Wash drawing by Ralph Geaver. One of three original wash drawings showing the use of military balloons for observation purposes during the Second Boer War (1899-1902). The siege of Ladysmith by the Boers lasted from 1st November, 1899 until 28th February, 1900. Some 20,000 soldiers and civilians were besieged in the town, a railway junction surrounded by hills. Shortages of food and fresh water, particularly after the Boers cut off the water supply to the town, caused some 60% of the casualties suffered by the defenders during the siege. Ladysmith was finally relieved after 118 days by a force commanded by General Redvers Buller, after two previous attempts had resulted in defeats at Colenso and Spion Kop. Dimensions: 350mm x 250mm.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library