Anzac Rand Revolt Memorial in Brakpan

This 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.

I am not sure whether there are actual graves underneath the eight slabs,  if there are then technically this is a cemetery. The slabs commemorate the following men associated with this incident.

H. Martin,    L Phillips.
A.B. Momsen,    G.W. Lowden
S.J. Combrink,    F.H. Smit
J.H. Jordaan,    V.F. Brodigan

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.

*Update 29/12/2016*

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 – 2018. Edited and images replaced 14/02/2012. Moved to blog 08/02/2014. Updated 29/12/2016

Cosy Corner Wall of Remembrance

The Cosy Corner MOTH Shellhole Wall of Remembrance.

When I originally saw what was left of the The Garden of Remembrance in Brakpan in 2007, I could just throw up my hands in dismay at what I then called “The wreckage of remembrance”.   In August 2008 I was informed that the name plaque which was on the memorial had been removed, little knowing that the story did not end there.

What was left of the "Garden of Remembrance" in Brakpan in 2007
What was left of the “Garden of Remembrance” in Brakpan in 2007

On 13 November 2011 I was contacted by Joe Borain who explained that the name plaque had been removed from the derelict memorial and a new Wall of Remembrance was erected at the Cosy Corner Moth Shellhole in Brenthurst, Brakpan, and the plaque had been installed there. I was able to visit the Shellhole in December 2011 and discovered a veritable museum that has come about at this Shellhole.

The new Wall of Remembrance at the Cosy Corner Shellhole in Brakpan
The new Wall of Remembrance at the Cosy Corner Shellhole in Brakpan
The former Roll of Honour
The former Roll of Honour

My primary target was the rededicated Wall of Remembrance, but there was so much more to see at this Shellhole, especially if you have an interest in Delville Wood.  These images are just a small portion of what I saw, and the Shellhole is worth a visit if you have an interest in veterans affairs or warfare. Special thanks must go to Joe Borain for taking his time out to show me around and accompany me on a gravehunting expedition in Springs.

© DRW 2011 – 2018. Created 14/12/2011. Moved to blog 18/01/2014