On Thursday 2nd March 1900, great rejoicings took place throughout Britain on hearing the news that the town of Ladysmith in Africa, as part of the Boer War had been relieved by British troops.
When the Second Boer War broke out on 11 October 1899, the Boers had a numeric superiority within Southern Africa. They quickly invaded the British territory and laid siege to Ladysmith, Kimberley and Mafeking. Britain meanwhile transported thousands of troops both from the United Kingdom itself and from elsewhere in the Empire and by the time the siege of Ladysmith had been lifted on 1st March 1900, Britain had a huge numeric superiority.
Blantyre celebrated this event by hoisting flags above collieries and other public buildings and blowing of factory horns. Children attending the Low Blantyre School on Glasgow Road got an unexpected half day holiday in honour of the occasion! A large number of flags were displayed from the windows of homes all over Blantyre.
From “Blantyre Explained” a book by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
Illustration showing crowds of people out in the streets in London celebrating hearing the Relief of Ladysmith.