'The last mesage home, Orange River Hospital, South Africa', 1900.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A nurse and orderly tend a patient. The bedside table has been made from used antiseptic cases. One of a boxed set of stereoscope photographs produced for sale to the general public by a profesional firm of photographers, Underwood and Underwood. The Second Boer War (1899-1902) was the first war to be covered comprehensively by both film and still photography. This was the result of improved technology in both photographic equipment and printing techniques; cameras were more portable and magazines reproduced half-tone photographs. Many soldiers wounded in the conflict died in hospital and few of the hospitals contained the comfortable conditions shown in this photograph, as there was a severe shortage of beds and nursing staff.