The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

the story of a remarkable woman

by Win de Vos

These are family reminiscences written down in 1930 of an English-born South African woman who came to this country as an infant. Her father ran a saw-mill in Natal and later started Russell's Furnishers in Pretoria.
By this time she was independent and she taught - school and music - at various places.
She and one of her brothers went prospecting for gold at the Pilgrim's Rest goldfields, where she met her American-born husband. As a claim holder, she was reputed to have had the right to vote - this before 1875!
They went to the USA in 1876, where the first of their 5 children were born. They brought a flour-mill (and a grand piano!) back with them to the Transvaal, settling in Potchefstroom.

She lived in Potchefstroom during the siege, farmed near Barberton afterwards and later near Amsterdam.
She was living in Volksrust when the Anglo-Boer War broke out. Her sons both being on commando, she and her daughters ended up in concentration camps.
After the war she taught and farmed again until retiring to Volskrust where these reminiscences were recorded.

Only her younger son, Lionel, married and had children. When his wife died (in 1931) after complications following her seventh pregnancy, his older sister Anne retired early from teaching to look after his four surviving children. All have now passed on.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 - Earliest Recollections
  • Chapter 2 - Accidents and Incidents
  • Chapter 3 - Elizabeth in her teens
  • Chapter 4 - Two Journeys by Wagon
  • Chapter 5 - At the Diggings
  • Chapter 6 - A trip to America
  • Chapter 7 - The Campaign at Potchefstroom
  • Chapter 8 - Duiwelskantoor
  • Chapter 9 - Fairview
  • Chapter 10 - At Amsterdam
  • Chapter 11 - In the Concentration Camp at Volksrust
  • Chapter 12 - In Groenpunt Camp at Maritzburg
  • Chapter 13 - Mrs Cameron goes Farming
  • Chapter 14 - A Visit to Swaziland
  • Chapter 15 - At Volksrust
  • Glossary
  • Copyright Win de Vos.
    Put onto the web by Joan Marsh(2002) a great-grand-daughter of ERCameron

    South African Military History Society /