'Siege of Ladysmith - a Bird's-Eye View', 1900.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Coloured print by A S. This topographical print shows an aerial view of the town of Ladysmith, South Africa, and its fortifications, during the Second Boer War (1899-1902). Key events and Boer positions are illustrated, with an observation balloon following their movements. The bombardment of Ladysmith by the Boers lasted from 1 November, 1899 until 28 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.