Gustavus Hamilton Blenkinsopp Coulson VC, DSO.

Gustavus Hamilton Blenkinsopp Coulson (01/04/1879 – 18/05/1901) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Boer War on 18 May 1901 at Lambrechtfontein, South Africa.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette: of Issue: 27462, Page: 5085 reads:

“Lieutenant and Adjutant G. H. B. Coulson, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 7th Mounted Infantry.

This Officer during a rear-guard action, near Lambrecht Fontein, on the 18th of May, 1901, seeing Corporal Cranmer, 7th Mounted Infantry, dismounted, his horse having been shot, remained behind and took him up on his own horse. He rode a short distance, when the horse was shot, and both Lieutenant Coulson and the Corporal were brought to the ground. Lieutenant Coulson told Corporal Cranmer to get along with the wounded horse as best he could, and he would look after himself. Corporal Cranmer got on the horse and rode away to the column. No. 4792 Corporal Shaw (Lincolns), 7th Mounted Infantry, seeing Lieutenant Coulson’s position of danger, rode back through the rear-guard, and took him up on his horse. A few minutes later Corporal Shaw was shot through the body, and there is reason to believe that Lieutenant Coulson was wounded also, as he fell off his horse. Corporal Shaw fell off a few minutes later.

This Officer on many occasions throughout the Campaign displayed great coolness and gallantry under fire.”

He is buried at Lambrechtfontein Cemetery, South Africa. (Lambrechtfontein is near Bothavilla.)


DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 06/10/2015. Image acquired through Terry Cawood. Photographer does not want to be named.

William Dick-Cunyngham VC

William Dick-Cunyngham (16/06/1851 – 06/01/1900) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1879

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 25027, Page: 5140, reads:

“The Gordon Highlanders ,

Lieutenant William Henry Dick Cunyngham,

For the conspicuous gallantry and coolness displayed by him on the 13th December, 1879, at the attack on the Sherpur Pass, in Afghanistan, in having exposed himself to the full fire of the enemy, and by his example and encouragement rallied the men who, having been beaten back, were, at the moment, wavering at the top of the hill.”

He was killed in action at the Siege of Ladysmith, on 6 January 1900, and is buried in Ladysmith Cemetery, KZN, South Africa.


This monument in Ladysmith marks the spot where he was mortally wounded. 

He is also mentioned on the Cheltenham Anglo Boer War Memorial

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 06/10/2015. Edited 17/05/2017. Grave image courtesy of Terry Cawood. Ladysmith Memorial courtesy of Adri Joubert Alborough. Taddy & Co cigarette card by Card Promotions, ©1997, first issued 1902. Images added 13/01/2017 

Cheltenham Anglo Boer War Memorial

Again one of those “almost fell over it” occurrences while rushing for a bus in Cheltenham. Situated close to the Cheltenham War Memorial in the grounds of the Municipal office in Cheltenham, it is one of three memorials in this space.

The memorial commemorates the Officers, Men and Volunteers from Cheltenham who lost their lives during the Anglo Boer War.

The memorial was unveiled by Lt-Genl Sir Ian Hamilton KCB on 17 July 1907. Google Earth co-ordinates are:  51°53’58.48″N,   2° 4’37.19″W.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 30/08/2015.

David Reginald Younger VC

Capt. David Reginald Younger was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his deeds during an attack near Krugersdorp on 11 July 1900, during the Anglo Boer War. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27462, Page: 5085 reads:

“Captain D. R. Younger, Gordon Highlanders.

This Officer, during the action near Krugersdorp, on the 11th July, 1900, volunteered for and took out the party which successfully dragged a Royal Artillery wagon under cover of a small kopje, though exposed to a very heavy and accurate fire at only 850 yards range. He also accompanied the second party of volunteers who went out to try and bring in one of the guns. During the attempt he was mortally wounded, dying shortly afterwards. His cool and gallant conduct was the admiration of all who witnessed it, and, had Captain Younger lived, the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief in South Africa, would have recommended him for the high award of the Victoria Cross, at the same time as Captain W. E. Gordon, of the same Regiment.” 

The grave of Capt. David Reginald Younger VC

The grave of David Reginald Younger VC. may be found in Burgershoop Cemetery, Krugersdorp, within the ABW plot. Google Earth co-ordinates for the cemetery are: 26°6.164’S 27° 45.610′  

Inscription on the grave.

DRW.  © 2014 – 2020. Created 25/11/2014, edited 25/04/2017

Anglo Boer War Blockhouses

There are a number of Anglo Boer War blockhouses left scattered around the country, but not too many in the territory that I used to cover. In fact I have only seen two:  Fort Harlech in Krugersdorp and the famous Witkop Blockhouse on the way to Vereeniging. And, I have Clinton Hattingh, Terry Cawood and Willem Joythe to thank for the balance of images on this page. More about the design and variations of blockhouses may be found at BRITAIN’S LAST CASTLES, Masonry Blockhouses of the South African War, 1899-1902 by Richard Tomlinson

Fort Harlech (Krugersdorp)

This blockhouse may be found in Bill Taylor Park in Potgieter Street, Monument, Krugersdorp. Google Earth co-ordinates 26° 5’49.04″S 27°47’19.39″E.

Witkop Blockhouse

The Witkop Blockhouse is on the road between Alberton and Vereeniging (R59) and is next to the Engen Garage. When I last saw it in 2008, it was already looking very precarious, apparently things have gotten much worse. Google Earth co-ordinates 26°28’1.57″S 28° 4’11.94″E

Bela-Bela (Warmbaths)

warmbaths01 warmbaths04

This blockhouse may be found in the grounds of the Bela Bela Muncipality. Google Earth co-ordinates S 24 53.044′ E 28 17.447′. Photos courtesy of Clinton Hattingh 2010.

Bartons Folly (Hekpoort)

Bartons Folly is on the hill above the road (R563) leading up to Hekpoort, about 30 kilos from Magaliesberg. Images courtesy of Willem Joythe 2012. Google Earth co-ordinates: 25°55’2.52″S 27°37’14.62″E.


The Noupoort Blockhouse was photographed by Terry Cawood in August 2012. Google Earth co-ordinates: 31°10’30.86″S 24°56’52.25″E.


This blockhouse is usually described as a fort, and is built out of raw tigers eye. It is situated on Prieska Koppie which today is the Ria Huysamen Aloe Garden. It was photographed by Terry Cawood in August 2012.

DRW © 2008-2020. Moved to blog 24/11/2014. Images by Clinton Hattingh, Willem Joythe and Terry Cawood. Used with permission.

The Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth

These photographs of the Horse Memorial were kindly taken by Ronnie Lovemore in June 2011, and are used with his permission.

On the 6th of April the Memorial was badly vandalised by a group affiliated to “EFF”, and the statue of the soldier was knocked off completely. In early April 2015, the ABW Memorial in Uitenhage was also vandalised by thugs from the “EFF” who tried to set fire to it. The statue was reportedly not badly damaged but the plinth was blackened. It is doubtful that anybody will be brought to book for the vandalism.

Update: 07 May 2016.

Amazingly the Horse statue has been repaired a year after it was vandalised. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students and a lecturer of its sculpture collective returned the iconic statue’s vandalised soldier on 6 May 2016 and re-installed it.  A suspect had been arrested for the act but was released after witnesses “refused to give statements implicating the man after his arrest”.

The monument may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates  33° 57.729’S,  25° 36.531’E.  Its previous location from 1905-1907 was at  33° 57.875’S,  25° 36.674’E .

More information about he Memorial and its history may be found at the St George’s Park webpage

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 05/06/2011, Edited 12/12/2011. Updated 07/05/2016. Photographs © Ronnie Lovemore. With thanks to Warwick Hojem for the inspiration.

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.

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:

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. 

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