History Lynne Martin SA war


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History Lynne Martin SA war

  1. 1. The British journalist, WT Stead, wrote this about the concentration camps: "Every one of these children who died as a result of the halving of their rations, in order to exert pressure on their family still on the battle- field, was purposefully murdered. The system of half rations stands exposed and stark as a cold-blooded deed of state policy employed with the purpose of ensuring the surrender of people whom we were not able to defeat on the battlefield." Despite the English claims that the concentration camps were "voluntary refugee camps" the following questions must be asked: From whom did the refugees flee? If it was ‘voluntary’, why did the women and children have to be dragged to the concentration camps? Why should the "voluntary refugee camps" be enclosed by barbed wire fences and the inmates be overseen by armed wardens? Why would one of the camp commanders make the following statement: "The wardens were under orders not to interfere with the inmates, unless they should try to escape."? What kind of "voluntary refugee" would want to escape? Fleeing women & children children in concentration camps Mother & child in concentration camp Mothers & children in concentration camp
  2. 2. They are not buried here; they are planted. And they will forever be growing in the hearts of the Boer people. scorched earth policy scorched earth policy - sheep killed Bodies in trench at Spioenkop War memorial at Spioenkop Women’s monument (Vrouemonument) in Bloemfontein Anti-war cartoon Kings, rulers of Europe, Uncle Sam (America) are seen standing doing nothing while the helpless innocent women (2 Boer republics) are burnt at the stake by John Bull (England)
  3. 3. While the two main forces in the Anglo-Boer War 2 were white, it was not an exclusively white war. At least 15 000 Blacks were used as combatants by the British, especially as scouts to track down Boer commandoes, and as armed block house guards, but also in non-combatant roles by both British and Boer forces as wagon drivers, etc. black dispatch rider Mafekeng black ‘soldiers’ Black people suffered severely as result of the British “scorched earth policy” during which those who lived on Boer farms were removed to concentration camps, as were the women and children of their Boer employers. The rural economy was destroyed as crops were burnt and livestock butchered. Displaced and captured civilians (black and white) were forced into ‘refugee camps', a total misnomer, because usually they did not seek refuge in the camps but were rounded up by the British forces and forced into the camps, which soon became known as ‘concentration camps' - separated along racial lines . Field-Marshal Lord Roberts had an ulterior motive in putting Blacks into camps, namely to make them work, either to grow crops for the troops or to dig trenches, be wagon drivers or work as miners once the gold mines became partly operational again. They did not receive rations, hardly any medical support or shelter and were expected to grow their own crops. They could exchange labour for food or buy mealie meal at a cheaper price. The inmates of the Black camps, situated along railway lines and on the border, formed an early warning system against Boer attacks on the British military's primary logistic artery – the railway lines - and acted as scouts for British forces. This strategy alienated Whites and Blacks from each other by furthering distrust between the two population groups and was detrimental to racial harmony in South Africa after the war. Black people were also affected by the war Amakholwa (Christians) were recruited to serve as scounts during the siege of Ladysmith