Tag: Cemetery

Derelict War Memorial in Springs

Since I first started photographing memorials I have been of the opinion that war memorials on the East Rand are really wasted. The only exception to the rule was the former Brakpan Roll of Honour that was claimed by the Cosy Corner MOTH Shelhole in Brakpan.

The latest in extinct war memorials was found by a correspondent; William Martinson, who kindly sent me images of what is left of what may have been a memorial erected by a MOTH shellhole in Springs.

The clue here is an inscription that is left on the structure.

Naturally I wanted to know more, so have mailed off my contact in the area to see whether he can shed any light on it. There is a Honey tank in Springs and she does not seem to have a a context in the place where she is now (being stripped while nobody is looking), and I could not help wondering if she was not the gate guard from there. I did a blogpost on her recently, and this may be part of the puzzle.

The next question is: just where is this structure. It took me some time but eventually I found it on Google earth.  The co-ordinates are roughly -26.246636°, 28.429237°.

I was very curious about the area that the derelict is in, from GE you can see a large parklike area with lots of trees shaped like a cross. You can see the trees in the image below, the white arrow points to the derelict.

The cemetery can just be seen in the top centre of the image. Historical images on GE date back to 2008 and it appears as if it was a wreck even then. My own thoughts were: “Why build a war memorial there anyway?” From a 2017 perspective it makes no sense, but immediately after the 1st world war it was a totally different story, the memorial being erected in the 1930’s. The other derelict war memorial in Springs pretty much sums it up.  A change in demographics, less money for maintenance and more for mercs, a culture of neglect for history and the never ending quest to cut costs so that the suits will have more to spend on salary increases in spite of them never earning one in the first place. 

Many years ago the MOTH was a thriving organisation, with shellholes in most cities, but the decline in their membership, and a policy of declining former national servicemen membership really put the nail in the coffin. Witness the closure of the former headquarters in Johannesburg and the abandonment of the war memorial in “Remembrance Square”

Whatever the reason for the state of this structure, had the inscription not remained it would really have been worth ignoring, but the words “Mutual Help, Comradeship and Sound Memory” really are a farce in this case.

My thanks must go to William Martinson for his images. He also sent me a link to the Artefacts site that has an entry on the  memorial.  The link also provides an answer to the cross shaped trees in Olympia Park. It is a pity that no images have surfaced that could show how this structure looked when it was originally inaugurated, perhaps the answer is in the local library in Springs? assuming one exists in the first place. 

I am hoping that somebody will be able to add to the history of the structure. If you do have any information I would love to hear from you. 

Update 07/07/2017

My contact had the following to say: “I managed to track down that this structure was a cenotaph and garden of remembrance for the Springs Dugout of the MOTHs during the early 30s. There are no longer any Shellholes in Springs. The last one to close was Mudhook which was situated diagonally across the road of the new Springs Civic Centre. The Shellholes in Spings were Mudhook, Black Cat and Seven Seas. We have the Bell from Seven Seas Shellhole at Cosy Corner,  There are supposedly two field guns standing close to the public swimming pool that used to stand next to the wall of Remembrance,I will make a plan and go and check it out. The park as far as I know is called Olympia Park.”

The monument also featured in an article about illegal dumping in the Springs Advertiser of 6 August 2015.

So there we have it in a nutshell. The MOTH shellholes closed down and the memorial was left behind. The field guns? who knows. I have not forgotten this memorial though and will keep an eye open. Somewhere out there must be an image of some information. 

© DRW 2017-2018, created 02/07/2017, updated 07/07/2017, 18/07/2017

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:17

Bethulie Concentration Camp Memorials

The images in this post are courtesy of Clive Jackson and are used with permission. 

The concentration camp in Bethulie does not have a good reputation as can be read in British Concentration Camps of the South African War, and this can be seen from the long list of names at the new concentration camp monument (Kamp Kerkhof).

The graves of 1737 people were relocated to the present graveyard which is 3km from the town.  It was unveiled by then State President CR Swart  in October 1996.  The graves were moved to the new site because it was feared that the water from the Gariep (former Hendrik Verwoed) Dam would inundate them.  More information about the memorial may be found at the Bethulie Concentration Camp site on Pathfinda.com, the monument may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates: -30.484774°, 25.999216°. 

Gariep Dam (Image by Ronnie Lovemore)

Gariep Dam (Image by Ronnie Lovemore)

On the Gariep Dam is a plaque commemorating those whose graves were covered by the waters of the dam.

(Image by Ronnie Lovemore)

The old camp memorial was located at  -30.484778, 25.999231 and the original cairn and two monuments can still be seen.  The old memorial is at the sight of the original camp cemetery and a glimpse at the Google Earth image shows the rough outline of the cemetery.

There is also a memorial to Louw Wepener  who was killed in the second Basotho (aka The Seqiti War) war along with his companion Adam Raubenheimer. The story goes that when the Boers tried to attack the Basotho Mountain Stronghold, Thaba Bosiou, they were bombarded with huge rocks rolled from the top. When the remains were recovered some time later, it was impossible to tell whose bones belonged to whom, so they were interred together at the memorial.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 20/10/2016.  Images by Clive Jackson and Ronnie Lovemore. 

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 07:56

The Art of Cemetery Statuery. (3)

Following on my posts about Cemetery Statuery in December 2011, I decided to devote another post to some of the statues I saw in Primrose Cemetery early in February 2012. This cemetery has some magnificent statues in it, but there does seem to be a concerted effort to vandalise as many of them as possible and a lot of the smaller angels have lost their limbs. However, the statues that remain are wonderful, and there are just so many. I am also covering a few of the one offs that I saw in other cemeteries in South Africa, so technically this post should not be very long. 
The oldest areas of the cemetery are the closest to the entrance and when I was there the grass had just been cut and it was looking wonderful.
 
 
I do not understand the mentality of those who would push a gravestone, or a statue off its pedestal. Unless the family makes a plan this poor angel will remain like this.
 
There are a lot of smaller cherubs and angels in Primrose, but they too have suffered under the vandals and weather. But some are still intact. 
 
 
The little china angel is sadly nearing its end, unless something is done about the cracked base it too will join the ranks of the broken.
 
This grouping is unusual, and both are in a good condition.
 
 
Of course statuery is not limited to angels and cherubs, many headstones are elaborate creations too. Nature still provides the best statues around,  and in spite of all the marble and granite beauty I cannot help but think that the trees are really the best examples of beauty that you can find.  
 
Primrose is the grand dame of Germiston. She has many moods and there is just so much to see and experience here. This cemetery is not just a resting place, it is an archive of history, and a glimpse into a different age altogether.  
Moving further afield, in Bethlehem I found this beaut, and it is the first time I have seen one like it. 
 
Closer to home is Burgershoop in Krugersdorp, and it had a lot of children’s graves in the one section, and they had been decimated by vandals.
 
 
Its not all doom and gloom though as some statuery has survived in this neglected place.
 
 
 
And that was Burgershoop.
 
The final cemetery I am visiting is Heidelberg Kloof. This grand old lady is wonderful, and she popped up a few surprises too.
 
 
 
I have always thought that this angel is slightly miffed at having been dislodged from their perch.
 
 
 
 
and Mariana Botha will be the last of this iteration of the art of Cemetery Statuery. I moved to the UK in 2013, and the angels I saw there are just as unique and beautiful as those I saw in South Africa. In fact, some were the same! which goes to show that you could buy them out of a catalogue.
The cemetery angels are often of museum quality, and all evoke their own reactions in a visitor. I enjoy seeing them, because they just add to the beauty of the cemetery,  and some have been watching over the graves for over a century, and hopefully will watch over them just a bit longer.
 
© DRWr 2012-2018. Images recreated 21/03/2016
Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:43

The Art of Cemetery Statuery. (1)

I recently joined a facebook group that has an interest in Cemetery Statuery, and it is one field I have an interest in. There is something majestic about an angel, or sad about a time worn cherub that just appeals to the senses and calls to the photographer. The oldest Cemetery we have in Johannesburg is Braamfontein and it is here that some of the older examples are to be found, but I am finding more modern examples in other cemeteries that are equally as beautiful and which are just crying out to be captured forever on film (or whatever the modern equivalent may be). This is my tribute to some of the Cemetery Angels and statues that  I have seen in Westpark, Brixton and Braamfontein cemeteries.
 
I call her "the Bathing Angel". From Braamfontein.

I call her “the Bathing Angel”. From Braamfontein.

And in her bath...

And in her bath. November 2011

Braamfontein Cemetery in Johannesburg is also the oldest existing municipal in Johannesburg, and technically should contain the largest proportion of the angels and statues of the three cemeteries I am visiting in this post.

 
 
This small porcelain chap was quite a popular angel and I have seen him in a number of cemeteries, mostly on children’s graves and in various states of disrepair. And while he is cracked he was still hanging in there the last time I saw him in 2012.

Many of these memorials have been standing here over 100 years, and are in a surprisingly good condition too. Although it is a precarious existence because there is always the possibility of damage through vandalism, or subsidence.

I have always considered her to be a bit too melodramatic for my taste, but she is quite unique and well made, although she seems to have been cut off just below the knees.

The more matronly angel below is in a  remarkable condition, and I have never seen another like her. Could she be modelled after the person she in memory of?

The strange thing is that right up till the end I was discovering statues that I had missed on previous visits. This one is also dated 2012, and I had never seen her up till that point,  she does seem disappointed though.

This enclosed area has a number of small angels, and this larger full winged version dates from 1907, Surprisingly she has not lost her wings, but that could be because she is relatively safe from destructive hands in the enclosure. Unfortunately she is weathering a lot, and I expect the proximity of the highway may be a contributing factor.

And this full winged seated thinker dates from around 1908. Strangely enough I know exactly where this angels is in the cemetery, but have very few photographs of it.
 

Leave Braamfontein in the capable hands of the angels and cherubs we head west to Brixton cemetery, leaving this beaut to raise its stone eyes to the heavens.

Braamfontein Cemetery (1500×391)

Brixton Cemetery has its fair share of angels as well, but a lot of its real gems are in shaded areas so they do not photograph very well. The one piece of cemetery statuery that really stands out in the cemetery is known as “The Organ Grave”.  The surname on the grave is Murley, but I often wonder if there was any connection to a pipe organ player.

 
Often, the most simple of statues is the most poignant, like this very weathered lamb in a children’s plot. It is quite a common motif, and I have seen it in a number of cemeteries, but I have yet to find one that is in a good condition.
 
 
Brixton has a lot of hidden treasures, and this small baby has slumbered here since the late 1930’s. His parents are probably long gone, and it is unlikely that any of his modern relatives are even aware of his existence.  May he rest in peace.

Cemetery Statuery easily lends itself to black and White photography, and all angels seem to look magnificent in stark colours. sadly though, they are very prone to vandalism, like this handless statue in Brixton.

 
This is “Little Winnie”, and she lives in the shade of lots of large trees, and consequently is very difficult to photograph.
 
Every so often I will find one displaced off her pedestal, this one seems to have taken up her final repose leaning against the headstone. The question arises, did she fall? or was she pushed?
 

And this reasonably simple angel prays that she does not become the subject of vandalism. Given her proximity to the fence I am surprised that she has survived as well as she has.

The loss of the middle part of her wings has proved to be somewhat odd, but otherwise she was intact when I last saw her, although she was not looking too pleased.

Most of the angels that I have examined closeup have various expressions, ranging from mourning right through to disdain. And, of course they are usually genderless, although I do suspect most are female. This particular example is definitely female.

And yet another handless angel. I have often pondered on this loss of limbs, and it is not always attributable to vandalism, but may be a weak part of the statue, without knowing how these were constructed it is difficult to say how it actually happens. But an upstretched arm could easily be blown off by wind or a flying tree branch. I have just seen too many broken arms and hands to be able to attribute it to the moron with a thing for stone hands. I have also never found one of these arms or hands below a statue, so who knows where those go to.

The Christ figure is a popular one too, often being found in the Catholic areas of a cemetery, and this fine example dates from very early the earliest days of the cemetery.
 

It is time to leave this cemetery of contrasts and head north along Beyers Naude Drive towards Westpark, which is the youngest of the three cemeteries.

Brixton Cemetery (1498x528)

Brixton Cemetery (1498×528)

Space and bandwidth does not allow me to show off all the angels from all of these three cemeteries, suffice to say there are many more just waiting to be seen.  I continued in this theme on page 2 where I will explored some of the modern (and not so modern) angels I have spotted in other local cemeteries.
 
 
©  DRW 2011-2018. Updated 19/05/2015. Moved to allatsea and images recreated 20/03/2016
Updated: 10/01/2018 — 20:40

Cemetery Angels (6)

This page is a continuation of where we left off. The majority of angels on this page come from Prestbury Cemetery in Cheltenham.

Images open in a new window and are generally 768×1024 because most are portrait images as opposed to landscape, however, in cases where I have used a closeup image too the images will be much larger. I have avoided showing names on the graves, but will include the name of the cemetery or churchyard where applicable.

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery Cheltenham

Prestbury Cemetery
Cheltenham

Gloucester Old Cemetery

Gloucester Old
Cemetery

Gloucester Old Cemetery

Gloucester Old
Cemetery

Gloucester Old Cemetery

Gloucester Old
Cemetery

     

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 20/07/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 20:27

Cemetery Angels (5)

This page is a continuation of where we left off in the previous page, and given how many angels I have seen I will come back to this page as time allows, but be rest assured there will be a many more to come. This page will be the last of this series, and it deals with Ryecroft Cemetery in Walsall which had an amazing number and variations of angels as well as Belgrave Cemetery in Leicester.

Images open in a new window and are generally 768×1024 because most are portrait images as opposed to landscape, however, in cases where I have used a closeup image too the images will be much larger. I have avoided showing names on the graves, but will include the name of the cemetery or churchyard where applicable.

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery Walsall

Rycroft Cemetery
Walsall

Belgrave Cemetery Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery
Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery
Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery
Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery
Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery Leicester

Belgrave Cemetery
Leicester

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 24/05/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 20:32

Cemetery Angels (4)

This page is a continuation of where we left off in the previous page, and given how many angels I have seen I will come back to this page as time allows, but be rest assured there will be a many more to come. This page will deal with more of the Magnificent Seven. Unfortunately the images that I have of Kensall Green were not that great so I have omitted them.

Images open in a new window and are generally 768×1024 because most are portrait images as opposed to landscape, however, in cases where I have used a closeup image too the images will be much larger. I have avoided showing names on the graves, but will include the name of the cemetery or churchyard where applicable.

Highgate West London

Highgate West
London

Highgate West London

Highgate West
London

Highgate West London

Highgate West
London

Highgate West London

Highgate West
London

Highgate West London

Highgate West
London

Nunhead Cemetery London

Nunhead Cemetery
London

Nunhead Cemetery London

Nunhead Cemetery
London

Nunhead Cemetery London

Tower Hamlets London

Tower Hamlets
London

Tower Hamlets London

Tower Hamlets
London

Tower Hamlets London

Tower Hamlets
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

West Norwood
London

West Norwood London

   

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 17/05/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 20:32

Cemetery Angels (3)

This page is a continuation of where we left off in the previous page, we are now amongst the cemeteries of London and will be visiting three of the Magnificent Seven on this page (Abney park, Brompton, Highgate East).

Images open in a new window and are generally 768×1024 because most are portrait images as opposed to landscape, however, in cases where I have used a closeup image too the images will be much larger. I have avoided showing names on the graves, but will include the name of the cemetery or churchyard where applicable.

Highgate East London

Highgate East
London

Highgate East London

Highgate East
London

Brockley Cemetery London

Brockley Cemetery
London

Brockley Cemetery London

Brockley Cemetery
London

Brockley Cemetery London

Brockley Cemetery
London

Brockley Cemetery London

Brockley Cemetery
London

Streatham Cemetery London

Streatham Cemetery
London

Streatham Cemetery London

Streatham Cemetery
London

Abney Park London

Abney Park
London

Abney Park London

Abney Park
London

Abney Park London

Abney Park
London

Abney Park London

Abney Park
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Brompton Cemetery London

Brompton Cemetery
London

Highgate East London

Highgate East
London

Highgate East London

Highgate East
London

Highgate East London

Highgate East
London

Highgate East London

Highgate East
London

South Stoneham Southampton

South Stoneham
Southampton

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 17/05/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 20:32

Cemetery Angels (2)

This page is a continuation of where we left off in the previous page, and given how many angels I have seen I will come back to this page as time allows, but be rest assured there will be a many more to come.

Images open in a new window and are generally 768×1024 because most are portrait images as opposed to landscape, however, in cases where I have used a closeup image too the images will be much larger. I have avoided showing names on the graves, but will include the name of the cemetery or churchyard where applicable.

Milton Cemetery Portsmouth

Milton Cemetery
Portsmouth

South Stoneham Southampton

South Stoneham
Southampton

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Arnos Vale Bristol

Arnos Vale
Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery
Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery
Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery
Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery Bristol

Holy Souls Cemetery
Bristol

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Old Cemetery Reading

Old Cemetery
Reading

Church of St Chad Lichfield

Church of St Chad
Lichfield

Key Hill Cemetery Birmingham

Key Hill Cemetery
Birmingham

Warstone Lane Cem Birmingham

Warstone Lane Cem
Birmingham

Old Cemetery Sutton Coldfield

Old Cemetery
Sutton Coldfield

Old Cemetery Sutton Coldfield

Old Cemetery
Sutton Coldfield

Old Cemetery Sutton Coldfield

Old Cemetery
Sutton Coldfield

Holy Ghost Cem Basingstoke

Holy Ghost Cem
Basingstoke

Motherwell Cemetery London

Motherwell Cemetery
London

DRW © 2015 – 2019. Created 17/05/2015

Updated: 19/07/2019 — 05:49

Portsmouth Civilian Casualties Memorial

I always keep a look out for these Civilian Memorials because it is very easy to find the military graves in a cemetery, but not as simple to find the graves of those who were killed during the bombing of the cities. Surprisingly there are not too many of them around, but I am hoping to expand on the few that I already have and to add them into this page too. This particular memorial is in Portsmouth Kingston Cemetery.

Civilian Casualty Memorial, Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth

Civilian Casualty Memorial, Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth

Portsmouth, because of its extensive naval dockyard was a target for the Luftwaffe during World War 2, and it was inevitable that bombs would fall on civilian areas.

There is no real way to know whether the people named here are buried in individual graves, there is however a large space behind the memorial, and it is possible that there is a mass grave there, or elsewhere in this sprawling cemetery. Sadly, many of those killed were not identified.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 12/03/2015 

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:51
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