I've not acquired the Osprey book on the Boer Commando, which has an illustration of this item on the back, but wish to ask if anyone can give further details about it - design, bullet capacity, etc. ?
Did they use any other clothing or equipment which was also slightly unusual, but practical, including for revolvers, shotguns, edged weapons, etc. ?
If you can pick yourself up a copy, I'd thoroughly recommend a book by Ron Bester & associates, Small Arms of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 ....While the book doesn't solely concentrate on bandoliers or clothing there's more than sufficient photographs, commentary, etc to satisfy most curiousities on what you're after..
Boer ammunition waist coats, as all other Boer equipment, varied considerably. Remember the Boer forces were a true citizen army with no dress codes and uniform or gear regulations. Literally everything went. For this reason ammuntion waist coats varied from a simple made-in-the-veldt cloth strip sewn to the front of a normal waist coat to fancy purpose made leather coats with flaps. Normally the pockets were made to hold strips (5 rounds each) of 7x57mm Mauser ammuntion, but looses 303, Martini and other round variants would also have been in use.
Here are a few contemporary examples:
A couple of originals that survived:
War Museum of the Boer Republics, Bloemfontein
National Museum, Bloemfontein
National Military History Museum, Johannesburg
Ladysmith Siege Museum
I can only imagine how hot those full leather coats must have been in the humid Natal summer...
Wonderful stuff Burgher! Items we don't get to see much of. Thank you.
While rummaging through my "stuff" to post items on another thread, I came across a vest I acquired years ago, I knew I had one just misplaced it.
The vest is made of smooth cotton, mismatched and missing bone buttons. No marks or names etc... it did come from South Africa with some other collectibles of the Boer War, some Boer bandolier varriants. It accommodates 50 rounds of Martini Henry rifle ammunition. For all I know though it could be a hunting/safari vest that post dates the 2nd ABW.
Boer ammo Vest Martini Henry ammo (Copy).jpg (218.37 KiB) Viewed 394 times