Cavalry escorting an observation balloon, Boer War, 1899-1902.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Original monochrome wash drawing by Sir Frederick William Burton (1816-1900). An original wash drawing showing a military balloon in use during the Second Boer War (1899-1902). Observation balloons were used by the British during the war to observe the movements of Boer troops in the difficult, rugged South African terrain. The Second Boer War was fought between the British and the Boer republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State, not least because of the rich gold mines in these areas. After early reverses and several bloody battles with heavy casualties, the British eventually won the war. Artwork commisioned by Illustrated London News for reproduction.