1901: Shoot the Boer
March 4, 2019
1901: A New Zealand Rough Rider’s grim work involved burning down farm houses and killing sheep. This picture has just been re-released in colourised form.
War is hell. Apart from putting each other in the ground with bullets, Boer and British also took the war to livestock and shelters. My guess is this emaciated looking horse belonged to the Boers and was being confiscated by the Kiwis or it would be dead beside the sheep by this point.
Non-combatants would have been rounded up before their farm was scorched and sent to prisoner camps. More than 30,000 farms like this one were burnt out. To win the war we New Zealanders made life hell for the South Africans so that they’d give in…
“Miserable scenes are to be seen on the travel, at farm houses men, women & children are to be seen almost starving, I have seen women & children crying terribly when we would burn down their wagons & take away everything that would be of use to the enemy, you cannot think what a horrible thing war is unless you have seen it with your own eyes, but the brutes still hold out.”- Private Frank Swanwick, Fourth Contingent; The Penguin book of New Zealanders at war (2009)
The New Zealanders were out of South Africa by 1902 and within 12 months were unveiling monuments to victory like this one from Hokitika…
Such a contrast between the two photos. One the gritty dirty work, the other clean and safe and civil. New Zealanders were hankering to quench their Honour Culture thirst and the South African War provided the opportunity.
Ref. Hokitika South African War memorial clock; AHNZ photo 2008
Ref. Destruction of Boer farm; NZ History.gov
Ref. Colorised by Tinus le Roux; Boer War Colourised Photographs; Facebook
Thanks to History Geek for sharing it