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Churchilliana Churchill Collectables: Boer Prison Train Postcard


This very interesting postcard was printed in Brussels shortly after the end of the Boer War as part of the publisher’s Transvaal Series. At the time it was originally offered for sale, Churchill would already have gained notoriety for his famous escape from prison in Pretoria and would likely have already embarked on his lecture tour.

The card includes a sepia tinted image of the Boer prison train, which transported Churchill after his capture, arriving with other prisoners at Pretoria from Estcourt. Churchill is in fact the man in the photo with his back to the camera standing by the train with a satchel under his arm.

The card’s caption specifically notes that “Lord Churchill” is the person standing awkwardly (“a gauche”) and wearing a cap (“casquette”). Items from Churchill’s Boer War period are rare and highly sought. This postcard offers a unique insight into his capture, transport to Pretoria, and the escape, which in part propelled him to national prominence.

Brian Krapf formerly served as President of the American Political Items Collectors.

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