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Descendants of Boer Prisoners in India 4 months 2 weeks ago #84294

  • Rohp
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Did any Boer prisoners who were sent to India remain and settle there?

India has an Anglo Indian community made up of British and Indian inter marriages. Is there any evidence of Boers remaining in India after they were taken there as prisoners after the 2nd Boer War?

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Descendants of Boer Prisoners in India 4 months 2 weeks ago #84303

  • mike rowan
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Now that's an interesting speculation. I know that there were Boer communities in Kenya and South America but have never heard of Boer settlement in India ( or St Helena or Bermuda , for that matter ) . Maybe the places to which POWs were sent were so different to what they were used to that they were not that keen to stay . I guess that the groups that settled in South America etc. did so to get away from the Brits. If they stayed in India they were rather stuck with them.

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Descendants of Boer Prisoners in India 4 months 2 weeks ago #84313

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Thank you for that reply. My interest in the subject is that I was born in South Africa during Apartheid in the Indian community/race group. I have heard of Boer Prisoners in India escaping from Brit prisons by, for example: dressing up as Brit soldiers and simply walking through the gates under disguise. What happened of them in the then British India. Many would have escaped to French and Portugese held territories in India to escape the Brits.

What is very interesting is that FW de Klerk , the last Apartheid president, said that one of his ancestors was an Indian woman? He was pukka Afrikaaner/Boer and it intrigues how this Indian ancestry would have come about.

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Descendants of Boer Prisoners in India 4 months 2 weeks ago #84316

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I recall, although I can't now place my hands on the article, reading about a Boer chap who had opted to stay behind in Diyatalawa (Ceylon now Sri Lanka). There was a photo of him as well. He had "married" into the local community and had produced issue.

There were probably quite a number of such cases, especially among those who refused to sign the oath of allegiance and whose repatriation to South Africa was indefinitely delayed as a result.

Apropos the movement of POW's - it was common-place for men to have almost unrestricted movement in and out of the POW camp - the theory was (and it still applied in WWI), that a gentleman's word is his bond and, once anyone who wandered out of the camp would return voluntarily. Passes, like the one attached, were also given to allow freedom of movement.



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