Category: Eastern Cape

James Craig VC.

The grave of Colour Sergeant James Craig VC. may be found in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Valley Road, South End, Port Elizabeth. Google Earth co-ordinates for the grave are: 33° 57.936’S; 25° 37.561’E. Special thanks to Ronnie Lovemore for his perseverance in finding this grave and cleaning it up. These photographs were taken on 04/11/2011 and used with permission.

James Craig (10/09/1824 – 18/03/1861) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22065, Page: 3920, reads:

“Military Train, 3rd – Battalion (late Serjeant, Scots Fusilier Guards)

Ensign and Adjutant James Craig, Date of Act of Bravery, 6th September, 1855.

For having volunteered, and personally collected other volunteers, to go out under a heavy fire of grape and small arms, on the night of the 6th September, 1855, when in the right advanced sap, in front of the Redan, to look for Captain Buckley, Scots Fusilier Guards, who was supposed to be wounded.
Serjeant Craig brought in, with the assistance of a Drummer, the body of that Officer, whom he found dead,—in the performance of which act he was wounded.”

The grave of James Craig VC.

The grave of James Craig VC.

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© DRW 2011-2018. Created 04/11/2011, added to blog 10/01/2015. Edited 17/05/2017. Images by Ronnie Lovemore.

Updated: 08/01/2018 — 08:00

Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe VC.

Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe (12/01/1826 – 12/04/1876) earned his VC during the Indian Mutiny whilst serving under Brigadier General Sir Henry Havelock’s first relief force sent to relieve the defenders of Lucknow.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22083, Page: 178, reads:

“78th Regiment, Lieutenant Joseph P. H. Crowe now Captain, 10th Regiment.

For being the first to enter the redoubt at Bourzekee Chowkee’, the entrenched village in front of the Busherut-gunge, on the 12th of August. (Telegram from the late MajorGeneral Sir Henry Havelock to the Commander-in- Chief in India, dated, Cawnpore, 18th August, 1857.)”

On 12 August 1857 at Boursekee Chowkee, the entrenched village in front of Busherutgunge, India, the redoubt was occupied by the enemy who were causing heavy casualties among the 18th Regiment. It was decided to take the place by storm, and the Highlanders dashed forward, Lieutenant Crowe being the first in, followed by his men. In less than a minute the redoubt was captured. Havelock’s column broke through to the Lucknow garrison on the 25th September 1857 but owing to heavy losses, 535 men killed or wounded, was too weak to withdraw. Therefore, the relieving force joined the original Lucknow defenders.

The grave of Joseph Crowe VC.

Grave site at Uitenhage MOTH Hall

Unfortunately, the grave of Joseph Crowe has always seemed to be in danger. Following his death on 12 April 1876, he was interred in the West Norwood Cemetery in a non-descript grave. In 1957 his overgrown grave was found and in August 1976 his remains were exhumed and returned to South Africa where he was interred in the MOTH Garden of Remembrance, Uitenhage on 5 Feb 1977, following a quasi-military ceremony in St Katherine’s Anglican Church.

By 2011 the Moth Hall (Crown and Anchor Dinkie Di Shellhole) was up for sale and a new location for the grave was yet to be found, although it appears as if a buyer had not been found. Google Earth Co-ordinates are : 33° 46.083’S 25° 23.926’E. The VC was destroyed in a fire at his sister’s farm, and it is not known if an official replacement was issued.

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*Update 25/03/2018*

In late March 2018 an offer was made for the former MOTH Hall and as a condition of the sale, the MOTH order would remove Crowe’s remains, the cannon and other items before any new owner took over the property. Port Elizabeth military history researcher Tim Bodill said his view was that the remains of Crowe and Nelson Mandela Bay’s two other VCs – James Craig, presently buried in St Mary’s Cemetery, and James Langley Dalton, in Russell Road Cemetery – should all be exhumed and re interred at Fort Frederick.  (http://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2018/03/22/firm-offer-made-historic-moth-hall/)

**Update 20/11/2018**

An advert in a PE newspaper points to the exhumation of the grave but as yet no further information is available. 

Burial site information courtesy of Jonathan Ossher, with thanks to Clive and Tim Emmerson, as well as Kevin Brazier, author of “The COMPLETE VICTORIA CROSS, A Full Chronological Record of All Holders of Britain’s Highest Award for Gallantry“. Photograph of Joseh Crowe’s grave courtesy of Ronnie Lovemore (June 2011).

The grave of Joseph Crowe VC.

The grave of Joseph Crowe VC.

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 18 June 2011, Moved to blog 04/01/2015. Edited 17/05/2017, updated 25/03/2018

Updated: 26/11/2018 — 07:46

Charles Herbert Mullins VC, CMG.

Charles Herbert Mullins (28/06/1869 – 24/05/1916) along with Captain Robert Johnston was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Battle of Elandslaagte on 21st October, 1899. 

The Citation, recorded by the London Gazette of Issue: 27283, Page: 1059, reads:

“Imperial Light Horse, Captains C. H. Mullins and R. Johnstone.

On the 21st October, 1899, at Elandslaagte, at a most critical moment, the advance being omentarily checked by a very severe fire at point blank range, these two Officers very gallantly rushed forward under this heavy fire and rallied the men, thus enabling the flanking movement, which decided the day, to be carried out. On this occasion Captain Mullins was wounded.”

Charles Herbert Mullins VC died on Empire Day 1916 (24 May 1916), and is buried in Grahamstown Old Cemetery. 

The grave of Major CH Mullins VC.

The grave of Major CH Mullins VC.

Inscription

Inscription

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 18/06/2011. Moved to blog 04/01/2015. Edited 26/04/2017. Images courtesy of Eric Leach.

Updated: 08/01/2018 — 08:02

James Langley Dalton VC.

James Langley Dalton (1833 – 07/01/1887) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Rorke’s Drift on the night of the 22nd January 1879

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 24784, Page: 6494, reads: 

“Commissariat and Transport Department, Acting Assistant (now SubAssistant) Commissary James Langley Dalton.

For his conspicuous gallantry during the attack on Rorke’s Drift post by the Zulus on the night of the 22nd January 1879, when he actively superintended the work of the defence, and was amongst the foremost of those who received the first attack at the corner of the hospital, where the deadliness of his fire did great execution, and the mad rush of the Zulus met with its first check, and where, by his cool courage, he saved the life of a man of the Army Hospital Corps, by shooting the Zulu who having seized the muzzle of the man’s rifle, was in the act of assegaing (thrusting an assegai into) him. This officer, to whose energy much of the defence of the place was due, was severely wounded during the contest, but still continued to give the same example of cool courage.”

He is buried in Russel Road Cemetery, Port Elizabeth. Google Earth co-ordinates for the cemetery are:  33° 57.615’S ,  25° 36.901’E. 

Russel Road Cemetery

Russel Road Cemetery

The Citation for his VC reads:

The grave of James Langley Dalton VC.

The grave of James Langley Dalton VC.

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 18 June 2011. Added to blog 03/01/2015. Photographs by Ronnie Lovemore, June 2011. Edited 16/05/2017

Updated: 08/01/2018 — 08:02

Henry Cecil Dudgeon D’Arcy VC.

Henry Cecil Dudgeon D’Arcy (11/08/1850  – 10/1881) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 3 July 1879 at Ulundi, South Africa during the Zulu War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of ssue: 24769, Page: 5830, reads:

“Frontier Light Horse, Captain (now Commandant) Cecil D’Arcy,

For his gallant conduct on the 3rd July, 1879, during the reconnaissance made before Ulundi by the Mounted Corps, in endeavouring to rescue Trooper Raubenheim of the Frontier Light Horse, who fell from his horse as the troops were retiring. Captain D’Arcy, though the Zulus were close upon them, waited for the man to mount behind him; the horse kicked them both off, and although much hurt by the fall and quite alone, Captain D’Arcy cooly endeavoured to lift the trooper, who was stunned, on to the horse, and it was only when he found that he had not the strength to do so that he mounted and rode off.

His escape was miraculous as the Zulus had actually closed upon him.”

He apparently left the house of Rev. Taberer in the Cape Province where he was staying to recuperate during the night of 6–7 August 1881, and his remains were found early the next year, although reports indicate that he may have faked his own death. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_D%27Arcy). He is buried in a family plot in King Williams Town; Section D, Grave 32-33.

Grave inscription for Capt HCD D'Arcy VC.

Grave inscription for Capt HCD D’Arcy VC.

© DRW 2014 – 2018. Created 07/12/2014. Edited 17/05/2017. Image is courtesy of Terry Cawood 

Updated: 08/01/2018 — 07:51

The Late Great Apple Express

These images of the late great Apple Express were taken by Ronnie Lovemore in July 2011 at the Humewood Diesel Depot in Port Elizabeth. Sadly this once busy narrow gauge line has become a memory and soon there may be nothing left to see as more of it gets vandalised or scrapped. The stations of Loerie, Thornhill and Avontuur are not much better. Special thanks to Mark Ruddy for his assistance in getting these images.

The Apple Express

The Apple Express

Station

Station

Tickets please

Tickets please

NGG11-54

NGG11-54

Coaches

Coaches

Guards van

Guards van

91-001 Apple Express Port Elizabeth

91-001
Apple Express
Port Elizabeth

91-002 Apple Express Port Elizabeth

91-002
Apple Express
Port Elizabeth

91-007 Apple Express Port Elizabeth

91-007
Apple Express
Port Elizabeth

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

The scrap line

NG15-119

NG15-119

NG15-119

NG15-119

NG15-119

NG15-119

Boiler

Boiler

NGG131

NGG131

NGG131

NGG131

NG15-148

NG15-148

Derelict NG15

Derelict NG15

Coaches

Coaches

Waiting

Waiting

Rolling stock

Rolling stock

End of the line

End of the line

 

Update: 2018

On 26 December 2017 the Apple Express ran again, and hopefully will continue to do so. It was really the dedication and enthusiasm of those who loved steam to see this moment happen.

The Apple Express website is at https://www.appleexpresstrain.co.za

© DRW 2011-2018. Moved to blog 18/08/2014. Images © Ronnie Lovemore 2011

Updated: 08/01/2018 — 07:30

The sinking of the Oceanos

The sinking of the Oceanos off Coffee Bay in 1991 would have serious repercussions for our already struggling cruising industry in South Africa. However, it also brought change and helped to create a whole new dynamic operator who has since dominated the local market.

I have an interest in the Oceanos because she was my third cruise experience, and I really enjoyed my trip on her. A lot of the material on this page comes from pages that I created many years ago, and I have left them unchanged since then. As you read it, so it happened.

But first a bit of history:

The Oceanos was originally built as Jean Laborde, and was the last of four sister ships built for Messageries Maritimes. All ships were twin screw with Burmeister and Wain diesels developing 12 500 BHP with a maximum speed of 18,5 knots. They were designed for use on the Marseilles to Madagascar and Mauritius service.

Following many name changes and new owners she was acquired by Epirotiki Lines of Greece in 1976 who operated her successfully in Mediterranean waters for many years. In 1988 she came to South Africa where she successfully completed a cruise season. Her return in 1991 was to be the first long term cruise ship deployment in our waters since the 1970’s.

The Messageries Maritimes sisters

The Messageries Maritimes sisters

Causes of and factors contributing to the loss of the Oceanos.

On Afternoon of 3 August 1991 the Oceanos sailed from East London bound for Durban. A bomb threat had delayed the ship and she was on a  tight schedule. The weather up coast was rough and it would be a bumpy ride for the 571 passengers and crew on board.

In the engine room repairs to a faulty waste disposal system had not been completed and a vital ventilation pipe had been omitted. This pipe ran through the aft watertight bulkhead of the generator room.  Non return valves had also been left out of the waste disposal tank. At roughly 09.30 pm, a muffled explosion was heard and the ship lost power. The engineer explained that the ship was taking in water, either from a leak in the hull or after touching ground en route. The water had shorted the generators and immobilised the engines. The hole in the watertight bulkhead was allowing water to flood the waste tank which was then dispersing water throughout the plumbing of the ship and there was nothing that could be done about it except take to the boats.

The rescue of the passengers was accomplished mainly by other ships in the area as well as the South African Air Force which flew an incredible 7 hour mission to land the survivors.

The conduct of the crew was hotly debated with allegations of dereliction of duty being specifically laid at the master of the vessel. However, it is recognised that many crew members did their duty as long as they were able. The evacuation of the ship was mostly supervised by members of the entertainment staff on board. Amazingly no lives were lost in this disaster.

There is a very good video on YouTube that explains the circumstances very well. However, at some point this link may go 404.

 

THE END OF THE OCEANOS AS IT HAPPENED.

Sunday 04/08/91 12H00.

This  morning at 05H30 I was awoken by Neville Dolley telling  me that  the  Oceanos was adrift off Coffee Bay,  her   engine  room flooded, the passengers in the boats or still stuck on board. The Air Force was on their way and things did not look good. The  Oceanos was the first cruise ship based in South  Africa since the demise of all those wonderful vessels that used to call here  regularly. She would be the ship that was going  to  reopen the  cruising market properly again. I had sailed on her in  1989 and was hoping to do a coastal later on in the year on her. Some  time  last night it appears as if she started  to  take  on  water,  rapidly  filling up the engine room and cutting  off  the power.  From  then  on  the  Oceanos  was  in  serious   trouble.

Fortunately  an SOS was sent and a massive rescue  operation  was undertaken.  Meanwhile  off  PE an oil tanker is also in trouble and  the  two salvage  tugs, John Ross and Wolraad Woltemade are steaming  flat out for her. Radio  reports  are sketchy, Radio 702  is basically  giving  out standard,  non-committal news reports whereas Radio Highveld  has reported that 100 people were unaccounted for and the vessel  had run  aground. We know that things are chaotic and  that  accurate reporting is difficult under the circumstances. So far I still am not sure of what her actual status is.  The  Oceanos  was  a  great ship, the  atmosphere  on  board  was brilliant,  she had a friendly crew, the food was  excellent  and she had a  general friendliness that I had not experienced on any ship I had been on. About 2 months ago my travel agent phoned me, offering  this  particular cruise at a very cheap price,  I  even passed the word to others, hoping that we would be able to make a group up and go on her. We would have been on her at this moment!

14H00.

I  have just seen the first visuals on TV, she is  listing  badly and things do not look good, how could this happen? At the moment I  am  waiting for the TV news update promised for 15H30  to  see what  has happened, the news that 100 people are unaccounted  for is worrying!

Radio Highveld, 15H30:

SAPA  reports  that  more  than than  100  are  unaccounted  for. It  is  uncertain how many people have been  saved.  Durban  port authorities  have confirmed she sank at  13h30. 220  people  were airlifted  from  the  Oceanos  to Coffee  Bay,  150  people  were rescued from sea, there were 580 passengers and crew on board.

The  salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade has reached the tanker  Mimosa which is adrift about 45 kilometres off Port Elizabeth. The  ship is leaking oil and her steering gear is damaged. The harbour  tug PJ  Du Plessis was first on the scene. The John Ross is  expected to join in the operation later.

oceanosthestar

TV1.15H50. 04-08-91.

The  Oceanos has sunk. However the passenger situation  is  still unclear.  The visuals that were shown are frightening, I am glad that I was not on board when this  happened.

TV1. 20H00.

By now the whole drama has played itself out. The real heroes are the  chopper pilots who braved extremely hazardous conditions  to rescue  those  in trouble. The passengers remained  calm  and  it appears as if the band played music to calm the nerves. There are disturbing  stories  about the crew abandoning the ship  to  save themselves  and  of the master being taken off the  ship  in  the early   morning.  The  representative  from  Epirotiki  is   very evasive, he does not even know the Captain’s name! There is still confusion about the amount of people missing, however it seems to be about 27.

TV1 06H30. 05-08-91.

As  I  got  up I switched the TV on and  they  showed  the  final moments  of  the Oceanos. There was an unreal quality  about  the footage,  here was the whole thing in colour, the blue  sea,  the cream  coloured hull, the white deck chairs and this ship that  I got to know so well slowly being swallowed by the sea. Eventually only debris was left behind. She was gone.

As the day has gone past so the papers have told their story  and the  survivors  have  come home. All that is left are questions.

Oceanos sailing from Durban 1989.

Oceanos sailing from Durban 1989.

07-08-91.

It  is  Wednesday,  all the passengers are  safe  and  there  are allegations flying left, right and centre. It is going to take  a very  impartial  look at the circumstances. Too  many  hysterical passengers  have  said things that were not strictly  true,  they have  laid  the Master’s career on the line and  discredited  the shipping  company. On the other hand the Master has  not  exactly played his cards straight and frankly things are very  uncertain. Hopefully  the  success  of the rescue will  overshadow  the  bad things that have surfaced. I hope this is not the end of cruising in South Africa.

Brochure image

Brochure image

© DRW. 1991-2018. Moved to blog 16/03/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 15:07

The Loss of the OSV Voortrekker.

Many people contributed to this page, and it is dedicated to the crew and families of the OSV Voortrekker.

The offshore oil industry in South Africa was never a very large one, most of the activity seemingly taking place off Mossel Bay. One of the participants was the anchor handling supply vessel OSV Voortrekker, which was built in 1983 in Durban by Dorbyl Marine and operated by Unicorn Lines.

Voortrekker Commemorative Envelope

Leading Particulars of OSV Voortrekker.

Length 62 m, Beam 13,33 m, Draught at deep load: 5.06 m. Deadweight 1165 tons
Cruising speed 12 Knots.

Main engines: 6000 B.H.P. Bollard pull in excess of 80 metric tons.

Combined towing and anchor handling winch: 200 tons working load. 300 tons static load.

The vessel was built for towing rigs between drilling stations, handling and running out the rigs anchoring systems, supplying and ferrying of drilling equipment and materials between the base and the rig as well as safety standby. On commencement of her service she was placed on a long term charter to Soekor for servicing the semi submersible rig “Actinia” in the PE area.

Unfortunately the extreme weather around our coastline claimed the Voortrekker on 10 September 1993 off Mossel Bay whilst she was attending to the oil rig.
The vessel remained afloat although upside down for two days before finally sinking taking her crew of 10 with her. Also lost was Lighthouse; the ship’s cat.

Voortrekker Crew
Captain – Cameron Vermeulen
Mate – Allan Sillence
Bosun – David Joseph
Able Seaman – Christopher Damon
Able Seaman – Kenneth Grewar
Able Seaman – Thulebona Gambushe
Greaser – Clement Ndaba
Greaser – Gaga Mzimela
Cook – Michael Mchunu
Steward – Gerald Mkhize
Ships cat – Lighthouse

What made this particular accident remarkable was that after being upside down for two days in really rough seas, the Chief Engineer – Paul de Barry, 2nd Engineer – Peter Tighe and Greaser – Clement Ndaba managed to escape from the capsized vessel. All 3 men were in the engine room at the time of the disaster and it was from here that they managed to escape. Although salvage attempts where made, the vessel sank after 2 days and settled into soft mud upside down making a recovery operation of the deceased impossible. Divers did make numerous attempts to gain entry into the vessel, whilst she was still afloat, but the adverse sea and strong currents made this dangerous and impossible.

Of all the crew that were lost on that fateful day only two bodies were recovered. Greaser Clement Ndaba passed away due to injuries sustained escaping, and Able Seaman Christopher Damon’s body was recovered during the initial diving operations. All the rest went down with the vessel.
Today the Voortrekker and her crew is commemorated in the garden of the port authorities of Mossel Bay, where a black granite memorial was erected in  remembrance of her. While the local SPCA has a  framed memorial for Lighthouse the ships cat in their office.

Special thanks to Deene for the information I have used here, images are from my own collection. The memorial to the Voortrekker in Mossel Bay was photographed by Robert I. Sadler of  www.southerncape.co.za (link no longer active).

In 2012 divers erected a cross on the wreck of the Voortrekker in memory of those who died in the disaster, and those who lived. 

Update: 17/02/2016.

I received an email today from Patricia, sister of Peter Tighe, one of the two survivors off MV VOORTREKKER.

“…after spending 22 hours under the water, three men managed to extricate themselves, but only Peter and Paul du Barry, survived. Peter had another 22 years given to him and in that time did a lot of work at Jerico Mission ( a promise he made to God while under water) close to where he and his wife, Linda, lived in Port Edward.
He also went back to sea, as that was his love. He retired 5 years ago and kept busy making nautical knotting boards, doormats and swings to sell at the local Uvongo Flea Market on weekends.
Two years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Dementia, which led to Alzheimer’s, complications of his condition led to his passing on the 31st January 2016.
We, his family, mourn his loss with Linda, may he rest in peace, his ashes were scattered in the sea, where he loved to be.
Paul & Anita du Barry joined us for his Service….”

© DRW 2009-2018. Moved to blog 16/03/2014, updated 17/02/2016, 16/09/2016

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 15:08

The Prince of Wales Obelisk: Port Elizabeth

This Obelisk has had somewhat of a chequered history and seems to have lost its reason for existing. Currently sited at Bayworld in PE (2011), it has a plaque on it that reads: “Purchased by John Paterson at The London Exhibition of 1862. Intended for the grave of George Kemp. It was instead erected on the Port Elizabeth Market Square where it stood until 1921. The remaining upper section erected on this site 1975” .

These photographs were kindly taken by Ronnie Lovemore in June 2011, and are used with his permission.

Information Plaque

Information Plaque

George Kemp was the business partner of John Paterson; Kemps father would not agree to the use of the obelisk and donated it to Port Elizabeth.  It was then decided to erect it to commemorate the Prince of Wale’s marriage to Princess Alexandra and it was finally erected on 22 May 1863 in front of the City Hall on Market Square.

As erected,  the obelisk stood on a square plinth with three steps leading up to it, later, in 1878, 4 troughs were added and filled with water during a “tap ceremony” when water was first piped to Port Elizabeth.  In 1921, the obelisk was removed and the base, slightly lengthened, was used as a base for the howitzer that made up part of the South African Heavy Artillery Monument.  Two of the water troughs were removed, one finally ending up outside Walmer Town Hall.  In 1933, the SAHA memorial was moved to its present spot in St George’s Park, the base being dispensed of entirely.

Drinking trough from the Obelisk base (1878), now at Walmer Town Hall.

Drinking trough from the Obelisk base (1878), now at Walmer Town Hall.

The obelisk, once removed from its base, was no longer needed and was put in storage until 1975 when it was re-erected at Bayworld. It is known as the Prince Of Wales Obelisk and may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates   33° 58.667’S,  25° 38.959’E.  A detailed history of this memorial may be found at  The Prince Of Wales Obelisk page on Wikipedia (Page is in Afrikaans).

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 16/08/2011, Photographs © Ronnie Lovemore. Additional information by Carl Hoehler. Moved to blog 06/02/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:57

Steytlerville War Memorials and Graves.

These photographs in and around Steytlerville were kindly taken by Ronnie Lovemore, and are used with his permission.

The Memorial presumably commemorates men from the town of Steytlerville and surrounds who died in both World Wars.

The two  objects on top of it are a pair of machine guns facing in opposite directions.

The War Memorial in the town may be found at Google  Earth co-ordinates: 33°19’41.41″S, 24°20’39.34″E.

Sgt James McLellan CMP

Sgt James McLellan CMP

James Kobe Madlaila

James Kobe Madlaila

James Kobe Madlaila

James Kobe Madlaila

In the corner of the cemetery stands the grave of James MacLellan, originally thought to be a Boer War casualty, it turns out that he was a member of the Cape Mounted Police, force number 86, and he was a Sergeant and died on 08 October 1905. No other information has come to light. It is just a wooden cross bolted to a pole in the ground. His grave may be found at  33°19’43.14″S, 24°20’26.96″E.

Close by at 33°19’43.83″S, 24°20’26.91″E is the lonely grave of James Kobe Madlaila, a constable and interpreter on the staff of the resident magistrate who was shot by a commando while out scouting during the Anglo Boer War. During the trial of Gideon Scheepers he was accused of the murder of James Kobe Madlaila which allegedly took place on a farm named Rooiklip, Steytlerville on the 7th August 1901. A certain Edith Carey testified that she was in the house when the unarmed deceased came racing by on a horse. Scheeper’s men gave chase. The deceased jumped from his horse and ran into the yard. At this time, the men shot him in the thigh. Scheeper’s men then left, went to a hill and returned 10 minutes later and shot him dead. Scheepers gave evidence that Madlaila was killed in combat and that he knew nothing more of the incident.

Gideon Scheepers was executed by firing squad on 18 January 1902 and he was buried in an unmarked grave. 

The town also has a “Voortrekker Gedenkmuur” as you enter it, with many artifacts related to the Voortrekkers and farming, it may be found at 33°19’23.79″S, 24°20’42.06″E. And, on the road into the town, South African history has been painted on the surrounding rocks, 33°18’33.22″S,  24°21’39.19″E. An interesting bit of artwork that must have taken quite some time to do.

Voortrekker Gedenkmuur

Voortrekker Gedenkmuur

© DRW 2012-2018. Created 06/06/2012, Photographs © Ronnie Lovemore. Translation of the Gideon Scheepers/James Kobe Madlaila incident by Jennifer Bosch. Updated 01/10/2016. Moved to blog 06/02/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:38
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