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.
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.)
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.
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.