Photograph of Boer soldiers (Catalogue reference: COPY 1/457)

This is a brief guide to researching British government and military records of the Second Boer War. Boer War records are wide-ranging and fragmented. This guide will help you gain a general overview of the main sources of the information that exists, and where to find it. This guide is for people interested in the subject of the Boer War as opposed to those interested in finding a specific person who fought in the conflict.

  • What records can I see online?

    • There are no significant collections of records on the subject of the Boer War online.

Did you know?

Two separate Boer Wars were fought between the British Empire and two independent Boer states. The war commonly known as the 'Boer War' is the second Boer War 1899-1902.

Many famous people, including Winston Churchill, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Baden-Powell and Mahatma Gandhi all served in the Second Boer War. To find out more about a notable person, please refer to our guide on researching famous people.

There is likely to be some overlap between separate departmentsdepartment - The highest level in our records hierarchy, usually corresponding to the government department of origin on any given subject. For example, a decision made during the Boer War may have been informed by the Foreign Office (FO), discussed by the Prime Minister (PREM) and then carried out by the army (WO) and Navy (ADM).