This film is part of Free

The Arrival and Reception of Lord Roberts at Capetown

A military supremo takes command of British forces in South Africa

Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Silent


"The portrait of Lord Roberts is a magnificent one," the Warwick Trading Company catalogue says, "we being especially favoured with a prominent position to do full justice to the event." The event was Roberts' arrival in South Africa on 10 January 1900, captured by Warwick cameraman Edgar Hyman. Unmistakable in his feathery hat and medals, Roberts is the epitome of the Victorian military bigwig.

Lord Roberts was arriving in South Africa to take charge of an army on its uppers after a succession of defeats. The new appointment was propitious: Roberts oversaw a change in fortunes, with British forces having all but secured victory before the year was out. But his legacy was a dark one, too - Roberts pioneered the use of concentration camps to suppress local populations.