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Carvings from the Veldt


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Lecture by Dave George to the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association (HBSA), Bisley, 20th August 2011
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Carvings from the Veldt

  1. 1. CARVINGS from the VELDT<br />Rifle Carvings from the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902: “Part One“and“Part Two” <br />My books examine the ‘Man behind the Gun’.<br />I endeavour to relate a brief service history about a soldier or burger. <br />This adds a very personal touchto these historic weapons, that would otherwise remain as ‘nameless’ rifles.<br />I am passionateabout recording as many of these weapons as possible. My thanks to all you collectors for your input.<br />
  2. 2. CARVINGS from the VELDT<br />Rifle Carvings from the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902<br />By: Dave C. George<br />These two books are pictorial histories - over 1,700 photos; most in full Colour <br />This fascinating subject had never previously been documented. As a result, I started my research, and in 2004, I published my first book …followed in 2009 with a ‘Part Two’ 350 page follow-on edition.<br />Rifles ‘lived and fought’ with their owners and were very personal and prized items to the Boers. Sometimes their lives depended on their trusted rifles, which they often ‘personalised’ and decorated with their names etc. <br />Left:The ZAR coat of arms is carved onto the butt of this ‘Boer Mauser’ rifle .<br />(ZAR = Transvaal).<br />
  3. 3. What started myinterest in Military History ?<br />Left:.577” calibre Mk 3 Snider <br />has a ‘Henry’sPatent Rifling’ stamp on the barrel and was sold by a local Cape Colony Gunsmith ….<br />‘A.J. Maulin, Queenstown’. <br />Four generations of my family have served in the military, or in various wars. <br />At the tender age of 12 my dear old Gran presented me with my great-great grandfather’s model 1875 ‘Snider’ 2-band rifle (calibre .577”). This rifle had been used by Grandad in the 9thFrontier War (Kaffir War) of 1877-78.<br />(I also have his son Jim’s QSA: No. 8Trooper in the Cathcart D.M. Troop.)<br />Gran later gave me her late husband’s Pattern 1888 bayonet. While in action, a Boer bullet had hit the blade and snapped it in two – causing a bad bruise to grandad’s leg. I was also given his Queen Victoria 1900 Christmas tin of chocolates. Forty years later, I managed to obtain his three service medals (donated by my cousin). <br />The medals awarded to Armourer Sergeant Alf Baker, of the Queenstown Rifle Volunteers:<br /> Queen’s South Africa Medal, King’s South Africa Medal & Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.<br />
  4. 4. “CARVINGS from the Veldt” My First book (published 2004). Features 134 carved & engraved weapons, 320 photos – most in colour. Including 40 British rifles, mainly carved to Colonial troops.<br />Left: Front Cover:<br />Above: Carving on a Boer Mauser – with ZAR coat of arms & motto ‘Eendracht Maakt Magt’.<br />This Boer custom of ‘carving’ was copied by many Colonial soldiers – mostly Australians and New Zealanders. <br />
  5. 5. 5<br />Due to a keen response to my First book, <br />I embarked on a follow-on edition:<br />Left: Front cover of my “Part Two” book; featuring another 306 ‘carved & engraved’ weapons – rifles, carbines and handguns. There are over 1,400 photos (most in colour). The book also has a selection of swords, bayonets, bandoliers, ammunition, medals, headgear worn by both sides, and a large variety of unit badges. Badges worn by both the ZAR and OVS artillery are also featured.<br />The service histories of Boers and soldiers are researched along with original photos of the men. Amongst the Boer weapons are four carved rifles used by Boer Generals. Two new chapters cover Anglo-Boer War re-enactors and trench-art ,as well as carvings by Boer POWs (such as pipes etc.).<br /> (Book Published in 2009)<br />
  6. 6. 1899 Map featuring the Two Boer Republics (ZARandOVS), the British Colonies of Natal and Cape Colony and the three towns that were invested by the Boers. The Red arrows indicate the initial advances made by the Boers – after 12th October, 1899. <br />Pitsani - The Jameson Raid launched from here <br />Gold found<br />The Dutch first arrived in 1652: the British in 1806<br />
  7. 7. The ‘Jameson Raid’ - the ‘Dress rehearsal’ for the Anglo-Boer War.A brief look at some of the causes of the war. The large influx of gold miners & tradesmen (mostly English speaking), caused growing alarm to the Boers. They felt they could soon be ‘swamped’ by these ‘Uitlanders’ (foreigners). In January 1896, 500 horsemen of Cecil J. Rhodes’s BSA Company rode into the ZAR. Their ill conceived plan was to overthrow Paul Kruger’s Boer republic. The plan was that the armed ‘Uitlanders’ in Johannesburg would ‘rise up’ and assist Jameson’s force (Rhodes had smuggled thousands of Lee-Metfords into the ZAR in preparation for the uprising). The Uitlanders failed to take up arms and Jameson’s force was defeated by sharp-shooting Boer Commando’s at ‘Vlakfontein’ near Doornkop on 2-1-1896. The Boers were alarmed with this flagrant ‘British’ aggression and within a week, Commandant General Piet Joubertordered thousands of rifles; initially.577/.450 Martini types, and the 8x60mm Guedes single shot. <br />Later and very wisely, the Boers ordered 37,000 of the very latest M95 Mauser rifles and carbines. The Boers also ordered modern artillery from France and Germany & built four forts to guard their capital city Pretoria. The stage was set. The Boers were prepared, they knew that war would was only a matter of ‘when’.<br />Left: Percy Moore was an early Rhodesian pioneer. He served in the Victoria Column in 1893, and the Matabeleland Relief Force in 1896. He was one of Jameson’s Raiders and was captured by the Boers at Doornkop in Jan. 1896. <br />Right: Jameson’s last stand. The raiders had 3 field guns and 8 Maxim machine guns. 16 raiders were KIA and 56 WIA.<br />Percy joined the Imperial Light Horse (ILH) in October 1899 and was wounded in action atElandslaagte on21st October 1899 He took part in the relief of both Ladysmith and Mafeking. <br />His Medals: BSA Coy 1893, Bar Rhodesia 1896, QSA Clasps: Relief of Mafeking, Elandslaagte, Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal. <br />
  8. 8. Original Discharge Papers for Trooper Percy Moore – a Jameson Raider.<br />Above: Imperial Light Horse, dated 15th Dec. 1900.<br />Members of many Colonial units were discharged once the Boer capitals had been captured in 1900. However, although the generals thought the war was all but over, the Boers had very different ideas ! The ‘Bittereinders’ were determined fight on and preserve their hard won independence.<br />Above: Matabeleland <br />Relief Force, 1896.<br />Right: BSAP dated Nov. 1898.<br />
  9. 9. Campaigns Listed for the QSA Imperial Light Horse<br />It is indeed interesting to note the engagements listed on Percy Moore’s Discharge paper. All of the clasps awarded on his QSA, correspond to those listed on this form, which was signed by the C.O. Of the ILH - Major H. Rogers.<br />QSA Clasps awarded: Relief of Mafeking, Elandslaagte(he was WIA), <br /> Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal<br />
  10. 10. A selection of Small Arms used by the Boers & British forces.<br />Rifles and Carbines<br />Comparison of the Mauser (below) with two other rifles used by the Boers: a Lee-Enfield Mk 1* (above) and a Krag-Jorgensen 6.5 x 55mm (centre).<br />Three variations of the famous M95 “Boer Mauser”.<br />The ‘Mainstay’ of the Boer forces – all 7 x 57mm cal.<br />Carbine, Plezier Mauser (centre) and Long Rifle.<br />Many of these British weapons were captured <br />and used by the Boers<br />Comparison of the Mauser rifle (below) with a .303” Lee-Metford, Lee-Enfield and various Martini variants.<br />Martini Carbines: used by both British & Boers: Martini-Henry, Martini-Metford, &Martini-Enfield. <br />
  11. 11. Typical Boers on CommandoAll carry Mauser rifles, two of which have names carved on the butts. Note the variety of bandoliers. <br />
  12. 12. Practice of Carving names on their Rifles<br /><ul><li>Unlike conventional European armies, the Boers had a fascination with carving their names onto the butts and stocks of their rifles as a form of identification. They also sometimes carved their birth dates, places of birth, farm names and the Commandos they fought with etc:
  13. 13. There are also examples ofcrests, scrolls and national flags – some are beautifully carved works of art.
  14. 14. M95 Mauser Rifles issued: When war clouds were gathering in October 1899, many of the burgers without rifles and those with older weapons, were issued with new M95 Mauser rifles. This was the best modern rifle available, and gave the Boers the ‘edge’ in battle.
  15. 15. Although not documented, it is said that the ZAR burgers were officially encouraged to carve their names onto the stocks of their newly issued rifles. One could say that Louis Botha the Commandant General of the ZAR forces, set a precedent by posing for that famous photo of himself sitting on a chair in the field.
  16. 16. Luckily for posterity, this Boer custom of personalising and decorating </li></ul> their rifles continued during the war.  <br />. Thispractice of carving names onto a rifle stock, would have been a court martial offence in most regular armies (where soldiers are expected to memorise the serial number). One can hardly imagine the Boer farmers accepting this as a sensible or practical idea – they simply carved their names onto the stocks of their rifles.<br />Right: Commandant Generaal Piet Joubert a ‘Martini Man’.<br /> <br />
  17. 17. Boer General Louis Botha in the field. He is holding a profusely carved Mauser carbine. The ZAR coat of arms is featured on the butt, along with battle names such as ‘Dundee’ and ‘Natal Ingetrokken Oct. 1899’. An example in my own collection has similar battle names and was obviously carved by the same ‘artistic’ Boer (refer pages 182-184 in my “Part Two” book).<br />Above: a 7mm Boer Mauser carbinethat has similar battle names & dates carved on the stock, including; Natal Ingetrokken, Dundee, Modderspruit, Colenso and Spion Kop. The ZAR coat of arms is carved onto the butt, as well as the burger’s name and Johannesburg Commando. (refer pages 117-119 in my “Part Two” book)<br />
  18. 18. Boer Artillery uniforms <br />Above: Comparison:<br />Tommy Atkins<br />Left:Typical bearded Boer. Good horsemen and mostly good shots. Most wore their drab farming clothes. This man is armed with a.577/.450” cal. Martini-Henry rifle. This Boer is in stark contrast to the uniformed ZAR and OVS Artillery. (Although obsolete by 1899, many of the older Boers favoured the heavy calibre Martini and many were used in the early stage of the conflict. )<br />Above: The ZAR and OVS Artillery wore uniforms. On the right is Lt. W.G. O’Reilly, DTD, OVSAC. Note the ‘Pickelhaube’ helmet. OVS = 400 men and ZAR = 800 men at outbreak of war.<br />
  19. 19. Selection of Badges worn by ZAR & OVS forces 1899-1902There are some most impressive and interesting metal badges that were worn by the uniformed Boer forces. These were the ZAR Staatsartillerie, ZARP (ZAR Police) and the OVS Artillerie Corps.<br />Above and left:<br />A selection of ZAR badges and a belt buckle.<br />Above: Slouch hat badges worn by officers and other ranks of the OVS Artillerie Corps.<br />Above & Left:Selection of ZAR badges, one of which is from a pre-war Volunteer unit.<br />Small OVS badge<br />
  20. 20. From ‘basic’ initials to ornately carved names<br />Left: PV = Piet Viljoen (G.P.B. Viljoen, Colenso.)<br />Three examples of burgers who initially carved their initials onto the stocks of their new rifles. At a later stage they had a more ‘professional’ job done by a fellow ‘artistic’ burger. The surname Neethling is incorrectly spelt as ‘Neetleng’ (phonetic pronunciation). Note also the ‘reversed’ letter ‘N’. (Neetleng’s initials SN below.) A mixture of upper and lower case letters are also often encountered, <br />as can be seen with J.H. diedericKs. <br />HF: Hendrik Stephanus Freislich of the farm ‘Witkoppies’.<br /> The ‘Neetleng Mauser has a beautiful honey coloured <br />stock. Matching Serial No. B2961 to action, bolt & rod<br />W. Van Niekerk, DANfOntIN Note upper & lower case<br />
  21. 21. Confusion with BOER family names, spellings & identification <br />Boer Christian Names: There are no STRICT guidelines, but as a rule, the eldest son get his father's Christian name, the second son get his mother's father's name, the third son get his <br />father's name. If the father and the grandfather happen to have the same name and the eldest <br />son therefore has their name, the third son gets <br />the name of his father's eldest brother. COMPLICATED ? – Are you as confused as I am ?!<br />Coetzee: another commonly encountered Boer surname.<br />The Afrikaners were a tightly knit society with regard to family ties. As they were a small pioneer nation, many families were related by marriage and these families often fought together in the same Commando - as father & son, cousins and neighbours etc. <br />These photos of the name L. BOTHA are examples of how confusing it can be for the researcher. This is also a case of an incorrectly spelt Christian name of Lewis(phonetic) instead of Louis. There are 9 Boers named L. Both who applied for their ABO campaign medals and 19 with the initial “L” who were captured and sent to POW Camps! (at least two are listed as Lewis – probably also misspelt ?)<br />Due to the above, I have had to make certain assumptions in my books, regarding the true identity of a burger. <br />The rifle above to ‘L. Botha’ reputedly came with a note saying it had belonged to the General - ...although the owner and myself I doubt this claim. !<br />
  22. 22. “Met God en de Mauser”<br />The Boers were a fiercely religious people. They firmly believed that God was on their side. <br />The Boers would fight to retain their hard-won independence, and put faith in “God en de Mauser”. This sentiment was often reflected on their rifles.<br />‘Met God Voor Land en Volk’ - M. Grabe<br />‘God Behoede Land en Volk’ -KSLI trophy<br />‘God met Ons’ – H.J. Schoeman<br />
  23. 23. Examples of carvings on Boer Rifles & CarbinesFrom basic initials to ornate designs.<br />Right: Heart designs were quite popular – probably with younger burgers.<br />Left: A very artistic example of a Boer named F.P. Massyn. Note the artistic border that surrounds the name. Research has indicated that there were two Boers that shared these same initials and surname. They were aged 18 and 21 and both were sent to POW Camps. <br />Above: Burger Jacobus Johannes Diederiks served in the Rustenburg Commando. He claimed his ABO campaign medal after their belated issue in 1921. <br />
  24. 24. Example of a Boer Mauser Rifle with details of the original owner: One side of the butt has the ZAR coat of arms (well worn due to continual service wear) and the opposite side has his personal details; ‘P.J. Pretorius’ his farm ‘Grootfontein’ and‘Wyk 1 Vrijheid’. With these details I was able to trace the location of his farm, close to the town of Vryheid.<br />
  25. 25. It’s all “Bull Dust” – a lucky historical find<br />This rifle was carried by burger Andries Lanser who served in the Heidelberg Commando. His younger son Jan served alongside his father, who was a ‘Bittereinder’. They both served to the end of the war. <br />Burger Andries Lanser with his family. Two of his sons also fought in the war. His oldest son Bastiaan (behind centre) served as a Heliografist in the ZAR Staatsartillerie, while his younger son Jan (at right) served alongside his father in the Heidelberg Commando. Andries was 48 in 1899, while his son Bastiaan was 21 and Jan was aged 19. The carving; the letter ‘A’ is 20mm in height while the balance of letters are 8mm high.<br />This Mauser A6103 was recently found in the Australian ‘Outback’ – caked with red ‘Bull Dust’. Luckily it had the burger’s name carved onto the butt.<br />This is AMAZING! Thanks for your excellent photos. Sorry those of A Lanser himself are nowhere near that. Interesting that in contacting me it opened what for me has been a very long standing and, in earlier days, very close relationship with John Lanser<br />
  26. 26. Carvings on Boer - British & Colonial RiflesExamples of names & decorations applied to Boer rifles, and those that were captured from the Boers.<br /> As not all Boers were fully literate, names were often incorrectly spelt.<br />Above: Captured Boer Mauser rifle. A soldier in the KOYLI carved the names of various battles that his unit had taken part in, as well as names of places and the colonies where the unit had served.<br />Left: ZUID (South) Africa – incorrectly spelt !<br />Above: Several examples of incorrectly spelt surnames on Boer rifles. Here are C.J. Pretorus(Pretorius) and G.H.M. Potgeiter (Potgieter). This indicates that not all Boers were fully literate in 1900. I have encountered several of these.<br />
  27. 27. Carvings on British & captured Boer Rifles<br />Tommy Atkins was not allowed to deface the Queen’s property, so the majority of carved “British” weapons encountered, are those rifles owned by regular officers or volunteers . These carvings are found on both captured Boer rifles as well as privately purchased rifles and carbines.<br />Lt. J.F. Cutler of the KSLI – he recorded 10 battle names as well as his unit badge. <br />Martini-Enfield Artillery Carbine: owned by Captain Lancelot C.B. Hamber of the East Lancashire Regt. He has recorded 3 states and 7 battle names and places.<br />Corpl. A Chisholm, Lovat’s Scouts (attached to the Black Watch) has carved 11 battle names onto the butt of his Lee-Enfield Mk 1*<br />
  28. 28. Carvings on Boer & Colonial Rifles<br />Left: The ZAR coat of arms on the butt of this M95 Mauser rifle. The burger has carved an impressive example, with the ZAR motto… ‘Eendracht Maakt Magt’ (later ‘Union is Strength’).<br />Left: ZAR Coat of Arms<br />Right: Queensland badge<br />Right:The same Boer Mauserwas captured by an Australian soldier. He has identified his unit by carving the badge of the Queensland Defence Force. Note the word ‘Queensland’ carved around the badge. This badge was worn by members of the QMI (Queensland Mounted Infantry). <br />
  29. 29. Carvings on Boer & Colonial RiflesThe Colonials were quick to copy this Boer custom of carving and ‘personalising’ their rifles. As can be seen, many Australian and New Zealand officers & men carved their names & units, battle names etc. <br />Several Australian and New Zealand units actually allowed their returning soldiers to keep their service rifles. One thus often encounters Lee-Metfords or Lee-Enfields with a soldier’s name and other decorations. <br />Lee-Enfield’s with various designs and names – both with the ZAR Coat of Arms; Hasler’s Scouts and 7th NZMR. <br />Lee-Enfield with carvings of; King Edward VII, Queen Victoria and Paul Kruger. Right:<br />Note the Maori style ‘scroll’ designs which are evident on this rifle.<br />
  30. 30. A Colonial ‘Kiwi’ with an interesting military careerLee-Metford Mk 1 (Enfield 1895). S/No. 595A<br /> <br />Henry Rayne was a ‘rabbiter’ from Dunedin, New Zealand. He volunteered in 1900 and became No. 1699, <br />Trooper H. Rayne of the 5th New Zealand Mounted Rifles Contingent (NZMR). <br />Rayne later elected to stay on in South Africa and joined the 7th NZMR as No. 4690 Sergeant H. Rayne. He was wounded at Botha's Farm, on 6-10-1901 and wounded again four days after the end of the war, on 4-6-1902. <br /> <br />Henry Rayne remained in South Africa after the war and when WWI broke out he was Commissioned as a <br />Temporary Lieutenant in the 5th Kings African Rifles (28-9-1914). Rayne won the Military Cross on <br />24 -8-1917 while a Temporary Captain and was promoted Temporary Major on 30-9-1917. When the war <br />ended Rayne relinquished his Commission (on 4-4-1919) with the rank of Major. On 20-4-1920 Henry Rayne was invested as a Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - MBE (Military) - and became a District Commissioner for Somaliland. He wrote the book 'Sun, Sand and Somalis' <br />in 1921 and on 29-12-1922 was made an Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the <br />British Empire - OBE (Civil).<br /> <br />The carvings on the butt depict Paul Kruger, the words ‘Boer War, South Africa’, Rayne’s name and unit ‘NZMR’, as well as the areas that he served in during the Boer War (note the early style Lee-Metford butt).<br /> <br />Tpr. Henry Rayne, NZMR<br />
  31. 31. A Captured Boer Mauser Rifle with an interesting story: Example of a ‘Research project’ The original Boer owner of this Mauser has carved his name and the district he came from; J.P. MARE, District Lijdenburg – and the name of his farm ‘Plaatsbosch’ and date 1899. During a skirmish, this Mauser rifle was personally captured from a Boer by Private Edney Richardson, 6th Queensland Mounted Infantry (QMI). Burger J.P. Mare was sent to a POW Camp and Edney Richardson carved his initials ‘ER’ onto the butt to ‘claim’ his war trophy. Edney dismantled the rifle and brought it back to Australia as he was a keen rifle shooter. (This Mauser has a ‘matching’ bolt DWM Serial No.1350)<br />Not the most artistic Boer carving to be seen, but very informative none the less.<br />
  32. 32. 193, Private Edney J. Richardson, 6th QMI. He was a born sportsman and also a ‘Queen’s Shot’. He won three shooting competitions in 1900, 1901 and 1902, which qualified him to wear the “Queen’s Badge”. He was also awarded several gold and silver shooting medallions. He served in the 6th Queensland Imperial Bushmen during 1901.<br />Above: Queen’s Badges dated 1900 and 1902, awarded by the NSW Rifle Association and the Queensland Rifle Association.<br />Right: Gold shooting medallion. Brisbane Tramways Rifle Club. <br />Left: Edney Richardson in 1907.<br />
  33. 33. 193, Private Edney J. Richardson, 6th QMI. Two of his five shooting medallions, his Lee-Enfield Mk 1* rifle, and the captured Boer Mauser (carved to J.P. Mare).<br />Above: The initials “ER” carved onto the butt <br />by Edney Richardson. This was to identify his captured ‘war trophy’.<br />Above: Two of the gold shooting medallions won by Edney Richardson – both are engraved on the reverse.<br />
  34. 34. A man who loved his rifles - Medals & Trophies that were awarded to him. Frame with Queen’s South Africa campaign medal, QIB badge and the various shooting awards won by PrivateEdney J. Richardson, 6thQMI.<br />Right: Edney Richardson aged 92 (centre), at Anzac Square , Brisbane in 1974. He is wearing his QSA medal. (Granting of freedom of the city parade, 2/14th QMI Regiment.)<br />
  35. 35. Martini-Metford Artillery Carbine, Mk II owned by two Colonials.<br />An example of a carbine owned by two Colonials. Both Robert Lawson and John James Gardiner served in the Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen Contingent (TIB). <br />In 1899, many of the Colonial units in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand were still armed with the Martini-Metford and Martini-Enfield rifles and carbines <br />Pte. R. Lawson.<br />The first Australian and New Zealand Contingents arrived in South Africa armed with Martini-Metford andMartini-Enfield rifles & carbines.<br />
  36. 36. Boer Rifle presented to an Australian Nurse<br />A Boer Model 1885 Guedes rifle (8 x60R cal.)<br />Nurse Rose Shappere from Victoria, arrived in South Africa with a view to “Volunteering for a war that she could see was not too far away”. She was in the ZAR when war commenced, but escaped to Durban. She was in Ladysmith during the siege and was Mentioned in Despatches (MID).<br />
  37. 37. A Martini with an interesting history<br />This 1887 British Martini Mk II (BSA & M Co.) was captured by a Boer, who crudely carved his name on the butt. At some stage a bullet or a piece of shrapnel must have hit the rifle (see indent in butt-plate), and resulted in the ‘groove’ caused by a bullet graze, or by a projectile. <br />There are several Boer contenders who were named <br />A. J. Mouton. <br />Was he perhaps a ‘Cape Rebel’? Many Rebels were armed with Martinis and there are two Rebels with this name - A.J. Mouton.<br />
  38. 38. Captured Boer Rifles used by British units<br />I have encountered several captured ‘Boer’ Mausers that were issued to IMRV units. These are all stamped ‘IMRV’ with a serial No. Also a few rifles to local Town Guard units (see P.E.T.G. below). See ‘Reversed Arrows’ on butt with initials inside heart.<br />A captured “ZAR Martini” that has been re-issued to the Port Elizabeth Town Guard in Feb 1091 (see ‘01’). This rifle also bears the Broad Arrow inside a letter ‘U’ for the Union Defence Force. <br />
  39. 39. SURVIVING BOER Rifles – Gift to the Colonies – 2500 Rifles:<br />Australia: An article appeared in the Hobart Mercury on 4-3-1904 which stated the following: <br />“The Hon. The Premier has received a despatch from the Agent-General notifying him that a pom-pom gun has been awarded Tasmania as a trophy of the South African war and in commemoration of the part played by Tasmanians in the capture of a gun at Olifant’s River in April 1901. The Agent-General has also informed the Premier that 15 guns and 2,500rifles and carbines are available for distribution among the colonies that sent contingents to the South African war, but at the time of writing no decision had been <br />arrived at as to the allotment of the same”. Then eight months later the Secretary of the Department of Defence wrote the following memorandum to the Department of External Affairs: “After consultation with the various State Governments, the following allocation of South African War Trophies allotted to Australia has been decided upon:-<br /> <br />New South Wales: One 75 mm Q F gun;<br /> 150 rifles.<br /> <br />Victoria: One 75 mm B L gun;<br /> 150 rifles.<br /> <br /> Queensland: One 75 mm B L gun;<br />150 rifles.<br /> <br /> S. Australia: One 2” B L Whitworth gun;<br />150 rifles.<br /> <br />W. Australia: One Maxim gun;<br />150 rifles.<br /> <br /> Tasmania: 450 rifles. Signed-Secretary, Department of Defence, 23-11-1904<br />Total = 1,200 rifles <br />Due to the number of carved Boer rifles that have survived in this country, I feel certain that a fair percentage of the 1,200 rifles that were officially sent to Australia were decorated with Boer carvings. These 1,200 rifles were by no means the total amount involved. As 16,500 Australians served in South Africa between 1899 and 1902, one can only guess as to the amount of rifles that were brought over by them as private war trophies. (An estimated 8,000 more Australians served in local South African Irregular units and some only returned to <br />Australia years after the war). I have spoken to quite a few Australian families who own Boer rifles that were brought home by grandad, as well as several accounts in books that mention these personal war trophies that were brought home by officers and men. One has to assume that a fair percentage of all these rifles had some type of carving or stock art applied to them (refer to extracts from books and accounts on next two pages).<br /> <br /> New Zealand: As was published in Australia, contemporary reports in New Zealand stated that a total of 2,500 rifles and carbines were to be distributed to the ‘colonies’. This number appears to have been the total allocation for a number of colonies that sent troops to the Boer War. These Boer weapons were delivered to Army Department New Zealand aboard the SS Corinthic in 1904. The total number of rifles in the shipment appears to have been 600 rifles. This figure of 600 has been confirmed by Stewart Lockhart, who obtained the following information from the Archives New Zealand in 2001: New Zealand received 2 x 75mm field guns, 1 x Maxim gun and 600 rifles”.<br /> Currently the NZ collectors have noted the lowest as SAT 1 and the highest as SAT 1233 – which is at variance with the stated 600 rifles that were donated.<br /> <br />
  40. 40. Boer War Handguns: Carved and Engraved<br />The famous C96 Mauser ‘Broomhandle’ pistol (7.63mm),as used by many Boer officers. This example was presented by Lieut. John (Jack) Spencer Churchill – brother of Winston. Both brothers served as officers in the South African Light Horse (SALH).<br />.455” Colt Double-action, presented to Cpl. James Reginald Henty, 3rd Victorian Bushmen’s Contingent. J.R. Henty from Pakenham Victoria, later served as a Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse. There were many instances where Colonials took their private revolvers or pistols to the war.<br />
  41. 41. Medals awarded to Boer and British Forces 1899-1902.Like the carved rifles featured in this book, the majority of the medals issued for the Boer War were named - normally impressed or engraved on the edge of the medal. One chapter in my first book is dedicated to all the medals awarded to both sides.<br />King’s South Africa Medal:<br />Two clasps: SA 1901 & SA 1902<br />Anglo-Boere Oorlog Medalje:Not an automatic issue. The ABO was ‘belatedly’ awarded (after 1920) to most Boers who served honourably during the War (eg: not awarded to “Hensoppers” or “Joiners”) ZAR side is shown.<br />Queen’s South Africa Medal: <br />A total of 26 clasps were awarded, comprising; ‘State’ Bars, ‘Battle’ Bars and ‘Date’ Bars. There were 3 different reverses.<br />
  42. 42. “Family Medals”in my collection. A total of 22 groups and ‘singles’. Here is one of six Queen’s South Africa medals awarded for the Anglo-Boer War.<br />John McGreavey’s medals group. <br />QSA clasps Elandslaagte, Relief of Ladysmith, Tugela Heights, South Africa 1901, Natal Rebellion clasp 1906, BWM, Victory (Bilingual) and 1902 Coronation medal.<br />Farrier Sergeant John C. McGreavey,<br />Natal Field Artillery.Mobilised 30-9-1899(11 days prior to hostilities). Served at Elandslaagte and the relief of Ladysmith. Also served in the 1906 Zulu Rebellion & on the Western Front in WW1. John spoke fluent Zulu, so was an NCO in the SA Native Labour Corps in 1917-18<br />
  43. 43. Medals awarded to Boer forces 1899-1902 Unlike the British award system, the Boers also awarded a ribbon for those wounded in action. The ‘Lint VoorWonden’ (LVW), was worn as a ribbon only (no medal was issued).<br />Obverse & Reverse of DTD: OVSand ZAR. <br />Above: Example of an ABO medal and LVW ribbon awarded to a ZAR burger (Transvaal). The green is worn to the left, and the ZAR coat of arms is shown on the medal. <br />The Boer decoration ‘Dekoratie Voor Trouwe Dienst’ . Only 662 of these rare medals were ever awarded (mainly to officers). In the South African order of prescedence, the DTD ranks higher than the DSO . Centre:Oath of Allegiance signed by Boer POW.<br />
  44. 44. Medal Application Forms for the ABO and DTD. A wonderful source of historical information.<br />Left:“Vorm A” – application for the DTD. To Lieut. William Godwin O’Reilly, OVS Artillerie Corps. Note form signed by his old C.O. – Majoor F. Albrecht.<br />Below: “Vorm B” – application for the ABO.<br />To: Burger Alfred Henry Lizamore. I also have ABO’s to a Charles Henry Ellen, Walter James Language , and Cornelius Anderson! Not all the Boers had Dutch, German or French names.<br />Left: Boer pocket knives, with ZAR & OVS coat of arms, Kruger and <br />Gen. de Wet. <br />An ABO campaign medal in centre.<br />
  45. 45. ABO Medals awarded to ‘Englishmen’ <br />I also have the following ABO medals named to ‘Englishmen’ :<br />Charles Henry ELLEN<br />Alfred Henry LIZAMORE (spelt Lisamore on medal)<br />Cornelius ANDERSON<br />Examples: Boers named SMITH:68 who claimed their ABO medals and 182 taken POW.<br /> Boers named JONES: 6 who claimed their ABO medals and 14 taken POW<br /> Boers named CHURCHILL: 1 who claimed their ABO medals and 4 taken POW<br />Burger Walter James Language:<br />Note spelling: Dundie = Dundee<br />Lydij Smit = Ladysmith<br />Spejoenkop = Spion Kop<br />
  46. 46. Boer War Carvings & Trench-ArtAfter their capture, many Boer POWs continued with their skills by carving pipes, paper knives, trinkets, jewellery and various mementoes. British and Colonial soldiers did likewise.A chapter in my “Part Two” book is dedicated to this fascinating subject. <br />ZAR Serviette ring<br />Above: <br />13th Hussars, <br />South Africa,<br /> 1899-1902 <br />Above: Pipe: Boer War, Pretoria, June 4, 1900<br />Paper knives: ZAR and OVS Coats of Arms. <br />Left: OVS coat of arms on a Boer pipe, carved in a POW Camp in St. Helena, 1902. <br />
  47. 47. Anglo-Boer War Re-enactorsThe memory of the Boer War is kept alive by dedicated collectors who perform at various public shows and demonstrations in a number of countries. <br />Above: The Heilbron Commando in the UK : <br />Note accurate dress and assortment of weapons.<br />Above: The Oranje Vrijstaat Artillerie Corps (OVS Artillery Corps) with their Krupp field gun.<br />Far Left: Bloemfontein Commando in the USA.<br />Left: Two burgers with Mausers in front of a Blockhouse, in South Africa. <br />
  48. 48. Large variety of Australian State units & uniforms<br />Above: 1st Australian Horse<br />Right: New Sth. Wales Artillery<br />The New South Wales Lancers<br />Right: NSW Mounted Rifles<br />Far Right: NSW Imperial Bushmen<br />Far Left: NSW Mtd. Rifles ; 1900<br />Left: Queensland Mtd. Infantry<br />
  49. 49. Anglo-Boer War: Facts and Figures:It took almost 3 years and nearly 460,000 British and Colonial troops to conquer the two small Boer republics. The Boers totalled around 85,000 men under arms (never more than about 40,000 were in the field at any one time). The Boers were never totally defeated, as there were still 21,000 armed burgers serving in the field when peace was declared on 31st May 1902. The British adopted a ‘scorched earth’ policy & burnt 30,000 Boer farms and ‘herded’ Boers families into Concentration Camps, where 27,900 Boer people died (22,000 of whom were children). The Boers lost 3,990 KIA and around 32,000 Boers were taken POW – of which 1,118 died as POW’s. The British lost 5,774 KIA (5,256) and 16,168 died of disease, and a total of 9,550 were taken POW(most were released). The British thus ‘ won the war‘ with overwhelming numbers, but never actually ‘conquered the Boers’. To this very day this tragic loss suffered by the Boers, has left a bitterness with many of the white Afrikaner people. (NB:Different casualty figures are recorded for the war). <br /><ul><li>A few more facts:</li></ul>Large numbers of Colonials volunteered.<br />Australia sent approx. 16,500 troops; New Zealand =6,400; Canada = 7,200; India & Ceylon = 500, Cape Colony and Natal = 52,400; (Research reveals that over 8,000 more Australians served in local South African irregular units - many were gold miners).<br />Approximate numbers of rifles used by Boer forces: M95 Mauser = 37,000 (7,000 carbines); Martini-Henry variants = 43,000; Westley-Richards Improved Martini’s = 30,000; <br />Guedes = 7,500; Lee-Metfords = 3,000; Krag-Jorgensen = 330 (numbers do vary in various sources – Royal Commission on the War in SA, Breytenbach, Bester etc)<br />Boers had approx. 40 to 50 million rounds of Ammo in 1899. <br />The mortality rate from disease was twice that from the fighting itself. Apart from the inevitable gunshot wounds and horse-riding accidents ... the climate and harsh conditions in the field contributed to the high death rate. Typhoid, then called 'enteric fever', was endemic in South Africa and clean water supplies few and far between. <br />
  50. 50. List of Serial Numbers on M95 ‘Boer’ Mausers(“Mismatched” Serial No’s on Actions and Bolts)<br />I have recorded all the Serial Numbers on the Mauser rifles and Carbines that I have encountered (with carvings or engravings). This list appears on pages 327 to 332 in my “Part Two” book. <br />I am hopeful that collectors may be able to arrange the occasional ‘swap’ if they can match their rifle Serial Number to a ‘mismatched’ Bolt on the list. <br />This idea has recently been expanded on by the SAAACA, who have appealed to collectors to send in information about rifles in their own collections. This ‘Master Register’ will be kept by Mr. GuiFicq in South Africa (expanded from my original list in my book). <br />As most Boer War rifle colletors will be aware, there are a high number of rifles and carbines found with ‘mismatched’ Bolts. It is recorded that the bolts were often removed once rifles had been captured, or handed in by the Boers at the end of the war. There are several ‘theories’ regarding how this ‘mismatching’ of bolts actually occurred. <br />
  51. 51. The great Rifle scandal of the BOER WAR:<br />The Lee-Enfield Sight problem:<br /><ul><li> 
  52. 52. In brief the British over-compensated for bullet drift in the sealed pattern of the Lee Enfield. They also had a most unimaginative accuracy test for newly produced rifles. Provided the group conformed to standard, the rifle was accepted. The position of the group on the test target was not considered to be of any relevance!  Since it was policy to wear out the already issued Lee-Metford barrels before issuing the new Lee-Enfields (1895-1896), virtually all Lee-Enfields went into storage and remained unissued until the Boer War broke out. It was then that the newly raised Volunteer Units and recalled reservists received the faulty Lee-Enfields that had been sitting in storage, some for several years. Since most of these soldiers left for South Africa in a hurry the problem was not generally noticed until the rifles were used in South Africa.
  53. 53. It was then discovered that..</li></ul>the rifles shot 18" to the right at 500 yards.<br /><ul><li>Upon investigation, and establishing the cause, there was one hell of a stink and questions were even raised in Parliament. Obviously, the pattern was quickly changed to control new production. The quick fix for those already issued or in storage was to fit anoff-centre rear sight leaf. </li></ul> (Photo attached at right)<br />Below:Lee-Enfield Mk 1* Rifle <br />Zoom view of the modified Rear sight.<br />
  54. 54. Peace declared on 31st May 1902Milner’s projected ‘6 month campaign’ had resulted in almost 3 years of war...which became ever more bitter with the advent of farm burning and concentration camps. <br />Captured Boer rifles being ‘put to the torch’. The fate of so many historic weapons.<br /><ul><li>After the peace treaty was signed, the Boer leaders were given safe passage to return to their Commandos and break the news to the ‘Bittereinders’ who were still in the field. It took around two weeks for all the outlying Commandos to come into the assembly points, hand in their rifles and sign the ‘Oath of Allegiance’ to King Edward VII. There were instances of Boers opening fire on British troops, and there were a few casualties. Most Boers did sign the Oath, but some chose exile in other countries. Likewise, the Boer POW’s had to sign the Oath, and most were repatriated back to their devastated homelands.</li></ul>It is indeed pleasing to see just how many of these historic Boer weapons have survived the last 110 years. With natural attrition, and the tightening of Gun Laws , I am amazed to constantly hear of more “carved” weapons that appear in many corners of the globe. <br />Please keep on sending me information and photos of any new ‘finds’ – I document them all !<br />
  55. 55. Question time ?<br />THEEND<br />