Why I Remember The Anglo-Boer War (John Dee Sonnet)

They were tough men who believed in God
who used the holy word and the rod,
ancestors from Dutch and French Huguenot stock,
farmed with vineyards and livestock,
and our language and customs, to some odd
came from centuries that were harsh and hot,
where people herded sheep into a flock
from frontier life, where small children could cock

a rifle and could the hinterland unlock,
could fire at moving targets while at speed
but the British came to cause some amok,
destroyed women, children saw the need
to plunder, pillage, to burn, to kill, to shock
to make Christians, another nation bleed.

[Note by poet: This poem is written in remembrance of the twenty thousand (some figures are as high as thirty five thousand) innocent white Afrikaner women and children that died in British concentration camps, after their farms were scorched by the British in the Anglo-Boer war in South Africa, which includes a great grandmother of mine. For a clear picture of these atrocities read my epic poem "Through the eyes of a field coronet" which is based on the eyewitness account of field coronet JJ Potgieter.]

by Gert Strydom

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