© DRW 2007-2018. Added to blog 31/09/2014. Images resized and table colour changed 18/08/2016
The images in this gallery are mostly taken in Primrose Cemetery and Benoni Rynsooord Cemetery with some others that we have managed to pick up along the way.
© DRW 2014 – 2018. Created 08/05/2014
© DRW 2014 – 2018. Added to blog 13/04/2014.
These photographs were taken on 15 October 2011 at the Moth Memorial in Remembrance Square in Johannesburg. I actually had no idea that this existed, it is in a really obscure place that has become one of the forgotten areas of Johannesburg.
Many years ago the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (aka MOTH), had a large hall (and possibly their regional headquarters) in the building facing it, and it was a very popular venue for dances and functions.
Today it looks like a sad seedy hotel and as you can see from the pics, the memorial has become yet another forgotten icon of an organisation with an ever diminishing reason to exist, as the World War veterans pass on.
The Memorial is a three sided needle with the remains of insignia from the Air Force on one side, the wording “Ons Sal Gedenk/We Shall Remember Them” and a Tin Hat and half destroyed plaque on what I suspect was the front. Ironically the street is called Remembrance Street. Realistically it is now a taxi parking spot and a popular object to lean against after a few pints.
Remembrance Square may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates 26° 11.918’S, 28° 2.437’E.
© DRW 2011-2018. Created 15/10/2011. Moved to blog 07/01/2014
This page is in memory of those that perished, and were affected by the events known as “The Westdene Bus Disaster”
On the afternoon of the 27th of March 1985, a Johannesburg municipal schoolbus, carrying pupils from Hoërskool Vorentoe, left the road (Lewes Road) and plunged into the Westdene Dam. The events that unfolded as the bus sank and those on board tried to escape have become the stuff of legend, and this tragedy came to be known as the Westdene Bus Disaster.
I was training apprentices when it happened, and the whole apprentice school was in shock. For me it was one of those unforgettable moments in my life.
The cause of the disaster was never really explained, although all sorts of theories abounded and speculation has been rife ever since.
The sad facts are that 42 boys and girls died on that terrible day, the driver survived, but could never explain what happened. He was exonerated in the subsequent enquiry. The emergency exits in the bus were severely criticised as being almost unbreakable.
The memorial was finally erected at Westdene Dam in 2009, not quite where the bus left the road, but you can see the fateful spot from it.
The children were mostly buried in West Park Cemetery in a especially created area in the main road of the cemetery, two more were buried in private graves in the cemetery and two were cremated and one was buried elsewhere. Sadly the graves have been deliberately desecrated and today the plot still attracts the curious and flowers still get left behind by famly and those who remember the disaster.
The Westdene Dam Memorial can be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates 26° 10.798’S, 27° 59.497’E, while the burial plot in West Park Cemetery may be found at 26° 9.662’S, 27° 59.646’E You can also visit The Wikipedia page on the disaster. or the webpage dedicated to those who lost their lives on that fateful day.
The names of those that lost their lives:
The names are gleaned from the Memorial, physical graves and the register for West Park Cemetery. The plot theoretically has 42 spaces, with the front row being numbered 2-11, 12-20, and the back row 23-33, 34-42. Grave number 7 is a single grave shared by the Du Plooy sisters. Images of the graves I posted at eGGSA
|42||Anna Susanna Blignaut (14/07/71)||20||No grave|
|41||Rita Botha (13/11/68)||19||Madelein Ludick (30/03/72)|
|40||Hendrik Johannes Dreyer (21/09/71)||18||Denise Coetzee (02/03/69)|
|39||Karin Erasmus (02/02/69)||17||Catarina Maria Meyer (Rina) 22/02/71|
|38||Jacqueline Hurwitz (28/01/72)||16||Jacobus Els (23/06/70)|
|37||Anel Jacobs (14/11/68)||15||Petrus Lucas Koen (Pieter) (19/08/67)|
|36||Lélanie Jooste (04/02/71)||14||Anne-Lize Botha (11/01/70)|
|35||Adré Kleinhans (10/03/68)||13||Andries Johannes Swart (Johan) (16/06/71)|
|34||Cornelius Mans (Neels) (23/11/70)||12||Francina Fritz (03/05/70)|
|33||Elmarie Marshall (29/12/68)||11||Francois Du Toit (22/11/70)|
|32||Belinda McLaughlin (26/12/69)||10||Mary-Ann Miles (16/01/69)|
|31||Tanya Pieters (27/12/69)||9||Vinette Swanepoel (26/02/72)|
|30||Connie Pretorius (17/02/68)||8||Clasina Kruger (Inalize) (01/10/68)|
|29||Elizabeth Marlene Pretorius (04/12/69)||7||Linda Du Plooy (03/03/70)|
|28||Hester Reynders (22/02/70)||7||Reinett Du Plooy (27/10/68)|
|27||Charl Strydom (23/11/71)||6||Elsa Van Heerden (31/12/67)|
|26||Annatjie Van Tonder (04/06/70)||5||Anna Jacoba Morris (09/09/70)|
|25||Petrus VD Westhuizen (Connie) (03/07/71)||4||Maria Catharina Kruger (Marietjie) (27/02/71)|
|24||Deon Venter (15/04/68)||3||Conrad Marx (26/04/68)|
|Caroline Brown (08/01/70)
Elsewhere in Westpark
|Albertus Ouwenkamp (31/07/71)
Elsewhere in Westpark
|Adriana Horn (29/07/1968)
Buried in Orkney
© DRW 20011-2018. Created 12/08/2011. Edited 02/12/2011. Moved to blog 06/02/2014, link recreated 07/03/2018
This memorial can be found close to the coffin rest and next to the Police Plot in Braamfontein Cemetery. It’s oldest commemoration is dated 1897.
I am unsure whether firemen are still buried here, as the last name on the plaque was dated 1991. In 1906 the fire tower at Fairview was erected. At 35 metres high it commanded an excellent view of the city to the west of it, and it was the highest tower of its type in the city at the time. The tower still exists, although it is no longer used for fire spotting.
The Fireman’s Prayer is set in a small plaque next to the Fire Department Memorial. It is barely legible so I added in the wording over the original.
© DRW 2011-2018. Created 21/01/2011. Moved to blog 02/01/2014
St John’s College in Houghton has a rich history and tradition of military service, and as a result memorials to masters and boys of the college are very prevalent at the school. I was fortunate enough to visit on two occasions, and was finally able to photograph the Roll of Honour Plaques in the chapel and to view the memorials that relate to the school. This blog post really has to do with the Delville Wood Cross in the Crypt Chapel of All Souls.
There is another Delville Wood Cross at the headquarters of the Transvaal Scottish, but sadly they will not let anybody take photographs of it. This cross may also tie into the SOE Memorial at Patterson Park. The chapel is inscribed with the names of masters and old boys of the school who gave their lives in the World Wars. I have finally completed transcribing the The World War 1 Roll and it may be viewed here
Google Earth co-ordinates for St Johns is: 26°10’34.42″S, 28° 3’26.28″E
© DRW 2012-2018. Created 24/09/2012. Updated 27/10/2012. Moved to blog 02/01/2014, updated with ROH link 26 November 2018
These photographs were taken at the SOE War Memorial at Patterson Park in October 2007. At first I thought that the name SOE was a typo, but have since been told that SOE may have stood for “Sons of England”.
(This cross erected in 1917 at the Butte De Warlencourt was presented by the Surviving Officers, NCO’s and Men of the 3rd S.A.I Transvaal and Rhodesian Regt. The names of the fallen are inscribed In All Souls Chapel)
The Butte De Warlencourt was the sight of a number of bloody battles during World War 1, and it claimed many lives in what was really an obsession. The All Souls Chapel referred to may be the chapel at St Johns College in Houghton, but I have never been able to confirm this.
The cross is inscribed:
In Memory of The Officers, NCO’s and Men of the 3rd SA Infantry Transvaal Regiment who fell during the battle of the Somme in October
The memorial may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates 26° 9.623’S, 28° 4.774’E. These images are still my originals from 2007, I do not know in what state this memorial is now.
© DRW 2007-2018. Moved to blog 01/02/2014
Another little known Memorial in West Park Cemetery is the South African National Jewish War Memorial. The Memorial is situated within the Jewish Cemetery and is very close to the Holocaust Memorial. It is also very close to the Jewish Military Plot in the Cemetery at West Park. It is a quiet corner that I have missed seeing for a number of years.
The memorial covers both World Wars, the Border War, Defence of Israel, The Unknown Soldier, and the Six Million Martyrs.
It is possible that many of the names from the World Wars are also on the Jewish Guild War Memorial at the Museum of Military History in Saxonwold.
Google Earth co-ordinates are: 26° 9’56.47″S, 27°58’56.48″E. Images of the individual plaques are available on request.
© DRW 2012-2018. Created 06/06/2012. Moved to blog 01/02/2014