(Latest update from 20/10/2019 is at the bottom of the page)
These photographs were taken at the SOE War Memorial at Patterson Park in October 2007. At first I thought that the name SOE was a typo, but have since been told that SOE may have stood for “Sons of England”.
(This cross erected in 1917 at the Butte De Warlencourt was presented by the Surviving Officers, NCO’s and Men of the 3rd S.A.I Transvaal and Rhodesian Regt. The names of the fallen are inscribed In All Souls Chapel)
The Butte De Warlencourt was the sight of a number of bloody battles during World War 1, and it claimed many lives in what was really an obsession. The All Souls Chapel referred to may be the chapel at St John’s College in Houghton, but I have never been able to confirm this. The Cross in the Crypt Chapel in St John’s has a slightly different inscription.
The cross is inscribed:
TO THE MEMORY OF
THE OFFICERS, NCO’S AND MEN OF THE 3rd SA Inf
TRANSVAAL REGT WHO FELL DURING THE BATTLE
OF THE SOMME IN OCTOBER 1916.
The memorial may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates 26° 9.623’S, 28° 4.774’E. These images are still my originals from 2007, I do not know in what state this memorial is now.
While attending a local event with my brother we were able to make a detour to Patterson Park and found that the “park” was either being redeveloped, restored or left to rot. The memorial is fenced but the cross and gates are missing although I believe that the cross is in storage “somewhere”. The images below are from 20/10/2019.
DRW © 2007-2021. Moved to blog 01/02/2014. New images added 25/10/2019, classified as extinct 25/05/2020, moved to Musings 07/01/2021