Derby

Second Boer War photos found in Derbyshire

Boer War dead Image copyright Hanson's Auctioneers
Image caption The "graphic" images show some of the thousands of soldiers who died in the Second Boer War

Dozens of previously-unpublished photographs from the Second Boer War that show battle scenes from the conflict have been found in a house in Derbyshire.

The collection of images, along with medals and badges, will go on auction later in July.

The find "is like a time capsule that sheds new light on the war", auctioneer Charles Hanson said.

The photos were taken by Robert Oliver, who survived the 1899-1902 war.

'Harsh images'

He was awarded the Queens Medal for South Africa after fighting in Cape Colony, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal in 1901 and 1902.

Image copyright Hanson's Auctioneers
Image caption The photographs were found in a house in Derbyshire and give a glimpse inside the Second Boer War

"The graphic images record the harsh reality, and true horror, of war - something the Victorian press did not portray at the time, as the British Empire was deemed undefeatable," Mr Hanson said.

The photos include prints of war dead lying in fields, the funeral of a British serviceman and a Boer War dog.

Image copyright Hanson's Auctioneers
Image caption The coffin of a British solder is lowered into the ground at a funeral during the war
Image copyright Hanson's Auctioneers
Image caption The collection includes hats, gloves and medals from the Second Boer War
Image copyright Hanson's Auctioneers
Image caption Not much is known about the dog pictured in the photograph - shown wearing a cap and smoking a pipe

The collection also contains two pairs of original kid gloves, spurs, an ammunition bandolier, caps and hats, an original South African feathered headdress and a cartridge belt.

Mr Hanson said: "Robert Oliver was quite a rogue in his youth. At the age of 16, he ran away, ending up on a ship to Canada where he found work as a lumberjack.

"He later joined Staffordshire Police and was considered … funny but firm and strict."

He also owned and ran the Devonshire Pub in Hartington, Derbyshire.

The sale will be held on 25 July.

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