Information sought about Boer War soldiers


A Dunedin military researcher is seeking information from Otago people whose ancestors fought in the South African Boer War between 1899 and 1902.

Peter Trevathan hopes to compile his research into an information booklet about Otago soldiers who fought in the war.

He said he became interested in researching the topic after discovering an unknown ancestor had fought in the conflict which claimed 71 New Zealand lives. “He’s a mystery which I want to solve.”

He also wanted to uncover the stories behind other Dunedin and Otago people who had fought in the conflict and put “faces to names”.

The New Zealand soldiers who fought in South Africa did so in service of the empire, Mr Trevathan said.

When they died, their coffins were covered with a British flag rather than a New Zealand one.

in the conflict was not widely discussed and Mr Trevathan said it was time to rectify that.

“There’s only little snippets of information.

“I think it’s about time that people know more about what happened over there.”

It was important that every part of New Zealand military history be told, Mr Trevathan said.

He wanted people to come forward with any relevant artefacts such as photographs, letters, medals and uniforms which would form the basis of the research.

Mr Trevathan had been in contact with Otago Boys’ High School to obtain records of the 14 former pupils who had fought in the war.

Those with information about ancestors who fought in the war were encouraged to contact Mr Trevathan by emailing or calling 027 501-8224.