south african war

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South African War memorials

South African 'Boer' War

  • Page 1 – South African War 1899-1902

    The South African War of 1899-1902, often called the Boer War (sometimes the Second Boer War), was the first overseas conflict to involve New Zealand

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  • Page 2 – Origins of the conflict

    Overview of the origins of the South African (Boer) War and New Zealand's response to the outbreak of war between Britain and the Boers

  • Page 3 – The Boers

    The term Boer is derived from the Afrikaans word for farmer and was used to describe the people in southern Africa who traced their ancestry to Dutch, German and French

  • Page 4 – New Zealand's response

    New Zealand raises a contingent of mounted rifles for service in South Africa. The 215-man contingent leaves Wellington on 21 October 1899, arriving in Cape Town over a month

  • Page 5 – Conditions in South Africa

    The New Zealanders who served in the South African War not only had to endure the stress of combat but also the harsh climate and landscape of southern Africa.

  • Page 6 – Key battles: 1899-1900

    A summary of key battles fought by New Zealand troops in South Africa, 1899-1900.

  • Page 7 – Guerrilla war: 1901-1902

    A summary of the guerrilla war fought between New Zealand troops and Boer forces in South Africa, 1901-1902.

  • Page 8 – Māori and the war

    Māori were generally supportive of New Zealand's involvement in the South African War. Although willing to enlist in the New Zealand contingents, Māori were officially excluded

  • Page 9 – The home front

    The majority of New Zealanders supported the war effort, yet there were still elements of society that were opposed to the presence of New Zealand troops in South Africa.

  • Page 10 – Further information

    Website links and books relating to New Zealand and the South African War

NZ units in South Africa 1899-1902

Biographies

  • Bain, Wilhelmina Sherriff

    Wilhelmina Bain was a feminist and peace activist who gained notoriety for her outspoken views against New Zealand’s participation in the South African War.

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  • Callaway, John Walter

    John Walter Callaway (Wāta te Wahahuia) or Walter, as he was commonly known, is credited with being the first Māori to serve in the South African War.

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  • Rees, Lily

    Annie Lee Rees (or Lily) was one of the 20 New Zealand women selected to work as teachers for the Boer children living in the concentration camps in South Africa.

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  • Bradford, George Roland

    Born in Sussex, England in 1870, George Roland Bradford was the first member of a New Zealand military force to be killed while serving overseas.

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  • Coutts, Henry Donald

    Henry Coutts was one of four colonial soldiers to receive a woollen scarf knitted by Queen Victoria in recognition of an act of gallantry.

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  • By the time HMS Philomel arrived in New Zealand in 1914, it had a long and eventful history behind it.

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