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. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durban_High_School)
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.
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.
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.”
He was cremated at Cheltenham Crematorium and his ashes were interred in Cranham Churchyard Gloucestershire.
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.