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An Imperfect OccupationEnduring the South African War$
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John Boje

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039560

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039560.001.0001

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In Captivity

In Captivity

(p.107) 5 In Captivity
An Imperfect Occupation

John Boje

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the life of Boers held captive by the British during the South African War, with particular emphasis on inmates’ grievances relating to water, meat, clothing, work, and lack of freedom. It first provides an overview of the captives’ lifestyle at the Winburg concentration camp as well as camp personnel and medical staff before discussing the issue of disease and death in the camp. It then considers the freedom that prisoners of war (POWs) had to make existential choices, with reference to the suborning of prisoners by the British and the prisoners’ efforts to maintain group solidarity. It also discusses defiance and compliance by the inmates and concludes with an assessment of daily life in the POW concentration camps.

Keywords:   prisoners of war, Boers, South African War, grievances, Winburg, medical staff, disease, death, group solidarity, POW concentration camps

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