Ouhoutbossie and Manchester Regiment Memorial: Mpumalanga.

My thanks go to Joe Borain who sent me the images of the Manchester Regiment and Ouhoutbossie Memorials. These can be found on the R540 between Dullstroom and Lydenburg.

The Manchester Regiment may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates  25° 18.526’S,  30° 12.983’E, while the Ouhoutbossie Memorial may be found at  25° 19.200’S, 30° 12.433’E.

I must admit I am puzzled by Ouhoutbossie (Bush of old wood?) . The only inscription on it is “Herbegrawe te Bergendal 29 Aug 1970” (Reburied at Bergendal 29 Aug 1970). I was unable to find any real context to this memorial, but Joe Borain was able to add to the knowledge, “Apparently a skirmish took place on the night of the 9th December 1901 at Ouhoutbossie and lasted  till the following morning. That being between the Brits and the Boers. Eight Boers were killed in the skirmish and were buried at the spot of the memorial, but in 1970 were exhumed and reburied at Bergendal. The memorial also commemorates 31 other Burghers who were buried in this district.” Thanks Joe.

In January 2019, Kobus Coetzee sent me a photograph of a plaque related to the battle.

Commemorative Plaque
Commemorative Plaque

Roughly translated it reads:

The Battle of Outhoutbossie
19 December 1901
A commando led by Genl. Christiaan-Muller attacked the mounted infantry in this area
to inflict maximum damage.
Cmdt. Nick Groenewald attacked from the East, Kmdt. Fanie Trichardt attacked
from the west, and Genl. Muller from the south
with a “Bommeksim”.
The night was very dark and
there was a thick mist.
9 Brave burghers from Middelburg Commando were killed
Erected September 2009.

A “Bommeksim” may refer to a 37mm Maxim-Nordenfelt quick firing pom-pom.

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 10/12/2011. Photographs © Joe Borain and Kobus Coetzee. Moved to blog 28/01/2014. Updated 16/02/2014, 22/01/2105

The Paardekraal Monument in Krugersdorp

This monument is situated alongside Paardekraal Road in Krugersdorp (Mogale City). When I first visited in 2007 I found that access was not easy due to a lack of any sort of parking or driveway onto the ground. Also, the context of the monument was not evident, and the inscriptions on the monument appeared to be in Dutch and are not easily readable.

The monument in 2012.
One of the Dutch inscriptions on the monument
One of the Dutch inscriptions on the monument

Unfortunately the link pointing to the history of the monument and the events surrounding it has closed down, however the FAK has a page on the monument and an Afrikaans version of the history of the monument on Wikepedia is also available.

Unfortunately on the day when I photographed the monument it was one of those dark and gloomy West Rand type days so the photographs were not the best available. It was always my intention to return to here, but I just never managed until 2012.

I returned to the site in September 2012 to find it had been completely fenced with an electric fence and there was no way to get close to the monument at all. I found the access gate after walking almost all the way around the site, but there was just no real way to get in, so I shot the first pic on this blog over the fence. My intention had been to get close ups of the Dutch panels on the monument, but it seems as if that will never happen now.

The monument was designed by Sytze Wierda who was the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek State Architect, and was built by WY Vietch. It was unveiled by President Paul Kruger on 16 December 1891.

© DRW 2007 – 2018. Edited 07/09/2012. Moved to blog 27/01/2014, cleared dead link and replaced it with another, added 2 more images 14/08/2016

The “Oud Stryders” Monument in Cottesloe, Johannesburg

The original photographs of this monument were taken in August 2007 and I will be honest and admit I had never even known about it, and only discovered its whereabouts by accident. Unfortunately it is not very easy to reach but it is easily seen from Annet Road although I doubt if many people have ever noticed it.

The problem with a monument like this is knowing the context of it, and I do not know the context of this one, or why it is where it is.

However, an article appeared on the The Heritage Portal website that gave the following information: “The monument was unveiled on the grounds of the Cottesloe Primary School as part of the Voortrekker Centenary celebrations in Johannesburg on 3 December 1938.
The memorial was initiated by the chairman of the Monument Committee of veteran combatants, Mr Gert Jooste, and unveiled by the City’s Mayor, Maldwyn Edmund. It was preceded by a rock piling ceremony by veteran combatants and ex-prisoners of war on 19 November 1938. Commandant Koos Jooste unveiled the corner stone of the monument at 08:00 on 3 December during a visit by the ox wagons on their way to Crosby”.

I believe the monument was restored in 2006, but I do not know in what condition it was in prior to restoration.

Dedication plaque, and other plaques
Dedication plaque, and other plaques

I returned in November 2011 and the area has been fenced off making access even more problematic. There did not seem to be any changes in the structure and I left with images that were relatively unchanged from my originals.

The monument may be found at co-ordinates 26° 11.488’S,  28° 1.137’E.

© DRW 2009 -2018. Edited 10/11/2011. Moved to blog 25/01/2014

Heilbron Boer War Memorial

This memorial can be found inside the grounds of the NG Kerk Moedeergemeente in Heilbron, Free State. The church is fronted in Lang Markt Street (Longmarket, Langmark) and is fenced, but access is possible through a side gate in Steil Street where the hall is.

The plinth has the names of Boer combatants who died in the war, and some of these may be buried in the nearby cemetery which is associated with the Heilbron Concentration Camp. 787  inmates lost their lives in the camp, a large portion dieing of measles and typhoid.

The memorial may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates   27° 17.000’S,  27° 58.278’E.

NG Kerk Moedeergemeente, Heilbron
NG Kerk Moedeergemeente, Heilbron

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 18/11/2011. Moved to blog 21/01/2014.

Anglo Boer War Memorial in Johannesburg

This impressive memorial in the grounds of the Museum of Military History in Saxonwold, Johannesburg was formerly known as the “Rand Regiments Memorial” and it was originally erected in memory of the soldiers who served and died with the Rand Regiments in the 1899-1902 Anglo Boer War.
It was designed by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and a commemorative stone was laid by the Duke of Connaught (Prince Arthur) on 30 November 1910. The memorial features an ornate figure of Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory atop the dome and the pillars inside list the Rand Regiments and soldiers from these regiments who were lost during the conflict.
In 2002, the memorial was re-dedicated; recognising  all of the Men, Women and Children of all races and nations that lost their lives in the Anglo Boer War.
The statue faces west and is the creation of Naoum Aronson, who was commissioned by Sir Hugh Lane, following consultation with Lutyens and Lionel Phillips. who was a key figure in the implementation of the project. The memorial was finally completed by 1913. The statue was placed above the Memorial in April 1914, and is often referred to as the “Angel of Peace”.
The columns contain the names of members of Bethune’s Mounted Infantry, the Commander In Chief’s Bodyguard, Johannesburg Mounted Rifles, Thorneycroft’s Mounted Infantry, the South African Light Horse, Imperial Light Horse, Railway Pioneer Regiment, Imperial Light Infantry and Rand Rifles who lost their lives in that conflict.
© DRW 2007 – 2018. Edited images 22 August 2011, added to blog 06/01/2014