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Today in Kimberley's History

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY – 13 JANUARY

UPDATED: 13 JANUARY 2020

13 January 1900, The price of meat raised – beef 1/- and horse flesh 9 pennies per pound.

Excerpt from
“THE DIARY OF A DOCTOR’S WIFE”
During the Siege of Kimberley October 1899 to February 1900
by Winifred Heberden

Jan 12th. News has come in of a victory of Sir George White’s at Ladysmith, which the Boers actually attacked. The English took and retook the positions several times; the enemy finally being driven off on all sides at the point of the bayonet with heavy losses. This is the first time Boers have attacked a fortified position with anything but artillery.

Our Relief Column is still at Modder River and have occasional skirmishes with the enemy. We suppose they are waiting for Lord Roberts and reinforcements – so possess our souls in patience still.

We hear today that poor little Kuruman has had to surrender after a whole day’s fighting against the Boers, who had returned after being beaten before, with a big gun, and the weak defences of the place were unable to withstand a bombardment. Captain Bates, the ‘Jameson Raid’ man, who cut the wires and fences then, was taken prisoner; and also our old friend Mr Hilliard, the Magistrate, amongst them. The fight took place on New Year’s Day, and is one of the pluckiest incidents of this part of the country.

Jan 14th. Sunday. There is now a ‘Milk Depot’ opened where you take your Permit for fresh or condensed milk. The latter is coming to an end and is strictly limited to one tin only per week, and is no longer allowed to adults, so old people must feel the deprivation severely. There is a fair supply of fresh milk still, but only half a bottle a day is given to each medically certificated case at the rate of sixpence a bottle. The hospital uses a great deal as there are now over 50 cases of typhoid there.

The Boers snipe at our cattle every day now, so two of our 7-pounders go out behind the cattle in addition to the Police Maxim, which so far has been sufficient.

The Cold Storage Chamber has had a good deal more meat put into it, as the risk of losing all our livestock grows greater every day. Moreover, the veld is wretched, and almost entirely eaten up within available distance.

The heliograph is freely used with the Relief Column, but we are told little or nothing, and are afraid that there is nothing to tell.

13 January 1900, The price of meat raised during the siege – beef 1/- and horse flesh 9 pennies per pound.

DID YOU KNOW

The Africans evacuated from Kimberley during the siege were the mine workers employed by the De Beers company, the first mass exodus of some 2000 being on 8 November 1899. Mining had ceased totally by 4 December 1899, and by 6 February 1900, the majority of the mine workers had been evacuated through the Boer lines excepting the Xhosa speaking Africans. Many mine workers, having been evacuated, went to Johannesburg seeking work. One such group of miners were attacked by the Transvaal police (ZARPS) for refusing to lay down their traditional weapons, and several lost their lives.
There were two types of black refugees during the siege, those who came from farms, villages and other towns, and who were genuine refugees; and then there were the internal refugees, those forced by either military or civil authorities to leave their homes for various reasons. Many hundred refugees came into Kimberley in the ten weeks prior to the war, and the night before the siege, at least 400 were housed in the City Hall. Many blacks living in Numbers 1, 3 and 4 Locations within the municipal limits were removed to the centre of the horse racecourse in the south-east. Although the Africans in No 2 Location were able to stay in their homes, many came into the town and were housed at the Salvation Army Barracks and the Jubilee Hall.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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