A sandstone memorial commemorating the Tasmanians who lost their lives in the Boer War will once again serve as the focal point for a remembrance day service in Launceston on Sunday.
Tasmanian Military historian Reg Watson has organised and hosted an annual Boer War service in City Park for the past 12 years, and will do so again on June 20.
It was during the Boer War of 1899-1902` that the Australian states federated to become a nation. The servicemen and women who had been there at the beginning of hostilities as colonials became Australia's first National military services personnel.
Gold and diamonds were discovered in the Boer independent republic Transvaal in the 1880s. The British and other national's flocked to the area seeking their fortune.
Tensions between Dutch Afrikaner settlers and Britain steadily grew and finally boiled over when Britain refused to recognise the Orange Free State and Transvaal as sovereign states, and it declared war on October 11.
More than 13,000 Tasmanians embarked as members of many different units - 800 nurses, over 100 members of the Air Flying Corps and others in the Royal Australian Navy. The majority however, about 860 of which 50 per cent were from Northern Tasmania, were in AIF units. Sadly, 38 were killed.
The Boer War introduced techniques and tactics that were a preview of what was to come in the two great wars of the 20th century. Breach loading rapid firing rifles and machine guns coupled with guerrilla tactics gave the Boers initial successes. The
British responded by using the Australian troops to roam the countryside destroying farms and livestock thus depriving the enemy of food and support. Further, they force large numbers of the civilian population into concentration camps where the death rate rapidly became horrific.
Ultimately worn down, the Boers surrendered and signed the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902, thus ending one of the most expensive wars ever fought by Britain. The final cost exceeded £200 million and over 100,000 lives were lost - more than 20,000 British troops and 14,000 Boer troops.
The community are invited to attend Sunday's commemoration from 12pm.