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.

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Indian memorial at the Donkin Reserve

I was taking a couple of pictures on the Donkin Reserve the other day and noticed this plaque on the stone wall by the Great Flag.  I don't know if it is a recent addition or if I've just never noticed it.  Weird, but anyways.  The plaque marks the 150th anniversary (as on 16 November 2010) of the arrival of the first group of Indians to South Africa as indentured labourers.  Although the arrival was in Natal and not Port…

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Lister Memorial – reposted

During my weekly tourism slot on LuisterFM 90.6 last week the Lister Memorial in Summerstrand came up in the conversation.  Even though the presenter had seen the stone monument before he had never knew what it was for.  I just realised again that there aren't many people who did know about it and even if you had seen it you wouldn't know who Joseph Storr Lister was.  So I decided to report a post I did about it in January…

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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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Moth Memorial – walled off

In January I did a post about the Grave of Joseph Crowe at the Moth Memorial Hall in Uitenhage.  Last week I was in town for a meeting at the NMB Science Centre nearby and drove past the Moth Memorial Hall just to find a vebracrete wall has been erected behind the little boundary wall that looks like sand bags.  How thoroughly disappointing that the public can't see this anymore.

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Bashoto War Memorial in Uitenhage

In Magennis Park just off Church Road (Graaff-Reinet Road) in Uitenhage is a monument that seems kinda out of place in this part of the province.  It's a memorial commemorating those who died in the  Morosi Mountain and Basuto Campaigns of 1879 and 1880-1882. Morosi's Mountain was the name given to a fortified mountain in the Drakensberg mountain range on the banks of the Orange River in southern Basutoland (modern day Lesotho).  This was the site of a siege during the Gun War, also known…

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The St Georges Park war memorial cross

People interested in history in Port Elizabeth should know the war memorials around St Georges Park.  The Cenotaph, the Prince Alfred Guard Memorial and the bronze plaque where the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial used to be.  Not many people know though that there is a fourth war memorial in the park.  Right behind the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Gallery is a plaque with a small hedge in the form of a cross.  Unfortunately the one side of the cross has died a…

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The Fugard kite from Master Harold and the Boys

The iconic South African playwright, Athol Fugard, famous for plays like Master Harold and the Boys, Sizwe Bansi is dead and The island, has very close links to Port Elizabeth.  Fugard's mother ran the St Georges Park Tea Room which sadly stands empty today.  It was here in 1950 that a teenage Fugard insulted his friend and father figure, Sam Semela, a waiter at the tearoom.  Thirty years later still shamed my the incident he wrote the play Master Harold and…

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Langa Memorial

Most South Africans are familiar with the 1960 Sharpeville massacre where the South African Police opened fire on a protesting crowd, killing 69 people.  Very few people know though that on the 25th anniversary of Sharpeville, something similar happened in Langa township in Uitenhage when the Police opened fire on a crowd of mourners on their way to a banned funeral.  Twenty people were killed in the incident on 21 March 1985 and it became known as the Langa Massacre.  The incident was followed by…

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St George and the dragon

Most people who have been to or driven past St Georges Park know the Cenotaph (war memorial) in front of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum.  I wonder though how many people know that one of the figures forming part of the Cenotaph is St George himself,  sheathing his sword moments after killing the dragon. St George's dragon slaying story is told as follow on Wikipedia: "...a dragon or crocodile makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "Silene"…

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