Norvalspont bridge and Concentration Camp – Northern Cape

Norvalspont bridge and Concentration Camp – Northern Cape

Norvalspont was a key communications hub during the Boer War and site of one of the larger Concentration Camps.

Norvalspont, belonging to farmer James Norval, in the Northern Cape, lies on the banks of the Orange River, and was a key crossing point for road and rail leading north. It was for this reason that the retreating Boers blew up three of the rail bridge columns, on 5 March 1900.

On the south bank, the British established one of the larger camps which at its peak had 3479 inmates, of whom 412 died over the existence of this camp, of diseases like measles, diphtheria, and scarlet fever. The establishment of these camps ostensibly to provide security, and deny the roving Boers of Support, was controversial.

It was with the intervention of Emily Hobhouse,who drew attention to the terrible conditions of the inmates, that things started to improve. This did not prevent deaths of 4177 Women, 22074 children, 676 white men ,and about 14000 blacks dying in the camps throughout South Africa.

This album has images of the camp monuments, surrounds, and of the bridges crossing the Orange River into the Orange Free State.