BCCDBritish Concentration Camps
of the South African War

Van der Hoven’s Drift

Van der Hoven’s Drift existed for a short time as a camp for the families whose men were in the loyalist British forces. It is not clear when it was first established nor who ran it. On 27 August 1901, however, it was taken over by the government relief committee in Pretoria and R.I. Wilson installed as superintendent. He was later replaced by M.J. Stucki. The camp was tiny, consisting of 511 people when the government took it over, but by the end of September it had declined to only 185.

At this stage facilities were very limited, consisting only of a supervisor, assistant and issuer. Sanitation was carried out by Pretoria municipality. In September a more formal administration was set in place. A marquee was set up as a hospital and Nurse A. de Villiers was appointed in the place of Nurse van Smallen from Irene, who had proved unsatisfactory. A soup kitchen was run by Mrs Carinus, with the Pretoria Benevolent Society usually providing the meat. When meat was in short supply, it was replaced with rice and sago pudding, which was ‘much appreciated’. Two bake ovens had been erected along with a hot water tank.

In early January van der Hoven’s Drift camp was closed down and the inmates moved to Meintjes Kop.


Published camp reports: CD 853, pp.46-47; Cd 902, pp. 52-53.

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.