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Auction #75 begins on
30 May 2019 16:30 GMT

Van der Weyer (Captain B.G.)


While serving with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards from 1899-1902

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[134 leaves] written on the recto of each leaf. Transcriptions of his letters copied by his sister and bound into a red leather volume with gilt edges and marbled end papers, bookplate on the front paste down end paper, a very good copy.

Bates or 'Bat” Van der Weyer wrote numerous very detailed letters of his and the Battalion's activities while on service during the War. The first letter was written on October 28th 1899 on his departure to South Africa, and the last on September 8th 1902 when he is about to return to Britain.

He traversed South Africa recording battles, his experiences and some of the personalities in the war detailing unique information probably never published before. He was a prolific writer and his daily activities and observations were very well documented. There is an indication that there were a few photographs in this book, but they have been removed.

December 14th 1899: The Battle of Magersfontein fought from 11th: The General surpassed himself. Another night march and frontal attack. When will he learn wisdom. Perhaps this last fight will teach him a lesson.
March 14th 1900: Address by Field Marshall Roberts to the Guards Brigade at Bloemfontein – transcribed in red ink.
June 6th 1900: Pretoria. Monday May 28th paraded 6-50am and marched along the railway- had to wait for the cavalry come up and reconnoitre from hills on our right. Marched 20 miles to Klip River station.
Johannesburg Jan 18th 1901: Thursday 13th at lunch we got orders to be ready to start for Pretoria as soon as possible. This came as a blow as we thought this was a good chance of getting down to Cape Town.
Bloemfontein August 16th 1901: Grant Hill: There is very little going on, We seem fated to miss every attack the Boers make, as we had two companies to hold the blockhouses from Brandfort to this place, the Boers expected to break across this line as they did, but it was just south of Brandford.

The family confirmed to the owner of this manuscript about 40 years ago that his sister had collected his letters sent to various member of his family and copied them into this volume.

Together with this Journal is a copy of the following:

[Cuthbert (Captain J.H.) Editor] THE 1st BATTALION SCOTS GUARDS IN SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902

259 pages, frontispiece portrait, large coloured folding map at the end, profusely illustrated with more than 1000 photographs taken by officers of the battalion, each with a caption and date, oroingal green cloth over bevelled boards with the armorial crest and title: South Africa 1899 - 1902 gilt on the cover, a very good copy.

Photographs of Captain Van der Weyer are listed on the following pages: page 61, 67,70, 77 and 81

Editor's note: A record of the Battalion's campaign on the western front and through the O.F.S. to the Eastern Transvaal and to the Zululand border. This is probably the finest photographic collection published on the war. It contains a calendar of events and a Battalion roll and medal list. "This illustrated record of the work of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards during the South African War is the outcome of an agreement amongst some of the officers made in July, 1900. So many of the officers carried cameras that it was decided that on the return of the Battalion a collection of the photographs taken should be made, and a selection from them should be brought out in book form". Captain Van der Weyer is mentioned here.

London, Harrison & Sons, no date [1904]

Oblong 4to (250 x320mm)

  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Size: Mss volume (300x 250mm)
  • Sold By: Clarke's Africana & Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Paul Mills
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 021 794 0600
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Visa & Mastercard and Bank transfers
  • Trade Associations: ABA - ILAB, SABDA

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