Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


"The Boer War"


Mr. David Haig


The Boer War is a subject that had not been viewed before at Lanarkshire Philatelic Society – but this did happen last Friday -20th April, 2012.  

Society member, David Haig, of Netherton, presented a truly amazing display of stamps, covers, postmarks, letters and postcards detailing the various events of the Boer War. He also had maps, books and other artifacts on display. 

He did begin by reminding all that the title "Boer War" does, in fact, cover two wars – one from 18th December, 1880 to 12th March, 1881 and the other from 11th October, 1899 to 31st May, 1902. With postcards, postmarks and stereoscope views, various events of the first war were illustrated. Also displayed was a wonderful set of covers illustrating every battle fought during both Wars. 

There were stamps from South Africa commemorating Winston Churchill’s presence as a news correspondent for the London Morning Post during the second War. He was captured, imprisoned and eventually escaped & also stamps and covers showing Lord Baden Powell who was involved in the Siege of Mafeking. It was through his experiences here that his ideas of Boy Scout troops grew. 

Postcards and stamps commemorated the various "foreign troops" involved: Australian Victoria Mounted Rifles; Lord Strathcona’s Horse;  New Zealand Contingent; Irish Guards; Canadians;  the Royal Navy – with HMS Powerful – and other British troops. There were many examples of postmarks of the different Field Post Offices. 

There were sets of cigarette cards depicting people and events of both wars. Stamps also of Mahatma Gandhi who organised an Indian Volunteer Ambulance Corps – and was himself a stretcher bearer. 

Arthur Conan Doyle is commemorated on stamps both for his service as a medical doctor during the second war and also for his writing about the War.   

Postcards and stamps of Lord Kitchener who put Boer civilians into concentration camps and of Emily Hobhouse, a journalist who reported the dreadful conditions she found in the camps, were also displayed. 

Some postcards of War Memorials recorded the aftermath of these wars. 


Sheila Sinclair led members in giving thanks for such an enlightening display. 

Our next, & final, meeting of the season is in St Andrews Parish Church Hall, Avon Street, Hamilton, next Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 7:30pm when members will display 5 sheets – or pay 50p. 

Anyone with an interest in stamps, postal history, postcards etc is very welcome to attend.