De Aar

Collecting specimens at Deelfontein

One unusual aspect of the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at Deelfontein in the Karoo, was that it had a menagerie for the entertainment, amusement and instruction of the sick and wounded men.  Specimens were collected by principal medical officer, Colonel Sloggett and two taxidermists from the British Museum, who had been sent to the hospital to be […]

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Deelfontein Hospitaal, De Aar, treating the British wounded

During the Anglo-Boer War, Dr J Purvis-Stewart, called the Karoo a “place to see”.   He was one of the doctors sent to South Africa in 1901with the Imperial Yeomanry Bearer Company – the first company of its kind raised ever established by private funding. In his biography, Sands of Time, he wrote: “After three weeks’ tedious […]

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Dr Thomas Smartt, who built a dam

Thomas William Smartt had such a high profile as a politician that his medical background has almost been forgotten. He was born in Trinn, County Meath, Ireland, on February 22, 1858, and he obtained his degree from Trinity College, in Dublin. He came to the Cape, was registered as a medical doctor and, in 1880, […]

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On a troop train in the Karoo, 1900

On February 4, 1900, Dr Howard Tooth, a British doctor serving at a Cape military hospital received orders to travel to Modder River. It was “at the front” and he was apprehensive. He wrote to his wife stating that he was not taking much in the line of civilian clothing because he was to be in […]

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Wings Over The Karoo

After WWI, small air transport businesses were established in several South African centres. Among these companies were South African Aerial Transport Company and South African Aerial Navigation Company, which operated on the Witwatersrand, Natal, and in the Eastern and Western Cape. Aerial Stunts, an air taxi company, offered joy rides over Durban. Aviation Limited which […]

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