Bakerton and Payneville.

Continuing with my efforts to capture images of the more obscure cemeteries where CWGC graves are to be found, I ventured forth to Bakerton/Payneville Cemetery outside of Springs. My original thoughts were that these were two distinctly seperate places, however, some homework revealed that actually they are a cemetery within a cemetery. Bakerton being the Hindu/Moslem cemetery, and Payneville being the African burial ground. Naturally they are miles from anywhere, but reasonably close to Brakpan to pay a return visit to Brenthurst Cemetery  and pop in at the derelict war memorial in Springs.
My first port of call however was at the Cosy Corner MOTH Shellhole in Brakpan to photograph the new Wall of Remembrance, that is now home to the original plaque from the mess that is the former garden of remembrance in Brakpan.
The MOTH Shellhole is a treasure trove of memorabilia and is well worth visiting if you have an interest in Delville Wood. A tree, grown from a seedling from a Hornbeam tree on the battlefield, grows in the grounds. Its a strange tangible link to that terrible battle.
There is a proud heritage at that Shellhole, and by the looks of it, it is a thriving one. There are two preserved tanks on their premises, and that is quite an accomplishment. 
Moving onwards to Bakerton, I had one CWGC grave to photograph,  and he was reasonably easy to find. This area of the cemetery is very well maintained and is still in use. Unfortunately I cannot say much about when it opened, but it must have been open in the early 1940’s at a minimum. The Springs area does have a number of Native Military Corps graves in it, with the beautiful Palmietkuil South War Cemetery just up the road.  
Payneville however was a different ball game altogether. Its not a very large space,  but it is sparsely populated with headstones, and overpopulated with weeds and grass. Mounds and holes are not easy to spot and I nearly saw the ground from close up on quite a few occasions.
I had 2 CWGC graves to photograph, and had a rough idea where they were, but in reality, finding them in real time was a different story. Usually the headstones are very distinctive and I found the one reasonably easily, but the second was nowhere to be seen. I had rough GPS co-ordinates of the graves and changed to pedestrian mode to try find it, but even with a GPS I struck a blank. I did a block search in the area and eventually found the stone, but it had been broken in half. It was only recently that the CWGC graves had been cleaned up, and this was a recent break. There wasn’t much to do but report the broken stone and head off to our next destination. I think that as long as I live I will never understand the logic of somebody that goes around breaking tombstones. If somebody can provide insight into this please drop me a comment.
Springs War Memorial was one of those mapbook finds. I spotted it when I was researching Palmietkuil in 2007, but couldn’t find it on the ground at the time. There was this strange derelict dome structure on an island in the town, but surely that wasn’t the memorial? 
Springs War Memorial in 2007
Springs War Memorial in 2007
My gravehunting companion assured me that WAS the memorial, or should I say, what is left of it. The dome used to cover a tripod of rifles with a helmet, inscribed on the interior walls were the “Their Name Liveth Forevermore” reminders. Upright walls lined the pathway, with name plaques of the fallen, a fountain adding its melody to the tableau. That was then. This is now.
springswm 093
The only purpose that this derelict seems to serve now is to provide a shelter for the homeless, otherwise it is just a travesty that can get consigned to the scrapheap of history. In the nearly 4 years since I had visited here originally, nothing had been improved or done to rectify the situation. And, probably in 4 years time, things will be exactly the same as now. I wonder how many residents even have an idea what this derelict structure actually was? I know one thing, no remembering of the fallen is done in Springs anymore.
In 2014, I was contacted by Joe Borain who informed me that they were stealing the copper off what was left of the dome.  The image below being taken in February 2014. It was also announced that the council would be “restoring” the memorial, but whether that ever happens remains to be seen. 
I did post an update to my original entry on the relevant page of allatsea
A last detour to photograph a Honey tank, and we were ready to head off to Brenthurst Cemetery, but that’s another story, for another day. Unfortunately, between my visit and 2016 the tank has been deteriorating and I did an update on her too.
DRW © 2011-2019. Images recreated 20/03/2016

Preserved Tanks: Heaps of Honeys

Tanks are interesting vehicles, for some odd reason I find them fascinating, and having served in mechanised infantry myself I know how safe you feel behind those steel walls, but how vulnerable you really are to anything bigger than a 12.5mm armour piercing round. World War 2 tanks do not really abound in South Africa, although lately I have been pursuing them as far as as I can. The first one I ever photographed was in Lenz, at the camp where my brother was doing his national service. It was an M3 Stuart, or “Honey” as they were known in Britain, and I do have a soft spot for them. Its probable that they are the most numerous in South Africa.
Lenz Military base M3 Stuart.
Lenz Military base M3 Stuart.
That image was taken about 1975, and as at 2000 two Honeys are listed as being at the base. I have grown up slightly and thankfully my taste in clothing has improved. The camera still survives and the print that this image was scanned from was taken with it. (126 cartridge format).
Most Stuart Tanks ended up as gate guards at military bases or MOTH shellholes.
Honey at Warriors Shellhole in Muldersdrift
Honey at Warriors Shellhole in Muldersdrift (R46901/10134)
Honey at Springbok Redoubt Shellhole in Bethlehem
Honey at Springbok Redoubt Shellhole in Bethlehem

There is also a Honey at the Smuts House in Irene. 

Honey at the Smuts House in Irene.

And a former MOTH Shellhole Honey has found her way to a park in Springs where she is steadily being picked clean by scrap metal scavengers.

Honey in Springs
She was revisited by a friend in 2017 and is looking very much worse than when I last saw her in 2011.  
There is also a Honey to be found at the tank park of the Pretoria Regiment in Pretoria. Gavin Spowart very kindly sent me this image of her taken in 2008.
The document I use to find them is called “Preserved Tanks in South Africa”, by William Marshall and Trevor Larkum, and it lists as many as 34 Honey’s in South Africa. The reason so many seemed to have survived could be because they are small and easy to transport, sadly though, the attention of scrap metal thieves is enough to decimate them and is proving to be even more dangerous than anti-tank guns of World War 2.
The final Honey that is probably the best preserved of them all is to be found at the National Musem of Military History in Saxonwold.
At the Bovington Tank Museum they have a Honey too, and she was imported into the UK from Brazil. 


And there is a Honey at the Allan Wilson MOTH Shellhole in Pietermaritzburg (Image by Shelly Baker)
and another Honey at the Delmein MOTH Shellhole in Mount Escombe. (Image by Shelly Baker)
Bundu MOTH Shellhole, Boston, KZN. Photo by Adri Joubert Alborough
And, my own Honey die cast model on a outing. (just because I can)
© DRW 2011-2018. Images recreated 17/03/2016, images added 07/06/2018, 14/09/2018