oa South African Journal of Cultural History - S.F. Hugo as krygsgevangene in die Anglo-Boereoorlog: 'n gevallestudie

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



This study focuses on the capture of Stephanus Francois (Fanie) Hugo during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and his captivity in various prisoner-of-war camps in India. To Hugo, war-time violence meant that he was deprived of his personal freedom, that he was held captive in a foreign country and that he was estranged from his family. Fanie Hugo, originally from Dal Josafat near Paarl in the Western Cape, was a naturalised Transvaal citizen when he was taken prisoner as a non-combatant by the British in Klein-Marico in the Western Transvaal on 5 September 1901. Afterwards he was sent to the prisoner-of-war camp in Green Point in Cape Town and from there to India. In India he became one of the last group of prisoners of war to sign the Declaration of Allegiance to the British Crown. The result was that he did not leave India for South Africa before January 1904. From his diary and other correspondence with his family it becomes clear how the tension between him and in particular his parents and brother increased as a result of his repeated refusal to sign the Declaration of Allegiance. Giving his signature would mean that he could be sent back to South Africa, and, as they badly needed him on the farm, his family could not understand his refusal. Not even the illness and death of his father could change his attitude. For his part Fanie Hugo thought that they did not want to understand his situation. The result was that Hugo made a vow never to become involved in politics and never again to talk about the war and his experiences as a prisoner of war. He kept his promise and it was only after his death in 1960 that his children found his diary and other correspondence.

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