Deadwood Camp Gedenksboek 1900-1902
by S.F. van Smaalen
edited by M Marsh

Record by boer prisoners of experiences at POW camp on St Helena in 1900-1902

Title page of Gedenksboeki
Title page of The Deadwood Camp 'Gedenksboek'
The book was compiled by one of the prisioners, namely S.F. van Smaalen in Dutch
(English translations are provided in italics by the editor)

As per the title page
Gedenksboek (Book of memories) comprising photographs, postcards, passes, envelopes, signatures and curiosities collected during my prisoner internment on St Helena from 26 April 1900 to ...

The folio 120 years later and travelled very far
The Gedenksboek as received after 120 years of travel around the world
The book was created by S.F.van Smaalen from 26 April 1900 who gathered its contents during his stay in Deadwood Camp on St Helena.

When he was repatriated in 1902, he gave it to a British medic for safe keeping who took it to South Africa when he was demobbed. He kept it in South Africa till 1921, then emigrated to England and later emigrated to Canada (1925) where he died. His son kept the book in their home in Canada and then the grandson looked after the book till his death. The grandson's family in 2020 decided to send it back to South Africa. At that time no-one had looked in depth at the contents as it was nearly 120 years old and very fragile. It was thought to be medical records from St Helena. When the editor opened the book to examine the contents to see what to do with the document, he found it was the Gedenksboek from Deadwood Camp in St Helena.


  • Pictures of St Helena sights
  • Deadwood camp site
  • Personalities
  • Housing the difficult prisoners
  • Children PoWs at St Helena
  • Child prisoner with six bullet wounds
  • Nut en Vermaak concerts at Deadwood Camp
  • Ceremonies and gatherings
  • Boer hospital and patients and medical reports
  • Burial and graves of prisoners
  • Memorabilia and poetry
  • Napoleon connections on St Helena
  • Fundraising from The Netherlands for prisoners at St Helena
  • Kamp Kruimels No 2 camp newsletter
  • De Krijgsgevangene No 10 camp newsletter
  • De Krijgsgevangene No 12 camp newsletter
  • De Krijgsgevangene No 13 camp newsletter
  • De Krijgsgevangene No 15 camp newsletter
  • Notification of end of war and terms given to Deadwood 8 June 1902
  • Census of P.O.W.s and Oath of Allegiance problems before repatriation
  • Money matters for P.O.Ws at St Helena
  • Collection of signatures of some Deadwood P.O.Ws.
  • Collection of envelopes from letters to prisoners
  • Collection of passes issued to prisoners
  • Mystery item found in book
  • The purpose of this site is to publicise the contents so that readers can appreciate what life was like for the prisoners on St Helena.

    Many of the photos shown were taken by the service offered by F.J.Fick Photo Blikkiesdorp, Deadwood Camp,St Helena (1900-1902)

    This site is aimed at researchers and gives access to the original Dutch documents as well as English translations. The Dutch documents are in the form of high resolution images which you can download from your browser and process with an image viewer.

    A 90 minute Zoom presentation is available which sets context and an overview of the documents on the site.

    The images on this book are high resolution to preserve contents. Save the images and view with a viewer if more resolution needed.

    Other reading

  • "Keepsakes of conflict: The Art of Prisoners of War from St. Helena” by Dr Vicky Heunis
  • "Gedenksboek of Deadwood Camp - Zoom talk - First presentation of this information” by Mike Marsh
  • St Helena Island information
  • Addendum of other relevant documents

    Addendum - Other information that was relevant to this book but was not included in the original book

    Contact details for researchers for additional information

    Copyright (2022)