This memorial was erected towards the end of 1902, on the highest point in Johannesburg; Observatory Ridge. It honours Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Muslims and Zoroastrians members of the Indian Army that lost their lives in the Anglo Boer War.
Sadly the years and vandals have taken their toll on the monument and in the late 1980s some of the marble tablets were smashed. Originally written in Urdu, Hindi and English, only the English inscription still exists. The monument is not easily accessible and has been fenced off.
The central inscription reads:
TO THE MEMORY OF BRITISH OFFICERS, NATIVES NCO’S AND MEN VETERINARY ASSISTANTS NALBANDS AND FOLLOWERS OF THE INDIAN ARMY WHO DIED IN SOUTH AFRICA
The remaining faces are inscribed alternately with “MUSSELMAN, CHRISTIAN, ZOROASTRIAN, HINDU-SIKH”
This memorial is within the boundary of the Durban Cenotaph. It seems that it was originally in Nicol Square, but was relocated to its present site in 1998. The images here are courtesy of Ken and Eleanor Garvie and are used with their permission.
Indian servicemen served with distinction in both World Wars, as well as the Boer War, and their role as stretcher bearers is particularly well known, and their contribution to the survival of their patients is legendary.
Sadly the Durban Cenotaph was targetted by scrap metal thieves shortly before Remembrance Day 207, and some of these panels may have been stolen.