Sunday, 3 April 2016

Kakul POW Camp

Many thousands of Boer POWs were sent overseas to camps remote from South Africa, in places like Bermuda, Sri Lanka, St Helena, Portugal and India (and now Pakistan). One of the smallest and short-lived camp was in Kakul near Abbottabad in north-west India, what is now Pakistan.

The camp was set up in 1902 and existed for just a few months. One of the noted past-times of the Boer POW was to create handicrafts from whatever local materials they could find, wood, stone, bone and on Bermuda they wove neckties too. These items are highly collectible today. Handicrafts from the bigger camps such as on Bermuda and St Helena are not hard to find, those from smaller camps are rare and Kakul items must rank amongst the rarest due to it's small size and short life. In Pieter Oosthuizen's fabulous book Boer War Memorabilia: The Collectors' Guide (The Alderman Press, 1987) none of the items featured are from Kakul. The War Museum of the Boer Republics in Bloemfontein only have a handful of examples.

The items illustrated below come from a collection of 16 Boer POW handicrafts collected by a British soldier who guarded the camp at Kakul. Eight of the items are marked 'Kakul'

 

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