Fernand Martin toys: Le Vaillant Boer and The Gentleman in Khaki
Martin has released two soldiers who fought in South Africa in the same war, just not on the same side but against each other.
The “Le Vaillant Boer” was a soldier who fought on the side of the Dutch-speaking farmers, the “The Gentleman in Khaki” was an English soldier.
The word Khaki is derived from the typical gray-yellow color of the clothes of these soldiers.
Here again is “The Gentleman in Khaki”, made in Paris, but mainly sent to London, where it is highly sought after.
Dressed in khaki, the English gentleman crosses his bayonet against an imaginary Boer.
I found a text in the magazine: La Charente December 18, 1900 indicating that this toy was produced especially for the English market.
a part of the text of the article:
Les Jouets Du Nouvel An
–Here again is “The Gentleman in Khaki”, made in Paris, but mainly sent to London, where it is highly sought after.
Dressed in khaki, the English gentleman crosses his bayonet against an imaginary Boer.–
In all the books I’ve seen the name Le Gentleman Khaki is used, but I think that may not be the original name.
On a original 1902 French poster is the same name as on the box: so I think that The Gentlemen in Khaki is the original name.
A little bit of history:
This (second boer war) was from 11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902.
It was a war between the Dutch-speaking Boers of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and Orange Free State on the one hand, and the British Empire on the other hand.
The war was the result of many years of tensions between the Boers and the British.
In the beginning it started with a conventional warfare, after conquering their capitals, the Boers turned to guerrilla tactics.
The British retaliated with the principle of the scorched earth.
They build concentration camps where many women and children died from the bad conditions.
In this war on the side of the “Boers” about 2000 volunteers fought from different countries as for example, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France etc.
Sources: All pictures with the toys courtesy of Bertoia Auctions and the section history: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia