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 Henry Harbord “Breaker” Morant

Photo added by Bill McKern

Henry Harbord “Breaker” Morant

  • Birth 9 Dec 1864 Bridgwater, Sedgemoor District, Somerset, England
  • Death 27 Feb 1902 Pretoria, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Burial Pretoria, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Memorial ID 15615763

Soldier, Poet. He freely invented details he told about his chilhood, but appears to have been born Edwin Murrant. After moving to Australia and changing his name his skill as a horse trainer and tamer led to the nickname "Breaker." Also referred to as Harry, he was a poet and became one of the "back-block bards" of the 1890s, with his work frequently appearing in The Bulletin magazine. While serving as an Army Lieutenant during the Second Boer War he ordered the execution of several Afrikaner and African prisoners, as well as a German missionary he suspected of carrying messages for the Boers. Morant and fellow Lieutenant Peter Handcock were court-martialed and executed, in part to avoid an international diplomatic incident by appeasing the German government. Morant's and Handcock's supporters believed they were sentenced to death to hide that they were carrying out the orders of Lord Kitchener, the British Commander in South Africa. Morant and Handcock were buried in one grave, which is today a landmark for tourists. Morant's life was chronicled in Kit Denton's novel "The Breaker," as well as in Kenneth Ross's 1978 play "Breaker Morant" and its 1980 film adaptation.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 4 Sep 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15615763
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Harbord “Breaker” Morant (9 Dec 1864–27 Feb 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15615763, citing Church Street Cemetery of Pretoria, Pretoria, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa ; Maintained by Find A Grave .