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Hello All

It was difficult to scan the photos to get them to look like they really are, but hopefully, following a bit of adjustment by myself, they are clear enough. Please let me know if you want me to enlarge any of them. The album is just over 5" wide, and the photos 3" wide. It is my grandfather's album, who I will do a profile on at a later stage. If you can shed any light on any of the places, etc. please do!

Thanks

Alex

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Alex,

Brilliant photos, thank you for sharing them with us! Definetly lets us have a better insight into the war.

Cheers and thank you again!

Sam.

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Alex - the Boer War was really the first major conflict that photographs were freely taken - Kodak having invented that small camera that could close-up. This means that war scenes are not that rare from the period - never-the-less, I would value these , in an album of the period, at about £300 -£400.($450 - $525). They mostly seem to show areas from the old Northern Province (now Limpopo Province) which was heavily fought over in the last part of the War. What is interesting is the mixture of general type pictures and the scenes of prisoners and of damage to property. The photo of Viljoen - just after capture is probably a valuable one in it's own right.

They seem to have survived well - however, don't expose them to light - rather have them copied to show people.

The block houses were built across the Country to stop the Boer Commando's getting to their farms for supplies. There are now - I think - only three original ones left.

The ant heap - is of course, a termite mound.

Field guns on the march - three outriders controlling six horses. They used to sit on the right horses, but some years earlier they were changed to the left - allowed the rider to control the other horse easier with his right hand.

The Field Hospital is very interesting - I will post a model of a waggon to show the detail. Imagine being operated on in the middle of 'nowhere'.

'M.I.' ponies - this stood for Mounted Infantry. A new technique had to be invented for local infantry to keep up with the quick moving Boers. Many local regiments were converted into Mounted Infantry - they used the horses to move quickly, but dismounted to fight as infantry - with horeseholders looking after the horses.

A 'drift' is a local word for a crossing point in a river - a Ford.

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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Alex - the Boer War was really the first major conflict that photographs were freely taken - Kodak having invented that small camera that could close-up. This means that war scenes are not that rare from the period - never-the-less, I would value these , in an album of the period, at about £300 -£400.($450 - $525). They mostly seem to show areas from the old Northern Province (now Limpopo Province) which was heavily fought over in the last part of the War. What is interesting is the mixture of general type pictures and the scenes of prisoners and of damage to property. The photo of Viljoen - just after capture is probably a valuable one in it's own right.

They seem to have survived well - however, don't expose them to light - rather have them copied to show people.

The block houses were built across the Country to stop the Boer Commando's getting to their farms for supplies. There are now - I think - only three original ones left.

The ant heap - is of course, a termite mound.

Field guns on the march - three outriders controlling six horses. They used to sit on the right horses, but some years earlier they were changed to the left - allowed the rider to control the other horse easier with his right hand.

The Field Hospital is very interesting - I will post a model of a waggon to show the detail. Imagine being operated on in the middle of 'nowhere'.

'M.I.' ponies - this stood for Mounted Infantry. A new technique had to be invented for local infantry to keep up with the quick moving Boers. Many local regiments were converted into Mounted Infantry - they used the horses to move quickly, but dismounted to fight as infantry - with horeseholders looking after the horses.

A 'drift' is a local word for a crossing point in a river - a Ford.

Wow...that is all extremely interesting...and I am most amazed at your valuation Mervyn, but judging by your knowledge of the photos, I bow to your knowledge about the album's worth! I'll be intrigued to hear your comments about the other albums/photos I'm going to put on here. I think what I need to do is read a book or two about the war - is Thomas Pakenham's book a good start? Thanks for the tips on how to protect the photos. I must admit, we (my family) have so many bits and pieces that have just sat in a dry, dark room for years, that I wonder how I can protect it all for the future. I guess I'll learn as I go!

Cheers

Alex

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I'll volunteer to look after all your collection if you want Alex :cheers:

:D Very kind of you, but can you provide references??!! Mind you, if you're ever down this way, I'd always be glad for you to have a look.

:beer:

Edited by rusticalex

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Cracking photos Alex

Thanks for taking the time and effort to scan them in. I look forward to seeing any more you may have.

Richard

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Absolutely brilliant and a rare piece of history. What regiment did he serve in?. As Mervyn states M.I. does indeed stand for Mounted Infantry and you would find a number of regiments coming together to form larger units as the M.I.Companies themselves were small in number compared to their parent battalions.

These units also had the distinction of introducing a new rank to the infantry that of "Company Sergeant Major". Colour Sergeants from infantry battalions seconded to the M.I. were given that rank while serving with the M.I., but on returning to their unit had to revert back to the rank of Clr/Sgt.

After the Boer War training in Mounted Infantry tactics continued for a number of years, but appears to have gone into abeyance long before the outbreak of WWI. It's only then do we see a shake up of ranks and battalion structure and the permanent introduction of the CSM.

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Absolutely brilliant and a rare piece of history. What regiment did he serve in?.

My grandfather:

I will do a profile on him at some stage, and his brother, but I've no idea where to start on either of them, as we have so many photos, letters, etc, etc! I'll stick with simpler things for the moment!!

:beer:

Alex

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Simon - don't be 'cheeky' - I saw them first and anyway, these should all be in one of our S.A. museums !!

Graham - I hadn't realised that it was with the MI that the title of Co.Sgt.Maj. was created. Thanks for that 'tidbit'.

Going back to the photos - the two of the remount section at work are particularly interesting. The one with the horses is self explanatory, but these animals ran freely so, they had to put up wire to be able to capture them. The saga of the horses and mules in the Boer War is a very sad one - their life expectancy was short - the food was hard to find and the distances vast. They have recently erected a memorial to the great numbers that died, at the Veterinarian School in Natal - perhaps someone (Brett ?) could give us more info. on the numbers ? They ended up being brought from all over the Empire to provide sufficient numbers. Also, because of the losses, the remount section was a large one.

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