Category: South Africa

Durban Shipwatch: Anastasis

My handy ship visit book records that we visited on board this classic beauty on 18 May 1996. Rudi and I went down specifically to see her, and I was carrying a large video camera but no stills camera. Rudi was to take some extra images of the ship for me for my collection but he never did and those images and the video are gone forever as Rudi passed away in December 2018 and his collection was lost. All I recall of the ship was that she really was a ship from a different age and really stunning. 

Postcard image obtained on board

My notes read: 

MV Anastasis (IMHO 5379729). Ex Victoria of Lloyd Triestino. Built Cr Adriatico, yard # 1765. 11695 GRT, 158,4 x 20,7. Sold 1978 to “Youth With A Mission” (YWAM) Co, Limassol. Used as a mobile hospital, housing 3 operating rooms, a 40 bed hospital ward, dental clinic, laboratory, x-ray unit and 3 cargo holds. In service for 29 years, she was broken up in 2007. 

Official Mercy Ships postcard

We were fortunate to have a guided tour of the ship by the lady who signed my book. Alas her surname is unrecognisable. 

DRW © 1996- 2019. Created 23/08/2019

Updated: 23/08/2019 — 20:28

S.A.S. Somerset

This post has been written many years after the fact and to be honest prior to today I have never really had much to add to a SAS Somerset post. However, I have recently found the handout I received when I visited the ship in 1993.

SAS Somerset

The one thing I do remember is how clean and well maintained she looked when I was on board, and the men in charge were rightly proud of her. Sadly as at 2019 her future is bleak and it is likely that she will end up being broken up. 

From the original handout that I received on the ship

Potted history of the SAS Somerset.

The ship was built by Blyth Shipbuilding Company and is listed as yard number 280, her machinery was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richards Ltd, Tyneside. Her keel was laid on 15 April 1941 and she entered service with the Royal Navy on 08 April 1942 as HMS Barcross.

HMS Barcross (1943) South African Military Museum. This photo was published in 1944 – 66 years ago – In South Africa, copyright prescribes after 50 years! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_Somerset

HMS Barcross and her sister ship HMS Barbrake arrived at Simonstown, in 1942 and was transferred to Saldanha Bay for boom defence operations directly thereafter. In 1943 she was re-designated as HMSAS Barcross and transferred to the South African Naval Forces for the remainder of the war. In 1946 she was was purchased by the South African Government and was used for the dumping of ammunition off Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. On completion of these services, she was transferred to Salisbury Island in Durban and was subsequently laid up at Salisbury Island. In 1951 her name was changed to SAS Somerset.

During 1955 Somerset was brought back into service and during this period she was tasked in salvaging the remains of two Harvard training aircraft following a mid air collision over Table Bay. Six weeks later she recovered a third Harvard which had crashed into the sea off Bok Point. In 1959 during a refit, Somerset had her coal fired boilers converted to oil. 

In 1961 Somerset salvaged the South African Railways tug F. Schermbrucker which had sunk in East London harbour. In 1967 she was fitted out with new boilers and a reconditioned main engine. In 1968 her services were called on again to assist the cable ship John W. Mackay to raise and repair the newly inaugurated overseas telephone cable in the shallow waters off Melkbosstrand. During 1969 Somerset raised the old whale catcher Wagter 11 in Saldanha Bay and subsequently towed her back to Simonstown. During the same year, she salvaged a floating crane which had capsized and sunk at Port Elizabeth. In the early hours of 24 July 1974 Somerset was dispatched to Cape Agulhas to assist with the salvage of the Oriental Pioneer, poor weather conditions and bad luck rendered this effort unsuccessful.

In 1981 the fishing trawler Aldebaran was successfully raised in Port Elizabeth having laid on the bottom for over two and a half years. Somerset also acted as a standby vessel during submarine shallow water diving operations. In 1983 she assisted in the salvaging of a barge and two whale catchers at Saldanha Bay. In March 1986, Somerset was finally paid off. In 1988 she was donated as a museum ship, moored at the waterfront at Cape Town.  She is the only boom defence vessel remaining in the world.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_Somerset)

SAS Somerset on the synchro-lift 04/06/1988

SAS Somerset on the synchro-lift 04/06/1988

The following images were taken by Dylan Knott on 17 February and April 2019. Sadly it appears as if the Somerset is to be broken up. Images are used with permission and are copyright to the photographer.

DRW © 2019. Created 01/03/2019. Images of Somerset on the synchro courtesy of Brian Potgieter, images of Somerset in 2019 courtesy of Dylan Knott © 2019

Updated: 16/04/2019 — 18:17

Roll of Honour. St John’s College, Houghton

St John’s College in Houghton has a very strong connection to the military, and there are two chapels on the premises. The larger chapel houses the Roll of Honour, whereas the Crypt Chapel has the Delville Wood Cross in it. I have dealt with that chapel in a previous post and this post really deals with the Roll of Honour. Unfortunately my images are less than satisfactory, but I was pushed for time and was not able to concentrate on what I was photographing, which is probably why it has taken so long for these images to appear in the first place.

I really started working on the Roll of Honour as a result of my involvement with “Lives of the First World War”, and really looked at the 1914-1918 portion of the Roll of Honour and created a community for it (Community will be unavailable until July 2020). I had hoped to be able to tie a name into a specific record but I was not always successful. The problem really is that some names tie into a number of possibles, or don’t tie into anybody and without more details I am just unable to do anything except guess, and even then I cannot. The results here may not be correct and I do welcome any help with them.  

The inscriptions are on wooden panels and it was not easy to read them which is why I took an image with the flash and an image without one.  Images link to either CWGC or South African War Graves Project. There are 4 sections to this page: World War 1, World War 2, Post World War, Private Memorials

World War 1

V.L. Adams

CA Bailey (1)
R O Bettington
S. Dunstan (2)
A.Eastwood (3)
A Fraser (4)
W. Hirst (5)
R. Johnstone (6)
C.D. King (7)
H. Mallett DCM
S Marsh (8)
R. Martin (9)
J Peters (10)
B. Stokes (11)
W. Ware-Austin (12)

(1) CA Bailey. No possible candidate found

(2). S Dunstan. There are two possibles at CWGC but no way to tie either of them to the ROH.

(3) A Eastwood. No possible candidate found

(4) A Fraser. Possible candidate

(5) W Hirst. No possible candidate found

(6) R Johnstone. Two possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(7) CD King. Many possibles but nothing to tie them into the ROH

(8) S Marsh. Two possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(9) R Martin. Many possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(10) J Peters. Many possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(11) B Stokes. No possible candidate found

(12) W. Ware-Austin. No possible candidate found. 

World War 2

L. Adams (2)
P.H. Andrews (3)
H.C. Campbell (4)
G. Cherrington (5)
B.D. Havnl (1)
J.A. Hill (7)
R. MacDonald (8)
D.F. Murray (9)
B.P. Purves (10)
F.M. Reim (11.)

(1) Surname appears to be Havnl but this may be missing characters. 

(2) May be http://www.southafricawargraves.org/search/details.php?id=160

(3) May be http://www.southafricawargraves.org/search/details.php?id=537

(4) Two possibles but not able to confirm which it is

(5) No data on a G Cherrington

(6) Aka known as Baratt, Thomas Oxenham Gordon

(7) Two possibles but no way of checking which it is

(8) May be http://www.southafricawargraves.org/search/details.php?id=14221

(9) Two possibles but not enough information

(10) May be https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2239953/purves,-brian-percival/

(11) Initials are given as M.F on grave

Post World War 2

M.D. Reitz  (1952)

C.H.C.R. Stewart (12)

R.H. Mentis (1963)

P.N. Gettliffe (12)

D.A. Carshalton (1976)

D.R. Mitchell (12)

A Gordon-Bennett (1978)

A. De Kiewiet (12)

(12) No record found

Private Memorials.

I saw two private memorials amongst the panels.

 

Cyprian Ryland Jenkin
Tom Michael Glanvill Jenkin

DRW © 2018-2019. Created 15/11/2018, World War 2 names added 16/04/2019, added in links 18/04/2019

Updated: 18/04/2019 — 18:07

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Kimberley

72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Museum Kimberley

These photographs of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial 72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Hall of Militaria n Kimberley were taken in January 2018 by Diane Van Tonder and are used with permission.

The inscription is followed by the names and ranks of the 167 men who died in the Great War.

This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa.

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)

DRW © 2018. Created 14/09/2018. Images courtesy of Diane Van Tonder. 

Updated: 02/03/2019 — 05:04

Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn VC

Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn (27/11/1870 – 04/07/1913) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions the at Elandslaagte during the Anglo Boer War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27212, Page: 4509, reads: 

“The Gordon Highlanders, Captain Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn:

At the Battle of Elandslaagte on the 21st October, 1899, after the main Boer position had been captured, some men of the Gordon Highlanders, when about to assault a kopje in advance, were exposed to a heavy cross-fire and, having lost their leaders, commenced to waver. Seeing this, Captain Meiklejohn rushed to the front and called on the Gordons to follow him. By his conspicuous bravery and fearless example, he rallied the men and led them  against the enemy’s position, where he fell, desperately wounded in four places.”

Matthew FM Meiklejohn VC

He died in hospital following an incident in Hyde Park, and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 11/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green. Taddy cigarette card by Card Promotions © 1997, first issued 1902

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:27

Gloucestershire Regiment ABW Memorial in Bristol

The Gloucestershire Regiment South African War Memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates: 51.457683°  -2.608860°, on an island in Queens Road, Bristol.

The Memorial was unveiled on 4 Mar 1905, and attended by: Field Marshal Earl Roberts VC KG KP GCB OM GCSI GCIE. 

There are 248 names on the memorial and it is a Grade II listed building.  (War Memorials Register Entry)

DRW © 2018. Created 24/07/2018

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:28

Kings Liverpool Regiments Boer War Memorial

The Kings Liverpool Regiments Boer Memorial may be found in St John’s Gardens, Liverpool. Google Earth co-ordinates  53.408902°,  -2.981613°

It commemorates the involvement of the regiment in the First and Second Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839-1842 and 1878-1880), Third Anglo-Burmese War; (1885-1886), and the Second Boer War (1899-1902).

It was unveiled on 9 September 1905, and attended by Field Marshall Sir George White VC GCB. It is a Grade II listed building. 

There are 355 names on the memorial, of which 179 tie into the Boer War. Unfortunately legibility of the names is poor.

Technically the memorial is not only a Boer War memorial but commemorates other campaigns that the Kings Liverpool Regiment were a part of.

The memorial is described as:

“Central pedestal surmounted by figure of Britannia. Pedestal is flanked by arching walls with figure of a serviceman at each end. Inscription on the plinth and walls Britannia stands with right hand raised whilst in her left she holds a spray of laurel and carries a round shield decorated with sea horses. On her head is a helmet topped by a ship’s prow with a sea horse crest. Bronze swags placed around the upper edge of the pedestal. A soldier of 1685 stands at the left end of the wall and a soldier of 1902 stands at the right end of the wall. Guns and other military equipment lie on the sloping step at the foot of the pedestal intermingled with wreaths and palms and covered with the union flag. Laurel wreath placed in front. At the rear of the memorial, on the pedestal, is the regimental badge, a sphinx and a laurel twig device. Below this is the figure of a drummer boy dressed in the uniform of 1743. He sits on a rock beating a call to arms. Behind him are banners, a cannon and a musket.”  (https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/1285  © WMR-1285)

DRW © 2018. Created 11/06/2018

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson VC.

Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson (23/09/1872 –  15/12/1932) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Wolvespruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, Transvaal, South Africa, on 5 July 1990.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27229 Page: 5688, reads:

“Lord Strathcona’s Corps

Sergeant Arthur Herbert Lindsey Richardson

On the 5th July, 1900, at Wolve Spruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, a party of Lord Strathcona’s Corps, only 38 in number, came into contact, and was engaged at close quarters, with a force of 80 of the enemy. 
When the order to retire had been given, Sergeant Richardson rode back under a very heavy cross-fire and picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was wounded in two places and rode with him out of fire. 
At the time when this act of gallantry was performed, Sergeant Richardson was within 300 yards of the enemy, and was himself riding a wounded horse.”

He is buried in St James Cemetery, Liverpool, and the headstone is erected  on the patch of lawn between the cemetery entrance and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

DRW © 2018. Created 05/06/2018.  Taddy &Co cigarette card by Card Promotions, ©1997, first issued 1902.

Updated: 17/07/2018 — 06:11

The “Gloria Victis” Memorial, Potchefstroom

O​n the terrain of the Reformed Church’s Theological School, in its South-Easterly corner,  stands a modest monument in the form of a three – and half meter high obelisk. ​ The lettering on the white marble is worn as a result of exposure to the elements through the years​.
 
 
but on closer inspection the following inscription can be read: 
“Ter gedachtenis aan de oud studenten en studenten van de Theologiese School der Gereformeerde Kerk in den oorlog 1899-1902, die hun leven gaven voor Vrijheid en voor Recht” 
KOMdt. Karel David COETZEE 
KOMdt. Calman Efraim LION-CACHET 
Jacob Philippus MARÉ 
Johannes Abraham VENTER 
Jan Christoffel KRUGER  
————————-
Roughly translated as: 
“in honour of students (of the original Theological School at Burgersdorp)
whom all served and died during the Second Anglo-Boer. 
They were all of the rank Commandant, in name: –
KOMdt. Karel David COETZEE 
KOMdt. Calman Efraim LION-CACHET 
Jacob Philippus MARÉ 
Johannes Abraham VENTER 
Jan Christoffel KRUGER  
 
Known as the  Gloria Victis” memorial, it was originally erected in front of the first Theological School building in Potchefstroom which was founded in 13 February 1905.  The memorial was unveiled on 24 March 1906 by Ds. W.J. De Klerk but it was later moved to its current position, presumably after the completion of the third school complex around about 1950. Current position is at GPS Coordinates -26.693507, 27.097163. 
 
 

Inscription


The “Teologiese Skool Potchefstroom (TSP)”  is where candidate pastors of the Reformed Church in South Africa are trained. It was originally founded In Burgersdorp (In the Free State) in 1869, and then moved to Potchefstroom in 1904, re-opening in 1905.
 
Once the Anglo Boer War commenced in 1899, the Theological School’s students (hailing from the two Boer Republics, the Transvaal and the Fee State) returned to their homes to take up arms (against the British), with fatal outcome for the five students whose names are inscribed on the memorial. After the war  ended in 1902, returning students of the Theological School decided to erect a monument to commemorate their fellow fallen students; and the associated costs for the memorial were funded by the students, and their mutual friends.
 
Further reading (Mostly in Afrikaans)
 
 DRW © 2018. Image and information by Diederik-Johannes Cloete. Two new images added 04/05/2018
 
Updated: 04/06/2018 — 06:21

Rand Revolt Casualty List

[ Braamfontein Cemetery ] [ Brixton Cemetery] [ East Rand and Elsewhere ]
[ Anzac Memorial in Brakpan] [ Casualty List ]

This list is really an attempt to make sense of the casualties of the Rand Revolt. It includes suicides, judicial executions, soldiers and civilians and is a work in progress.  Each name links to the applicable South African War Graves Project page. There are 84+ names in this list. 

Known casualties (graves and memorials)

South African Police.

Capt  Halse, Harry  (South End Cem, PE)
Head Const John Milne  (St John’s Walmer)
L/Sgt  McInroy, George (Braamfontein)
L/Sgt Joubert, Paulus Petrus (Primrose)
Const. Ackerman, Willem Hendrik (Not known)
Const. Coetzee, Hendrik Jacobus (Braamfontein)
Const. Du Plooy, Cornelius Johannes Frederik (Braamfontein)
Const. Fogarty, Jeremiah (Braamfontein)
Const. Geldenhuis, Jury Johannes (Springfontein Old Cemetery)
L/Sgt. Haefele, Gideon Frederick (Vanrynsdorp Cemetery)
Const. Naude, Jacobus Albertus Cornelius (Burial place not known)
Const. Swanepoel, Cornelius Jacob (Braamfontein)
Const. Smit, Peter Jacobus (Braamfontein)
Const. Steyn, Daniel Ronquest (Braamfontein)
Const. Tee, George Richard (Braamfontein)
Const. Van Heerden, Daniel Joachim (Boksburg Cemetery)
Const. Van Heerden, Hendrik Willem (Kroonstad Old Cemetery)
Const. Van Der Merwe, Jacobus Lodewicus (Elliott Cemetery)
Const. Vickers, Peter Francis Poplemberg (Braamfontein)
Const. Wehmeyer, Stephanus Gerhardus (Braamfontein)

Special Police (Anzac Memorial Brakpan)

Lieut Vincent Frederic. Brodigan
Special Const. S.J. Combrink
Special Const. T.H. Jordaan
Special Const. W.T. Corrigan
S/Const Combrink, SJ
Special Const.  Smit FH

ANZAC Memorial (Civilians)

Martin, H  (Mine Official)
Phillips. L  (Mine Official)
Momsen, AB  (Mine Official)
Lowden GW  (Mine Official)

South African Air Force

Capt. William Warren Carey-Thomas MC. (Voortrekker Hoogte)
Air Corporal W.H. Johns

Permanent Force

Lieut. G. Gordon-Gray  (Voortrekkerhoogte)
Lt Adrian Duck (SAMR)
S.M Instructor. T. Notman

Mass Grave Transvaal Scottish – Brixton

Capt. Henry Werner Backeberg 
Lt. Ethelbert Guy 
Cpl. Angus MacLeod 
Pte. Lawrence Froneman 
Pte. ES Goddard 
Pte. GF Ireland 
Pte. Richard Bateman Machan
Pte. FB Marshall 
Pte. Richard Blackstock Ovens

Transvaal Scottish not in Brixton mass grave

Lt. Gregorowski. Lennox Fyfe (Thaba Tshwane No1 Military Cem)
Major GAF Adam (Brixton Cem)
Sgt. Henry Hough Roux (Transvaal Scottish)
Pte Frederick Vasey Adams Ross (Braamfontein)
Lt George Ross (Roodepoort old cemetery)
Pte G Brown (Primrose Cemetery)
Pte A.V. Higham (Primrose Cemetery)
Pte. James Leander Freeman (Brixton)

Imperial Light Horse

Lt. WH Heeley (ILH) (Braamfontein)
2nd Lt. Francis Horwell (Pietermaritzburg Commercial Rd Cem)
Cpl WA Kirsten (ILH) (Braamfontein)
Tpr L.W. Dallamore (ILH) (Brixton)
Tpr Harold Henry King (Cape Town, Wynberg)

Other Military.

Gnr MLC Walsh (THA) (buried in Brixton Cem, grave not found)
Lt. E.L. Bawden (Railways and Harbours Brigade) (Brixton)
Pte Tjaart Johannes Van Der Walt (Railways and Harbours) (Primrose Cem)
Henry Joseph Grinyer (SA Medical Corps) (Brixton)
Gnr Thomas Perridge (THA) (Brixton)
Sidney George Beal (Primrose/Benoni Cemetery)

Caught in the Crossfire.

Eleanor Jane Berry  (Brixton)
Sarah Louisa Diffenthal 10/03/1922 (Brixton)
James Oliver Grey Hall (Brixton)
JE. Redelinghuys (Standerton Cem)

Shot while trying to escape (16/03/1922)

Marthinus Wessels Smith (Brixton)
Petrus Albert Hanekom   (Braamfontein)
Johannes Petrus Hanekom (Braamfontein)
Barend Daniel Hanekom (Bramfontein) 
Lucas Johannes Rautenbach (Brixton)
William Edward Dowse  (Brixton)

Found Guilty and Executed

Taffy Long 17/11/1922 (Brixton)
Herbert Kenneth Hull 17/11/1922 (Brixton)
David Lewis 17/11/1922 (Brixton)
Carel Christian Stassen (burial place not known) 

Suicide

Percy Fisher 14/03/1922 (Brixton)
Harry Spendiff 14/03/1922 (Brixton)

Benoni Rynsoord

L/Sgt Hooper, Frederick William (police)
Const. Hannant, Benjamin (police)
Const. Howe, Frederick Henry Ludwig (police)
Const. Jordan, Addison Ridley (police)
Const. Kruger, Nicholas Andries Cornelius (police)
Dennis Higgins (civilian)
Horace William Adcock (civilian)
Gert G Van Rooyen (civilian)

Rebecca Street Cemetery

Lt Rupert William (Twentyman) Taylor (Military Intelligence)

No further information or unconfirmed

Special Const. E.H.S. Smith (No details)
Carr, Henry Herbert 13/03/1922 (Braamfontein) May not be a casualty
Sergt. A.J. Haviside (no details)
Gnr. M.J. Lourens (no details) 
Corbitt. Patrick (SA Army) (no details)
Const. P. Kanyile (no details)

DRW © 2018. Created 13/02/2018

Updated: 04/06/2018 — 06:21
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