Bethulie Concentration Camp Memorials

The images in this post are courtesy of Clive Jackson, Terry Cawood and Ronnie Lovemore and are used with permission. 

The concentration camp in Bethulie does not have a good reputation as can be read in British Concentration Camps of the South African War, and this can be seen from the long list of names at the new concentration camp monument (Kamp Kerkhof).

The graves of 1737 people were relocated to the present graveyard which is 3km from the town.  It was unveiled by then State President CR Swart  in October 1996.  The graves were moved to the new site because it was feared that the water from the Gariep (former Hendrik Verwoed) Dam would inundate them.  More information about the memorial may be found at the Bethulie Concentration Camp site on Pathfinda.com, the monument may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates: -30.484774°, 25.999216°. 

New Concentration Camp Memorial (Terry Cawood)

Gariep Dam (Image by Ronnie Lovemore)

On the Gariep Dam is a plaque commemorating those whose graves were covered by the waters of the dam.

The old camp memorial was located at  -30.484778, 25.999231 and the original cairn and two monuments can still be seen.  The old memorial is at the sight of the original camp cemetery and a glimpse at the Google Earth image shows the rough outline of the cemetery.

Old Concentration Camp Memorial (Terry Cawood)

 

There is also a memorial to Louw Wepener  who was killed in the second Basotho (aka The Seqiti War) war along with his companion Adam Raubenheimer. The story goes that when the Boers tried to attack the Basotho Mountain Stronghold, Thaba Bosiou, they were bombarded with huge rocks rolled from the top. When the remains were recovered some time later, it was impossible to tell whose bones belonged to whom, so they were interred together at the memorial.

Louw Wepener Memorial (Terry Cawood)

© DRW 2016-2021. Created 20/10/2016.  Images by Clive Jackson, Terry Cawood and Ronnie Lovemore.  Moved to Musings 07/01/2021 and added new images

This entry was posted in Anglo Boer War, Heritage, Hobbies and Interests, Memorials and Monuments, Photo Essay, Retrospective, South Africa, War Memorial and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.