The Concentration Camp Memorial at Norvalspont

The Anglo Boer War (1899 – 1902) is one of the big turning points in South Africa’s history along with the arrival of Europeans in the country, the Great Trek, the Apartheid years and a new democratic South Africa.  Okay, so our history is about more than just those five turning points but that is what came to my mind just now.  One of the most significant things that happened during the Anglo Boar War was that it was the first time ever that…

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The Chair Monument in the Karoo

Monuments and memorials come in all shapes and sizes and by different names. By name, the Chair Monument outside Middelburg in the Karoo Heartland may have you confused. Why would they put up a memorial to a chair? Was it a simple wooden stool or is somebody celebrating their beloved lazyboy? In fact, although a chair was involved, the monument is an Anglo Boer War related memorial and commemorates Commandant J. C. Lötter and his right-hand man, Lieutenant Pieter Wolfaardt.…

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A weird monument of rocks dedicated to Gideon Scheepers outside Graaff-Reinet

If you drive out of Graaff-Reinet on the Murraysburg road toward the Valley of Desolation, you may notice a strange looking memorial on the left-hand side near the Nqweba Dam. Monuments are normally big marble or stone memorials and statues with a bronze plaque but this one is anything but. The Gideon Scheepers Memorial is made up of three rocks from the vicinity supporting a stainless steel needle, symbolising the spirit of hope and faith in God. The largest rock…

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Take Graaff-Reinet Anglo Boer War memorial

Graaff-Reinet isn't just the sixth oldest town in South Africa or the town with the most historical monuments in the country. The town and its district also have a rich history of Voortrekker history, Anglo-Boer War history and history connected to the freedom struggle. One of the monuments in town that not a lot of people get to see is the Anglo-Boer War Memorial on the corner of Donkin and Somerset Streets. It's a pity because it's actually a striking…

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Uitenhage Boer War concentration camp site

 Last week I did a post about the Uitenhage Concentration Camp Memorial and this week I just want to share another of the pictures I took.  This one just a bit closer.  The back wall is divided up into nine sections, each representing one of the 9 people who died in the concentration camp.

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Uitenhage Concentration Camp site

A few weeks ago we took part in an Amazing Race in and around Uitenhage, organised by one of the local churches as a fundraiser.  The race started at the old festival grounds on the outskirts of town.  While waiting for everybody to arrive I took a walk over to the Concentration Camp Memorial with my camera.Not a lot of people know that Uitenhage had a concentration camp right on their doorstep during the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902.…

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The Bethulie Concentration Camp cemetery – a sad part of our history

Bethulie in the southern Free State is one of those places not many people pass through as it's not really on any of the main thoroughfares going south (or north, depending how you look at it).  On my last trip up to Johannesburg I deviated off the normal route to see what this town on the banks of the Orange River is all about.  One of the things I found out was that Bethulie was the site of one of…

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The Riderless Horse Memorial

The Horse Memorial has always been one of my favorite monuments around Port Elizabeth.  Not just for what it looks like, but more importantly for what it stands for.  Port Elizabeth was the main port of entry for horses and mules used by the British forces during the Anglo Boar War (1899 - 1902).  During the war more than 300 000 horses died in British service.  The people of Port Elizabeth was very much aware of the plight of the…

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The Gideon Scheepers Monument

Most people visiting the Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet take a drive out to the Valley of Desolation to enjoy the magnificent views  of the town and surrounding Karoo plains as well as the very sheer cliffs and unique Dolerite stone columns of the valley.  I wonder how many people have spotted the monument on the left as you pass the dam just after leaving town. The Gideon Scheepers Monument remembers  Commandant Gideon Scheepers who was a Boer scout and commanding officer during the Anglo-Boer War. …

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The Norvalspont Concentration Camp Memorial

The Anglo Boer War (1899 - 1902) is one of the big turning points in South Africa's history along with the arrival of Europeans in the country, the Great Trek, the Apartheid years and a new democratic South Africa.  Okay, so the history is about more than just those five turning points but that is what came to my mind just now.  One of the most significant things that happened during the Anglo Boar War was that it was the first time ever that…

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