Boer War souvenir handkerchief

Place Africa: South Africa
Accession Number REL29464
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Silk
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1900-1901
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

White silk handkerchief printed in black, with a portrait of Lord Roberts in the centre. Around the image is a ribbon scroll inscribed, 'JACOBSDAL, SMALDEEL, PAARDEBERG, BLOEMFONTEIN, KIMBERLEY, MAFEKING, LORD ROBERTS, PRETORIA, LADYSMITH, JOHANNESBURG, KROONSTRAD, HONINGSPRUIT and KLIP RIVER'. In the corners of the handkerchief are portraits of Generals Buller, Baden Powell, French and Mc Donald, all within laurel wreaths.

History / Summary

The history of this handkerchief is unknown. Patriotic souvenirs of this type were popular during the Boer War and ranged from cheap cotton handkerchiefs with monochrome printing, often produced by local newspaper presses, to better quality cotton with more elaborate designs and multi-colours, and, at the upper range of the market, silk handkerchiefs, with a coloured design.

The handkerchiefs were produced in England, South Africa and in countries who sent troops to the war. Some were tailored specifically to appeal to the families of troops from a particular country; others commemorated the military and political leaders during the war, specific events in the war, or were designed as more general expressions of support for the troops of the British Empire as a whole.

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