Irene Concentration camp

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Program 

  • 09:00 -09:30 : Arrive , Coffee
  • 09:30 : Lecture , history and walkaround by 
  • 12:00 : Networking and departure 

Cost : Free 

Coffee shop available on-premises 

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COVID protocols as per Level 1 ( masks compulsory)

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THERE may never be songs of their heroic battles, but the small tombstones at the Irene Concentration Camp cemetery’s Garden of Remembrance bear testament to the horrors endured by Boer children during the South African (Anglo-Boer) War.

The camp, south of Pretoria, was built to house women and children, driven from their land by the British troops’ “scorched earth” policy in which homes, farms, and livestock were burnt and killed to break people’s spirits.

The Irene camp was opened in November 1900 with a second camp on the southern side of the Hennops River. By 1902, there were more than 5 000 people living in the camps.

Irene was one of 31 camps initially, later growing to 50. Cilliers du Preez, a member of the Heritage Society of Centurion, said conditions in the camps were appalling, as those forced to live there had inadequate food and water, and access to medical care.

Irene was close to the railway line where families could be dropped off. But it was also bitterly cold in the winter, which aggravated conditions for people who had few possessions.

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