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The Boers; The fighting farmers that created Commando

boer-deleray.jpg (17752 bytes) Click to enlarge Click to enlarge

Boer General De Le Ray

A Boer commando in the veld

Fighting was a family affair. Here are 3 generations of Boers, armed to the teeth.
The BOERS were mainly of Dutch origin who had moved to South Africa to escape religious persecution in Holland. During the Napoleonic Wars Britain seized South Africa, in 1814, and the Dutch (Boer) settlers trekked north and set up the Afrikaner Republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State. When newcomers of British stock started to settle in the republics and there was a British build up the Boers declared war on Britain on 11 October 1899.
They were in many ways very like the Australians of that time. Outdoors types, good with livestock, able to ride all day, good marksmen, used to hard living, fiercely independent, reluctant to bow to authority, contemptuous of "class" and when they formed into military style units they elected their officers, as did early Australian units. They were a tough, hard enemy. They wore no uniforms, they supplied their own horses and rifles, they could live off the land and fought as guerrillas. They had the edge on the class ridden, hide bound, scarlet clad British army who were still marching into the guns in strict formation to the sounds of the pipes and drums .

The Boers found the Australians quite different.

Anglo-Boere Oorlog Medalje

Original: Authorised in 1920 for issue to Boer combatants of all ranks; no bars but on ribbon. Some 14,000 were distributed.

Commemorative, as shown: Silver nickel on ribbon. Addition of bar “Magersfontein”.




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