Tag: Eastern Cape

Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe VC.

Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe (12/01/1826 – 12/04/1876) earned his VC during the Indian Mutiny whilst serving under Brigadier General Sir Henry Havelock’s first relief force sent to relieve the defenders of Lucknow.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22083, Page: 178, reads:

“78th Regiment, Lieutenant Joseph P. H. Crowe now Captain, 10th Regiment.

For being the first to enter the redoubt at Bourzekee Chowkee’, the entrenched village in front of the Busherut-gunge, on the 12th of August. (Telegram from the late MajorGeneral Sir Henry Havelock to the Commander-in- Chief in India, dated, Cawnpore, 18th August, 1857.)”

On 12 August 1857 at Boursekee Chowkee, the entrenched village in front of Busherutgunge, India, the redoubt was occupied by the enemy who were causing heavy casualties among the 18th Regiment. It was decided to take the place by storm, and the Highlanders dashed forward, Lieutenant Crowe being the first in, followed by his men. In less than a minute the redoubt was captured. Havelock’s column broke through to the Lucknow garrison on the 25th September 1857 but owing to heavy losses, 535 men killed or wounded, was too weak to withdraw. Therefore, the relieving force joined the original Lucknow defenders.

The grave of Joseph Crowe VC.

Grave site at Uitenhage MOTH Hall

Unfortunately, the grave of Joseph Crowe has always seemed to be in danger. Following his death on 12 April 1876, he was interred in the West Norwood Cemetery in grave 15,950, square 79. That grave was located in 1957 and renovated The original inscription read: .

J. P. H. Crowe, V.C.
10th Regiment
Died 12th April 1876
Lord, I believe

To which was added:

First South African born
Recipient of the Cross

In August 1976 his remains were exhumed and returned to South Africa where he was interred in the MOTH Garden of Remembrance, Uitenhage on 5 Feb 1977, following a quasi-military ceremony in St Katherine’s Anglican Church.

By 2011 the Moth Hall (Crown and Anchor Dinkie Di Shellhole) was up for sale and a new location for the grave was yet to be found, although it appears as if a buyer had not been found. Google Earth Co-ordinates are : 33° 46.083’S 25° 23.926’E. The VC was destroyed in a fire at his sister’s farm, and it is not known if an official replacement was issued.



*Update 25/03/2018*

In late March 2018 an offer was made for the former MOTH Hall and as a condition of the sale, the MOTH order would remove Crowe’s remains, the cannon and other items before any new owner took over the property. Port Elizabeth military history researcher Tim Bodill said his view was that the remains of Crowe and Nelson Mandela Bay’s two other VCs – James Craig, presently buried in St Mary’s Cemetery, and James Langley Dalton, in Russell Road Cemetery – should all be exhumed and re interred at Fort Frederick.  (http://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2018/03/22/firm-offer-made-historic-moth-hall/)

**Update 20/11/2018**

An advert in a PE newspaper points to the exhumation of the grave but as yet no further information was available. 

Jospeh Crowe VC was finally reburied on Saturday, 24 Aug 2019 in the Heroes Acre section of the Jubilee Park Cemetery in Uitenhage.  

The grave of Joseph Crowe VC.

The grave of Joseph Crowe VC.

DRW © 2011-2020. Created 18 June 2011, Moved to blog 04/01/2015. Edited 17/05/2017, updated 25/03/2018. Burial site information courtesy of Jonathan Ossher, with thanks to Clive and Tim Emmerson, as well as Kevin Brazier, author of “The COMPLETE VICTORIA CROSS, A Full Chronological Record of All Holders of Britain’s Highest Award for Gallantry“. Photograph of Joseh Crowe’s grave courtesy of Ronnie Lovemore (June 2011).

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 13:44

The Prince of Wales Obelisk: Port Elizabeth

This Obelisk has had somewhat of a chequered history and seems to have lost its reason for existing. Currently sited at Bayworld in PE (2011), it has a plaque on it that reads: “Purchased by John Paterson at The London Exhibition of 1862. Intended for the grave of George Kemp. It was instead erected on the Port Elizabeth Market Square where it stood until 1921. The remaining upper section erected on this site 1975” .

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

Information Plaque

Information Plaque

George Kemp was the business partner of John Paterson; Kemps father would not agree to the use of the obelisk and donated it to Port Elizabeth.  It was then decided to erect it to commemorate the Prince of Wale’s marriage to Princess Alexandra and it was finally erected on 22 May 1863 in front of the City Hall on Market Square.

As erected,  the obelisk stood on a square plinth with three steps leading up to it, later, in 1878, 4 troughs were added and filled with water during a “tap ceremony” when water was first piped to Port Elizabeth.  In 1921, the obelisk was removed and the base, slightly lengthened, was used as a base for the howitzer that made up part of the South African Heavy Artillery Monument.  Two of the water troughs were removed, one finally ending up outside Walmer Town Hall.  In 1933, the SAHA memorial was moved to its present spot in St George’s Park, the base being dispensed of entirely.

Drinking trough from the Obelisk base (1878), now at Walmer Town Hall.

Drinking trough from the Obelisk base (1878), now at Walmer Town Hall.

The obelisk, once removed from its base, was no longer needed and was put in storage until 1975 when it was re-erected at Bayworld. It is known as the Prince Of Wales Obelisk and may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates   33° 58.667’S,  25° 38.959’E.  A detailed history of this memorial may be found at  The Prince Of Wales Obelisk page on Wikipedia (Page is in Afrikaans).

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 16/08/2011, Photographs © Ronnie Lovemore. Additional information by Carl Hoehler. Moved to blog 06/02/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:57

Steytlerville War Memorials and Graves.

These photographs in and around Steytlerville were kindly taken by Ronnie Lovemore, and are used with his permission.

The Memorial presumably commemorates men from the town of Steytlerville and surrounds who died in both World Wars.

The two  objects on top of it are a pair of machine guns facing in opposite directions.

The War Memorial in the town may be found at Google  Earth co-ordinates: 33°19’41.41″S, 24°20’39.34″E.

Sgt James McLellan CMP

Sgt James McLellan CMP

James Kobe Madlaila

James Kobe Madlaila

James Kobe Madlaila

James Kobe Madlaila

In the corner of the cemetery stands the grave of James MacLellan, originally thought to be a Boer War casualty, it turns out that he was a member of the Cape Mounted Police, force number 86, and he was a Sergeant and died on 08 October 1905. No other information has come to light. It is just a wooden cross bolted to a pole in the ground. His grave may be found at  33°19’43.14″S, 24°20’26.96″E.

Close by at 33°19’43.83″S, 24°20’26.91″E is the lonely grave of James Kobe Madlaila, a constable and interpreter on the staff of the resident magistrate who was shot by a commando while out scouting during the Anglo Boer War. During the trial of Gideon Scheepers he was accused of the murder of James Kobe Madlaila which allegedly took place on a farm named Rooiklip, Steytlerville on the 7th August 1901. A certain Edith Carey testified that she was in the house when the unarmed deceased came racing by on a horse. Scheeper’s men gave chase. The deceased jumped from his horse and ran into the yard. At this time, the men shot him in the thigh. Scheeper’s men then left, went to a hill and returned 10 minutes later and shot him dead. Scheepers gave evidence that Madlaila was killed in combat and that he knew nothing more of the incident.

Gideon Scheepers was executed by firing squad on 18 January 1902 and he was buried in an unmarked grave. 

The town also has a “Voortrekker Gedenkmuur” as you enter it, with many artifacts related to the Voortrekkers and farming, it may be found at 33°19’23.79″S, 24°20’42.06″E. And, on the road into the town, South African history has been painted on the surrounding rocks, 33°18’33.22″S,  24°21’39.19″E. An interesting bit of artwork that must have taken quite some time to do.

Voortrekker Gedenkmuur

Voortrekker Gedenkmuur

© DRW 2012-2018. Created 06/06/2012, Photographs © Ronnie Lovemore. Translation of the Gideon Scheepers/James Kobe Madlaila incident by Jennifer Bosch. Updated 01/10/2016. Moved to blog 06/02/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:38

The Basuto War Memorial in Uitenhage.

These photographs of the Basuto War Memorial in Uitenhage are courtesy of Ronnie Lovemore. The memorial may be found in Magennis Park,  Uitenhage.

The Basuto War is also known as the Basuto Gun War,  and the Memorial commemorates those who died in the Basuto Campaign from 1880-1882, and Morosi Mountain in 1879.

There are also 2 other plaques on the memorial which are available on request.

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 21/06/2011. Photo’s © Ronnie Lovemore. Moved to blog 05/02/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:39

The Uitenhage War Memorial.

These photographs of the Uitenhage War Memorial are courtesy of Ronnie Lovemore.

Interesting enough it has plaques from both World Wars, as well as the Korean War and the Border War, There is also a plaque commemorating the sacrifice of “The Faithful men of the Native and Coloured Races…”. Images of the other plaques are available on request.


This memorial can be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates   33° 46.155’S, 25° 23.988’E.

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 11/06/2011. Photo’s © Ronnie Lovemore. Moved to blog 05/02/2014.

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:39

The Uitenhage Anglo Boer War Memorial

These photographs of the Uitenhage Boer War Memorial are courtesy of Ronnie Lovemore.

In early April 2015, the statute was vandalised by a group of uneducated 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. On the 6th of April the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth was badly vandalised by another group with the same affiliations. The statue of the soldier was knocked off the statue completely.

This memorial has been moved from its original position at   33°46.152’S,   25° 24.015’E  and now can be found can be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates   33°46.180’S  25°24.024’E.

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 11/06/2011. Photo’s © Ronnie Lovemore. Moved to blog 04/02/2014, updated 06/04/2015

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:41

The Frontier Wars Memorial in Bathhurst

This memorial may be found in the grounds of the St John The Evangelist Anglican Church in Bathurst, Eastern Cape.

Image by Ronnie Lovemore

St John The Evangelist

The church is the oldest unaltered Anglican church in South Africa, and was a sanctuary in the Frontier Wars of 1834, 1846 and 1851 for hundreds of Settlers.  The Church may be found in Donkin Terrace, Bathurst.

The Frontier Wars Memorial

The Frontier Wars Memorial

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

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 15/08/2011, Photographs © Ronnie Lovemore. Moved to blog 20/01/2014

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 20:43

Bedford Cenotaph

The Bedford Cenotaph

These photographs of the Bedford Cenotaph, were taken by Ronnie Lovemore on 25 October 2012 and are used with his permission. Google Earth co-ordinates:  32°40’40.49″S,  26° 5’16.04″E

On 4 May 2016 it was reported that a truck carrying potatoes demolished the memorial when the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel.  It is not know who will be responsible for the repair of the cenotaph which was demolished in the accident, leaving blocks of Bedford Sandstone blocking the one lane of the R63 for 3 days.

The town of Bedford Cenotaph

World War 1, 2 name plaques

World War 1, 2 name plaques

© DRW 2012-2018.  Created 12/11/2012. Images courtesy of Ronnie Lovemore. Updated 09/05/2016

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 20:47
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