Thank you for your interest in Woodlea.
European colonialism was at the heart of his conflict. From early in the nineteenth century the southern tip of Africa had been shared between the British and Dutch settlers and the relationship was an uneasy one. The Afrikaners or Boers, were descendants of the original seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch settlers. The discovery of gold and diamonds in the Boer republics in the 1880’s further intensified the rivalry, as British subjects traveled into Boer territories in search of wealth. The unease spilt over into the first Boer War was fought between the British and the Boers from 16 December 1880 until 23 March 1881.
The second Boer War broke the uneasy truce since the end of first war hostilities. As loyal subjects of the British Empire, around 16000 Australians volunteered to fight for “the mother country” against the Boers. The onset of the war was pre-Federation, when Australia was still made up of six colonies and each of the colonies sent contingents to support Britain. Partially as a consequence of this, enlistment detail is notoriously inaccurate. In many cases, formal enlistment did not occur until arrival in Africa.
Post-Federation in 1901, an additional three contingents were raised by the new Commonwealth of Australia but most arrived too late or were still at sea when the war ended on 31 May 1902, with a British victory. All Boers became British subjects upon the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging. Ironically, within nine years South Africa became a self-governing dominion led by former Boer generals.
Approximately 600 Australian soldiers died in the Boer War; about half from military action and half from disease.
The Boer War spawned the first military folk-heroes in Australia, including the legend of Private Harry (“Breaker”) Morant which became the subject of books, a stage play and a 1980 film adaptation by Australian Director Bruce Beresford.
Horses played a vital role in the Boer war. Reputedly over 360 000 horses were shipped into South Africa, as well as vast numbers of mules and donkeys.
In the field of battle, horses had many roles including the carriage of infantry, to the field of battles, cavalry conflict where the soldier stays on his horse and as gun-horses which dragged large guns to the front. Different breeds of horses were better-equipped naturally for these various tasks. The breeds and varieties of horses actively engaged in the Boer War included Argentinian and Burmese ponies, English chargers and Cape horses.
The uniquely Australian colonial horse, “The Waler” was the preferred mount for Australian troops. Approximately 16 000 were shipped to the Boer War; in approximate alignment to the number of Australian troops. The Waler arose from cross-breeding of a number of breeds brought to the new colonies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and was considered a versatile work-horse, with good weight-carrying capabilities, speed and endurance.
Walers were bred not just for domestic needs but to supply a lucrative export trade, initially to the British army in India. The term “Waler” was coined by the British in India for those horses that were bred in the colony of New South Wales, but breeding of the Waler was not limited to north of the Murray river. In fact, Walers were reputedly bred and supplied to the British and then Australian army from Gidneys Farm, which formed part of the contemporary Aintree site.
The Boer War conditions took great toll on horses. Many were ill-equipped for the tasks they were required to undertake. Approximately 60% died in combat or as a result of mis-treatment or disease. Many were slaughtered for their meat.
This was the initial engagement of the Waler horse in combat. From this bloody beginning the breed later became legendary for its feats of endurance and courage with the Australian Light Horse regiments during World War 1, when approximately 121 000 Walers were engaged in the North African desert campaigns and later France.
Bernadette loves taking her four kids to the wonderful Woodlea parks and therefore it is appropriate that we spoke to her in the Stage 1 park. Hers is a mixed-nationality household and their favourite family culinary experience reflects her husband’s Filipino culture. Banana leafs for plates and fingers, not forks has their kids in messy food heaven! Link to full bio here: http://bit.ly/facesofwoodlea #facesofwoodlea #knowyourcommunity
Petr is from Vladivostok Russia and is married to Laetitia, who was born in Belgium. They live in Woodlea with their two young daughters, who by their parents definition reflect both Eastern and Western culture. Petr tells us of a Russian tradition that is handed down from generation to generation when moving into a new house. With so many doing just that at Woodlea, we recommend new residents watching Petr tell us about the Russian symbolic cat “house keeper”, that watches over the new residence and helps to maintain household happiness. Link to full bio: http://bit.ly/facesofwoodlea #knowyourcommunity #facesofwoodlea
Raj and Melody went all out to wear clothing that denotes their cultural heritage, from Mumbai India. Their Indian experience is of a glorious and multi-tiered society, where food culture is king. Raj and Melody have helped build our understanding of traditional festivals and celebrations that are important to their original community, that now cut across religious and cultural divisions. Full link to bio here: http://bit.ly/facesofwoodlea #knowyourcommunity #facesofwoodlea
Emmanuel “Manny” was born in Malta and came to Australia as a child in the post-war migrant intake of 1954. He tells of an era of simplicity and joy amongst the challenges of life in a new land. Woodlea recognizes that a balanced community has representation across the ages and Manny shows us that living in a new community with many young families helps to keep a spring in one’s step. Full link to bio: http://bit.ly/facesofwoodlea #knowyourcommunity #facesofwoodlea
Introducing Gustavo: Gustavao (“Gus”) and his young family are a mix of Latin European and Latin American blood, and from his account of their lives at home they have found a wonderful blend. Gus is from El Salvador and his wife is from Italy. A Latin home would not be complete without a love of joyous, uplifting music and wonderful food, designed to share with neighbours, friends and family. Link to full bio here: http://bit.ly/facesofwoodlea #knowyourcommunity #facesofwoodlea
Introducing Chris - one of the very first Woodlea residents, with a passion for engagement with those around him and the Woodlea community in general. Chris was selected as being representative of “traditional” Australian caucasian background, but learning of his Maltese descent reminded us that it is only the indigenous Australians who aren’t derived from somewhere else! Link to full bio here: http://bit.ly/facesofwoodlea #knowyourcommunity #facesofwoodlea
Meet Boyce - our first resident to feature in the 'Faces of Woodlea' Video Series. New Zealand born and bred but with a strong Cook Islands heritage, Boyce tells us of the central role that dance plays in his family life and cultural traditions. He is committed to continuing the cultural tradition throughout his immediate family. Watch the video below and get read his full bio here: http://bit.ly/facesofwoodlea #knowyourcommunity #facesofwoodlea