Boer War Page 91t

Rare Boer War Discoveries
Below are some of the key items the Canadian Boer War Museum has added to its collections
in its ongoing efforts to preserve important Canadian heritage memorabilia from this period.

Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries

Canadian Boer War Memorials
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Glencoe, ON c 1905
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Hanover, ON
At least one volunteer from the streets of Glencoe went to South Africa.
Boer War Postcards: The end of the Boer War (1902) coincided with advances in mass colour printing. In the few years after the war, (1902-1910) a cascade of cheap coloured scenic postcards flooded the market. Many featured Boer War memorials that had been set up to honour the fallen of the late war.

Boer War Patriots: When the War broke out, young volunteers from farming towns like Glencoe, ON, swarmed into the regional armouries, eager to do their bit "For Queen and Country." The populations of entire towns, accompanied them to the train stations, and cheered them on.

They were off to the wars.

To everyone, it seemed a Great Adventure.

Boer War Memorials: It was a severe shock, in towns across Canada, when one or two local boys, whom they had cheered on so lustily, never returned. The grief-stricken inhabitants raised money locally, by public subscription, to put up memorials to honour their fallen sons.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
The Armouries, Toronto, ON c 1905
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Woodstock, ON
The most magnificent armoury in Canada saw hundreds of eager young volunteers, train, suit up, and depart, for the Boer War. This architectural treasure was built in 1894, of stones massive enough to withstand a nuclear blast, but not the destructive impulses of the city fathers, who ordered it razed for a developer in 1963.
Douglas Williams, Toronto: Who would ever have believed, that a fourteen year old boy, who practiced his bugle in the armouries, and on the grounds below, would climb on top of an anthill on the battlefield at Paardeberg, and amid a hail of rifle fire, blow the charge which resulted in the death of a dozen Canadians on Bloody Sunday, Feb. 18, 1900? Douglas Williams became one of the famous bugler heroes of the Boer War.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Stanley Barracks, Toronto, ON - 1906
Orig. colour postcard - Image Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Hoboken, NJ
The contingents were assembled here. Many a volunteer - like WT Manion, left - marched for the last time on Canadian soil on this grassy parade ground.
Welcome Home: For those who returned alive, there were welcoming arches like that at Toronto, which crossed over what is today the city's busiest street (below).

The Arch was only a stone's throw from the magnificent armoury (top) from which WT Manion had set out with a joyful step, only months before. He would not be one of those who would march beneath it with his companions and hear the cheering throngs that shouted themselves hoarse in tribute.

He was killed, and was buried, at Paardeberg.

In tribute to him, and the others who fell, the populace commissioned the biggest Boer War memorial in Canada, right beside where the Welcome Arch once bestrode University Avenue. The Ontario Parliament building stands at the far end, where the avenue splits to go around it.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Welcome Home Arch, Toronto, ON - 1900 (detail)
Orig. photo - Image size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
In its battered frame (below), this rare photo - shot from the same spot as the postcard right - was rescued from the trash heap of history. It records, for posterity, a highlight in Canadian history, and notes all the battle honours of the Royal Canadian Regiment.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Boer War Memorial, Toronto, ON c 1911
Orig. colour postcard - Image Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Hoboken, NJ
The monument was created by Canadian sculptor Walter Allward (1875-1955) in 1910. He later executed the magnificent Vimy Memorial. Where birds once sang in peace, today, there is not a tree in sight and thousands of cars swarm up and down here - every hour...
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Boer War Memorial, Toronto, ON c 1910
Orig. colour postcard - Image Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Hoboken, NJ
Welcome Arches - dating back to Roman times, and echoing Napoleon's monumental Arc de Triomphe - were erected in other Canadian cities, for the returning heroes to march under.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
The Armouries, St. Catharines, ON c 1905
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Woodstock, ON
The 19th century armouries are still standing in many cities.
The group right - from Selkirk, ON, probably trained in the St. Catharines armoury, above. William Knisley, top left, would find fame for rescuing a companion under heavy fire.

Right, a photo showing the enormous crowd that greeted his return home, pulling him in a sleigh from the train station in Jarvis.

Roll over: The same spot today.

William volunteered again; this time he did not return.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Boer War Memorial, Cayuga, ON c 1905
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Woodstock, ON
One of the rare Boer War memorial statues erected to honour a single man, William Knisley DCM. For a hundred years he has gazed out from the court house in the small rural town near where he grew up.
Roll overs: To read letters more clearly.

Windsor,ON: Left, Pvt. Walter White, who fell heroically at Paardeberg, is remembered by the Anglo-Boer War memorial in Windsor, ON right.

Granby, PQ: Below, the statue of Gunner William Latimer, erected in his memory by the grateful citizens of Granby, Quebec.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Boer War Memorial, Windsor c 1905
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Woodstock, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
War Memorial, Granby, PQ - 1905 (detail)
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Woodstock, ON
A testament to powerful emotions. A personal statue for one man, and the glory of Empire.
Right, historian John Goldi stands on the spot where Latimer died - the first battlefield casualty of the Royal Canadian Artillery - as he serviced the Canadian guns firing on the Boers beyond the stone kraal during a dawn attack at Faber's Put.

His wounded companions were photographed the day after the battle, having been fitted out by crutches, slings, and canes, carried in the back of Red Cross wagons that accompanied the army wherever it went.

Candid snapshots, by an amateur who snapped himself in shadow, were all the rage during the Boer War. Newly invented, lightweight cameras, made it the most photographed war in history.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasures
Boer War Memorial Plates, London ON c 1912
Orig. ceramic plates - Size - 5"
Found - St. Thomas, Toronto, ON
Tourists, taking advantage of expanding railway and steamer travel, in the early 1900s, feasted on crested china and small souvenir plates, so they could take back home something exciting: "Oh, and I saw the Boer War memorial in Victoria Park, in London. Is it ever something! You should see it! I brought this plate just to show you. I hope you're pleased!"
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Boer War Memorial, London, ON c 1912
Orig. postcard - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Woodstock, ON

c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000