Category: Scottish Regimental

Alexander Young VC

Alexander Young (27/01/1873 – 19/10/1916) Was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Boer War at Ruiters Kraal in 1901.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27373, Page: 7221, reads:

“Sergeant – Major Alexander Young.

Towards the close of the action at Ruiter’s Kraal on the 13th August, 1901, Sergeant-Major Young, with a handful of men, rushed some kopjes which were being held by Commandant Erasmus and about 20 Boers. On reaching these kopjes the enemy were seen galloping back to another kopje held by the Boers. Sergeant-Major Young then galloped on some 50 yards ahead of his party and closing with the enemy shot one of them and captured Commandant Erasmus, the latter firing at him three times at point blank range before being taken prisoner.”

He served with the 4th South African Infantry (South African Scottish) and was killed during the Battle of the Somme on 19 October 1916 and has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in the Somme in France. Pier 4, Face C.

The Alexander Young VC entry at the South African War Graves Project

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph McLean and the South African War Graves Project

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 01/03/2017. Commemoration Image courtesy of Mark Green, Taddy & Co cigarette card by Card Promotions, ©1997, first issued 1902.

Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:05

South African Scottish Monument in Brixton Cemetery

This memorial to the South African Scottish Regiment used to appear on the local map books but I was never able to find it. It appears as if it had been damaged by a contractor and the remains were dumped behind the office at Brixton Cemetery.

After it was damaged by a contractor

After it was damaged by a contractor

Nothing happened until I believe the Transvaal Scottish Regiment got involved and the monument was restored and placed in a new position in the cemetery. The irony is, unlike so many memorials that strive to remember the dead and wounded lost during the war, this one remembers those who died as a result of their active service during WW1.

The Monument on its new spot

The Monument on its new spot

© DRW 2010-2018. Created 23/12/2010. Moved to blog 01/02/2014

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 20:56

The South African Scottish Memorial in Parktown

The memorial was designed by William Tait Conner, a Glasgow born architect who moved to Johannesburg in 1903.  The sculptor was Arthur Taylor.   It is said that the face of the soldier is modelled after Capt. Thomas Hesketh Ross MC. OC of “B” Company, 4th SAI, who served in the South West Africa Campaign and was awarded a Military Cross for his heroic conduct at Delville Wood. He was killed on the eve of the Arras offensive. This is one of the finest war memorials in Johannesburg.

The statue of the Scottish Soldier was initially erected on the east side of King George Street immediately outside Joubert Park and across the bridge from St George’s Presbyterian Church in Noord Street where the Regimental Colours hung. It was unveiled on Easter Sunday, 1st April 1923 by H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught, Governor General of the Union of South Africa.

It was later moved to the west side of King George Street where it stood for many years,  and as the area deteriorated so he became lost amongst the chaos surrounding him. On 5th November 1994 the statue was re-dedicated at the site where it now stands overlooking St Andrews Road in Parktown and he is looking magnificent. His new site is right in front of the headquarters of the Transvaal Scottish which is situated in “The View”. The memorial originally was to members of the South African Scottish, and later it commemorated the soldiers of the Transvaal Scottish.

The main inscription reads:

Pro Patria
In grateful memory
of the
officers, non commissioned
officers and men of the
South African Scottish
Regiment
who fell in the Great War.
Ye honoured mighty dead
who nobly perished in the glorious cause.

Also in grateful memory of the
officers, non commissioned officers and men of
The Transvaal Scottish Regiment, who gave
their lives in the two world wars of
1914 – 1918 and 1940 – 1945

The memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates 26°10’49.69″S, 28° 2’43.43″E. Parking in St Andrews Road is almost impossible.

update: 07/02/2015.

It seems as if the monument has been vandalised (photograph in the Star of 2 Feb 2016) by persons unknown who crossed out inscriptions and exhorted that “We want land”. Frankly it is disgraceful.

© DRW 2007 -2018. Edited 12/11/2012. Moved to blog 31/01/2014, updated with additional information 29/12/2016 from http://theheritageportal.co.za/article/story-behind-south-african-scottish-memorial

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 20:57

South African Scottish World War 1 Memorial: Burgers Park, Pretoria


This memorial in Burgers Park Pretoria, commemorates the officers and men of the South African Scottish that lost their lives in World War 1.

The memorial, showing a Highlander in full battle dress, is based on the memorial in Killin in Scotland by Alexander Carrick, a famous Scottish sculptor and WWI veteran. In 1923, the South African Scottish Regimental Association commissioned him to create a similar statue in a larger scale, changing only the cap badge and certain items of equipment including the bayonet which were specific to the South African soldiers. Google Earth co-ordinates are:  25°45’14.77″S, 28°11’30.52″E


© DRW 2012-2018.  Created 28/05/2012. Moved to blog 31/01/2014

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 20:57

Scottish Horse Memorial on Caledonia Hill

The Scottish Horse Memorial on Caledonia Hill. Kensington.

Most of the original photographs were taken in August 2007, on Caledonia Hill in Kensington.

**Update 11/02/2019** The memorial has been further damaged sometime before 9 February 2019, as well as wrapped in cloth. Unfortunately the damage is severe and it is not known whether it will be repaired or moved. (Article on Heritage Portal)

The memorial is in the shape of an Iona Cross erected to the Scottish Horse that served during the “South African War”. Unfortunately at the time the memorial was not in a very good condition and much of the original metalwork had been stolen and vandals had left their mark. I revisited the memorial on 24 September 2012 and all of the plaques and inscriptions were missing. I believe that they had been removed to prevent further vandalism. The Cross had been restored recently.

Scottish Horse Memorial on Caledonia Hill

Scottish Horse Memorial on Caledonia Hill

Scottish Horse Memorial on Caledonia Hill. Johannesburg in the background

Scottish Horse Memorial on Caledonia Hill. Johannesburg in the background

The monument commemorates the officers, non-commissioned officers and men killed in action and died of wounds, disease and accident, who were members of the Scottish Horse Regiment (a mounted infantry regiment financed and led by the Marquis of Tullibardine (later the 8th Earl of Atholl) during the War), during the South African Anglo-Boer War in 1901-1902. After the War, the Scottish Horse, in South Africa, was disbanded but parented the Transvaal Scottish Regiment.

(2012 image)

The view from the Hill in all directions is stunning and it’s well worth climbing the steps to get to the top, although it is advisable to not attempt this alone due to safety concerns.

Looking towards Johannesburg. (1500 x 503)

Roll of Honour Plaques.

Original ROH (2008)

The original plaques were cast in bronze and subsequently stolen. They were replaced around 1961 by granite plaques. These plaques were vandalised on numerous occasions and were last replaced in 2000 by the South African Heritage Resource Agency.  As well as the plaques the lightning discharge rod has also been vandalised. 

2007 image showing top of one of the name plaques (since removed)

2007 image showing top of one of the name plaques (since removed)

Google Earth co-ordinates for the memorial are:  26° 12.022’S 28° 5.089’E.

More reading: 

http://www.theheritageportal.co.za/article/story-behind-one-johannesburgs-earliest-war-memorials

http://www.bwm.org.au/site/Scottish_Horse.php

DRW ©  2007-2019. Panoramic views added 08 September 2011. Page edited 03 April 2012.  Moved to blog 18/01/2014, more images added 16/04/2017, Updated 11/02/2019. 

Updated: 11/02/2019 — 17:53
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