My relative, Harold Blackman (13 Jan 1873 to after 27 August 1900), A second cousin 4 times removed, was fighting in South Africa in the Boer War. We don’t know what happened to him after this, so any help would be greatly appreciated.


Trooper Harold Blackman, New South Wales Bushmen, writing to a friend at Mudgee from Mafe-king, says:- “Just a few lines before we leave for   Pretoria. We are camped at Mafeking , about 150 miles west of Pretoria. It is a beastly hole of a place, situated in the middle of a big plain (or veldt as they call it here), a terrible place for wind and dust. You would be surprised if here at what the Boars were fighting over for so long. There were only about 800 white men with Baden-Powell, while the Boers were 1100 strong, with plenty of big guns and a circle of 20 miles fortified round Mafeking. The New South Wales Bushmen did not get here for the relief, only a few Queenslanders, and a battery of Canadians They simply walked over the Boers, who cleared when they saw them coming. We have had a bad time since landing at Beira. It took us a fortnight to get to Marundellas, 300 miles by train. We then walked and led our horses another 300 miles, to Bula-wayo, where we camped for a month. On the march we lost 250 horses from sickness. You would laugh if you saw the bullock teams. They put on about three or four tons to 16 bullocks, and use a whip from 15ft to 25ft long. It is a funny sight to see about 100 teams on the road with niggers driving them. They travel at night, as they cannot let any stock eat glass in this part, as it sickens them, and they peg out like one o’clock. Bulawayo is a very pretty place, with some very fine buildings. It is the capital of Rhodesia. Wages are high in the mines, The bosses over the niggers get from £20 to £50 a month. The white man never works here-that is, not hard work,-the niggers do it all.

TROOPER BLACKMAN. (1900, August 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), p. 7. Retrieved March 31, 2011, from