BCCDBritish Concentration Camps
of the South African War

Frequently-asked Questions
Where can I get a copy of Emily Hobhouse's book "The Brunt of the War, and where it Fell"?

An electronic version in various formats can be downloaded at the Internet Archive.

What does 1MR mean?

1 MR means 1 Month's Rations. When the Boer families were repatriated at the end of the war, they were each supplied with 1 month's rations and a tent to take to their farms.

What do AB and ABC mean?

AB refers to men capable of bearing arms.

ABC refers to men who had served on commando.

These codes were entered into the camp registers against adult men, on the instructions of the Transvaal General Superintendent of Camps. They were not used in the Orange River Colony.

What is the difference between a concentration camp and a prisoner-of-war camp?

The concentration camps were intended to house civilians. These usually included women, children and men who were not of commando age, i.e. under 16 or over 60. Men who had taken the oath of neutrality, however, were also sometimes in the camps.

The prisoner-of-war camps were military institutions housing men who had been on commando and been captured or had surrendered. Most prisoner-of-war camps were overseas - St Helena, Bermuda, India and Ceylon. Prisoners-of-war camps also existed in Natal - Ladysmith and Umbilo, Durban and in the Cape - Green Point and Simon's Town. For further information on these camps go to Links and click on the site for the Anglo-Boer War Museum.

Where can I find information about Koffiefontein concentration camp

Koffiefontein was not one of the camps of the South African War. It was established by the South African government during the two world wars to house those regarded as enemy aliens, or South Africans considered to be collaborating with the enemy. In the First World War the inmates were mainly German (since Italy was a British ally), while Germans and Italians were house there in the Second World War. You might try the following sources for further information: http://www.ditsong.org.za/militaryhistory.htm

What does RT mean?

RT stands for 'Ration Ticket'. Each family was given a ration ticket number, which had to be produced when rations were collected. These number are regularly given in the Transvaal camp registers; most ORC camp registers do not have them.

What does APM stand for?

APM stands for Assistant Provost Marshall. The Provost Marshall had a legal role in the military. Thus serious breaches of discipline in the camps was often handed over the the Provost Marshall or his deputy.

Acknowledgments: The project was funded by the Wellcome Trust, which is not responsible for the contents of the database. The help of the following research assistants is gratefully acknowledged: Ryna Boshoff, Murray Gorman, Janie Grobler, Marelize Grobler, Luke Humby, Clare O’Reilly Jacomina Roose, Elsa Strydom, Mary van Blerk. Thanks also go to Peter Dennis for the design of the original database and to Dr Iain Smith, co-grantholder.