Memorial in Danger: ERPM War Memorial, Boksburg

This memorial to the soldiers of East Rand Proprietary Mines (ERPM) Boksburg who lost their lives during World War 1 is to be found in Pretoria Road, close to the intersection with Greenworks Street as per the image below (GPS: -26 12.347, 28 14.051).

War Memorial situated underneath red marker. Google Maps image (1025 x 845)

The building in the background of the image below is part of the old ERPM Clubhouse (1904) and the 1908 (Herbert Baker) extension to the ERPM Clubhouse.  Many of the small mines in the Boksburg area mines that were consolidated into ERPM under Sir George Farrar, whose name appears first on the memorial. 

At the time when the War  Memorial was photographed by Peter Moss, the buildings were more or less intact. However according to an article at the Heritage Portal,  these buildings were partly demolished, possibly around 2015/2016. A Google Earth Streetview from 2010 shows the buildings intact and with signage pointing to “Remembrance Village First World War Memorial”. A January 2015 Streetview (not shown) reveals the same thing although the signage has changed and the buildings have broken windows and appear to be in a poor condition, however the War Memorial is still in place.   

2010 Google Streetview image

The whole whole ERPM Mining Village has undergone massive changes with the loss of many of the historic buildings that made it up. A quick look at the Google Maps image for 2020 shows the whole damage wrought by demolishers. 

Google Maps 3D view

I recall that when I first saw the War Memorial image I asked myself how long it would survive, and it has stood the test of time surprisingly well but the same cannot be said for its surroundings. I sincerely hope that this memorial does not go the way of so many other, especially those out on the East Rand.  The name lists for the memorial may be found on the website.  

Boksburg Cenotaph.

I visited the Boksburg Cenotaph in 2012 and it was a wreck. Situated in the grounds of the Civic Centre it looks out on the corner of Bank and Commissioner Streets. Flanked by two guns, the Cenotaph had been vandalised to a point where most of the inscriptions were missing and no names were legible anymore. It must have been a very impressive Cenotaph in its heyday too, but on that day was just another travesty. The Cenotaph may be found at S26 13.365 E28 15.054.

Boksburg Cenotaph

The George Farrer Grave.

Sir George Farrar was buried on “Bedford Farm Cemetery” and I have a separate blogpost dedicated to the gravesite.

DRW © 2021. Created 02/01/2022. Image of ERPM Cenotaph by Peter Moss. 

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