On this day in Yorkshire 1900: A Yorkshireman’s Experience as a Boer Prisoner

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Private H. Barrett, of the 1st Yorkshire Regiment, one of three “Green Howards“ who fell into the hands of the Boers before the occupation of Pretoria, has sent home some interesting notes of his experiences.

While at Waterval, Barrett says, some British prisoners escaped by hiding in holes, which had been dug and covered over with boards and sods.

The other prisoners cut the barbed wire and “faked“ it up, and every night two or three men departed. As no roll call parade ever took place the men were seldom missed, and if an escaped prisoner’s name was called another man answered for him.

Barrett says he has no complaint to make, and the Boers were very civil.

“In fact,” he says, “I think their tempers were often sorely tried by the conduct of the men, and I often wonder why some were not shot for the casual way in which they obeyed orders.”

No money was taken from them, and they were paid 22s. 6d. each, which bad been sent by the British.

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