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It has been said that the biggest danger for anyone posing with a pet for a photograph is that the pet(s) will steal the show. This certainly seems to have been the case when these two Anglo-Boer War era soldiers decided to take their pet dogs along with them to the Lund Brothers' studio in Kroonstad.


Taken some time after the annexation of the Orange Free State by British forces in 1900. Both men appear to be members of colonial units as opposed to British regulars. The soldier standing at left has a polka dot pagri on his slouch hat and I seem to recall this being emblematic of the British South Africa Police. The kneeling soldier at right wears a white pagri on his hat, the upturned brim of which bears a badge the design of which unfortunately cannot be made out.


Their uniforms differ enough that they appear to have been members of separate units. Both men are armed with Lee-Enfield rifles and carry their ammunition in two markedly different styles of bandoliers. There was a plethora of bandoliers carried by both sides during the war and the standing man at left appears to have a variation of a Mills pattern web belt with double banked cartridge loops similar to those used by American troops during the Spanish-American War.

Back to the real subject of this photograph. The small dog at left seems to have been a bit on the shy side, looking down and away from the camera. This dog appears to have been at least part Jack Russell terrier. The second dog looks rather like a monster. It appears much like a Staffordshire bull terrier but is much too large to be that breed - at least to my unexpert eyes. He was a formidable-looking beast. Both dogs were identical rectangular tags on their collars. Whether these were simply identity/ownership tags or dog licenses in the modern sense in unknown.

Cabinet Photograph
Lund Brothers - Photographer
Kroonstad, Orange River Colony, South Africa
c. 1900

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