Many moons ago my brother was telling me about a grave he saw as he was driving past Crownwood Road in Crown Mines. Naturally I went looking but found nothing because the area I was in was the wrong area, I filed the information away “just in case” I was in the area again. In the meantime, by pure accident I found an article about graves that were discovered under a mine dump in the Crown Mines and Robertville areas. This was becoming more interesting all the time, and the chance discovery of a war memorial in the veld near Robertville was the cherry on the cake. I still don’t know who erected the WW1 memorial, but maybe one day? That memorial has since disappeared, and by the looks of it it was erected by CMR.
Getting back to Crown Mines, a chance remark at a local Mayfair Group in Facebook made me rethink the Crownwood graves and I asked my brother to go show me where he saw the grave.
We headed out there one Sunday morning, and after searching high and low discovered the grave, or should I say graves? there were at least 10 visibly stone covered mounds and a grave with a broken marker. I was flabbergasted. Why were these graves not fenced, or at least documented? I took pics and headed home, convinced that what we had found should be at least recorded.
The gazillion dollar question is, who is buried there? The discoveries in that area point to them being the graves of mine workers. I contacted the people doing the excavations under the mine dump and they said there was a chance that there are as many as 100 graves there, and that the graves may be of Indian origin as parties of Indians visited the site around about 16 December each year.
The burial ground may date from the late 19th, early 20th century. Its a mystery though, and I have no real answer. However, I have managed to get pics and verify it’s existence, and that’s a good thing because once the grass starts growing once again, this piece of old Johannesburg history will be gone until the next fire.
Upon investigation I was told “…..There could be as many (or more than) as 100 graves here – mostly stone packed and without headstones and any legible inscriptions. As far as is known (based on info given verbally) these graves could be dating to the late 19th to mid 20th centuries, but It cannot be confirmed. It was also indicated that some Indian people have been visiting the graves the last few years (on 16 December), so some might even have an Indian origin but this cannot be confirmed.”
The graves are situated North East of the position 26° 13.522’S 28° 0.357’E
DRW © 2011-2019. Images recreated 19/03/2016