Mauser SP66Mauser pistolMauser rifles
The similar Model 1895 was sold to Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, China, Persia, and the South African states of Transvaal and the Orange Free State (Boers). A safety feature offered by the Model 1895 was a low shoulder at the rear of the receiver, just behind the base of the bolt handle, which would contain the bolt in the unlikely event that the front locking lugs sheared off due to excessive pressure. South African Mausers were highly effective against the British during the Second Boer War; these proved deadly at long ranges, prompting the British to design their own Mauser-inspired high-velocity cartridge and rifle.

Arthur Balfour

BalfourLord BalfourA.J. Balfour
By 1905 few Unionist MPs were still free traders (Winston Churchill crossed to the Liberals in 1904 when threatened with deselection at Oldham), but Balfour's act had drained his authority within the government. Balfour resigned as Prime Minister in December 1905, hoping the Liberal leader Campbell-Bannerman would be unable to form a strong government. This was dashed when Campbell-Bannerman faced down an attempt ("The Relugas Compact") to "kick him upstairs" to the House of Lords.

Burgher (Boer republics)

The uitlander problem and the associated tensions between the South African Republic and Britain led to the Jameson Raid of 1895–96 and ultimately the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. Following the British victory in the latter and the Treaty of Vereeniging, the Free State and the Transvaal were annexed by Britain as the Orange River Colony and Transvaal Colony. Notes Bibliography History of South Africa. White South African. List of years in South Africa.

Benjamin Disraeli

DisraeliLord BeaconsfieldBeaconsfield
Protocol forbade her attending Disraeli's funeral (this would not be changed until 1965, when Elizabeth II attended the rites for the former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill) but she sent primroses ("his favourite flowers") to the funeral, and visited the burial vault to place a wreath of china blooms four days later. The Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. Macdonald, held a strong facial resemblance to Disraeli and was styled “the Canadian Disraeli” by the Times; legend held that Macdonald's visit to England shortly after Disraeli's death had caused a British woman to faint having mistaken Macdonald for Disraeli.

Battle of Blood River Poort

Blood River Poort
Meanwhile, Gough's 24th Mounted Infantry (MI) made a 500 mi move by train from Kroonstad in the Orange Free State to Dundee in Natal. Gough received intelligence that Botha and 700 Boers were nearby. Gough led his MI from Dundee to De Jaeger's Drift, a ford on the Buffalo River. Dismissing the intelligence report as exaggerated, he led three companies on a reconnaissance across the river. Through his field glasses, he spotted 300 Boers who dismounted at a farm near Blood River Poort. Leaving his colleague Lieutenant-Colonel H. K. Stewart with 450 MI in the rear, Gough moved forward into a plain in the early afternoon, planning to surprise the Boers at the farm.

Archibald Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell

Archibald WavellLord WavellSir Archibald Wavell
Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, saw Iraq as vital to Britain's strategic interests and in early May, under heavy pressure from London, Wavell agreed to send a division-sized force across the desert from Palestine to relieve the besieged British air base at Habbaniya and to assume overall control of troops in Iraq. By the end of May Quinan's forces in Iraq had captured Baghdad and the Anglo-Iraqi War had ended with troops in Iraq once more reverting to the overall control of GHQ in Delhi. However, Churchill had been unimpressed by Wavell's reluctance to act.

Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars

1/1st Queen's Own Oxfordshire HussarsOxfordshire Yeomanry2/1st Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars
Sir Winston Churchill joined the QOOH as a captain in 1902 and remained an enthusiastic supporter for the rest of his life, having a significant influence on the fortunes of the regiment during both World Wars, and even giving it a special place of honour at his funeral. The latter's great personal friend, F.E. Smith, later 1st Lord Birkenhead joined the same regiment in 1913 and was ultimately promoted to major in 1921. The Imperial Yeomanry was raised to match the Boers' skill as fast moving, mounted infantry. The Boer War brought unexpected defeats for the British army at the hands of the Boers in "Black Week", December 1899.


After the First Boer War, the South African Republic and Orange Free State were recognized by Britain but eventually re-annexed after the Second Boer War. World War II had weakened Britain's position in the world, especially financially. Decolonization movements proliferated throughout the Cold War, resulting in Indian independence and the establishment of independent states throughout Africa. British imperialism continued for a few years, notably with its involvement in the Iranian coup d'état of 1953 and in Egypt during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

List of Second Boer War Victoria Cross recipients

78 Second Boer War recipients
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902, between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic). After a set of failed negotiations over foreigner land rights in the territories, led by Joseph Chamberlain, both sides issued ultimatums. When the ultimatums were rejected, war was declared. The war had three distinct phases. First, the Boers mounted pre-emptive strikes into British-held territory in Natal and the Cape Colony, besieging the British garrisons of Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley.

Ramsay MacDonald

MacDonaldJames Ramsay MacDonaldRt Hon. Ramsay MacDonald
His pacifism, which had been widely admired in the 1920s, led Winston Churchill and others to accuse him of failure to stand up to the threat of Adolf Hitler. His government began the negotiations for the Anglo-German Naval Agreement. MacDonald was aware of his fading powers, and in 1935 he agreed to a timetable with Baldwin to stand down as Prime Minister after George V's Silver Jubilee celebrations in May 1935. He resigned on 7 June in favour of Baldwin, and remained in the cabinet, taking the largely honorary post of Lord President vacated by Baldwin.

Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery

Lord RoseberyEarl of RoseberyThe Earl of Rosebery
Winston Churchill, observing that he never adapted to democratic electoral competition, quipped: "He would not stoop; he did not conquer." Rosebery was a Liberal Imperialist who favoured strong national defence and imperialism abroad and social reform at home, while being solidly anti-socialist. Historians judge him a failure as foreign minister and as prime minister. Archibald Philip Primrose was born on 7 May 1847 in his parents' house in Charles Street, Mayfair, London. His father was Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny (1809–1851), son and heir apparent to Archibald Primrose, 4th Earl of Rosebery (1783–1868), whom he predeceased.

War Office

War DepartmentBritish War OfficeOld War Office Building
His resistance to reform caused military efficiency to lag well behind that of Britain's rivals, a problem which became obvious during the Second Boer War. The situation was only remedied during 1904 when the job of Commander-in-Chief was abolished and replaced with that of the Chief of the General Staff which was replaced by the job of Chief of the Imperial General Staff during 1908. An Army Council was created with a format similar to that of the Board of Admiralty, directed by the Secretary of State for War, and an Imperial General Staff was established to coordinate Army administration.

Smithfield, Free State

SmithfieldSmithfield District
In 1854, the British handed over the territory to the Boer republic of Orange Free State, formalised with the signing of the Orange River Convention. A succession of wars followed from 1858 to 1868 between the Basotho kingdom and the Boer republic of Orange Free State. Both sides adopted scorched-earth tactics. In particular, the Basotho destroyed farmhouses and burned large swathes of pasturage and cropland in the area between Smithfield and Reddersburg. The Boer commandoes, for their part, attacked and destroyed the French Evangelical Mission station at Beersheba, near Smithfield, which the Boers considered to be sympathetic towards the Basotho.


bitter endersbittereinders
The Bittereinders or irreconcilables were a faction of Boer guerrilla fighters, resisting the forces of the British Empire in the later stages of the Second Boer War (1899-1902). By September 1900, the conventional forces of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State had been largely defeated by the British army. The remnants of Boer government resolved to fight on in a guerrilla war, to try to force the British to retreat from the territory. As it became clear that military victory was unlikely, opinion among the guerrillas divided between those who wanted to secure a negotiated peace and those who preferred to fight on to "the bitter end" (bitter eind).

National Party (South Africa)

National PartyNPNationalist
The republican ideal was a new one to Cape Dutch descended Afrikaners but not to those of Boer descent: in the 1830s, the Great Trek had brought about the formation of three independent Boer republics – the ephemeral Natalia Republic (today KwaZulu-Natal), the South African Republic (later Transvaal) and the Orange Free State (called simply Free State today). Boers governed themselves within these republics and were not required to answer to the British. This liberty was short-lived however, as the United Kingdom extended its rule over all of southern Africa. Natalia was annexed in the 1840s, and the other two republics were taken over by the British in the Second Boer War.

Orange Free State pound

The Orange Free State pound is an obsolete currency that was in use prior to the end of the Second Boer War. Like the South African pound, it was divided into 20 Shillings or 240 Pence. It was withdrawn in 1902 and replaced by the Orange River Colony pound, which was in turn withdrawn in 1910 and replaced by the Orange Free State pound. Banknotes of the Orange Free State. Postal Orders of the Orange Free State.

Battle of Groenkop

battle of TweefonteinGroenkopTweefontein
The Boer War: South Africa 1899-1902. Oxford: Osprey, 1999. ISBN: 1-85532-851-8. Pakenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Avon Books, 1979. ISBN: 0-380-72001-9.


Lady Brand
Ladybrand is a small agricultural town in the Free State province of South Africa, situated 18 km from Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. Ladybrand is one of five towns that forms the Mantsopa Local Municipality. Founded in 1867 following the Basotho Wars, it was named after Lady (Catharina) Brand, the wife of the president of the Orange Free State, Johannes Brand. The settlement of Ladybrand was created by Voortrekkers to give them control over the territories conquered and captured after the above-mentioned Basotho war. In 1900, during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Ladybrand came under the control of the British. Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs - State President of South Africa from 1975 to 1978.

Lady Randolph Churchill

Jennie JeromeJennieJennie Churchill
Around this time, Jennie became well known for chartering the hospital ship to care for those wounded in the Second Boer War, for which she was awarded the decoration of the Royal Red Cross (RRC) in the South Africa Honours list published on 26 June 1902. She received the decoration in person from King Edward VII on 2 October that year, during a visit to Balmoral Castle. In 1908, she wrote her memoirs The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill. George doted on Jennie, amorously nicknaming her "pussycat". However, they drifted apart.