King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
On the Veldt: The British Army in South Africa 1899-1902

Climate and landscape

After the Battle of Bergendal 1900The Battle of Bergendal part oneThe veldt

In the two images here, Colour Sergeant John Archer photographed the land over which the Battle of Bergendal had taken place.

Dated 27 August 1900, the two photographs on either side provide an idea of what the vast South African plains looked like.

After the Battle of Bergendal 1900The Battle of Bergendal part twoA familiar scene

Captain William Lawson described the South African landscape as:

‘...rather like Scotland, and quite green now, but the grass will soon be dried up. We all feel very well here, the only trouble is the swarms of locusts and dust storms. The sky occasionally is quite black with the clouds of locusts and they eat everything.’

(Reference: Burnham 1, ‘Letter to son, Freddie’, 13 March 1900’)

Scouting Boers

Panorama of TaiboschlaagtePhotographic panorama of Taiboschlaagte Following on from the Bergendal battlefield photographs, Lieutenant Foulkes of the Royal Engineers took a similar image of Boer positions at Taiboschlaagte, near Johannesburg.

In contrast, this photograph shows the steep kopjes and hilly terrain which dotted the low-lying land. The pencil lines drawn on indicate key positions and observations of the Boer camp.

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