'First Royal Irishmen during advance on Pretoria, South Africa', 1900.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
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. After early defeats, the British forces, reinforced by Lords Roberts and Kitchener went on the offensive in 1900. By June Pretoria had fallen to the British, as well as Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, but the war continued for another two years as the Boers harrased the British with guerrilla tactics.