These photographs of the Bleskop Great War Memorial are courtesy of Danie De Villers of Andante Tours (link may be broken) who encountered this little known memorial on the R45 between Wemmershoek and Franschoek in 2011. Unfortunately, like so many other memorials in South Africa the history of this one was lost, and if anybody can assist with more information on the memorial, as well as the significance of “Bleskop” please contact me via the Contact page. I have tentatively classified this as the “Bleskop Memorial” until such time as more information comes available.
The memorial may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates 33° 52.380’S, 19° 0.250’E, Special thanks to Piet Conradie for help in pinpointing the memorial on GE.
It appears as if research has been ongoing by Neil Palmer and the following is now known:
“The Memorial commemorates the sacrifice of just 10 men from the Valley of Groot Drakenstein, Simondium, Wellington, Plasir De Merle, Pickstone Farms and Erin Vale. It is not known why only these 10 are on the memorial but it is believed that the Gray Family (who owned Plasir De Merle) were very much involved in the the memorial and we know that it was built by J. A. Clift of Paarl sometime in the 1920’s.“
What I did not know was that there were names on the rear of the monument:
Lieutenant Basil George Hope Maclear MC, Grenadier Guards
2nd. Lieutenant Eric Percy Johnstone Touche, 1st. South African Infantry, Essex Regt, RAF
Gunner Stephen Geffrey Dahse, South African Field Artillery
Rifleman Kingsley Louis Strangman, Kings Royal Rifle Corps (Rhodesian Platoon)
Private Albert John Thrift, Essex Regiment
Trooper Eric Victor Baker, 7th. South Africa Horse
4 of the names have not been successfully identified
R G S Wiltshire
If you can help shed light on it please contact us. If you are on facebook the place to look is: https://www.facebook.com/bleskopmemorial/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel, or you can check out Neil’s Website for more images and information
© DRW 2011-2018. Created 08 August 2011. Photo’s courtesy of Danie De Villiers. Updated information by Neil Palmer. Updated 29/05/2017. Moved to Musings 07/01/2021