The Indian Army Memorial: Observatory Ridge, Johannesburg

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
1899-1902.


The remaining faces are inscribed alternately with “MUSSELMAN, CHRISTIAN, ZOROASTRIAN, HINDU-SIKH”

© DRW 2009 – 2018. Created 20/04/2009. Moved to blog 23/01/2014

The Indian Servicemen Memorial in Durban

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.

Images by Ken and Eleanor Garvie
Images by Ken and Eleanor Garvie

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. 

© DRW 2014 – 2018. Created 19/01/2014. Images © Ken and Eleanor Garvie