On this day in 1900

On 3 April, 1900, General Cronjé of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek / Transvaal, and around 1000 other Boer POWs departed Cape Town, bound for captivity on St Helena.

After his unsuccessful attempt to take Kimberley, and having been completely out-foxed and out-manoeuvred by Lord Roberts, Cronjé – with over 4000 of his men – surrendered at Paardeberg on 28 February 1900. He then, along with his wife, went into a comfortable exile on St Helena in a property called ‘Kent Cottage’. He would remain there until the end of the war in 1902.

Perhaps unfairly, he was shunned by the other Boer generals, ridiculed in the press, and was not asked to the peace talks at Vereeniging. Instead, he took part in the World Fair reenactments of the Anglo-Boer war at St. Louis in 1904, and was thus dubbed a “circus general” by the South African press.

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