The Irish Brigades Monument in Orania

This page is the result of the dereliction of the site of the Irish Brigades Monument that used to be in Brixton. The original entry for this monument is still available under Extinct Memorials

Initially I was not able to find any information on the monument when I first photographed what was left at the site in 2007, All I could find was an article that said it was the site of a monument to Irish volunteers who fought for the Boers during the South African War and that it had been sold in the mid 90’s.  At the end of 2007 I found a picture which showed the monument in the distance next to the Brixton Tower.

 

The architect was Johan (Jan) Carel Van Wijk, who was also responsible for the design of the Taal Monument in Paarl) and it was unveiled in 1975 by Mrs Betsie Verwoerd.  The design consisted of 4 pillars in an ascending line that symbolized the four Irish Commandos that served with the Boer Forces in the Anglo Boer War.   ” (http://www.oraniainfo.co.za/accommodation.html)

There was some controversy regarding the ground that the monument was erected on and eventually it was dismantled and the components were moved to Orania in June 2002. It now stands on Monument Hill on the edge of the town, (Google Earth: -29.811852°.  24.419704°). Images available on the Mail and Guardian website from 14 November 2014 

All that is left in Brixton is a derelict trash ridden area that vaguely looks like a gun emplacement. There used to be a plaque there, but its gone, and any artefacts that could be identified are also gone. The only thing left behind is litter, uncut grass and rubble.

In October 2011, I was contacted by an architect; William Martinson Barch, who sent me a link to the Artefacts site with images of what this monument looked like at ground level

There is an interesting history of the Irish Volunteers as well as the memorial available at “The South African History Source. Written by Experts“.

I revisited the site in Brixton in December 2011 to see if there had been any progress, but if anything it was looking worse that it had before. The “Freedom Memorial” that was supposedly at the site of the AW Muller Stadium has also been removed.

So while the memorial doesn’t exist in Brixton any longer it now exists in Oriana and although I do not have a photograph that I can use there are a number of links on this page that will show the monument in it’s present location. Realistically moving the monument back to Brixton would achieve no purpose at all. 

*Update 27/12/2016*

I was contacted by Diederik-Johannes Cloete who threw even more light on the subject, specifically an article at the http://www.irishpub.co.za/index.php/culture that shows what I assume is the Afrikaans portion of the plaque from the monument. I am hoping to reproduce the image with permission. 

I was also informed about an article that appeared in the Mail and Guardian on 14 November 2014 about the monument and Orania and can now safely say I have seen images of the monument and technically it is no longer extinct although the context of it is long forgotten. 

There is also a short video on youtube about the monument

© DRW 2007-2018. Created as a spinoff from the original page 28/12/2016. Special thanks to William Martinson and Diederik-Johannes Cloete for information and links. 

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