The Anglo-Boer War Museum

In the grounds of the Museum there are interesting sights: a hospital, train, blockhouse, replica guns, and a memorial graveyard. 

The British built blockhouses at intervals of no more than 1,000 yards along the railway lines in order to stop the Boers. The plan was to drive the Boers towards the blockhouses and force a surrender or capture.

A British blockhouse

A replica British blockhouse

Train and watertank used by the British in the war

Train and watertank used by the British in the war

The Boers had more sophisticated weaponry than the British had expected. They had four French Creusot Cannon, ‘Long Toms’ – drawn by 16 oxen in the field – which were bought in 1897 and placed around Pretoria. The Boers used mainly Mauser Rifles and in 1896 the Transvaal Government ordered 70,000, of which 55,000 were delivered. These were smokeless and fast-loading. On mobilisation the Boers were required to equip themselves with a horse, saddle, gun, and ammunition for eight days. (Good article here.)

A replica of the 155mm Creusot Gun used by the Boers, the 'Long Tom'

A replica of the 155mm Creusot Gun used by the Boers, the ‘Long Tom’

Boers with Long Tom en route to Kimberley (http://www.sa-cannon.com/long_tom.html#.VtgL8JOLTow)

Boers with Long Tom en route to Kimberley (http://www.sa-cannon.com/long_tom.html#.VtgL8JOLTow)

Boers with Long Tom in action in Mafeking (http://www.sa-cannon.com/long_tom.html#.VtgL8JOLTow)

Boers with Long Tom in action in Mafeking (http://www.sa-cannon.com/long_tom.html#.VtgL8JOLTow)

The British field gun was the Ordnance BL 15 Pounder and there is a replica in the Museum. Their rifles were Martini-Henrys and Lee-Enfields.

Replica of a gun used by the British forces

Replica of a gun used by the British forces

Ordnance BL 15 Pounder at Pretoria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_BL_15_pounder)

Ordnance BL 15 Pounder at Pretoria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_BL_15_pounder)

The small memorial graveyard in the grounds remembers British soldiers who were buried in unknown graves, and a plaque commemorates the bravery of Corporal Beet, who was not killed in the war.

16-2-10 Bloemfontein LR-9968

Memorial graveyard

Memorial graveyard

Memorial graveyard

Corporal Harry Churchill Beet VC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Churchill_Beet)

Corporal Harry Churchill Beet VC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Churchill_Beet)

It had been a sobering morning and we were fortunate to linger in a cool cafe courtyard in the Museum with a pretty water fountain, away from the 35C heat.

Water fountain in the cafe, Anglo Boer War Museum