Guild of Loyal Women

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The Guild of Loyal Women of South Africa was a voluntary organisation which identified, marked and maintained Second Boer War graves and military graveyards.[1] A prominent founder member was the author and conservationist, Dorothea Fairbridge (1862–1931).[2]


The Guild was founded in early 1900, and by June of that year had 3,000 members mainly in the Cape Colony. By the end of the year it had branches in Natal and there were plans for branches in the Free State and the Transvaal.[3] Although the members considered themselves non-political (in the sense of local party politics) as the name suggests the movement attracted members from those loyal to the British Crown,[3] and it received royal patronage in December 1900.[4] In 1901 it became affiliated with the Victoria League (now The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship).[2][5][6]

Cultural references[edit]

To The South African Guild of Loyal Women is a poem about the organisation written by Cicely Fox Smith (1882–1954).[7]

See also[edit]



  • Gasa, Nomboniso, ed. (2007), "Women's politics", Women in South African History: They Remove Boulders and Cross Rivers (illustrated ed.), HSRC Press, pp. 112–115, ISBN 9780796921741
  • Hendley, Matthew (2012), Organized Patriotism and the Crucible of War: Popular Imperialism in Britain, 1914-1932, McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, p. 138, ISBN 9780773539617
  • Mercury staff (5 December 1900), "Guild of Loyal Women Accorded Royal Patronage", The Mercury (Hobart), p. 2
  • Riedi, Eliza (2015), Resources, Victoria League Canterbury, archived from the original on 2015-01-13, retrieved February 2015 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help) — first published: Riedi, Eliza (2002), "Women, gender, and the promotion of Empire: the Victoria League, 1901-1914.", The Historical Journal, 45 (3): 369–399
  • Sage, Lorna; Greer, Germaine; Showalter, Elaine, eds. (1999), "Fairbridge, Dorothea (Ann)", The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English (illustrated ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 230, ISBN 9780521668132
  • Smith, Cicely (31 August 2010), To The South African Guild Of Loyal Women,
  • VL staff (February 2015), History, The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship

Further reading[edit]

  • A Circular setting forth the object of the Guild, 1901
  • Guild of Loyal Women of South Africa (Federal Leaflet ed.), July 1911
  • 100 years on, Australian Government Department of Veteran, 2001, retrieved February 2015 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help) — How the Guild helped relatives of an Australian soldier killed in the Boer War commemorate his death at his graveside 100 years later.