Dave C George
My books examine the ‘Man behind the Gun’. This is possible due to the Boer custom of naming their rifles, which adds a very personal touch to an otherwise nameless weapon. This practice was unique to the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. The Boer generals encouraged their men to name their rifles and some of the officers set an example by having their own weapons carved. The carvings range from highly ornate creations to the very basic . I endeavour to relate a brief service history about each soldier or burger. This includes the battles they fought in, if they were wounded, decorated or captured. Many of the Boers were sent overseas to POW camps. In these cases, they often continued to carve small items and mementos from wood, ivory and bone etc. Where possible I add a photo of the person and any other available post war details. I am passionate about recording as many of these historic weapons as possible.
Carvings from the Veldt - Part One
Published in 2004, this book has been updated and reprinted in 2019 (9th re-print). This book is the 'First Ever' publication that is dedicated to the large variety of carvings found on Boer War Rifles and Carbines. The book features stock-art on Boer rifles as well as on British and Colonial rifles and carbines. There is also a chapter on rifles fitted with plaques and engraved escutcheons - such as presentation rifles and the sought after 'Plezier' Mauser (Pleasure or Sporting Mauser rifles that were popular with many Boer officers and also purchased by the more affluent Boers.)
The book contains over 320 photos and illustrations of which 310 are in COLOUR(covering rifles, carbines, stock-art, maps, badges, medals and illustrations). These photos cover a wide range, from very basic inscriptions to the highly artistic and ornate carvings, designs and decorations found on the stocks of these rifles. Comprising Mauser, Martini-Henry, Westley Richards, Martini-Metford, Martini-Enfield, Guedes, Mannlicher, Lee-Metford, Lee-Enfiled as well as a few other models of rifles and Carbines.
After more than 3 years of research, The author has certainly come up with a 'First'. In addition to the amazing variety of stock art featured, he has where possible related a brief history about some of the original Boer and Colonial soldiers. There are photos of Boers and soldiers as well as farm maps, official forms, copies of original documents as well as badges and medals worn by both sides.
There are 40 rifles carved to Australian and New Zealand troops (in most cases I have been able to include brief service details of these soldiers and where possible a photo as well). One chapter is dedicated to the thousands of captured Boer rifles and carbines that were shipped out to various colonies after the war as 'trophies' - hence the survival rate of these most historic weapons. Part 4 is a brief overview of the medals awarded to both Boer and British soldiers, which makes this publication very appealing to a range of readers such as military historians, rifle collectors, medal collectors and students. The 140 page book has a list of contributors, acknowledgements, abbreviations, glossary, bibliography and index.
'Part One' has a chapter that features all the medals awarded to both British and Boers. This book also has a chapter that describes the 'fate' of thousands of captured Boer rifles and artillery pieces. eg: 2,500 of these captured Boer rifles were donated to the 'Colonies' as war trophies.
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