London Babies Named for Boer War

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the two wars were fought in South Africa between the British and the Boers. During the Second Boer War (1899–1902), certain patriotic London parents gave their children names “commemorative of our great generals and victories in South Africa.” Here are some examples:

Name Inspiration
James Albert Redvers Kirby
Audrey Buller Lily Wallace
Gen. Redvers Henry Buller
Hector Macdonald Matthew Major-Gen. Hector MacDonald
Frank Kimberley Stuckey Siege of Kimberley
Thomas Elands Laagte Wilks Battle of Elandslaagte
Margaret Ellen Ladysmith Angram Relief of Ladysmith
Colenso Stuart Dudley Middleton Battle of Colenso
James Spion Kop Skinner Battle of Spion Kop

Babies were also named Frere (for Bartle Frere), Glencoe (for the Battle of Glencoe), Kitchener (for Field Marshal Herbert Kitchener), Mafeking (for the Siege of Mafeking), Pretoria, and Tugela (for the Battle of the Tugela Heights).

And, oddly enough, a few London babies were named Kruger for Paul Kruger, President of the South African Republic.

Source: “Boer War Babies.” Leader [Regina, Canada] 31 May 1900: 2.


One thought on “London Babies Named for Boer War

  1. Related article I just spotted while doing research:

    Melbourne, April 4

    James Reginald Osborne Bloemfontein Stanley Baden Powell were the Christian names of a boy who registered at Ballarat recently for service under the compulsory training system. In spite of his warlike name the medical officers rejected him because he had a diseased leg-bone. Baden Powell, Redvers Buller, Kitchener, Roberts, and other names have been seen frequently on the registrar’s books during the last year; but not all the owners of such famous Christian names have been so unfortunate as to be rejected.

    Source: “A Remarkable Name.” Feilding Star 1 May 1914: 4.

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