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Dave George


Armourer Sgt. Alf Baker's Boer War Bayonet & Medals My interest in military history and the Anglo-Boer War began as a young lad when I was presented with a 2-Band Mk. 3 Snider rifle that had belonged to my great-great grandfather (who had used the rifle in the 9th Frontier War of 1877-78). Shortly after this, my grandmother gave me two more treasured family heirlooms that had belonged to my maternal grandfather. These were his Queen Victoria 1900 chocolate tin and a Pattern 1888 Lee-Metford bayonet that had been struck by a Boer marksman’s bullet.

This was the beginning of a passionate and lifelong interest in the conflict between the Boer and British forces. With the passing of time my interest and knowledge of the Boer War developed as did my own collection of associated militaria. However, it took some fifteen years before I acquired my first carved Boer Mauser rifle. This attractively carved rifle generated a new interest in yet another sphere of Boer War memorabilia. Since then I have been privileged to inspect and handle many of these wonderfully carved and historic rifles and carbines - both in museums and in private collections.

Whilst by no means a complete work on the subject, I am sure it will be of interest to fellow military historians, riflecollectors, militaria collectors and students. The book illustrates some of the diverse carvings and decorations applied to these very historic rifles and carbines. I also trust that this pictorial history will serve as a fitting memorial to all those brave burgers and soldiers whose names are commemorated on their beloved weapons. I salute them all. Dave C. George was born in 1948 in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Surrounded by family members who had served in both World Wars, Dave became a keen military history enthusiast at an early age. This interest came as no surprise as three generations of the George family had served in the military: Dave’s great grandfather Colour Sergeant Charles George had died of wounds and disease in India in 1898.

His grandfather, Company Sergeant Major Charles George had followed family tradition and joined the Army at the age of 16. He served in France in 1914, was taken prisoner of war and later served in Denmark and India. Dave’s late father Don George enlisted into the RAF Volunteer Reserve in May 1939 and served throughout WW2. Dave’s great-great grandfather fought in two Frontier Wars in the eastern Cape Colony of South Africa in the late 1800’s and his maternal grandfather served in a colonial volunteer unit for twenty years and saw action throughout the Anglo-Boer War.

Young Dave was fascinated by old black-powder military rifles and as a teenager looked forward with enthusiasm to school holidays when he spent many hours target shooting and wandering around his uncle’s farm with a variety of rifles. After his matriculation Dave served as a Corporal in a South African Commando unit in the late 1960’s and later spent three years travelling around the world. He worked and toured in Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Over the years Dave was a keen member of two military re-enactment groups, namely: the “Fort Knokke Militia” in Cape Town in the early 1970’s and the “Moreton Regiment” in Brisbane in the early 1980’s. Dave returned to Australia in 1980 with his wife Merle and two small children. He has continued his love of military history, military research and collecting Boer War medals and militaria. He also writes articles for various local and international military and collector periodicals and offers a medal mounting service to local veterans.

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