A Lovely War For Stamps

9/05/2013     General, South Africa

The British Empire was seeking to create a "Union of South Africa" under their control which included the Gold Mining & Diamond Mining Boer Republics of Orange Free State & Transvaal.

The Boers (Dutch Farmers) were resisting British Rule and were becoming evermore disillusioned with poor support, protection & rough treatment being received. An uprising was inevitable!

British forces defeated Transvaal & Orange Free State forces in open warfare and the Boers resorted to fighting a Guerrilla campaign which they eventually lost. During the course of the War the British Occupied many key towns including Lydenburg which was situated on the important wagon route to the port at Delagoa Bay and nearby Goldfields, Rustenburg a rich farming area that quickly became a battlefield, and more famously Mafeking where the British Garrison was under siege for months between Oct 1899 & May 1900 at which Baden Powell of later Scouting fame was involved, Schweizer-Renecke on the banks of the Harts river which had a British Garrison from July 1900 to Jan 1901, Vryburg on the Great Northern Railroad which ran from Cape Town to the Kimberley Diamond mines & Wolmaransstad with its important Diamond mines had a British Garrison in June 1900 for several weeks. Period postal items are scarce and highly collected, Transvaal stamps were overprinted or surcharged and used in Lydenburg, Rustenburg & Schweizer-Renecke, Cape of Good Hope issues used in Vryburg & at Mafeking overprinted Cape & Bechuanaland stamps were used.

 

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