Mafeking Siege Map
Maps showing the positions of the Boer and British forces during the siege of Mafeking. The town is situated on the railway running north from South Africa to Rhodesia, in the Northern part of South Africa's Cape Colony, close to the Bechuanaland. Baden-Powell deliberately allowed the town to be besieged as part of a plan devised by South Africa's High Commissioner Milner to engage Boer forces and delay them until British reinforcements could be transferred to South Africa from India.
Baden-Powell (BP as he was known) defended the town energetically convincing the Boers they were facing a far bigger garrison than actually existed in the town.
The town was relieved after 217 days on the 16th May 1900 when Colonel Mahon led a column of Imperial Light Horse and Royal Horse Artillery on a forced march to relieve the town's defenders and break the siege.
Mafeking's relief was widely celebrated in Britain and Baden-Powell became a national hero. He went on to create the world wide Boy Scouts, an organisation based on the cadet corps that existed in Mafeking during the siege.