francois Joubert 1881
- Willem Jacobus Joubert 1860 - 1936
- Michael Christoffel Roux 1864 - 27 November 1900
- Johannes Anthonie van Niekerk 1870 - 1900
In the course of the war, the British Army was reinforced by volunteer contingents from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Cape Colony and Natal. There is a list of all the British military units which illustrates the british strength. Large numbers of British armed forces were engaged first in open warfare, and subsequently in a long and bitter guerrilla campaign which ended with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902.
Britain’s Native African Troops: Considered especially outrageous by Boers was the British use of native African troops (serving for pay or other inducements), particularly due to the manner in which Britain used the Africans. To preserve British troop strength for the “fighting war,” the British typically used their native African troops behind the lines to round up Boer families (as well as rounding up many native Africans working for Boers or simply “caught in the middle” of the war) and transport them to the squalid concentration camps in which thousands of women and children – Boers and native Africans alike – died or suffered terrible hardship. During these forcible round ups of civilians, numerous outrages and frequent instances of brutality by African troops occurred – including many contemporary accounts of “molestation” of Boer women (“molestation” being the Victorian era code word for rape and sexual abuse). Inevitably, this bred an enduring legacy of ill-feeling and resentment between Boers and native Africans that only exacerbated already strained race relations.
The British forces were boosted by Burghers or Boers who surrendered voluntarily - known as hendsoppers. They usually signed an oath of neutrality and were housed in the same camps as the women and children, usually working for the British in one way or another.
Those who surrendered and fought alongside the British were known as joiners.
There were also young men/boys recruited to join the National Scouts - many from the Concentration Camps where they were being held.
Albert Grundlingh has written a book called "The dynamics of TREASON" which explores Boer collaboration in the war.
Casus-Belli.co.uk has a helpful guide to researching British and Colonial soldiers.
Servicemen - British/Colonial
- Gerhardus Herbst
- Petrus Hendrik Herbst
- Sarel Petrus/Charles Petrus Herbst
- Theunis Louis Herbst
- Willem Jacobus Herbst
- Willem Jacobus Herbst 1865
- Johannes Daniel (Hans) Jansen van Rensburg
- Gert Petrus Jacobus Joubert 1876 - 1942
- Izaak Jacob Joubert 1862
- Izak Jacob Joubert 18445
- Josua Andries Joubert 1863 - 1959
- Lucas Marthinus Joubert 1874
- Pieter Hendrik Johannes Joubert 1843 - 1905
- Sybrand Adriaan Cornelius de Fortier 1875 - 1908
- Jan Daniel Francois Joubert 1883
- Joachem Hendrik Joubert 1879
- Pieter Gabriel Joubert 1885 - 1975
- Philippus Olivier Joubert 1882
- Gert Louis Joubert 1864 - 1956
At the commencement of the war in South Africa the British Army had just 88 full time nurses and despite some initial hesitation on deploying nurses, Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service Reserve (PCANSR) formed the basis of the employment of some 2000 nurses from all over the world during the war.
Read more at Nurses in the Boer War who also have an Australian Military Ancestor Search.
There is also a nurses data base at Nursing in the Boer war
- Bidmead, Martha Sarah (1862–1940)
Martha Sarah Bidmead was the first South Australian and one of three Australian nurses who were awarded the Royal Red Cross (RRC) medal for service during the Boer War. After her war service she continued her nursing career in South Australia and assumed the position of superintendent of the District Trained Nursing Society of South Australia from 1912 until her retirement in 1926.
- Alice Sweeting Bond
Miss Alice Sweeting Bond was appointed to the Army Nursing Service on 27 January 1892. Serving in the Boer War, she was present at the defence of Ladysmith and in operations in Natal, October 1899-May 1902, serving in No.15 General Hospital, Howick, Natal. For her services she was twice mentioned in despatches and awarded the RRC. Appointed to the QAIMNS in 1903, she was promoted to Matron in 1907. Serving in the Great War, she was again mentioned in despatches and awarded a bar to her RRC. Matron Bond retired on 1 December 1920. MID LG 8 Feb 1901, 10 September 1901, 21 June 1916.
- Ellen Julie (Nellie) Gould
- Frances (Fanny) Hines - Australia's First Nursing Casualty
Links to Useful and Interesting Resources
- The Register of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 is the largest database of those who served in the Anglo-Boer War. The Register contains over 200,000 names and a complete and corrected casualty roll. Other information includes first names, medal entitlements, memorials, biographies and literary references.
- South Africa and the Boer Military System
- South Africa’s Boer Fighters In The Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902 Part 1
- South Africa’s Boer Fighters In The Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902 Part 2
- Soldiers of the Queen