An Arctic explorer buried in the Karoo?

The Cradock cemetery is probably one of the most interesting ones around. You'll find gravestones of settlers, frontiersmen, nuns, soldiers who fell in the Anglo-Boer War and even one Harry Potter. Another grave I learned about and one I just had to go and find belongs to Reginald Koettlitz. You're probably wondering what makes this grave different and the answer can be found in the grave's inscription. “An explorer and traveller, surgeon and geologist to Expeditions North Polar and Abyssinia…

Comments Off on An Arctic explorer buried in the Karoo?

In search of the Aberdeen bed grave

I would like to believe that I am a true ambassador of the Eastern Cape and know a thing or two about what this beautiful and diverse province has to offer visitors and explorers. Would I go as far as to call myself an expert? Mhe... Not sure. I still have a long list of places I still want to visit and things to see. Until recently one of these was the bed grave between Graaff-Reinet and Aberdeen. The site…

Comments Off on In search of the Aberdeen bed grave

The Roodewal historic site outside Cookhouse

Big monuments and historic buildings are easy to spot and often stand out. It's the ones that are often a bit obscured that very few people actually know about or get to visit. One such site is the Roodewal historic site next to the N10 near Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape. This site doesn't just have one, but three separate heritage-related items all linked to the same place. Roodewal Farm. I knew about one of them because there is a…

Comments Off on The Roodewal historic site outside Cookhouse

A wizard’s grave in Cradock? Here lies Harry Potter

We all know Harry Potter, the boy wizard with his little round glasses and lightning scar on his forehead, created by JK Rowling for her books and turned into a successful film franchise. But what happened to Harry after the fact? Did he perhaps exchange the cold of England and Hogwarts for the warm sun of Cradock and Africa? Cradock’s old cemetery can get quite spooky in the early mornings when the fog hangs around the gravestones of settlers, frontiersmen,…

Comments Off on A wizard’s grave in Cradock? Here lies Harry Potter
Read more about the article The grave of Ouma Dora Jacobs in Somerset East
Ouma Dora's grave

The grave of Ouma Dora Jacobs in Somerset East

I have a particular interest in historic graves. They often tell a tale of an era long past in a way books can't. But sometimes a grave from the modern era holds just as many stories. Such a grave I found in Somerset East, set back in the trees at the end of a lane next to the Somerset East Museum. This is the grave of Ouma Dora Dotyi Jacobs who at the time of her death at the ripe…

Comments Off on The grave of Ouma Dora Jacobs in Somerset East

Capt Francis Evatt’s gravestone

On a walk along Route 67 the other day I popped into St Mary's Cathedral and was reminded that the original gravestone of Captain Francis Evatt was located in the entrance area of the church.  Something a lot of people probably didn't know.  Captain Evatt was commander of Fort Frederick from 1817 until his death in 1850 and is often called the Father of Port Elizabeth because of the role he played in the early years of the town's development.  Among the…

1 Comment

North End Defense Force Memorial

One of the things I discovered while in North End Cemetery is a Defense Force Memorial remembering soldiers who died in service of their country during the first and second World Wars.  According to the main plaque the memorial stones commemorate soldiers that were buried elsewhere but who's glory won't be forgotten.

1 Comment

The Jewish Cemetery at North End

One of the things that really interested me when I visited the North End Cemetery the other day was the walled off Jewish Cemetery.  I didn't get to explore it though as the sign by the entrance says, "Code of Conduct. Please note that all visitors to the cemetery must wear appropriate dress. Men and women must cover their heads".  Turned out I didn't even have a cap in my car so I went no further than the door.  I did do…


The history of North End Cemetery

Over the years my interest in cemeteries has taken me to most of the cemeteries around town with the notable exception being the North End Cemetery.  Not because I didn't want to but rather a case of never really being in that part of town with time to go.  A week or two ago I found myself there though in search of information I needed as part of a Geocache multi cache put together by Commaille.  I was really surprised…

1 Comment

Russell Road Cemetery

The Russell Road Cemetery is another of Port Elizabeth's historic grave yards dating back to the early days of Port Elizabeth.  As the town grew the increased demands on the St Mary's Cemetery next to the Baakens River became too much and a solution had to be found, not just for another cemetery but also to accommodate the different religious affiliations.  Small pieces of land was allocated to the various Christian denominations on the town margins in the late 1830's…