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Vryheid, South Africa

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3058H

Scope and Contents

This album is associated with the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment, which departed from Fulwood Barracks, Preston, on 30 November 1899 to join Sir Redvers Buller’s army in Natal in January 1900. It documents the regiment’s service at Vryheid in the eastern Transvaal between 1900 and 1901, and includes images of its officers and men, encampment, defences, patrols, logistics and recreational activities, and the arrival of allied Zulu warriors. There are also images of the town of Vryheid and its inhabitants. The captions have been used as titles and have been recorded as found. Titles composed by the cataloguer are enclosed in square brackets.

It is difficult to establish exactly who was responsible for creating this album, although he is most likely the unnamed officer of the South Lancashire Regiment appearing in Y3058H/21 and 125. The final image in the album, Y3058H/134, features a portrait of Captain Eustace James Clarke-Jervoise, and states that he took many of the photographs. Clarke-Jervoise was born on 14 March 1870 in Surat, India, and was educated at Clifton College and the Royal Military Academy. After being commissioned into the army, he served with the South Lancashire Regiment from 1890 to 1904: in Gibraltar (1890-92), Malta (1893-93), Egypt (1893-95), India (1895-1900), South Africa (1900-1903), and India (1903-04). In 1911 Clarke-Jervoise succeeded his uncle and became the sixth baronet. He helped to raise the 9th (Cyclist) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment and was a major in the Hampshire Territorial Reserve Force at the time of his death on 11 May 1916.

In addition to the photographs, there is a curious cloth pocket fastened into the back of the album, which contains three items. The first is a military pass, dated 13 Aug. 1901, requesting that Captain Stuart Upperton be allowed to travel through the Boer lines to deliver ‘a communication from his Excellency Lord Kitchener of Khartoum’ to the Boer commander, John Abraham Potgieter. The pass is signed by Colonel F.A. Adam, who commanded the troops at Vryheid. It is accompanied by a loose panoramic photograph of unidentified British officers, who must be the South Lancashires, since both Upperton and Adam were members of the regiment. Upperton was a native of Willaston, Cheshire, and joined the army in 1887 after previous service in the militia. He was severely wounded during the successful campaign to relieve Ladysmith in January 1901. There is a portrait of Upperton at Y3058H/71. The envelope containing the photo is addressed to his father, Rev. Canon Charles Upperton, Abbot’s Lodge, Chester.

The pocket also contains what appears to be a silk cushion cover, measuring approximately 340 x 300 mm, bearing a patriotic Boer design with the motto ‘Eendracht Maakt Macht’ which translates as ‘Unity is Strength.’ The cover incorporates the colours of the Boer flag and features a farmer, a lion, an eagle, an anchor and a wagon. It is likely that the compiler of the album acquired this curious object during his service at Vryheid.


  • Creation: 1901 - 1902

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


.01 collection (1 archival box containing 1 album with 135 images and inserts) : photograph/paper

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

good condition


This item level description was entered by MJC.

Includes index.
2007-02-22 11:56:04+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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