"There are Smith's everywhere in South Africa" Ladysmith by etfromnc

Ladysmith Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 31 photos

The Siege of Ladysmith

The Siege of Ladysmith was from 30 October of 1899 until 28 February 1900.
During this siege the Boers under Commandant-General Piet Joubert pushed the British contingent of 13,500 men under Sir George White into the town and laid siege to it.
Added to the misery of daily shelling was the worse prospect of death from typhoid or dysentery, diseases that thrived in the overcrowded, unhygienic conditions. During the 118-day Siege of Ladysmith over 10,000 fell ill and more than 500 died from these diseases.
Then there was starvation. White made no real effort to break the siege, choosing instead to preserve what he regarded as strictly a strike force. The result of this narrow-minded approach was that food supplies were not adequately monitored from the beginning of the siege and the situation soon became so dire that soldiers were forced to eat their cavalry horses.
The Siege Museum commemorates this siege and the other battles that took place nearby. Other places of interest are White's old headquarters on Poort Road and the La Verna Hospital where many of the sick were treated.
There is a plan to relocate the museum to a central cultural hub, which will deal with the town's entire history. Using newspaper clippings, film clips, and photographs, it will showcase the siege and other historical events of the area.

  • Last visit to Ladysmith: Jul 2010
  • Intro Updated Sep 14, 2010
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