Durban High School War Memorial

The images of the Durban High School War Memorial are courtesy of Shelly Baker. It may be found at GE co-ordinates -29.844204°, 30.997675°.

The school has existed since 1866 and recently celebrated it’s 150th anniversary. Sadly the Roll of Honour lists so many from the school that perished during the two World Wars as well as the Korean Conflict and the Border War, and one of it’s most famous old boys was Edwin Swales VC.  It is the oldest standing school in Durban and one of the oldest in South Africa.

250 old boys died, and more than 2000 were injured in both World Wars.  The Victoria Cross (VC), 27 Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFC), 21 Military Crosses (MC), 10 Military Medals (MM) and 8 Distinguished Service Orders (DSO) were awarded to old boys in these and subsequent conflicts. In the Battle of Delville Wood in 1916, 12 old boys were killed, 9 wounded and 3 were taken prisoner. (

The dome was designed by Professor L. Croft, and old boy, and was erected at the Durban High School and Old Boy’s Memorial Trust through the generosity of the late Mrs Lilian Readshaw, a benefactor of the school. Dedicated by the Reverend R. Horrocks, 11 November 1992.

Roll of Honour panels are available on request.

© DRW 2017-2020. Created 10/07/2017

Horace William Madden GC

Horace William Madden (14/02/1924 – 06/11/1951) was awarded the George Cross for his actions between 24 April and 06 November 1951, while a Prisoner of War at Kapyong, Korea.

“He was 26 years old and serving in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment when he was captured by Chinese communist forces. Despite the repeated beatings and many forms of ill-treatment because of his defiance towards his captors. Although deprived of food, resulting in severe malnutrition, he was known to share his meagre supplies, purchased from Koreans, with other prisoners who were sick. For over 6 months, despite his own health failing, he resisted stoutly and never co-operated with the enemy. He died from malnutrition in late 1951.”

He is buried in the United Nations Military Cemetery, Busan, Korea.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 16/02/2017. Image and Information courtesy of Mark Green.

James Power Carne VC, DSO

James Power Carne  (11/04/1906 – 19/04/1986) was awarded  the Victoria Cross for his actions with the Gloucestershire Regiment during the Korean War in 1951.

The Citation reads:

“On 22/23 April 1951 near the Imjin River, Korea, Lieutenant Colonel Carne’s battalion was heavily and incessantly engaged by vastly superior numbers of the enemy. Throughout this time Colonel Carne moved among the whole battalion under very heavy mortar and machine-gun fire, inspiring the utmost confidence and the will to resist among his troops. On two separate occasions, armed with rifle and grenades, he personally led assault parties which drove back the enemy and saved important situations. His courage, coolness and leadership was felt not only in his own battalion but throughout the whole brigade.” 

(Image in the Gloucestershire Regimental Museum)
(Medals in the Gloucestershire Regimental Museum)

He was cremated at Cheltenham Crematorium and his ashes were interred in Cranham Churchyard Gloucestershire. 

DRW © 2017-2020. Image of Plaque in Cranham courtesy of Mark Green. 

Gloucester War Memorial

The Gloucester War Memorial is situated on a corner at the entrance to Gloucester Park and may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates  51°51’36.29″N,   2°14’29.40″W.

The plinth is topped with the familiar emblem of the Sphinx that is also found on the badge of the Gloucester Regiment.

The list of names on the memorial may be found at Glosgen –  Gloucester Genealogy.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 30/08/2015.

South African Roll of Honour: Union Buildings, Pretoria.

These photographs were taken in September 2009 and in 2012 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Sadly, like so many things in South Africa it had been vandalised. In 2009 I noted that plaques had been prised off the wall in the one cupola, in 2012 it had still not been rectified. I believe even more plaques had been stolen since then.

The ROH covers casualties from both World Wars as well as South African Air Force casualties from The Korean War. Images of individual plaques are available on request.

Also present on the site is the Delville Wood Memorial, with the Police Memorial close by. The Union Buildings may be found at the Google Earth co-ordinates   -25.740731°,  28.211792°

World War 1 vandalised plaques
World War 1 vandalised plaques


© DRW 2009-2018. Created 12/01/2011. Updated 03/06/2012. Moved to blog 01/02/2014