This photograph shows the prisoner of war camp established during the Anglo-Boer war on Green Point Common, Cape Town.

Boer Prison Camp Cape Town


The Common was used as a transit camp for prisoners of war to be shipped to remote islands. The Mouille Point Lighthouse can be seen in the background and the beginnings of the old Green Point Stadium are in the centre.

The Anglo-Boer Museum provides this background.

The first sizable batch of Boer prisoners of war taken by the British consisted of those captured at the battle of Elandslaagte on 21 October 1899. No camps had been prepared and by arrangement with the Naval authorities these prisoners (approximately 200 men) were temporarily housed on the naval guard ship HMS Penelope in Simon’s Bay.

Several ships were used as floating prisoner of war camps until permanent camps were established at Greenpoint, Cape Town and Bellevue, Simonstown.

The first prisoners were accommodated in Bellevue on 28 February 1900. Wounded prisoners were sent to the old Cape Garrison Artillery Barracks at Simonstown which had been converted into the Palace hospital. The first wounded arrived on 2 November 1899.

Towards the end of 1900 with the first invasion of the Cape Colony the prisoners at Cape Town and Simonstown were placed on board ships.

At the end of December 1900 some 2550 men were placed on board the Kildonan Castle where they remained for six weeks before they were removed to two other transports at Simons’ bay.