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When they sought out the 80-year-old, she welcomed them to her humble home and proudly showed them a book written about her grandfather and her birth certificate with the Engelbrecht name.

“Yolande was fascinated to find that she had relatives here,” Woodruff says, adding that there was another elder daughter too, who he had heard had since passed away.

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Most recent online dating email contact sri lanka

Engelbrecht was called the ‘last irreconcilable’ because he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the British sovereign, after the war ended and hence was not shipped back home to South Africa like his more amenable compatriots.

“There were about 20 irreconcilables, then the number came down to five and finally down to two,” Woodruff says, adding that he was able to meet the great grand-daughters of them both.

Helena, a remote island in the South Atlantic or Ceylon where Boer Prisoners of War (POWs) were interned at the beginning of the 20th Century. Deloraine promptly got him access to the most well-known Boer POW camp at Diyatalawa, (the site is now under the military and the Surveyor General’s Department) where over a century ago, a large enclosure had housed hundreds of prisoners.

But a fascination that began with an intricately carved walking stick made by a Boer POW has now led him to spend all his spare time in pursuit of this chequered period of Boer history. There were other Boer POW camps too – at Mount Lavinia (where the convalescents were sent), Ragama (for dissidents) and at Hambantota and Urugasmanhandiya (for prisoners on parole).

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Erected by the Government of United South Africa, 1918’. They were accustomed to the silence of vast spaces.” Woodruff had read extensively Richard Stroud’s “Ceylon, the Camps for Boer Prisoners of War 1900 -1902” and also R. Brohier’s ‘Seeing Ceylon’ where he mentions “Prisoner No.

9607 Henry Engelbrecht, age 32 from Strydfontein, in the district of Bethulie was captured at Fouriesberg on the 19th of June 1900 while serving with the Groot Rivier Cornetcy and was sent to Ceylon on the Bavarian”.

Deloraine had shown him a picture of Engelbrecht’s grave in the Catholic churchyard in Hambantota and so they headed there from Diyatalawa. Prasanna Rodrigo, OMI warned Woodruff that the tsunami had destroyed many graves but his eye almost immediately fell on the distinctive pointed tombstone, just 15 to 20 feet away.

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