I seemed to have “hijacked” the topic “Concentration Camp at Barberton” when I made a reference to the UCT Concentration Camp Data and medals to Boers who changed sides and served with the British.
It is a very sad but interesting aspect of the Boer War and one that caused deep divisions among Afrikaners for decades after the war. Families were torn apart, impoverished “bittereinders” were deeply resentful of “hensoppers & joiners” whose farms were not burnt down and whose stock survived unharmed and there was even a separate church for a number of years, the so-called “Scout Kerk”.
As such, I propose a new topic as per above heading and will set the ball rolling with the 1½ medals to P W J Jordaan.
Pieter Willem Johannes Jordaan was 45 years old when, on 29 May 1901, he voluntarily surrendered to the British on his farm Hebron in the Carolina District. Prior to that he had served in the Carolina Commando and saw service in Natal and Eastern Transvaal.
Jordaan, with his wife, 4 sons and 7 daughters arrived in the Middelburg Refugee Camp on 29 May 1901 and was allocated Tent No I 1085
Some 8 months later he left the Camp to join the National Scouts, serving in No 3 Wing as 1041 Tpr P W J Jordaan. He was one of less than 10% of the more than 1700 National Scouts entered on the relevant QSA Rolls who actually claimed their medals (the balance were returned to Woolwich in March 1909). However, with the stigma attached to the Scouts, he took off the suspender, erased the regimental number, his initials and surname and wore the disk as a watch fob. Fortunately, very feint traces of the missing data can, with a little bit of imagination, be made out.
He died in 1916 (I still have to draw his estate file) and in March 1922 his widow applied for an ABO medal for her late husband. She claimed that he had served for the duration of the war (omitting to say that it was on both sides!) and managed to get two Burghers to sign the Vorm “B” in support. A posthumous ABO medal to Burger P W J Jordaan was duly issued.
A really superb pair of medals, I am with envy, you are very lucky, again, the thing I noticed here was that the actual recipient has not claimed the ABO himself, still really very nice though.
Kind regards Frank
Good morning Justin,
Thank you, your post has confirmed what I have long suspected, I remember looking at these men in WO100 twenty years ago now and being quite surprised at the large numbers of them, I do have more respect for the bitterenders though!
JustinLDavies wrote: Henk,
Many thanks. This is a fascinating and emotive topic. It was brave of Jordaan to wear Queen Victoria and Britannia as a watch fob.
It is little remarked but quite remarkable that at the signing of peace on 31 May 1902 the National Scouts was the largest unit in South Africa. I've verified this from two sources:
1. The official June 1902 return of ex-Burghers serving with the British shows the strength of the National Scouts as 1,359.
2. The CO of the National Scouts (Major A.R. Hoskins, North Staffs) reported to the Provost Marshal in Pretoria that the strength of the NS was 1,333.
This is then followed by the Farmers Guard at 615 and the Orange River Colony Volunteers at 448.