Casper Hoffmann was commandeered for service with the Heidelberg Commando on 30 September 1899 and entrained for Commandant General Joubert’s laager at Sandspruit near the Natal border shortly afterwards.
He fought at various Natal engagements including Platrand (Wagon Hill: 6 January 1900) and Spion Kop (24 January 1900). On 2 February some 750 men of the Heidelberg Commando left for the O.F.S. front and ended up at Paardeberg where they were ordered to hold General Cronje’s left flank.
On 27 February 1900, when General Cronje surrendered, 7 Heidelbergers (including Hoffmann) were among those captured.
He was initially held as PoW at Simons Town and eventually sent to St Helena and returned home in August 1902.
Sold with copied Vorm ‘B' and page from PoW Register as well as original envelope addressed to him as PoW.
As their families and friends did not necessarily know the location where Boer PoW were held, it was officially ruled that all letters to prisoners should be addressed:
C/o Deputy Assistant Adjutant General (A)
Castle Barracks Cape Town.
The envelope is a scarce example of Boer War philately. It is addressed as officially prescribed and was sent from Heidelberg, Z.A.R, on 9 April 1900. It travelled the “long way ” via Lourenco Marques in Portuguese Mozambique (faint back stamp in violet) and was censored in Durban on 3 May 1900 (pink censor label affixed) and again at Simons Town (round censor cachet in violet).