Noteworthy women


Lady Sarah Wilson

Lady Sarah was the first woman war correspondent in 1899, reporting on the seige of Mafeking for the Daily Mail. She was recruited by Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, a British newspaper and publishing magnate.

Baden Powell advised her to leave the besieged town on a rumour that the Boers were planning to storm the British garrison. This lobbed her on a country-wide ‘adventure’ which eventually led to her capture by the Boers. They returned her to Mafeking, exchanging her for a horse thief who was held there.

Lady Sarah was sister of Lord Randolph Churchill and aunt to Winston Churchill.

Lady Sarah Wilson ©


tibby 3The daughter of a Scottish clergyman, Tibbie Steyn, came to be known as the Mother of her people and was also described as “the living embodiment of the unconquerable Boer Republics”. She was wife of President MT Steyn, marrying him in 1887 when he was a young advocate. Tibbie and Emily Hobhouse were great friends up till Emily’s death. new postTibby Steyn2 coloured by ©JennyB


Koopmans de Wet

Linguist, Patron of the Arts, Cultural Leader, Patriot, Republican and Aid organiser for the Boer Women and Children in Concentration Camps.

Marie Koopmans played a prominent role during the Anglo-Boer war. She organised petitions, women’s meetings and received about 2 000 boxes of relief goods from the Netherlands. She packed them personally and sent them to the women that were in the concentration camps. She used her house in Strand Street as a depot for all the material she received. After her husband died in 1879, she only wore black and referred to herself as Marie Koopmans-De Wet in memory of her husband.

Koopmans de Wet ©