Die Britse vrywilligerseenheid Steinaecker's Horse in die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) : 'n kultuurhistoriese studie

Van Vollenhoven, Anton Carl (2010-03)

Thesis (DPhil (History))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Steinaecker’s Horse was a volunteer unit who fought on the side of the British during the Anglo- Boer War (1899-1902). The unit mainly consisted of local inhabitants of the Lowveld and were commanded by a former German officer, Lieutenant-colonel FCL von Steinaecker. The unit received little attention from scholars thus far. The main focus of this research is to study the Steinaecker’s Horse military unit, but specifically to determine their everyday circumstances, life style and daily activities. This was done by means of cultural objects which were found on three of the important sites where Steinaecker’s Horse had outposts. In order to place the unit within context, attention was given to the collection of historical information and the identification and documentation of different outposts occupied by Steinaecker’s Horse during the Anglo-Boer War. The state of decay of these sites were monitored and their relation to inter alia research potential, cultural resources management and tourism potential was assessed. Lastly, attention was given to the contribution of Steinaecker’s Horse to the history of the Anglo- Boer War, the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park. The three sites that were studied in depth are the headquarters of the unit at Komatipoort, the Sabi Bridge post close to Skukuza and the Northern outpost in the vicinity of the Letaba rest camp in the park. Cultural objects excavated at these sites were used in this study. In the final chapter an overall impression of the everyday cicumstances, life style and daily activities of Steinaecker’s Horse are formed. It is also shortly compared to general information regarding the life of British soldiers and the Boers on commando during the war. Last mentioned information was obtained from different sources in another way than studying the physical cultural objects. The contribution of this thesis is that it is the first time that a complete reflection is given of the life at Steinaecker’s Horse sites and that it serves as model for similar research with relation to other military sites as well as probably other historical sites.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Steinaecker’s Horse was ‘n vrywilligerseenheid wat tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) aan die kant van die Britte geveg het. Die eenheid het hoofsaaklik uit inwoners van die Laeveld bestaan en het onder bevel van ‘n voormalige Duitse offisier, luitenant-kolonel FCL von Steinaecker, gestaan. Die eenheid het tot dusver min aandag van vakkundiges ontvang. Die belangrikste fokus van hierdie studie is om die Steinaecker’s Horse militêre eenheid te bestudeer, maar om spesifiek die alledaagse omstandighede, lewenswyse en daaglikse aktiwiteite daarvan te bepaal. Dit is gedoen aan die hand van kultuurvoorwerpe wat by drie van die belangrikste terreine waar Steinaecker’s Horse buiteposte gehad het, gevind is. Ten einde die eenheid in konteks te plaas is ook aandag gegee aan die insameling van historiese inligting en die identifisering en dokumentering van verskillende buiteposte wat deur Steinaecker’s Horse tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog beset is. Die monitering van die staat van agteruitgang van die terreine en die assessering daarvan ten opsigte van onder meer navorsingspotensiaal, kultuurhulpbronbestuur en toerismepotensiaal, is ook gedoen. Laastens is daar aandag gegee aan die bydrae van Steinaecker’s Horse tot die geskiedenis van die Anglo-Boereoorlog, die Laeveld en die Nasionale Krugerwildtuin. Die drie terreine wat in diepte bestudeer is, is die eenheid se hoofkwartier te Komatipoort, die Sabiebrug-pos naby Skukuza en die Noordelike buitepos in die omgewing van die Letaba ruskamp in die wildtuin. Kultuurvoorwerpe wat deur middel van argeologiese opgrawings op hierdie terreine verkry is, is in die studie benut. In die slothoofstuk word ‘n geheelbeeld van die alledaagse omstandighede, lewenswyse en daaglikse aktiwiteite van Steinaecker’s Horse gevorm. Dit word ook kortliks met algemene inligting omtrent die lewe van Britse soldate en die Boere op kommando tydens die oorlog vergelyk. Laasgenoemde inligting is op ander wyses verkry as om die fisiese kultuurvoorwerpe te bestudeer. Die bydrae van hierdie proefskrif is dat dit vir die eerste keer ‘n geheelbeeld van die lewe by Steinaecker’s Horse terreine daarstel en as model kan dien vir soortgelyke navorsing met betrekking tot ander militêre terreine, maar waarskynlik ook ander historiese terreine.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/3982
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