November 26, 2008

1s 6d per board

[Kitchener] drove 160,000 of [the Boers'] wives and children into the fifty concentration camps established along lines pioneered by Roberts but not, apparently, in imitation of those created in Cuba by General "Butcher" Weyler. Here 28,000 inmates, mostly children, succumbed to disease and malnutrition caused by conditions almost as bad as in the separate camps set up for Africans, where the mortality rate was probably even higher.... [W]hen British officers wore out the dance floor at the Bloemfontain Residency they sold the old floorboards for 1s 6d each to incarcerated Boer women to make coffins for their children.

--Piers Brendon, The Decline and Fall of the British Empire: 1781-1997.