Recollections of a Boer Prisoner-of-War at Ceylon.
Amsterdam / Cape Town, Hollansch-Afrikaansche Uitgevers-Maatschappij, 1904. 15.5 cm x 23 cm. Frontispiece, 220 pages. Hardcover [very decorative, original publisher’s green cloth] with gilt lettering on spine and front board. Front board is inlaid with illustration. Rear board is inlaid with coat of arms and flags of the South African (Transvaal) Republic and the Orange Free State. Excellent, actually stunning / Fine condition with only absolutely minor signs of external wear. Interior is very bright and clean with sharp corners.
A narrative of an Afrikaner/ Boer soldier on a prisoner-of-war camp in Sri-Lanka.
Includes, for example, the following: Descriptions of Ceylon (Sri-Lanka), its history, and its people / Description of surrender and imprisonment in South Africa / Life as a prisoner-of-war from the Second Anglo-Boer War on the island / Descriptions of Diyatalawa and Ragama camps etc.
As the South African republics’ fortunes waned after their initial successes, the numbers of Boer prisoners-of-war increased. Due to difficulties finding appropriate accommodation and adequate provisions, and fears that prisoners would be able to escape into familiar country and sympathetic populations, the British decided to send their prisoners overseas. Of the 28,000 Boer men captured as prisoners of war, 25,630 were sent overseas, mainly to Bermuda, Sri Lanka, St Helena and India.
Brink was interned at Diyatalawa, the largest prisoner-of-war camp on Sri Lanka. His narrative of camp life highlights the important role religion played in Boer culture and politics. The Calvinism of the Dutch Reformed Church provided Boer ethnic Nationalism with the ideological language that provided a settler-society a civil-religion in which their struggle against the British and their environment was portrayed in Biblical as well as historical and political terms.
His memoir also illustrates the anti-British sentiments that were deepened by the war and the harsh tactics employed by the British under Kitchener, which were aimed towards the civilian population as well as the bands of Boer soldiers (so-called Bittereinders) fighting an increasingly guerrilla-style campaign after 1900.