Innocent Blood

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New Africa Books, 2002 - Executions and executioners - 238 pages
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Innocent Blood recounts the heart-rending stories of Cape rebels and republican soldiers executed by the British during the Anglo Boer War. These previously untold tales evoke vivid scenes of the brutality that accompanied complete lack of justice, while sketching the tragic details of the suffering and emotional devastation that were the real-life stories touched by these executions. Captivating as these stories are, they were researched extensively - the authors spent months travelling to the sites that witnessed the stories. They were then also condoned by two professors of history.
  

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Innocent Blood is a very interesting book. It creates some necessary context to other Court Martials and executions during the Boer War.
The book shows that the right of appeal did not exist in
1902 and indicates that Court Martials took less than a day to conclude, this contrasts significantly with the extended trail of Morant, Handcock, Witton and Picton from 16 Jan till Feb 1902.
Some unfortunate souls, like Hendrik Jacobus van Heerden (34), was Court Martialed on trumped up charges in absentia and was informed of his fate only eight minutes before his execution. Van Heerden did not die immediately after being shot; he died telling his wife that he was innocent. He was shot in front of his family. Kitchener ratified his execution after van Heerdens execution.
Since van Heerden and others are not as well-known as Harry Harbord Morant, Peter Handcock and George Witton, no one is agitating for a pardon for them.
The book unfortunately suffers from poor editing.
 

Contents

Introduction
9
Two Bags of Unslaked Lime
17
The Military Courts
25
Hanged in Public
36
Burgersdorp That Rebel Nest
45
The Sins of Two Lost Boys
57
The Destruction of the Loiter Commando
70
Captured in Khaki
88
The Siege of Mafeking
140
An Ordinary Soldier and No Rebel
149
The Forgotten One
165
The Plot to Abduct Lord Roberts
179
Murder Under the White Flag and After Surrender
188
Murder
197
Oath Violation and High Treason
204
Conclusion
217

The Brood of Andrew Murray
96
Active in Arms
103
Two Fighters and a Traitor
115
Executions of Coloured People
129
Appendix B
221
Appendix E
236
Copyright

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