Continuing with our explorations in and around Johannesburg….
© DRW 2007-2018. Created 09/06/2014
The memorial was designed by William Tait Conner, a Glasgow born architect who moved to Johannesburg in 1903. The sculptor was Arthur Taylor. It is said that the face of the soldier is modelled after Capt. Thomas Hesketh Ross MC. OC of “B” Company, 4th SAI, who served in the South West Africa Campaign and was awarded a Military Cross for his heroic conduct at Delville Wood. He was killed on the eve of the Arras offensive. This is one of the finest war memorials in Johannesburg.
The statue of the Scottish Soldier was initially erected on the east side of King George Street immediately outside Joubert Park and across the bridge from St George’s Presbyterian Church in Noord Street where the Regimental Colours hung. It was unveiled on Easter Sunday, 1st April 1923 by H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught, Governor General of the Union of South Africa.
It was later moved to the west side of King George Street where it stood for many years, and as the area deteriorated so he became lost amongst the chaos surrounding him. On 5th November 1994 the statue was re-dedicated at the site where it now stands overlooking St Andrews Road in Parktown and he is looking magnificent. His new site is right in front of the headquarters of the Transvaal Scottish which is situated in “The View”. The memorial originally was to members of the South African Scottish, and later it commemorated the soldiers of the Transvaal Scottish.
The main inscription reads:
In grateful memory
officers, non commissioned
officers and men of the
South African Scottish
who fell in the Great War.
Ye honoured mighty dead
who nobly perished in the glorious cause.
Also in grateful memory of the
officers, non commissioned officers and men of
The Transvaal Scottish Regiment, who gave
their lives in the two world wars of
1914 – 1918 and 1940 – 1945
The memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates 26°10’49.69″S, 28° 2’43.43″E. Parking in St Andrews Road is almost impossible.
It seems as if the monument has been vandalised (photograph in the Star of 2 Feb 2016) by persons unknown who crossed out inscriptions and exhorted that “We want land”. Frankly it is disgraceful.
© DRW 2007 -2018. Edited 12/11/2012. Moved to blog 31/01/2014, updated with additional information 29/12/2016 from http://theheritageportal.co.za/article/story-behind-south-african-scottish-memorial
71st (Transvaal) Siege Battery: Johannesburg Zoo
These photographs of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial (71st (Transvaal) Seige Battery) at the Johannesburg Zoo were taken on 20 August 2011. Special thanks to Carl Hoehler for the information on where this memorial can be found, as well as additional information on the 6 guns that made up the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery. Of special mention is the worker at the zoo called Kevin who assisted me in getting these photographs.
This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa. It is currently in the grounds of the Johannesburg Zoo. Like its counterpart in Port Elizabeth, part of the memorial is a dedication plaque:
Erected by the Officers, NCO’s and Men of the South African Heavy Artillery in Memory of their Comrades who fell in the Great War 1914-1918
The inscription is followed by the names and ranks of the 167 men who died in the Great War.
The gun has been in place at the zoo since 1920, and was restored in 2007.
It may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates 26° 10.111’S, 28° 2.039’E
The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)
© DRW 2011-2018. Created 21/08/2011. Roll of Honour list supplied by Carl Hoehler. Moved to blog 30/01/2014, Updated 08/07/2017
The memorial to HMSAS Parktown in Pieter Roos Park, was unveiled on 21 June 1992, 50 years after the sinking of the ship that bears the same name as the suburb Parktown. It was unveiled by Admiral L.J. Woodburne, Chief of the Navy. Sadly, vandalism and neglect has taken its toll, and the anchor that once adorned the plinth is long gone, and the memorial seems to have lost its context.
The memorial may be found at 26° 10.993’S, 28° 2.483’E. More information on the ship and her final battle may be found at The Wikipedia entry for HMSAS Parktown
©DRW 2012-2018. Created 10/03/2012. Moved to blog 22/01/2014