This forgotten memorial in Brakpan has been relegated to the veldt and no maintenance had taken place there for years.
Commemorating what is known as the “Brakpan Mine Incident” during the Rand Revolt of 1922; It seems as if the ideal was to have a place of reflection, with benches around the sides and an unused stamp mill to provide relevance. The stamp mill was gone, the fence was falling down and the road was just litter strewn track. Sadly the overall state of the memorial is as such that soon it will be just another abandoned structure which has no indication of its history.
H. Martin. (Mine Official), L Phillips. (Mine Official)
A.B. Momsen, (Mine Official), G.W. Lowden. (Mine Official)
S.J. Combrink (Special Constable), F.H. Smit (Special Constable)
J.H. Jordaan (Special Constable), V.F. Brodigan (Special Constable)
The memorial may be found at 26° 13.059’S, 28° 21.300’E. Be wary though, this area is full of abandoned buildings and safety may be an issue. These images were taken in 2007.
It appears as if a proposal was put forward for the restoration of the monument and the creation of what was tentatively called “Brakpan Memorial Park” or “Royal Oak Memorial Park”, and an Archaeological Impact Assessment as well as an Environmental Management Plan are available to read. Both are dated 2014, and the archaeological assessment makes mention of a further cemetery located “in the northern section of the study area on the boundary of the golf course” (Google Earth co-ordinates: S26 13 01.1 E28 20 55.5). Mention is also made of the looting, illegal dumping and squatting in the area. The proposed park would incorporate the remains of the Rand Revolt monument as well as the cemetery. A quick look at the Google Earth satellite view revealed that nothing had been done by late 2015, and it is unlikely that anything will be done. The fact is that the area is dangerous, well away from the beaten track and the ruins are occupied by illegal squatters. The report does not mention whether the slabs at the derelict memorial cover graves or not. Given how neglected the former war memorial was I will only believe that something is done when it actually happens. Special thanks to Diederik Cloete for the information and links.
DRW © 2007 – 2019. Edited and images replaced 14/02/2012. Moved to blog 08/02/2014, Updated 29/12/2016