Friday, January 31, 2014

MILITARY CEMETERY ....... (cont)

Well, good morning everybody! We are back in full swing! My apologies for such a long absence.
I would like to continue with my visit to the Anglo Boer War Cemetry here in Klerksdorp - North West Province - South Africa.

 There are many old graves scattered around the cemetry and each one has its own story to tell.

Bert (our local Historian), Bev and mom

Bev - deep in thought - at the grave of 2 British soldiers and 2 Boer soldiers, where their remains lie together in unity after they perished at the Battle of Yzerspruit on 25th Feb 1902. It took the town guard the whole day to reach the battlefield, which was approximately 15 kilometres away, to scoop the dead and wounded. There were a few Dutch nurses and doctors who moved around with them.

Here we have the Memorial to the British Yeomanry of the 5th Northumberland & Durham 1 who were killed in action. The word "Yeoman" in normal use meant a small farmer who owned his land, so these men were drawn from the nobility ; the well-to-do or wealthy. It's has been said that they were not trained killers and some did not have much idea of fighting. They joined the army for about 10 years before they returned to their land.

The British Army of the early 1900's was an army of foot soldiers who came from the poorer families. Their age group ranged from 15 yrs upwards. Fighting in the army was advertised as a big adventure in those days.

One of the most interesting graves is that of the 1st Camp Commandant - Herbert Wellesley Howard.

It's so sad that vandals derive pleasure from attacking, destroying and robbing cemetries. They are so stupid as they don't realise they are destroying their own heritage!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you tomorrow again.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Military Cemetry Klerksdorp.... (cont)

On 7th March 1902 Lord Methuen was wounded with his horse who fell on his leg at Tweebosch - towards Ottosdal in W. Transvaal, in the last important battle won by the boers. 870 British soldiers were captured.
General de la Rey placed the wounded Lord Methuen on one of his 'spring wagons' and brought him to Klerksdorp's Military Hospital. On their way to Klerksdorp a group of young Boers took offence to the fact that they were releasing the British General and stopped the wagon, forced it to return to where de la Rey's forces were lying and when they arrived back, he had a time trying to convince these Boers to release Lord Methuen!

Both generals felt honoured to meet one another and became life-long friends after the war. Up to de la Rey's death in1914, they visited one another several times.

Lord Methuen