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Mafeking was one of the three towns besieged by the Boers at the start of the Anglo-Boer War

in 1899. The Boers had quite a substantial standing army at that time and had been planning

for when war would be declared. Their first actions were to besiege the towns of

Kimberley ,Ladysmith , and Mafeking.

Kimberley and Ladysmith both had substantial garrisons. Mafeking - being in the North towards

the Botswana Border (at that time it was Bechuanaland) did not have so many men to make a

defence. Baden-Powells volunteer regiment were the main force, with local levies , a few

other local troops and a unit from the British South Africa Police.

The siege lasted far longer then the others and Britain became very aware of the plight of our

troops. Marches were held and collections held to provide comforts for the troops. When the

siege was eventually lifted in mid-May 1900 , with the arrival of our Relief Force there was

great rejoicing throughout the Empire and for some years Mafeking Day became a public holiday.

Always an unimportant place - it's only days of glory were the siege. It is noted today for a

number of luxury hotels and a game park.

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This was originally given out with the main Durban paper - The Natal Mercury. It was also

sold on it's own as a commemorative item. Printed on linen backed paper and with the

colours of the flag, it is now a rare collector's piece.

Here are enlargements of the top and bottom halves - easier to read. Mervyn

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