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A Boer wedding in a concentration camp 4 months 3 weeks ago #78314

  • BereniceUK
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A sketch of part of a photograph - it looks to me as though it's been cropped at the right - of a wedding at "the racecourse concentration camp."


...."The above reproduction of a photograph taken recently amply disproves the oft-repeated pro- Boer assertions that nothing but misery exists in the concentration camps in South Africa. Here is actually a Boer wedding in the racecourse concentration camp. Evidently the young couple did not think their lot hard, although they were agreed it would be better to go in "double harness" rather than to live in single blessedness when they had been brought together in the camp. The rich, neat dress of the bride and the wreath of orange blossoms does not indicate extreme poverty. The ladies in distinctive uniform are Boer nurses, and the others are also Boers, including the clergyman who has tied the nuptial knot. The photograph was taken by Mr Alexander Mennie, son of the late Dr Mennie, Aberdeen, whose mother, brother, and sister reside in St Swithln Street. Mr Mennie is at present engaged in dispensing medicine in the camp, a position for which experience in this country qualified him. In a letter home he states that the Boers in the concentration camps are well treated—better even than our own refugees often were at certain stages of the campaign."
The Aberdeen Journal, Tuesday 30th January 1902

There are Mennies still living in Aberdeen. Could the original photograph still exist?
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A Boer wedding in a concentration camp 4 months 3 weeks ago #78318

  • Rob D
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The “Racecourse Camp” was sited on Port Elizabeth racecourse, but in March 1901 it moved to higher ground, 3 km NW of the town. It was never part of the main camp system - it was run by the military and never by the civilian administration. There was never a problem with accommodation, rations, or other shortages.

The concentration camp in Port Elizabeth held an average of 230 children and 86 women housed in three corrugated iron huts encircled by a high barbed wire fence. There was also a separate fenced camp for 32 men in tents.  The huts were divided into separate rooms, furnished with hospital beds and bedding. Meals were served in a dining room and compared with other camps, food was lavish.

Only 14 people died at this concentration camp during the South African War; 12 of these died October 1900 to July 1901. 

The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
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