g.1. Gert Stephanus NEL, geb. 01/07/1846

g.1.  Gert Stephanus, geb. 01/07/1846, ged. Glen Lynden oorl. 1915 x 01/02/1869 met Aletta Catharina DU PLOOY, geb. 17/05/1848, Winburg, ged. 15/07/1849, Winburg xx 09/05/1881, New Castle met Aletta Maria VAN DYK, ged. 12/10/1853, ged. 15/01/1854, Potchefstroom, oorl. 26/03/1952, Springs, d.v. Marthinus Johannes van Dyk en Martha Elizabeth Hartzenberg.

Gert Stephanus was die seun van Gert Stephanus Nel en Susara Louisa Nel.

Foto:  Hennie B. Nel

Aletta Maria (Van Dyk) Nell kon die trekklavier goed bespeel. 

Uit die register van die Volksrust Konsentrasiekamp is hulle gesin tydens die Anglo boere oorlog vervoer vanaf die plaas Mooiplaatz na Volksrust se kamp toe. Hulle ouderdomme was die volgende tydens die opname in die kamp.
Gert Staphanus 56
Aletta Maria 36
Anna Catharina 19
Louis Christiaan 15
Catharina 14
Johannes Arnoldus 12
Aletta Maria 10
Johanna 5
Susanna 3
Hendrik Belzaser 3 Maande

Die gesin is uitgeplaas in tent nommer 220.


Volksrust camp was beautifully situated, in the shadow of Majuba mountain, on the border of Natal, where the Boers had defeated the British some twenty years before, reminding them of ‘the most glorious episode in their history’, as Dr Kendal Franks noted. But Elizabeth Neethling described the place as one of the most miserable in the Transvaal. For her, this was a bleak spot, enclosed by high barbed wire fences, with monotonous rows of bell tents. ‘Nothing bright, nothing pleasant, strikes the eye’. Even J.J. Carter, the first superintendent, shared her opinion. ‘Owing to the altitude of the place, and the unprotected nature of the situation, the cold is intense at night, and when a breeze is blowing the days are also very keen’, he wrote. This ‘bracing’ climate might be beneficial for the healthy but it affected the aged and very young severely, and it was hard on the families who came from the milder districts of Vryheid, Utrecht and Piet Retief.1 It is not clear when Volksrust camp was formed but in May 1901 there were already nearly 5,000 inmates. At first the Boers in this camp seemed less impoverished than those in some of the other camps. Even later arrivals were described as ‘fairly well clothed’,possessing the ‘wherewithal for tent life’. By September 1901, however, the new inmates were considered ‘of a very low class’and badly provided for. Another group, from the Ermelo, Utrecht and Wakkerstroom districts, were ‘in a very filthy and destitute condition, and altogether a most undesirable lot’. The Ladies Committee also noted that 500 who came in November were ‘in a very destitute condition’. This steady influx of impoverished arrivals may have been one reason why the health of the camp deteriorated towards the end of the year, although Volksrust village was also sickly. Cold, heavy rain and the increase in numbers meant that tents were in short supply and worn.2 The camp did not remain long in its original position where the water supply was poor. Before long it was moved to an area about half a mile from Volksrust village, on better drained ground. Here the water supply was more abundant, piped from a local reservoir a mile away. The fence, a double row of barbed wire, which Neethling so disliked, was erected by the military to protect the camp from Boer attack, for the inmates were allowed to roam freely in the village and within the military lines during the day. The greatest disadvantage of the fencing was the fact that the camp could not be easily extended, contributing to the cramped pitching of the tents of which the authorities regularly complained. Nor could the tents be taken down and the ground disinfected, as happened in Vereeniging camp, for instance.3 Despite a somewhat untidy appearance, Volksrust seemed a well run camp. When Dr Kendal Franks visited the site in September 1901 he deplored the careless pitching of the tents, which were too close together and blocked the streets. Some of the inmates still lived in their own tents and wagons, which were unsightly to British eyes. Superintendent George King, who had replaced Carter on 19 August 1901, was now repitching the camp, and had decided to separate the invariably dirty from those of ‘more civilised habits’, a plan of which Franks approved. Yet, despite some grumbles about the untidiness of the camp and the dirtiness of the Boers, Franks was favourably impressed by Volksrust. (http://www2.lib.uct.ac.za/mss/bccd/Histories/Volksrust/)