Boer civilians and the scorched earth policy of Lords Roberts and Kitchener in the South African War of 1899-1902
Department of Historical and Heritage Studies
University of Pretoria
Republic of South Africa
Recently a British historian, Andrew Roberts, concluded that the deaths of Boer civilians in the concentration camps during the South African War can be ascribed to the superstition, backwardness and uncleanliness of the Boer civilians in the camps.1 As Roberts seems to be oblivious of South African research (of both English and Afrikaans speaking historians) which sheds a different light on the matter, it would be worthwhile to revisit the issue.
When war broke out in October 1899 most of the Boer women remained on the farms with their children to take care of the farming. While the British forces were held in check on the borders of the Republics the Boer women gave spiritual and material support to their men on commando. However, with Lord Roberts’ invasion of the western Free State in March 1900 and Gen. R. Buller’s invasion of the Transvaal from Natal in June 1900, the material support to the burghers on commando began to dry up.2 From then on the measures taken by Roberts and then by Lord Kitchener with regard to the civilians would seriously affect the lives of the women and children. For the majority this unavoidably meant the concentration camps, while others deliberately stayed out of the way of the British columns and wandered about in the veld.
1. Scorched earth
After Roberts’ invasion of the Free State and his occupation of Bloemfontein on 13 March 1900, the British columns generally left the farmhouses and the women and children alone. They did, however, confiscate all available horses and supplies of fodder and maize. Early in May 1900 Roberts continued his advance northwards towards the Transvaal capital, Pretoria. Like the Free Staters, the Transvaal leaders decided to leave the women and children on their farms rather than take them behind Boer lines. Transport problems and women who refused to leave their farms made any evacuation by the Boers impossible.3
The Hague Convention of 1899 determined that the destruction of property had to be limited to what was “imperatively demanded by the necessities of war”.4 Roberts was acting within this framework when in the period March to June 1900 he authorised the destruction of farmhouses from which Boer snipers fired on British troops while a white flag fluttered from the houses. However, once Roberts had ordered that houses be burnt down under these circumstances, the actions were carried out by officers in the field in a less judicious manner. Various houses had therefore already been burnt down before Pretoria was captured on 5 June 1900.
With the continuous attacks on the rail and telegraph connections, particularly by Gen. Christiaan de Wet in the Free State, Roberts on 16 June 1900 introduced the scorched earth policy when he ordered that the farmhouses in the vicinity of the Boer attacks be burnt down.5 In September 1900 he ordered, in addition, that all food supplies within a radius of 16 miles had to be removed or destroyed. This in effect meant that an area of 342 square miles was plundered with each attack or attempted attack on the British lines of communication.6
It is therefore no wonder that British commanders in the field had the impression that they had Roberts’ official approval to burn and destroy at random. Numerous farms were left in flames in areas where there were no attacks on British lines of communication. In October 1900 in the northwestern Free State Lieut.-Gen. A. Hunter burnt down the entire town of Bothaville, with the exception of government buildings, the church and the Red Cross depot, on the grounds that it was used as a base for the commandos in their attacks on the railway lines.
In February 1900, and then again in May and June of that year, the Boer leaders raised objections with Roberts about the burning down of houses. The British commander-in-chief justified his actions by explaining that the war had, in many regions, degenerated into a guerrilla war. He was therefore, he argued, obliged to suppress it “by those exceptional methods which civilized nations have at all times found it obligatory to use under like circumstances”.7
In July 1900 Roberts sent approximately 2 500 Boer women and children by rail in open trucks to the Boer lines in the eastern Transvaal. It was an attempt to put pressure on the women and children so that their hardship in the middle of winter would move the burghers to lay down their arms.8
When it became apparent that this action was impractical, Roberts continued his scorched earth policy with even more force. By November 1900 he was aware of the increasing resistance, in British government circles as well, to the scorched earth policy. He therefore on 18 November reiterated that no farm was to be burnt except for act of treachery, or as punishment for breaking the lines of communication, or when a house had been used as a base from where a raid had taken place, and then only with the consent of the General Officer Commanding in writing. All cattle, wagons and foodstuffs were to be removed or destroyed.9
Under these circumstances it became clear that something had to be done with the growing number of homeless women and children. In this way the concentration camp system came into being. The precise date of commencement is not known, but it appears that at the beginning of the war a camp for homeless civilians had already been set up in Mafeking. However, at that stage it was not yet an official policy.
2. The concentration camps
By the middle of 1900 Roberts was compelled to protect those burghers who had surrendered, from reconscription by the Boer forces. The only solution was to move them and their families to so-called “refugee camps”. In September 1900 such camps were therefore set up in Bloemfontein and Pretoria. However, from the outset there were homeless Boer women and their children and old men (the so-called “undesirables”) in the camps – civilians who had been taken away from the farms and had not put themselves voluntarily under British protection. They soon far outnumbered the “refugees”. It is therefore not correct to talk about “refugee camps”, but rather concentration camps.10
On 29 November 1900 Kitchener took over the high command from Roberts. Despite his stated position against it, the burning down of farms nevertheless did not decrease. On the contrary. His instructions gave commanders in the field considerable freedom, and it comes as no surprise that Lord Milner admitted in October 1902 that as many as 30 000 houses were destroyed during the war.11 According to this figure very few houses remained intact. The burning down of entire towns also continued, such as Wolmaransstad, Bethal, Ermelo, Carolina, Reitz, Parys and Lindley.
In addition, Kitchener mercilessly proceeded with the destruction of supplies. Crops were destroyed, and cattle, sheep and horses were driven to the British camps or killed. Some animals were maimed and left behind in the fields to suffer.12 It is clear that Kitchener, like Roberts, at times lost control over the behaviour of his subordinates.
With Kitchener’s great drives, which were launched from January 1901, thousands of Boer women and children were removed from the farms and transported to the existing or newly established concentration camps. According to a statement by Sir Joseph Chamberlain in the House of Commons this was for humane reasons. But the very fact that thousands of farmhouses were burnt down and the women and children then removed to the camps under duress, and the revelation that Kitchener himself insisted on different treatment for refugees and “undesirables”, prove that the camps were set up as a military ploy in order to put an end to Boer resistance. Kitchener felt that once the Boer women and children were gathered in camps the burghers on commando would no longer be able to get food from the women on the farms. He also believed that the burghers would lay down their arms in order to be reunited with their families.13
There are ample descriptions of the rough methods which the commanding officers in the field used in the scorched earth policy. Capt. L. March Phillipps, who operated under Brig.-Gen. M.F. Rimington in the Northern Free State, once observed a house being burnt down: “The women, in a little group, cling together, comforting each other or hiding their faces in each other’s laps.”14 A Boer woman reported: “There I stood, surrounded by my children, while the cruel soldiers plundered my property. Furniture, clothing, food, everything was thrown onto a pile and set alight … No matter how I pleaded to retain a few antiques and heirlooms, they consistently refused.”15 The women and children could usually take only the minimum of food, clothing and bedding. They were often transported in open wagons or trucks, or even had to cover long distances on foot. Illness, physical disability or age was often not taken into account.
By September 1901 there were 34 concentration camps for whites in South Africa, with approximately 110 000 inhabitants. The majority were children. The number did not increase drastically after that, and from December 1901 very few civilians were sent to the camps.16
3. The deaths in the camps
The postwar embitterment of the Afrikaners towards British imperialism, as personified by Kitchener, largely centred on the high mortality rate in the concentration camps. From the outset deaths occurred in the camps. The number reached its peak between August 1901 and October 1901. In August there were 666 deaths (a mortality rate of 311 per 1 000 per year), in September 2 752 (287 per 1 000 per year) and in October 3 205 (344 per 1 000 per year). A decade after the war P.L.A. Goldman officially determined that an astonishing number of 27 927 Boers died in the concentration camps: 26 251 women and children (of whom more than 22 000 were under the age of 16), and 1 676 men over the age of 16, of whom 1 421 were aged persons.17
The fact that the suffering in the camps was terrible is self-evident. The following description came from the camp in Brandfort: “Among us there was a Mrs Coetzee; she had eight children, and four were already dead. One day I passed her tent and saw three little boys lying on khaki blankets on the ground, and they were covered in ants. The mother, suffering from childbed fever – her newborn son was already dead – lay on a small bed. A girl of seven lay beside her, also ill. To add to their misery, the tent was full of khaki lice. If it was necessary, the poor boys had to stand up without assistance, although their weak little legs could barely carry them.”18
The reasons for the high mortality rate make for grim reading.19 In the first place there were the unhygienic conditions which the entire country was suffering as a result of the war. Pollution of the air, water and soil was taking place. The war also had a detrimental effect on the manufacturing of food and the raising of cattle. Together with the exceptionally virulent outbreak of measles and pneumonia, these conditions were the cause of many deaths, particularly of children.
A second reason must be found in the unhygienic habits of some camp inhabitants. This view was taken particularly by doctors who visited the camps, and by Kitchener – and recently by Andrew Roberts. It is undoubtedly true that among the camp inhabitants there were backward and unsophisticated Boer civilians whose unhygienic habits, ignorance and superstitions, as well as their refusal to be treated in hospital, led to their deaths. However, this was certainly not the most important reason, as the mortality rate dropped significantly after the organisation of the camps was improved.
This throws the spotlight onto the third and – according to South African historians – most important cause, namely the inadequate control of the camp administration. Here five factors can be singled out. Firstly, some camp locations were poorly chosen. The peaty soil of Standerton meant that the terrain was virtually impassable during rainy periods, while the winters were bitterly cold. Similar conditions also prevailed at Brandfort and Orange River.
Secondly, there was a tendency among some camp officials to maintain low standards of order and tidiness. In some camps there was a serious shortage of suitable and adequate accommodation. Threadbare tents or houses built of turf had to meet the need. Many people had
to sleep on the ground because beds and mattresses were not always available. Sanitary facilities were often unhygienic, and the provision of water and fuel for fires inadequate.
A third factor was the poor quality of the food, particularly in the Transvaal camps. Some improvements were made, however. The differential treatment of “refugees” and “undesirables” ended in March 1901. Camp commandants were then able to supply milk and other wholesome food to the sick and to young children. In addition, male inhabitants could work and in this way earn money. This did not help much though, as most of the women’s husbands were on commando. From March 1901 inhabitants in most of the camps could also buy extra food from shops that were stocked for that purpose. However, the problem was that there were many indigent families who could not make use of these privileges. Rebellious inhabitants – and there were many of them – were not treated fairly in the distribution of food. The real problem lay in its provision. The inhabitants did not always receive full rations, and the food was often below standard.
In the fourth place, inadequate and inefficient medical staff had to deal with the widely distributed ill. Between February 1901 and February 1902 the camps in the Transvaal lost 47 out of 94 doctors and 85 out of 217 nurses, while thirteen superintendents were replaced. These staff members either resigned or were dismissed.
All these factors add up to the basic lack of camp organisation. S.B. Spies rightly maintains that Kitchener must receive the blame for this, as it was he who undertook the expansion of the concentration camp system without considering the implications.20
Improvements were indeed made in the provision of food, and hospitals with medical staff and schools were built. However, the influx of thousands of people made effective reform difficult. In addition, the necessary urgency was lacking from the attempts to improve conditions. Kitchener had very little interest in the administration of the camps. He considered himself a soldier first and foremost, and military affairs took precedence over civil matters.21
An important point which contributed to the poor organisation was the uncertainty about who precisely was responsible for the administration. Under Roberts the few existing camps were controlled by military officers. Although the camps under Kitchener were already put under civil administration in February 1901, until November 1901 they still fell under the disinterested Kitchener as commander-in-chief of the army, and camp policy was still referred to him. The situation was exacerbated in that between May and August 1901 – a crucial time in the death saga, as it turned out – Kitchener also stood in as high commissioner during Milner’s visit to London. Milner had a better influence on the camp administration, as was evident after his return. During Milner’s absence the number of inhabitants in the concentration camps rose quickly, but there was no corresponding increase in the number of camps. In March 1901 there were 27 camps altogether, which housed 35 000 whites. Six months later 110 000 whites had to make do in 34 camps. And, unavoidably, as the inhabitants increased, so did the number of deaths in the camps.22
When the civil authority took over definitive control of the camps in the middle of November 1901, it led to a radical improvement of the conditions in the camps. The mortality rate dropped from 3 205 in October 1901 to 402 in March 1902, 298 in April 1902 and 196 in May 1902.23
These improvements in the conditions did not occur by chance. They were preceded by a long battle by the philanthropic Ms Emily Hobhouse in particular. As co-ordinator of the South African Women’s and Children’s Distress Fund in Britain, she arrived in Cape Town at the end of December 1900 to obtain first-hand information on local conditions.
Here she became aware for the first time of the concentration camps spread across South Africa. She visited the camps in the Free State between January and April 1901. There she found that there was great poverty in the camps. She not only gave material support, but lent moral support to the people, particularly through her empathy.
Back in England her revelations about the misery in the camps focused the attention of the government and opposition on the military action against the women and children. The
government was subjected to the fiercest criticism from the Liberal opposition since the outbreak of the war.
The outcome of this was that the War Office appointed an official commission of ladies under Mrs Millicent Fawcett to investigate the conditions in the camps. Although Fawcett and a fellow member were clearly opposed to the Boers, the commission brought about significant reforms in the administration of the camps.
Before the report was finally completed in December 1901, the Fawcett commission made suggestions for the improvement of the camps. These suggestions were carried out expeditiously, so that in the report the commission could point out various improvements which had been made since their arrival in South Africa. These included travelling inspectors, the appointment of more qualified doctors and nurses, and improved hospital accommodation.24
Milner and Chamberlain in particular saw to the urgent improvements. The conditions in the camps and the unfavourable publicity for the government caused them great concern.
S.B. Spies reasons that the concentration camp system of Roberts and Kitchener can be viewed as a violation of the spirit of the Hague Convention, concerning Article XLIV in particular: “Family honours and rights, individual lives and property … must be respected.”25
Having analysed the causes of death in the concentration camps, one should return to the findings of Andrew Roberts, as reported in the introductory paragraph. In the first place he is mistaken in his assertion that the Blue Books “have lain largely unconsulted for nearly a century”. As early as the 1940s J.C. Otto consulted this information for his doctoral thesis on the concentration camps. Otto’s South African English polemicist, A.C. Martin, also used it a decade later. But it would appear that Andrew Roberts did not even make use of S.B. Spies’ thoroughly researched and balanced work in the seventies on the scorched earth policy. The difference between Spies and Andrews is that the former did not naively accept official British publications, but looked at them critically and also researched far more widely.
Andrew Roberts explains the origin and existence of the concentration camps simply and without nuance: “the Boers … had flooded into them for food, shelter, clothing and, above all, physical protection when the men left their homesteads to fight … together with those whose farms had been burnt for providing intelligence and succour to the enemy”. The burning down of farmsteads was not that simple. It remains an open question whether Lord Roberts was correct in his argument that he was obliged to suppress the guerrilla war by, as he expressed it, “those exceptional methods which civilized nations have at all times found it obligatory to use under like circumstances”. With Kitchener’s intensification of the scorched earth policy in January 1901 farmsteads were burnt down indiscriminately – whether they housed fighting Boers or not – merely because they had the potential to do so or because officers in the field did not want to prevent their destruction. Differences will still remain about this, but Capt. Phillipps explained the reasons for burning down farmsteads as follows in November 1900:26
We usually burn from six to a dozen farms a day; these being about all that in this sparsely-inhabited country we encounter. I do not gather that any special reason or cause is alleged or proved against the farms burnt. If Boers have used the farm; if the owner is on commando; if the line within a certain distance has been blown up; or even if there are Boers in the neighbourhood who persist in fighting – these are some of the reasons. Of course the people living in the farms have no say in these matters, and are quite powerless to interfere with the plans of the fighting Boers. Anyway we find that one reason or other generally covers pretty nearly every farm we come to, and so to save trouble we burn the lot without inquiry; unless, indeed, which sometimes happens, some names are given in before marching in the morning of farms to be spared.
For Andrew Roberts the direct consequences of the scorched earth policy were also simple: “Once the homestead-burning policy was adopted, there was often no alternative accommodation
on the veldt.” The point is that the British high command was responsible for there being thousands of homeless people in the South African veld.
Andrew Roberts goes further: “There were a few isolated cases of starvation, but epidemics of measles, pneumonia and cholera [he probably means diarrhoea] caused by far the largest number of fatalities. Many British staff at the camps died also, including superintendents, doctors and nurses.” He is correct in this regard, but he is missing the point, namely that the shocking quality of the food (as a result of poor administration and gross negligence) weakened people’s resistance and they therefore died of the aforementioned illnesses. The enforced grouping together by the British of increasing numbers of rural people who, over years had not built up immunity to epidemics, must also be blamed.
The primary charge against Andrew Roberts is that he uncritically accepted the statements of the British medical personnel in the British Blue Books that “the Boers themselves dramatically added to the scale of the tragedy by obstinately pursuing ignorant and superstitious medicinal practices, against the help and advice of the British personnel on the spot, who became frantic in their inability to halt the disaster”. He continues: “A distressingly large number of the Boers’ quack remedies involved animal dung, which inevitably added massively to the diphtheria and dysentery which so increased the death toll.”
The point, however, is that Dr Kendal Franks was responsible for having the opinions recorded in the Blue Books of 1901-1902 which Andrew Roberts now accepts. On a special request from Kitchener, Franks conducted a thorough investigation of the concentration camps. The results were published in the Blue Books and enjoyed extensive coverage in the London Times and other British newspapers. The Fawcett Commission endorsed Franks’ positions. These two sources greatly contributed towards promoting British claims that the deaths in the camps were the result of an unhygienic lifestyle on the part of the Boer women, and effectively diverted attention from British complicity in the deaths.27
Elizabeth van Heyningen has recently indicated that this British accusation can at least partially be attributed to the conflict between diverse traditions of healing. The British doctors came from a tradition which developed in the course of the nineteenth century among the Victorian middle class. Their realisation of the dangers of polluted water convinced them that cleanliness was the key to health. Therefore the hospital was the place for medical care. Hardened in the pioneer existence of the isolated interior and aware of the status of the Boer woman in society, the Boer viewpoint was that medical attention should be received at home – in this case the concentration camp tent – and certainly not in the concentration camp hospital from which, in their experience, very few patients returned alive. The British doctors loathed the Boer practice of sealing tents to sweat out a fever, and the use of home remedies. Even less acceptable to the British doctors was the Boer usage of animal body parts, blood or dung to cure illness. However, this had long been a tradition in Europe, and even in Britain folklore practices had continued until late in the nineteenth century. According to Boer superstition, these had virtually magical healing powers. Boer sources are silent on the extent to which these methods of healing were practised, but Franks, ordinary camp doctors and the Fawcett Commission made much of it. As supporters of the British imperial cause, it was easy for them to indulge their prejudices about a lack of cleanliness among the Boers. For this reason and also owing to the limited medical solutions for epidemics at that time, it is not surprising that the British doctors looked for scapegoats. For this reason in their reports they allowed their moderate criticism of the camp authorities to coincide with exceptionally strong criticism of the foreign medical practices of the Boer women.28
4. Boer women in the veld
Roberts and Kitchener’s scorched earth policy also led to Boer women wandering about in the veld with their children for the rest of the war, or until they were rounded up into the concentration camps.
Fear of the concentration camps, and later an awareness of the suffering and the high mortality rate there, caused many families to choose to maintain a nomadic existence in the veld. This then became a struggle to stay out of the clutches of the enemy. Those whose houses were burnt down and who were not transported directly to the camps were obliged, homeless as they were, to stay in the veld. They were often supported by loyal black servants.
In the eastern Transvaal and eastern Free State in particular the women found temporary shelter in the mountains, gorges and caves. During a visit to the Swartruggens in the western Transvaal in August 1900, Jan Smuts wondered what had become of all the families of the region. The following morning, to his surprise, they appeared “like rock rabbits from the surrounding ridges”.29
If the house was still standing or a room was still habitable, the family generally returned to it as soon as the British columns had moved on. According to one woman: “We fled six times with our cattle and the furniture we could transport. We had to endure indescribable cold, discomfort and anxiety. When the enemy retreated a little and we could return home every now and then, our wagons always remained packed. More than once we thought we were safe, and then the cry: ‘The enemy is approaching!’ and then there was packing up, moaning, and crying, driving the oxen, etc. Women and young girls did the yoking themselves, drove the oxen themselves, hitting them with sunbonnets, gloves and anything they could lay their hands on. I also did it, because oh! anything not to fall into the hands of the English!”30
It was not advisable for women to stay on the farms alone, so families and friends gathered together and formed laagers. Some women’s laagers consisted of more than eighty wagons and a number of vehicles, and sometimes even had male laager commandants. In many cases the laagers could not remain in one place for very long, as those Boers who had surrendered, or had joined the British war effort, could all too easily reveal their hiding place.
For the women and children in the veld, food was a big problem, because of Roberts and Kitchener’s scorched earth policy. The staple food was maize porridge, generally without salt. In isolated and sheltered areas the women and children often grew maize or wheat. In this regard a burgher noted in his diary: “This is the spirit which the British have been trying to break for three years, and have not succeeded in doing.”31
From the writings of the women it appears that many of the British treated them rudely, and even cruelly. However, humane actions were greatly appreciated.32
It was often a crisis to become ill in the veld. There were no medicines, so home remedies simply had to pull the seriously ill through. One woman said that most of them had attacks of fever every now and then. Another sighed: “Oh, in such times one comes to know one’s Saviour intimately and to trust in Him alone.”33
The increasing hostility of some blacks was a great danger to the women and children in the veld. Armed groups roamed about, acted menacingly and rudely towards the women and children and plundered and stole wherever they went. The murder of occupants of the white laagers, which primarily consisted of men, at Derdepoort in November 1899 and Holkrans in May 1902 caused a great deal of anxiety among the women’s laagers. A few incidents of assault or rape against women also occurred.34
During the last six months of the war – when the British no longer removed them to concentration camps – the approximately 1 4 000 Boer women and children in the veld suffered to an increasing extent as a result of the virtual total destruction of the land. The extensive blockhouse system also severely restricted their movement. “To see the women in tattered dresses, some with just the fabric that was previously part of a dress, that was the worst aspect of the war for us”, Gen. Ben Viljoen declared.35 Although there were many women who lost heart along the way and tried to persuade the burghers to surrender, the trials made most of the women more resolute.
Probably the best-known woman to evade the enemy was Nonnie de la Rey, spouse of the famous Boer general. With a fully laden wagon and a spider carriage, she wandered about in the western Transvaal with her children and three servants, and a few cows, sheep and chickens, for
the last nineteen months of the war. At times it was very difficult to avoid being captured and ending up in a concentration camp. In an extraordinary way, the general always knew where his family was, and he joined them whenever possible. Mrs De la Rey wrote a book about her experiences, entitled: A woman’s wanderings and trials during the Anglo-Boer War.
The fate of the women and children in the concentration camps and in the veld simply made some bitter enders more determined to sustain the war even longer. However, a point was reached, and that point was in May 1902, when the Boer delegates at the peace discussions at Vereeniging felt that the women and children had suffered enough. This, together with the lack of food , the arming of the blacks by the British and the threat of blacks in isolated areas, as well as the disproportionate war against the British superior force, paved the way for peace.36
The scorched earth policy and its ramifications did indeed contribute enormously to the Boer defeat. And in turn the deaths of 28 000 Boer civilians – of which 26 000 were women and children – were to give valuable ammunition in the 1930s and 1940s to Afrikaner leaders to promote an aggressive form of Afrikaner nationalism that was directed not only at British imperialism but also against a black majority within the country.37 They wanted to ensure that the Afrikaner would never again be dominated by others.
1 . A. Roberts, “They Brought It on Themselves”, The Spectator, 2.10.1999, pp. 21-22.
2 . F. Pretorius, Life on Commando during the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 (Cape Town, 1999), p. 39.
3 . S.B. Spies, Methods of Barbarism? Roberts and Kitchener and Civilians in the Boer Republics January 1900 – May 1902 (Cape Town, 1977), pp. 37-39.
4 . Cd. 800, International Convention with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War by Land, p. 24.
5 . Cd. 426, Proclamations Issued by Field-Marshal Lord Roberts in South Africa, No. 5 of 1900, 16.6.1900, p. 10.
6 . Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, p. 110.
7 . J.C. Otto, Die Konsentrasiekampe (Cape Town, 1954), pp. 1-11; Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, p. 125.
8 . Pretorius, Life on Commando, p. 303.
9 . Cd. 426, Proclamations Issued by Roberts, 18.11.1900, p. 23.
10 . Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, pp. 150-152.
11 . Otto, Konsentrasiekampe, p. 33.
12 . Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, pp. 175-177.
13 . Ibid., pp. 185-191.
14 . L.M. Phillipps, With Rimington (London, 1902), p. 202.
15 . Stemme uit die Vrouekampe (Middelburg, 1925), Statement by Mrs B. Breytenbach, p. 73 (translation).
16 . Otto, Konsentrasiekampe, pp. 172-173; A.C. Martin, The Concentration Camps 1900-1902 (Cape Town, 1957), p. 31; Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, p. 215.
17 . Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, pp. 215-216, 265.
18 . E. Neethling, Mag Ons Vergeet? (Cape Town, 1938), Statement by Ms M. Els (translation), p. 34.
19 . Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, pp. 199-200, 266-268.
20 . Ibid., p. 200.
21 . Ibid., p. 222.
22 . Ibid., pp. 195-196.
23 . Martin, Concentration Camps, p. 31.
24 . Spies, Methods of Barbarism?, pp. 196-197,216,221,266-268.
25 . Ibid., p. 269; A.W.G. Raath, Die Boerevrou, 1899-1902. Deel 1: Moederleed (Nylstroom, 2002), p. 282.
26 . Phillipps, With Rimington, p. 201.
27 . F. Pretorius, “Reflection”, in F. Pretorius (ed), Scorched Earth (Cape Town, 2001), pp. 273-274.
28 . E. van Heyningen, “British Doctors versus Boer Women: Clash of Medical Cultures”, in F. Pretorius (ed), Scorched Earth, pp. 183-194.
29 . Neethling, Mag Ons Vergeet?, p. 64 (translation).
30 . Ibid., statement by Mrs Hester Jacobs, p. 153 (translation).
31 . A.G. Oberholster (ed), Oorlogsdagboek van Jan F.E. Celliers (Pretoria, 1978), 27.5.1902, p. 380 (translation).
32 . Neethling, Mag Ons Vergeet?, passim.
33 . Ibid., statement by Mrs. A.S. du Toit, p. 78 (translation).
34 . Ibid., statements by Mmes. B. Hofmeyr, A. de Jager and E.C. du Preez, pp. 209-230.
35 . B.J. Viljoen, Mijne Herinneringe uit den Anglo-Boeren-Oorlog (Amsterdam, 1902), p. 243 (translation).
36 . F. Pretorius, “’Deze Vergadering… Beschouwt, dat Onder de Omstandigheden het Volk niet Gerechtvaardigd is, met den Oorlog Voort te Gaan…’ ‘n Ontleding van die Redes Waarom die Boere-Afgevaardigdes by Vereeniging op 31 Mei 1902 die Britse Vredesvoorwaardes Aanvaar het”, Journal for Contemporary History, 27(2), May 2002, pp. 87-95.
37 . F. Pretorius, “Historiese Perspektiewe op die Anglo-Boereoorlog”, in G. Verhoef (ed), The Anglo-Boer War. Commemorative Lectures at the Rand Afrikaans University (Johannesburg, 1999). p. 19.
Boer civilians and the scorched earth policy of Lords Roberts and Kitchener in the South African War of 1899-1902