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Morbidity and Mortality in the Concentration Camps of the South African War, 1899-1902

Researchers: Dr Iain R. Smith (History, Warwick) and Dr Elizabeth van Heyningen (University of Cape Town)
Start date: 1 September 2003
Completion date: 30 September 2007

This project investigated the reasons for the deaths of almost 50,000 civilians - Boer and black, the majority of them children under the age of 16 - in the concentration camps established by the British army during the South African War. As the most controversial aspect of the war, this subject has generated an emotive general literature and formed an important reference point in the twentieth-century development of Afrikaner nationalism; but the medical history of what happened in these camps had never been empirically investigated, despite the very detailed data which was recorded at the time and is today available in the South African National Archives and the British Public Record Office.