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Anglo Boere Oorlog/Boer War (1899-1902) HEIDELBERG Camp/Kamp

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  • Barend Petrus de Beer (1816 - 1883)
    Bronne: Huwelik - Boer War: Heidelberg Concentration Camp Name: Mr Barend Petrus de Beer Born in camp? No Date death: 10/08/1902 Place of death: Heidelberg RC Age died: 86 years ...
  • Andries Jacobus Neethling (1853 - 1932)
    Marriage (05/05/1885) : "South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Marriages, 1870-1930," database, FamilySearch ( : 27 September 2019), > image 1 of 1; Citing NARS "Civil registration (marriages - coloureds), Tr...
  • Rachel Petronella Neethling (1862 - 1931)
    Marriage (05/05/1885) : "South Africa, Transvaal, Civil Marriages, 1870-1930," database, FamilySearch ( : 27 September 2019), > image 1 of 1; Citing NARS "Civil registration (marriages - coloureds), Tr...
  • Anna (Annie) van der Merwe Schoeman (1895 - 1978)
    Boer War: Heidelberg & Johannesburg Concentration Camps Name: Miss Anna van der Merwe Other Names: Neethling, Anna van de Merwe Born in camp? No Age died: Died in camp? No Gender: femal...
  • Maria Magdalena Pretorius (1886 - 1936)
    Britse Konsentrasiekamp: Heidelberg



The aim of the project is to connect as many Geni profiles onto the project.

People in camp


People who died in this camp


A short history.
Heidelberg was one of the oldest camps and was probably already in existence in October 1900, when families harbouring Boer commandos were brought into the town, although there may also have been substantial numbers of destitute Boers for whom the British had to provide. By February 1901 there were over 1,200 people living there but the camp was never very large. At the end of June 1901 there were only 751 inmates and the number remained at under 1,000 for most of the period of the existence of the camp. Later a number of the families were moved to the Natal camps. Unusually, the superintendent for the entire life of the camp was a local Heidelberg man, 32-year-old Lieutenant Arnold Allison, previously with the Corps of Guides, who was married to a Boer woman.1 A number of Free State families had fled to Heidelberg as the British army advanced and they also found themselves in the camp. In May, however, they were returned to Kroonstad. It was some time before a similar exchange took place from the Free State, however, since Transvaal ‘refugees’ were not accepted until English-speaking Uitlander refugees were also allowed back – an indication of how sensitive the British authorities were to the anxieties of the impoverished Uitlanders at the coast. A black camp was probably formed early in 1901 but there is little information about it. There were also a handful of black servants in the white camp – 49, including 20 children in November 1901.2

The camp soon outgrew its original site and a second camp was established towards the end of May 1901, linked by a deep sluit and a bridge of poplars and stone, it was reported. Later a third camp was also set up. Dr Kendal Franks considered the site a good one on high ground, well supplied with water. The camp seems never to have been fenced although both Dr Franks and the Ladies Committee recommended it, the former because the people, who were allowed into town twice a week, tended to bring back ‘quack remedies’, Boer traditional medicines, while the Ladies Committee wanted to keep out animals. The British doctors, schooled in a more modern medical tradition, heartily disapproved of Boer medicine. Heidelberg was one of the camps where the use of folk remedies was commented upon, including cow dung mixed with sulphur, giving rise to diarrhoea, and cotton tied round babies’ wrists to prevent convulsions. ‘Would that all Boer “remedies” were equally harmless’, the Ladies Committee lamented. Another medical curiosity in the camp, upon which Dr Franks commented, was a pair of dwarfs, brothers, both burghers and both of whom were married with large families. The children, he noted, were well formed.3

Allison was an easy, sympathetic superintendent, untroubled by Boer habits which disturbed the visiting British inspectors. While the tents were always clean, the appearance of the camp was scruffy. A number of people lived in sod houses, roofed with galvanised iron and others remained for some time in their wagons with tents pitched at the side. As the camp expanded, however, tents were pitched in the approved style in neat rows. Facilities tended to be rudimentary. There were no washing facilities for the women at all and only rough provision for the men, the Ladies Committee noted in November 1901. ‘Small black boys’ were employed to keep the latrines clean which also seemed hardly ideal. Nor was Allison inclined to force the children into hospital. The people preferred nursing their own children, he noted, until it became necessary to send them to hospital. The low rate of sickness during the early months made this laissez faire attitude possible. In July 1901 there were only eleven deaths, nine of them from measles.4

Blue names Geni Profiles

Black names Not on Geni Yet



  • Came from Langzeekoeigat, Heidelberg and was captured on 19/1/1901 and transferred to MEREBANK CAMP on 22/10/1901
  • With her were the following children, Hendrik Abraham (7),Petronella Elizabeth Maria (6)and Johanes Petrus Godfried (4).


  • Johannes Frederikus Wilhelmus Baarsden (21) Unique ID NO 120914
  • Camp History:Tent number: 902
  • Farm History: Schiekfontein, Heidelberg
  • Relationships: is the husband of Mrs Johannes Frederikus Wilhelmus Baarsden














People who died







  • Aged 23 Son of Jan Gabriel Marais. He came from the farm Diepkloof in Heidelberg.
  • From Diepkloof Heidelberg. 1/6/190 -19/7/1902
  • D.o. Jan Gabriel tent 511. Came from the farm Diepkloof, Heidelberg
  • S.o. Jan Gabriel Marais from the farm Diepkloof, Heidelberg. Tent 511
  • Came to camp and stayed in tent 511 with her children. She was self supporting.
  • Had two farms Vlakplaats and Diepkloof in Heidelberg. Was captured on the latter.
  • Farm History: Vlakplaats, Hedelberg.
  • Family: D.o. Sarel Johannes Marais and Aletta Maria buurman. Both died.
  • Farm History: Vlakplaats, Hedelberg.
  • Family: D.o. Sarel Johannes Marais and Aletta Maria buurman. Both died.

How to Participate

If you have an ancestor who was in the ABW Heidelberg Concentration Camp:

  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 ABO ===Heidelberg===" project

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


  • 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 POW included on this project will have their profiles editable by other 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!

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