Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sandgate and the Boer War

I've stepped off the Isle to explore some old photographs I picked up at an auction some years ago. As I'm finally sorting through piles of stuff with a view to eBaying, I thought I might as well share the occasional interesting item.

These are three photographs, dating to 1900, recording elements of the Boer War, and - as luck would have it - with a nearby Kent connection. The first picture doesn't have any obvious connection, as it is of some logistics corps with their steam-powered traction engines.

Boer War traction engines

The other two are more local (well, just up the road from Folkestone): The caption with the first records "Arrival at Sandgate of Sick and Wounded Soldiers from South Africa". The second is captioned "Arrival at Beach Rocks". A quick look on the Sandgate history page records that "In April, amid fanfare and flags, vast crowds turn out to welcome the Ladysmith Heroes to the Beach Rocks Convalescent Home, after a 6-month siege and a 6000 mile journey. (By 1908 The Beach Rocks is known as the Alfred Bevan Memorial Convalescent Home where the splendid, somewhat formidable Sister Mumford takes charge of 200 persons, in particular the wounded in World War 1.)"

Boer War  Sandgate Ladysmith
Boer War Beach Rocks

A far cry from the welcome for our returning soldiers today, as has been noted quite a lot recently in the press. Both crowds and available convalescent facilities are long gone.

And, inevitably, local publisher Michael's Bookshop has a book on Sandgate: The Mansion of Mirth - Sandgate as Seen Through the Eyes of the Alhambra Music Hall and Rex Cinema, with some sample content (including pictures) that you can see here, just before you go and buy the book!


Michael Child said...

Zumi thanks for the excellent Sandgate pictures you may find the sample pages from my publication about Sandgate interesting

ZumiWeb said...

Thanks Michael, no surprise at all that you've got a book on any topic I come up with! I've put the link in the main article.

Michael Child said...

Thanks Zumi I do my best and am trying to get a bit out on the other towns along the Kent coast.

ZumiWeb said...

An extra bit of fact-finding - this from the Boer War Shgipping Returns 1901: [London Times 10/04/01 (Wednesday)
p8c] The Pinemore arrived at Southampton yesterday morning bringing 453 convalescents for Brockhurst, 300 time-expired, 16 convalescents for Sandgate, 7 invalids for Netley, and 80 indulgence passengers. SO that confirms ship, numbers and date.

One of them was LANCE-CORPORAL ANDREW.W.RIDDLE 2ND SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS (press Control + F and enter Riddle).