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Ceylon: Boer War: Repatriation of Dutch Prisoners of War to the Netherlands

Ceylon: Boer War: Repatriation of Dutch Prisoners of War to the NetherlandsCeylon: Boer War: Repatriation of Dutch Prisoners of War to the Netherlands
Form: Circular
By: ?
Date: 1902
Ref:  AM: 134; Hern: 302; Laidlaw: 0786b;
Variations:
SizeMetalMassValue
33.5 mmBronzeRare

Edge: Plain.

Obverse: Within a circular border, the bow of the ship: “GEDE” at sea, hut surrounded by fence in the background above. Legend outside border: “S:S: SALAK ROTTERDAM.CEYLON.PADANG.”

Reverse: Within a circular border, across: “REDDERS / IN DEN / NOOD (rescuers in the emergency)”. Legend outside the border above: “ROTTI LLOYD MiJ NEDDERLAND.” and below: “28 JUL 1902”.

Notes: The first batch of prisoners arrived in Ceylon on 9 August 1900 and subsequently others followed until some 5 000 prisoners had landed. Diyatalawa was the main camp. Mt Lavinia was the convalescent camp while foreign volunteers, dissidents and irreconcilables were housed at Ragama.

The majority of Boer prisoners were repatriated to South Africa on British ships once the war had bee concluded. However, some of the prisoners refused to sign the oath of allegiance to King Edward VII and others were volunteers from the Netherlands, most of them having served in the Hollander Corps. Alternative arrangements were made for them on Dutch ships.

The steamships SS Gede and SS Salak belonged to the Rotterdamsche Lloyd Maatschappij, a Dutch shipping company based in Rotterdam which existed between 1883 and 1970. Both ships were in the Dutch East Indies service.

The example of this medal shown here, reputedly belonging to Burger H. H. Smorenburg who was a member of Hollander Corps and a P.O.W. in Ceylon, was sold by Stephan Welz on auction for approximately $13,5000 on 17 November 2012.