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) 


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

Oswald Austin Reid VC.

Oswald Austin Reid (02/11/1893 – 27/10/1920) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions On 7 March 1917 at the Battle of Diyalah River, Mesopotamia,

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30122, Page: 5702, reads:

“Capt. Oswald Austin Reid, L’pool R., attd. L.N. Lan. R.

For most conspicuous bravery in the face of desperate circumstances.

By his dauntless courage and gallant leadership he was able to consolidate a small post with the advanced troops, on the opposite side of a river to the main body, after his line of communications had been cut by the sinking of the pontoons.

He maintained this position for thirty hours against constant attacks by bombs, machine gun and shell tire, with the full knowledge that repeated attempts at relief had failed, and that his ammunition was all but exhausted. It was greatly due to his tenacity that the passage of the river was effected on the following night. During the operations he was wounded”

He is buried in Braamfontein Cemetery in Johannesburg.  

The grave of Oswald Austin Reid VC
The grave of Oswald Austin Reid VC
Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Braamfontein Cemetery

DRW. © 2011-2020. Added to Blog 03/01/2015, updated 05/04/2015, With thanks to Kevin Brazier, author of “The COMPLETE VICTORIA CROSS, A Full Chronological Record of All Holders of Britain’s Highest Award for Gallantry

The Titanic Grave in South Africa

In fond memory of Hymie Alper (+ 12/11/1993), a kind and gentle soul.

On a busy corner of Johannesburg, right next to the Smit Street on-ramp of the M1 North highway, we find the only memorial to the Titanic in South Africa. Although not a memorial to the Titanic as such, but one wherein one of the many who lost their lives is remembered.
Close to the main gate in the general (non conformist) section of Braamfontein Cemetery, where headstones reflect the early inhabitants of what was then a busy mining town we find the final resting place of Mary Griffin (nee Webber).
Mary Webber, originally from Cornwall, married James Griffin on 5 November 1863, she came to South Africa in 1881, her husband having been killed by runaway horses in 1874 in Cornwall. On 17 June 1897, Mary Griffin passed away.

Registry entry for Mary Griffin
Registry entry for Mary Griffin

She is buried in the Non-Conformist plot, grave number 6746. Mary also had a brother, James and two sisters Hannah and Elizabeth. James took a fateful step on 10 April 1912 when he boarded the ill fated Titanic on his way to America. Travelling third class he was lost when the ship went down.

In 1914 the private rights to the grave of Mary Griffin were purchased by Mr John Griffin of Kenwyn Cottage (named after Kenwyn, the suburb of Truro where he lived) in Port Elizabeth and a headstone was erected to commemorate the lives and deaths of this brother and sister. John Griffin passed away in 1920. His only living descendants are 5 granddaughters who have scattered throughout the world.

James Webber. 3rd class passenger. Body not recovered. Braamfontein Cemetery, Johannesburg.
James Webber. 3rd class passenger. Body not recovered. Braamfontein Cemetery, Johannesburg.

The inscription reads:

APRIL 15TH 1912.

The probate report reveals little: Webber, James, of San Francisco, California, USA. Administration, London 2nd January 1913 to Harriet Julian, wife of Edmund Julian. Effects in England: £350.
Attempts at the time to trace the Griffin family in South Africa met with a dead end, although it was thought that they settled in Natal somewhere. However, a surprise email added some closure to this riddle. Apparently the family remained in the Eastern Cape until 2003 when the remaining members emigrated to New Zealand.
There are many strange things about this lonely grave, for starters this memorial exists in a town very remote from the North Atlantic and the great disaster that happened there. The scattering of the family, an email from New Zealand, a connection to Cornwall, Port Elizabeth, Southampton, America, and Johannesburg.

© DRW 2001-2018. Recreated 25/10/2014. With thanks to Brian Ticehurst and Diane Austin.

Johannesburg from the air

© DRW 2014 – 2018. Added to blog 13/04/2014. 

Johannesburg Fire Department Memorial: Braamfontein Cemetery.

This memorial can be found close to the coffin rest and next to the Police Plot in Braamfontein Cemetery. It’s oldest commemoration is dated 1897.

I am unsure whether firemen are still buried here, as the last name on the plaque was dated 1991. In 1906 the fire tower at Fairview was erected. At 35 metres high it commanded an excellent view of the city to the west of it, and it was the highest tower of its type in the city at the time. The tower still exists, although it is no longer used for fire spotting.

Fairview fire tower
Fairview fire tower
The Firemans Prayer
The Fireman’s Prayer

The Fireman’s Prayer is set in a small plaque next to the Fire Department Memorial. It is barely legible so I added in the wording over the original.

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 21/01/2011. Moved to blog 02/01/2014

The Dynamite Explosion Memorial in Braamfontein

One of the many events that occurred in the fledgling city of Johannesburg was the Dynamite Explosion that occurred on 19 February 1896 at Braamfontein Station. A memorial was erected in Braamfontein Cemetery to commemorate the event, and the over 70 people that lost their lives in it.

Braamfontein Dynamite Explosion Memorial
Braamfontein Dynamite Explosion Memorial

An explosives train, carrying dynamite, had been left standing for 3 days in searing heat; the massive explosion occurred when this train was struck by another that was shunting. It left a crater over 60 m long and 8 m deep and was heard 200 km away. The exact number of casualties was never ascertained, and over 200 people were seriously injured. Some 3 000 people lost their homes and almost every window in the town was shattered. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact site where the explosion occurred but a period map puts it on the bend where Braamfontein Vapour Depot now stands.

Period map with inset of modern Johannesburg
Period map with inset of modern Johannesburg
Braamfontein Vapour Depot
Braamfontein Vapour Depot

I have spotted at least 5 physical graves in Braamfontein cemetery that have explosion related inscriptions on them, and it is probable that most of the casualties are buried in this cemetery, the majority of the funerals being held on the 20th and 21st of February.  I can physically identify 46 names in the registers as being marked as “dynamite explosion”, and all are buried in the DR section. There is also supposedly a mass grave in this plot where unidentified severed limbs are buried.

Area where burials occurred.
Area where burials occurred.
Braamfontein Dynamite Explosion Memorial
Braamfontein Dynamite Explosion Memorial

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 21/01/2011, edited 28/09/2012. Moved to blog 19/01/2014