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

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Jacobs Siding
picture by coutesy of eGGSA tombstone project.

People in this camp


People who died in this camp


A little history

It is extraordinarily difficult to describe some of the Natal camps since many of the records were destroyed at some point by the Natal Archives Repository. In addition, Jacobs Siding camp was established after the visit of the Ladies Committee, so they did not report on it. All we have, therefore, are a handful of references.

Jacobs Siding camp was essentially an overflow of Merebank camp, built to house the Transvaal families sent down to the coast early in 1902. The camp was located on the Bluff railway line, about ½ mile from Merebank. Plans for the camp were drawn up in November 1901 and, at this stage, Jacobs was intended to accommodate about 5,000 ‘souls’ (a later report suggested that only 3,000 people would be housed there. Some families appear to have arrived there by December 1901 when it was reported that a number of people had already been housed in semi-permanent huts. By 1 March 1902 there were 1,094 inmates and this had risen to 2,587 by the end of that month (compared with 8,305 in Merebank), and in April there were 3,080, when the camp reached its peak.1

Jacobs appears to have been a healthy camp. One woman died there in February 1902 and only four people were in the hospital. By March 1902 the deaths had risen to 11, with 63 in hospital (compared with 43 deaths in Merebank and 142 registered sick). The following month deaths had decreased to only three. In February 1902, also, a school was started.2

One indication that Jacobs Siding was a relatively important camp in the Natal system is the amount spent on it. Jacobs Siding seems to have been the third most expensive camp after Merebank and Wentworth. In March 1902, for instance, the costs were £2206 8s 9d, compared with £3203 15s 9d for Merebank and £757 6s 10d for Pietermaritzburg (one of the oldest camps).

At the end of May peace was declared, an announcement which was often received in disappointed silence amongst the Boer women. General Schalk Burger went round the Natal camps to explain to the people why the Boer leaders had taken this decision. Jacobs Siding received him with a ‘nicely decorated’ station platform, two ensigns [flags] over the gates and the sign ‘Welcome’ in large letters.

As the Boers were repatriated to their homes, Jacobs Siding became a holding camp for the residue of people from Wentworth but from there the people were moved to Merebank before they went home. The camp remained open until the end of the year only because three of the inmates were too ill to move.






  • Botha, Mrs Cornelia Johanna (25).
  • Husband POW in India Dirk Jacobus Gerhardus Stephanus Botha
  • Camp History: Unique ID no 125252 Tent no 549
  • 20/9/1901-6/4/1902 Irene RC
  • 2 of her sons Died here.
  • Transferred on 6/4/1902 to Wentworth - 9/4/1902 anf the transferred back to Irene
  • Her children were:
  • Pieter Jacobus Botha (12) and two dead under deaths.
  • Farm History: Roodeplaats, Pretoria




  • Botha Cornelis Andries (5 years 10 months)on 2/11/1901 of measels s.o. D J G S Cornelia Johanna Botha.
  • Botha, Daniel Johannes (1 month) Born in Irene Camp on 23/10/1901 and died of measels 2/12/1901


  • Steenkamp, Andries Hendrik (43 years) on 19 August 1902. Previously of Farm Mooihoek, Piet Retief.

How to Participate

If you have an ancestor who was in the ABW Jacobs Siding 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 ===Jacobs Siding===" 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.

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