Sunday 22nd of December 2002 06:06 PM 
 
Tributes: Mechiel du Toit

 

2nd Lieut. Mike du ToitThis is the story of the part my grandfather, Mechiel (Mike) Siewert Wiid du Toit, played in the armed forces of the Z.A. Republic and the Anglo-Boer War. For him it was a very short war, lasting precisely eleven days.
For many years I have been trying to piece together his life history and particularly the period leading up to and including the war. I had long suspected that he kept a diary and had fruitlessly scoured the archives and military museums for it. After the closure of the Fort Klapperkop Museum, Pretoria, in 1994 a disposal board had been convened and the diary, which had been in their possession all the time (despite my inquiries), ended up with the Rand Light Infantry in Johannesburg. Thanks to Sergeant Major Peter Wells of this regiment I was able to obtain a copy and this forms the backbone of this work. I assume the diary was written in English for the benefit of my Grandmother who, although fluent in Dutch, spoke English at home.
He was born in Hopetown, Cape Colony, in 1868 the only son of the DRC (Dutch Reformed Church) churchwarden. His father, a stern uncompromising man ran a school in the mission grounds where he and his five sisters were raised in the strict Calvinistic style of the time. They were sent to the Huguenot Seminary in Wellington for further education and Mike seems to have attended SACS as well. After his father's death he emigrated to the Transvaal where he worked in the Surveyor General's Office. Nationalised as a citizen in 1892 he was called up during the Jameson Raid and seemed to have enjoyed the military for in 1897 he married Katie Ferguson, daughter of an American missionary teacher at the Huguenot Seminary, and joined the State Artillery of the Z.A. Republic.
The years after the war were very difficult until he met his wartime colleague J.B.M. Hertzog and obtained the post of police commissioner in the Orange River Colony. He was in police service until 1928 when he contested and won the Pretoria West seat for the National Party and continued in politics until shortly before his death in 1939

He was accepted as a second lieutenant after responding to an advertisement in the Staatscourant and passing the examination. Subjects required were Dutch language, S.A. history, Geography, Algebra, Geometry, Accounting, Nature Study and Artillery Science. Following the Jameson Raid the Government began taking the threat of British imperialism seriously and the personnel of the artillery was increased from 154 officers and men to 416 within months after the capture of Jameson and continued to rise until the outbreak of war. State spending on defence, which was a mere 87,000 in 1895, leapt to 614,000 in 1897 and large quantities of weapons were imported from Germany and France. He and his bride moved into a house, in what is today known as Artillery Way, alongside the headquarters building, and he was assigned to the "Franse" battery. The Artillery was divided into three batteries and the third was so called because they were equipped with six 75mm breech-loading canons from the Schneider works in Le Creusot in France.

Artillery HQ with 3rd Battery
This weapon was very effective and extremely difficult for the enemy to locate, as the low profile and the use of smokeless powder made it almost invisible. The main problem was the brake, which was insufficient and could not control the kick. The other batteries were armed with 75mm Krupp quick firing field guns, the 155mm Siege guns known as "Long Toms", 37mm Maxim Nordenfeldt "pom-poms" plus various other assorted weapons.

3rd Battery personnel


Discipline was similar to that of the Prussian army, where a number of the Boer officers had been on courses, and European instructors had been seconded to mould the force into an efficient fighting unit. Daily drill and inspection parades were carried out and the garrisoning of the recently completed Fort Schanskop formed part of their duties. Mike was promoted to full lieutenant with a salary of 275 per annum in 1897

3rd Battery picnic

when the battery appears to have been on manoeuvres near Rustenburg and wives and girlfriends were allowed to visit. In the accompanying photograph, which could easily have been taken by Mike with his recently acquired camera, Katie can be seen in the centre of the second row seated on the ground wearing the wide brimmed hat. It appears to be a very happy group, with one of the girls sporting a sword in salute, a sad contrast to pictures taken a few years later when many of these women were interned in the concentration camps. King Bunu In July 1898 the unit was sent to Swaziland to support the police who were attempting to arrest the Swazi king, Bunu. In April a senior Induna was murdered in the royal kraal and Krogh, the special commissioner, received instructions that Bunu must face trial. Summons was duly issued but ignored. A week later Bunu arrived at the courthouse with his impis in full battle regalia, whistling, rattling their spears and singing war songs. Information was received in Pretoria that the whole of Swaziland, with the support of Dinizulu, was mobilising and Piet Joubert was dispatched with 1300 commandos and artillery to Bremersdorp to restore order. Bunu still refused to come in and a further 700 men were sent to reinforce the garrison. The Artillery constructed a fort on an exposed rise across the Mzimnene River to the east of the town. The guns were positioned on platforms 2.4 meters high, giving a 360 degree field of fire, and enclosed with a 1.5 meter high earth and sandbag breastwork enclosed by a trench 1.2 meters deep and 1.8 meters wide.
Extracts from Mike's letters to Katie are well worth repeating

"I had the honour of shaking hands with her dusky Majesty the Queen - she is a very fine looking woman with the smell of a pole-cat about her. I wish you could see how her court ladies do up their hair. I shall try to get a collection of photos of native studies and forward them on to you. Some of the kraal ladies are as nude as my hand with the most perfect figures imaginable."

The letter also contains a sketch of the fort and shows the lack of security that prevailed.

Sketch of fort

As with most military operations boredom was the main enemy and he describes it as one of his biggest problems. Bunu fled to Natal and after much negotiating between the British and Boer governments stood trial in September. He was found not guilty of murder but guilty of inciting public violence and fined 500 with expenses to the Transvaal of 1000 and Natal of 146.

Fort at Bremersdorp

Back in Pretoria the Artillery began publication of their own monthly paper, Voorwaarts!, Maandblad van het Corps Staatsartillerie with Mike as the editor and Katie, an accomplished artist, providing the artwork. The banner with a cherub, sword in hand, riding a shell propelled by another cherub, is dated March 1899 and all eight pages are hand-written.

Cover of monthly Paper

Articles range from the battle of Laings Neck, a facsimile of Dingaan's land grant to Retief (in English) and even a correspondence section where a gunner seeks advice on whether life insurance is Biblically acceptable. The language is generally Dutch but this occasionally changes into Afrikaans and it is interesting to note the development of the language. Another of Katie's sketches of the time survives with the title Alarm and shows the gunners falling in on parade. It has written across the bottom in an extremely crude hand Staats Artillerie Kamp and the names of various officers written on the back.

Katie's sketch of the camp

How this scrawl got onto the picture remains a mystery. Voorwaarts did not survive long and was soon swallowed up by other activities as the Corps prepared for the coming struggle.
In September he wrote a letter, in English, to his sister:

Art. Camp
Thursday 28th

My dearest sister, As we are leaving for the frontier tonight I thought a few lines from me would be welcome. Ours and the 1st Battery (12guns) are going to the Natal border where we expect the heaviest fighting will be, maar my zuster, ons moed is goed, want onz zaak is rechtvaardig. I will try to write you now & again from the seat of war. I returned from Natal Tuesday & was very thankful to escape with a whole skin. Give my fondest love to all our dear ones & with very much love to you and Piet, & don't you get low spirited Hester. Remember that one Boer is equal to 10 Englishmen.

Your loving brother
Mike

His wife also wrote to the same sister:

"Mike has been down to Natal as a spy, he left on Friday and got back on Tuesday, it was very dangerous work, but he did it splendidly. They have been trying to find out one particular thing, and had sent nine different men already without any success, & Mike got the information for them"

Quite what the spying trip was is unknown but what is interesting is the following undated entry in his diary:

Diary entry

A fairly accurate assessment of the British force at Dundee!

In early September, it was reported that the British cabinet had decided to send a further 8000 troops to reinforce Natal. Smuts was instructed to draw up plans for a military offensive as Kruger was now convinced that war was imminent. Kruger needed the Free State burgers but President Steyn was uncertain as he still felt peace was possible. Smut's plan was for a blitzkrieg type thrust deep into Natal and the occupation of Durban before the reinforcements could arrive. On the 28th September Kruger could wait no longer and ordered mobilisation and an ultimatum to be drafted for presentation to the British government. President Steyn still held back he wanted the ultimatum redrafted, Kruger was unmoved and on the 2nd October the Free State mobilised. The ultimatum was finally presented to the British agent at 5p.m. On the 9th October, the same day British troops began disembarking in Durban. Smut's blitzkrieg had lost its advantage.

At the artillery camp on the 28th September the action was feverish. Captain Pretorius, in charge of the 3rd battery had his men up before dawn. They paraded and then marched past the Presidents house and up Market Street to the station. Here the scene was festive, the artillery band under lieutenant Maggs played stirring music, women wore their best clothes and hundreds of guests and well wishers came to see the contingent leave.

Boers embarking at Pretoria for Natal

Loading commenced and 60 men, 6 guns, 8 ammunition wagons and 105 horses were entrained. Mike kissed his now pregnant wife goodbye and to the strains of the Volkslied and the applause of the bystanders the train pulled out. After three monotonous days interspersed with interminable halts the train finally pulled up at Sandspruit, a siding about 15 kilometres from the Natal border.

Sandspruit camp with Majuba beyond

As far as the eye could see the veld was speckled with tents and wagon laagers with new burghers arriving in a continuous stream. The horses and equipment were offloaded and camp pitched. The third battery had a very capable veterinary officer (paardenarts) in the person of Arnold Theiler, who later gained world renown as the founder of Onderstepoort. The Republic flag and a large marquee on the left of the tracks announced the presence of the Commandant General, Piet Joubert and councils of war were already in progress.

Mike's diary entry

For the next few days a holiday atmosphere prevailed, hunting parties went out and braaivleis and Boeremusiek were the order of the day.
The war council was already experiencing the disagreement that was to plague the Boer forces throughout the war. Every general wanted his own artillery detachment and the State Artillery ceased to exist as a cohesive unit as the guns and men were allotted piecemeal to the various commanders. Mike and others of the 1st and 3rd batteries were attached to the 2000 strong commando of General Lukas Meyer.
General Joubert addressed the men from the saddle. Pointing at Majuba, which was clearly visible from the camp, and Natal beyond he reminded them how that country was stolen from their forefathers by the English and the victory they achieved on the mountain in 1881. He urged them to go and take it back.
The Boers plan of attack was to isolate the British garrisons in central Natal and then press on to Durban. The Transvaal forces were divided into three columns, the left and centre to attack General Penn Symons at Dundee whilst the right was to link up with the Freestaters and attack General White at Ladysmith.

General Penn-Symons General Lukas Meyer

General White, the British commander in Natal, who had arrived from India on the 7th of October, was never in favour of the positions adopted by General Symons by dividing his force between the two towns. He wished to consolidate his force behind the Tugela and await the arrival of Buller the Commander in Chief and his reinforcements now on the high seas.

Mike's diary entry

The Natal governor, much influenced by the debunked Randlords who had sought refuge in Pietermaritzburg, placed White under immense pressure to save the coal fields and advised that any withdrawal would be construed by the still rumbling Zulu impis as a sign of weakness. White decided to leave the troops where they were.

On the morning of the 12th the great advance began. The right hand column under the command of the 64 year old General Kock had special orders to cut the railway line between Dundee and Ladysmith and occupy the Biggarsberg pass. The centre, comprising the Heidelberg, Pretoria and Boksburg commandos under General "Maroela" Erasmus were to take Newcastle and then attack the garrison at Dundee from the north-west. The left column under General Lukas Meyer was to follow the Natal border to de Jagersdrift and then cross into Natal and attack the garrison at Dundee from the northeast. Strategically the plan was excellent and should isolate the two garrisons.

Mike's diary entry


Mike (centre), Arnold Theiler (left)


Mike's Diary; 15 Oct
The last three days have been hard ones for everyone. We left Volksrust on Thursday afternoon & after going for about 2 hours a fearful rainstorm came on & as our provision wagons were too overloaded we left them behind to follow slowly. The rain came down in such torrents that I was compelled to stop the Battery & outspan. Most of the men sat against the gun wheels all night. Fred R. & I managed to get a little sleep on the sopping ground. The whole of Friday was showery & by evening every bit of my clothes was wet. In spite of this I managed to put in a good night. Yesterday the sun came through & we got all our things dry. One of the provision wagons also caught up with us, so that everyone was in good humour again after feeding the inner man. Last night we came to this place - it belongs to an uncle of Fred's, but he is away on commando. This afternoon we go on to Doornberg where we have to wait for further orders from Genl. Meyer. Yesterday we heard about the Mafeking encounter & this morning we heard that 2000 troops are coming down to meet us at the Buffels R. drift.

The Fred R. referred to is F.L. Rotthmann an old family friend whom seemed to have "attached" himself to the artillery unit in order to be with his colleague. The bad weather bogged everything down. The guns were pulled through, but with insufficient ammunition and the horses, mules and cattle were so knocked up that they could not go on. The expected reinforcements were the Commandos from Piet Retief and Ermelo plus Schalk Burger's Eastern Transvaal commandos and the Swaziland police.

Mike's Diary; 17 Oct
At Doornberg. Yesterday the Major sent me in to Utrecht to buy goods & from there I wired to K. & had a good breakfast at a real table. When I returned the artillery had already left for this place so I had to put in about 20 miles quick trotting. I had taken cold the day before & now began to feel the effects of it. Last night I was utterly miserable & took to my bed on the ground at 6 p.m. It was real pleasure to see the kindness of the men when they saw that I was sick. Lottering was convinced that the only thing for me was a hot punch, & he managed to make some very drinkable stuff. I am sure it did me good for I had a good night and am feeling better this morning. When I woke this morning Mrs Dr. B. was lying on the ground about 10 yds off, fast asleep. She had come on horseback in the night & wanted to join us but I doubt very much if the Major will accept her services at present. A report has just come in that heavy canon firing heard Ladysmith way yesterday, so it is possible that Genl. Kock and Freestaters have tackled that town. We are about 15 miles distant from Dundee & are expecting Genl. Meyer here this evening, when I trust he will let us go in at once for there is a certain amount of dissatisfaction amongst the burghers at this - to them - reasonless delay.

The war was already seven days old and still not a shot had been fired in anger. The column had advanced some 90 kilometres and the Boers, especially the younger ones were growing increasingly disenchanted at the lack of action. Commandant General Piet Joubert with the railway at his disposal, had only advanced 45 kilometres as far as Newcastle

Commandos on a train at Newcastle

Mike's Diary; 18 Oct
Our ammunition wagons have still not turned up yet so we are still waiting here (near Doornberg). From the Kop the English Camp at Dundee is quite visible. They seem to be about 4000 strong & we hear that they are very strong in artillery. Our men are getting very sick. 18th. Eersteling - near de Jager's drift. At last the fortified koppies around Dundee are plainly visible & we are only 4 miles distant from the N. border. It is full moon tonight and I expect the burghers will send out a strong guard for it is not impossible that the English might try to surprise us. Report says that there are a little over 5000 troops in Dundee with " 30 guns.

On the evening of the 19th October Meyer's force of about 4000 men assembled at de Jagersdfift, and following a stirring sermon by Dominee Anderssen of Vryheid, crossed the Buffalo River into Natal. Guided by a friendly Natalian they made their way in the pouring rain across the veld and after a brief engagement with a British picket arrived at the back of Talana at three-thirty in the morning. Two Krupp and Mike's Creusot 75mm guns were laboriously hauled to the summit. Permission to build breastworks was denied by Meyer. As dawn broke and a gentle breeze cleared the mist the enemy camp was clearly visible in the valley below.

Talana Hill from the British camp

During the night General Erasmus had with great difficulty got his men to the top of 1600m high Impati Mountain to the northwest of the town but the crown was buried in the clouds. In the British camp the troops had paraded as usual at 5.00 and were told to prepare for infantry training. Movement on Talana caused an uneasy stirring, as the Boers were easily visible silhouetted against the dawn sky. Confusion reigned, was it the town guard, their own picket or the enemy.
Meyer viewed the unease in the British camp and kept glancing at Impati from whence the order to attack should come. After much prompting from the burghers he eventually gave the order for the artillery to open fire. As the first shells crashed amongst the British tents, men were seen scurrying in all directions and Symons is reported as saying "Dammed impudence to start shelling before breakfast". On top of the hill the Boer gunners were giving it everything they had. A lot of the ammunition was poor and the percussion fuses failed to explode in the wet ground. The British artillery was quick to organise and after finding they were out of range they galloped through the town and deployed at a range of 2000 yards. The hilltop was raked by shrapnel and without the protection of breastworks and silhouetted against the eastern skyline the Boers were forced to pull back their guns.

Artists impression of the British storming Talana

At about this time Mike was struck below the left knee by a piece of shrapnel and the bone broken in two places. He fell next to his gun and it was here that his friend Fred Rothmann found him trying to crawl to safety from the hail of shrapnel. Mike wrote in Afrikaans after the war:

As I lay by the canon, half conscious, I became aware of a long slab of a man with a pipe in his mouth at my side and he indicated that he was going to carry me piggyback. He manoeuvred me onto his back and we set off, shells bursting all around us. One burst so close that it threw both of us to the ground. All I could hear was Fred cursing the English because his pipe went missing when he fell. After finding it he again managed to struggle me onto his back and on we went.

Fred carried Mike for a few hundred meters over the stony ground to safety behind some large boulders. An ambulance arrived shortly thereafter and Mike was taken in a stretcher to a farmhouse at the back of the hill that had been converted into a field hospital. Here he was placed in the care of a Dr. van der Merwe whose initial reaction was to amputate but decided to defer his decision.

Boer field ambulance

Dr G.O. Moorhead, a general practitioner from Middelburg Transvaal, was the son of a British military surgeon and was born in India. He was serving at this field hospital with the Boers, at what is today known as Thornley Farm, described the scene.

"The farmhouse, a solid building with stone walls and stone offices, presented an extraordinary appearance. The yard was full of horses standing patiently with their bridles hanging down and their saddles glistening in the rain. Boers in every possible state of mind were crowded about - wounded men were being helped in by their friends, carried down in blankets or overcoats from the hill above where the rifles still cracked out. Shrapnel whizzed noisily overhead now and then. All looked angry and frightened. I stepped into the house. Right opposite me, crumpled in the passage lay the body of Field Cornet Joubert of the Middelburgers, a little round hole in the centre of his four-coloured hatband. In a room to the right the little German artillery doctor welcomed us warmly and asked for dressings. On a large bed lay Lt. Du Toit, with whom I had ridden a couple of days previously, his leg shattered by shrapnel. Beside him lay an Artillery private shot through both lungs, the floor was covered with wounded, pools of water and blood lay everywhere. Every room was full of groaning forms.
I broke into the tiny pantry and established myself there and for an hour and more was busy dressing man after man as they were brought in. The occasional scream of a shell over the roof told me the fight was not yet over.
There was at length a moment's breathing space, and I went outside to try and see what was going on. I noticed a young British officer with a bandaged hand, Lt. Weldon of the 1st Leicestershire. Presently I saw him strolling nonchalantly away round the hill. A stout red-faced Commandant ordered the burghers to bring him back. "Leave your weapons here, he is unarmed," he added further, a kindly trait at such a moment.
The confusion in the hospital all this time was indescribable. There were only two stretchers available and wounded men were constantly coming in. They were laid on the floor until they lay touching one another all over the house. They were all wet and sopping, there were no dry clothes or bedding available but fortunately the kitchen kept going all day and always provided something warm. Lt du Toit told me he and an artillery man named Schultz had worked a Krupp and a Pom Pom until they were both struck down at the same time.
The next thing I remember was a clear English voice asking who was in charge of the hospital and the voice of Dr van der Merwe modestly replying that he thought he was. I went out and found a flushed and panting subaltern of the Dublin Fusiliers, his helmet pushed back, a sword in one hand and a revolver in the other. At his back a half a company of grimy, panting soldiers with fixed bayonets. The British had taken possession, the hill was theirs. Some British wounded now came in but room was found with the greatest difficulty, there were over 80 people lying in one small house.

Thornley farm today - a National Monument

It is interesting to note that the British fired 1237 rounds of shell and the troops 82000 rounds of ball cartridge. Therefore at this battle it took about 8oz. Shrapnel and over 500 Lee Metford bullets to account for every Transvaaler.

The British had after a fierce struggle driven the Boers off Talana and the burghers were streaming back across the veld to de Jagersdrift. It was at best a Pyrrhic victory for the British troops, totally exhausted, they had been on their feet without food for ten hours and were in no condition to pursue the Boers. Their casualties were horrendous, 51 dead and dying including General Symons, 203 wounded and 220 missing. General Yule, who had assumed command after Symons was mortally wounded, now received reports of large bodies of Boers advancing on the town from the opposite direction and ordered his men back to camp.

Mike's Diary; Friday 21st
Yesterday we had a severe engagement with the English & got the worst of it. Am lying here with a smashed leg. Love to Katie.

Throughout the battle General Erasmus on top of Impati had stood impassive, sucking on his pipe, glowering into the mist. The sound of the battle below reverberated off the surrounding hills and despite the pleadings of his men to lead them into battle, he still took no action. No satisfactory explanation has ever been given for Erasmus's inactivity and the failure of General Kok to attack along the railway from Glencoe junction. but it may well have been the personality clashes that existed. There is no doubt that had the three pronged co-ordinated attack taken place as planned the British force would have been annihilated. On the morning of the 21st October the Boers had positioned a 155mm Long Tom siege gun on the slopes of Mount Impati and began shelling the British camp at a range of 10,000 yards. British intelligence had reported these guns, which were originally for the defence of Pretoria, as immovable and it came as a nasty shock to the new British commanding officer General Yule. He spent the day moving his men about to get out of range of the 80lbs shells, before abandoning his hospitals and wounded, and slipping away during the night. The same day the Boers from Mount Impati occupied Dundee.
In the Boer hospital behind the hill Fred had sat with Mike throughout the night. The next morning the Boer doctors loaded the wounded onto wagons and sent them to the field ambulance at de Jagersdrift. Fred went with Mike. He described the scene in a letter to his sister also written in English. These are extracts.

De Jagersdrif
25 October 1899.

I write from our ambulance station, where our wounded have been brought following the battle. I managed to get a room for Mike on his own, it was very fortunate, because I don't know what we would have done in a larger room with other people. He is in continuos pain; and I sit with him day and
Fred Rothman night. He can only sleep with morphine and this is the only time I get any sleep. We have plenty of food but need trained nurses desperately. A British doctor has come out from Dundee, and after consulting with our doctors, agreed to take the badly wounded into the hospital in Dundee. It will be impossible for Mike too go the fifteen miles by wagon and this British doctor has kindly offered to have him transported in a dhoolie.


 

Mike composed a telegram to the State Secretary, Reitz, asking for his sister Leonora, a trained nurse to be sent to look after him. He also wired Katie, sent by the ever faithful Fred.

Telegram to State Secretary, Reitz - Denys Reitz's father

There is a chance of leg being amputated, am leaving for Dundee tomorrow. See President for free pass for self and Leo. Come through Natal to Dundee. Can get cottage for us. Bring water pillows for bedsores. Fred is with me, bring Annie.*

The British doctor referred to was Surgeon-Major F.A.B. Daly, an Australian serving in the British hospital abandoned by the retreating General Yule. He published his memoirs many years after the war and recounted the incident. After consultation with the Boer doctors, Mike was assured that his leg could be saved provided he was moved to the hospital that had been set up in the Scandinavian mission in Dundee. He did not seem to think he could survive the journey because the final entry in his diary was as a letter addressed to Katie in a different handwriting.

Mike's Diary; 26 Oct 1899
My dear old Katie, The Drs. think that I should be carried to Dundee, a distance of 15 miles to have the x-rays tried on my leg. Personally I don't think I can live through this journey that is why I am dictating these lines to Fred. Every one has been most kind to me. Be sure Katie that if I do die tomorrow my last thoughts will be of you.
Fondest love
Mike

He stood the journey well and was housed in the house of the local minister together with a number of wounded British officers. He was of great assistance to Dr Daly in procuring supplies from the local Commandant and even managed to organise 297 sheep for the hospital. Upon his return to Pretoria he spoke so highly of Dr Daly that a set of trophy kudu horns was presented by Louis Botha to the doctor.
On November 10 Mike's condition was so improved that he was fit to travel and a special train with an ambulance carriage conveyed him, Katie and Leonora to Elandslaagte. Here they lay for about ten days and could clearly hear the booming of the artillery as Ladysmith was besieged. No more wounded were received and the train was required to move up to Modderspruit closer to the front. The Doctor thought that Mike should be sent to hospital in Pretoria and so they were placed in a van and attached to an ordinary train On the 17 November Izaac von Alphen using his newly acquired x-ray apparatus assisted Doctors von der Horst

Ambulance train in Pretoria

and von Gernet to remove a piece of shrapnel and two bullets from Mike's leg.
When the British occupied Pretoria on the 6 June 1900, Mike, back in uniform and only able to walk with difficulty and was taken prisoner. On the 26 July he was granted parole and with Katie and their recently born son Louis were given permission to proceed to Hopetown to stay with his brother in law, Pieter du Toit. From there he went to Gordons' Bay where he appears to have been when the war ended.

The End

* Annie was Fred's sister

Pierre du Toit. All rights reserved.
All changes South African War Virtual Library. All rights reserved.

 

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Links

Anglo-Boer War Museum
Also known as the War Museum of the Boer Republics
100 Memoriam Road, Bloemfontein. Includes photographs, memorabilia and research material. The Women's Memorial is next to the museum; erected in 1913, it commemorates the 26, 370 women and children who died in concentration camps during the war.
Open Monday - Friday 9am - 4.30pm, Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 2pm - 5pm. Tel: (051) 447-3447. Fax: (051) 447-1322.
E-mail: museum@anglo-boer.co.za

South African National Museum of Military History
The Museum is situtated in the northern Johannesburg suburb of Saxonwold adjacent to the Johannesburg Zoo and close to the recreational area of Zoo Lake. It is easily accessible by road from the Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vaal Triangle and a number of bus routes pass close by. There is ample parking for the motorist.

Further Reading

Van der Byl, C.F. Patrolling in South Africa. Aldershot: Gale & Polden, 1902. U220V36.

Zeitlre, C. Die Artillerie im Sudafrikanischen Kriege. Berlin: Militarische Leilfrogen, 1920. DT931Z48.