Deadwood Camp Gedenksboek
Boer hospital and patients St Helena

Hospital wall
Part of the main street in Jamestown. The long wall on the left is the wall of the Boer Hospital
Patients outside hospital
To my friend S F van Smaalen; taken on 26 October during my stay here in the Boer Hospital Jamestown, St Helena, 1901
Patients in Hospital on 26 October 1901

1. Top row: W Bosch; Pte Z? Bowers (Eng orderly); Pte Atkinson,(Eng orderly);
J. J. Fritz; Pte. Arthur McCume, (Eng orderly) Pte S.J. Varre,(Eng orderly); P. Webb.

2.) J.J. Earp; (Eng Corporal;) Joh. Pretorius, P Groenewald; J. le Roux;
J. Bester; Jac. Strydom; J.W. Swart; Reinhart Zentgraf; Louis Swarts;
M. Jacobs; T.S. le Roux; P.H. van Vreeden; H. Spuit;

3) J.C. Vorster, (Boer orderly); Lanques (Frenchman); J.C. Cilliers; E.Kristieke;
H.L. Reyneke; Jan C. Schoeman; Joh. C. Schoeman; Jack v d Merwe (Boer orderly)

4) J.H. de Lange; A.H. Hutchinson (Boer orderly) B.H. Arnoldi; Snider (St Helena)
J.H. MacKenzie (Boer orderly); A.H. Krugel (Boer orderly); G.M.J. Slabbert (Boer orderly)
with best wishes from J C Cilliers.

Patients Jun 1901
Some patients in front of Boer Hospital June 1901
Medical report April 1902
Medical report April 1902

c/o Col. JW Hind Deadwood Camp 9 April 1902
Commdt Pris: Deadw. C. St Helena

Following my letter of 2 April and the subsequent interview which Comdt Glaeser had with you about the disturbing number of cases of swollen legs currently being experienced amongst the PoWs at Deadwood, allow me the freedom to accede to your request to have a written report submitted to the medical officers with the facts and specific details of the cases, which I now hand over with our best efforts at giving you the exact state of cases.
I have the honour to be
[on behalf of] the Commission
Henry A Louw

Copy of a Report by a commission formed by the Line Captains of Deadwood C[amp] to investigate the occurrence of weak stomachs and swollen legs currently raging amongst the PoWs.
the Medical officers
serving in the Hospital at Deadwood.
Deadwood St Helena

Dear Sirs
We the undersigned members of the Commission appointed by the line Captains of the PoWs at Deadwood Camp to represent the PoWs take the liberty of approaching you following repeated requests from visitors to the Camp concerned about the increased numbers of PoWs suffering from weak stomachs and swollen legs. We respectfully request you to concentrate on this matter for which the Commission should be able to advise you on remedial action.

1. A while ago PoWs who came to the camp around two years ago started to suffer from weak stomachs. As imprisonment continued, some started developing swollen legs. In due course the swelling would increase and the patient would stop eating until eventually the swelling spread to the whole body and the patient became weaker until death inevitably occurred. Although there were but a few cases in the beginning, the number [of cases] has increased to an alarming extent as shown by the statistics and it has become necessary to call upon the Commission to study the matter and as we are sure they shall, take it very seriously.

2. That the Line Captains take this matter more seriously in order to determine the origin of the sickness, as well as to find a remedy and how to apply such, a way to prevent the sickness from continuing to spread and to consider: [constateer]

A. That, so far as can be seen from the statistics, the length of incarceration exerts an enormous influence in that of the 192 cases, 137 are from those who have been here 2 years or longer; 44 are from those who have been here 18 months and a single case being a PoW here for less than a year.

B. It has to be mentioned that in addition to the above, a distinction has been made between those PoWs living outside the Camp and those staying inside; not a single case of weak stomach/swollen legs has been found in the former group.

C. Age also appears to influence the sickness inasmuch as, of the 192 patients, 137 are over 30 and [only] 55 below that age.

D. It is also a proven fact that patients who were sent to Jamestown and treated with sea water baths recovered but that once they returned to the camp the sickness reoccurred.

E. That the provision of fresh vegetables be included for people who are imprisoned for long periods of time because the human body finds it hard to cope with foods which are strange to it. Investigations by the Line Captains showed that in most cases patients started by suffering from their stomachs, and that following purging [bleeding?] their legs swelled and they became weaker until the sickness overwhelmed them. That, taking the above facts into consideration, the Committee is of the opinion that points A to E of Clause 2 must be blamed in some or other manner for the disease: 1st the length of imprisonment 2nd the age of the patient 3rd the climate 4th lack of exercise and shortage of fresh vegetables, the lack of which is declared by the Commission to be one of the main factors in the weakening of the stomach and the whole patient's constitution. We add to this, that keeping people in long imprisonment in such circumstances is bound to weaken their constitutions until they even give up. Therefore the Committee has considered seriously and urgently taking all aspects under review, unless the spread of the sickness expands until it is an epidemic, when the whole camp would become in the near future a "refuge for invalides" and we hope that these [recommendations] are not seen as precocious but we think that the sick PoWs should be removed and taken to a place where they could hope for more warmth and less wind, paired with the opportunity of taking seawater baths, which would exert a healing influence on them and help to stop the sickness spreading. We really think that the provision of more fresh vegetables and opportunities for exercise would help greatly to combat this illness.

Finally we the undersigned declare that this is the state of affairs at present and that as any more specific information becomes apparent it will be forwarded to yourselves. Since you were asked by the public to investigate the matter, we earnestly request you to consider the report and the statistics seriously.

we have the honour to be
your servants
Line captains
w.q. Henry A. Louw Secretary

Medical report April 1902
Medical report April 1902 (cont)

Statement about the PoWs who are sick in the camp suffering from weak stomachs and/or swollen legs

Total number of sick; 192
of which older than 30; 137
and younger than 30; 55

Of these
number imprisoned for over 2 years; 137
number imprisoned for 12-18 months; 44
number imprisoned for under 1 year; 1

Number sick with weak stomachs; 104
Number sick with swollen legs; 65
Number sick with both; 23

I the undersigned declare that the above reflects the true state of illness in Deadwood Camp.

Henry. A Louw
Line Captain:-
w.q. signature

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