DEELFONTEIN CEMETERY Northern Cape, South Africa
During the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902) in South Africa, Lord Roberts, the commander of the British forces decided that a hospital should be established near the front line of the northward advance of the British army (February 1900). The site of Deelfontein 46 km south of De Aar was selected owing to its being away from the Boers, for its good water supply and because it was at a crossing point of a wagon road and railway. In March 1900 the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital was established at the site. Funds collected in Britain permitted construction of prefabricated buildings in addition to tents to use as wards for the patients. There were to be 191 medical personnel; civil surgeons, bearers and nurses.
The hospital remained open for a year before control of it passed to the Royal Army Medical Corps. Some of the personnel elected to remain there and continued their work until the hospital ceased to exist in July 1902. The two cemeteries containing 132 graves bear testimony to the scourge of enteric fever and dysentery that afflicted the Empire soldiers.
No trace of the hospital exists today except for the outlines of the foundations of the buildings. But the graves are identified with each individual’s particulars. From a distance the site can be identified by the large letters I.Y.H. seen on the hillside. Nearby is the Imperial Yeomanry Hotel now neglected and sometimes used as a cattle shed. Only one New Zealander is interred here - Private Thomas Anderson, a farmer from Southland, of the 2nd Contingent. He died in the hospital from enteric fever on the 26th April, 1900.
Source - Steve Watt, “Cenotaph”