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Re: Re: Boers and Cowboys (O'B & Jon)

Personally, I think that it is reasonable to acknowledge that in situations of war, some people may become like animals and completely lose it. I'm sure that those British soldiers who were responsible for the death of Boer civilians were later plagued by nightmares and many may have indeed committed suicide after the war ended. It would be interesting to see if there are any studies covering this aspect of warfare.

I met, years ago, an elderly lady, who was gang raped during WW2. She could still not talk to any man, some 45 years after it had happened.
A good friend of mine had to count killed enemies in Vietnam by putting their ears into a bag. Not a nice thing, neither then nor from today's perspective.

Our hobby should not enable some sick perverts to recreate those most gruesome and tragic events. Out of respect for the victims we should refrain ourselves from depiction of cruelty. Let's remember the dead of all wars as worthy humans, some misled to follow evil instructions, others being true heroes. Say NO to torture camps in 1/72 scale!

BTW, I also use the Imex civilian sets as Boers.

Emily Hobhouse

Dear Jan
There were also good people like Emily Hobhouse who campaigned on behalf of the people in the camps and was indeed honoured by the S Africans. Newspapers like the Manchester Guardian (present day Guardian) printed stories about the camps including first hand accounts.

Nightmares and mental health issues were not talked about back in the early 20th cent. Admission of such could lead to incarceration in a mental asylum with no guarantee of release. Suicide carried a great stigma but many probably did choose that way out. Most of the mental asylums in the UK were disbanded in the 1980s/90s and the copious records that had been kept since Victiorian times were lost in many cases.
The Public Record Office/National Archives should have discharge details for the Boer War. There is also WO32/8063 onwards which are War Office reports on the camps-these are held at Kew again PRO/NA.

It would follow that the person responsible was Lord Kitchener, the successor to Lord Roberts, as he had declared martial law. Kitchener seemed to attract equal amounts of popularity and hate and both in great measure.

Re: Emily Hobhouse

Thanks David,

I'm impressed with your knowledge about the Colonial era. I think it would be awesome to have people like Emily Hobhouse scaled down to 1/72. I'm also sure that most soldiers on both the British and the Boer side of the war had honorable motives and were noble warriors throughout. Had they met each other in peaceful times they would probably have shared an Oatmeal Stout and played Rugby together.

Re: Re: Emily Hobhouse

Hi Jan,

Your comments are closer to truth than people may realize. When I asked my S.A. boss about the concentration camps, his parting comment under a chuckle was, "What, 10 years later we were fighting together in WWI. We are all still part of the same Commonwealth!"

Ohm Küger

in my opiniaon he was great man to figth agaist british imperialism and by the way lots of volunteers fougth in Boer side like my great grandpa who was 11 when he went south aafrica with his brother and frends and he killd a lot of Brits when he game back he hated brits more.he saw terrible thing there.


Dear Hellus

in the Boer War many Boers and S Africans fought for the British. Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders also volunteered to fight on the side of the British empire.

S Africans played an important part in the East African campaigns in WWI and were highly respected by all in WWII for their commitment.

Boer leaders like Jan Smuts helped with the reconciliation and indeed became a figure the equal of Churchill. His biography shows how important he was in the 20th c. A great statesman.