Monday Musings from The Writer’s Desk


Dear Family, Friends and Followers,

This Monday I am going to share with you my inspiration for my post which you can read on Thursday.

I found in my Great Grandfathers boxes of lifetime possessions, a small and seemingly insignificant card which I am sure had been overlooked through my years of exploring behind the cupboard doors.  When writing my posts about the Boer War, I suddenly recalled happening across this small clue to the war; it was one of the very few clues that survived the years.


Written in English and Africaan, it is an identity card for a certain Mr Gerhardus Atodin.  I questioned whether he was fighting for the Boers or the British as the card was issued by the Red Cross.  So, what does one do in the technological age when one wants to find the answer to a question?  Google it of course.  And with one click, I found an identical card online, up for auction, asking the hefty sum of two hundred euros.

It turns out that this card is a rare survivor of the Boer War, as on the site I discovered, the writers stated that the one in question was the only one they had seen.  It turns out that they were issued by the Red Cross to Boer Soldiers in case they were killed or taken prisoner by the British; so that their families could be notified of their whereabouts or demise.

I like to think that I have uncovered a mystery.  Who was Mr Atodin?  I know he was a Boer, the face of the enemy, but I am left with the question, “were he and my Great Grandfather friends?”  Was that even a possibility?  My questions are endless, however, sadly, the answers are now up to my imagination as no-one is here to answer them.




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