Anglo-Boer War Memorial (Johannesburg)

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Anglo-Boer War Memorial
South Africa - Anglo-Boer War Memorial-001.jpg
The Anglo-Boer War Memorial
Former namesRand Regiments Memorial
General information
LocationEckstein Park
Town or citySaxonwold, Johannesburg
CountrySouth Africa
Coordinates26°09′50″S 28°02′28″E / 26.164°S 28.041°E / -26.164; 28.041
Groundbreaking30 November 1910
OwnerCity of Johannesburg
Design and construction
ArchitectEdwin Landseer Lutyens
Architecture firmBaker & Fleming

The Anglo-Boer War Memorial was originally called the Rand Regiments Memorial and dedicated to the men of the Witwatersrand who joined as British soldiers in the Rand Regiments and who had lost their lives during the Second Boer War (1899–1902). The memorial is now next door to the South African National Museum of Military History. It was rededicated on 10 October 1999 to all people who died during the Second Boer War and renamed the Anglo-Boer War Memorial.


Soon after the Second Boer War ended in 1902, Randlord Sir Lionel Phillips and others proposed in 1904, a memorial to commemorate the British soldiers that had died in the war.[1]:16 A Rand Regiments' Memorial Committee was formed to raise money for the memorial. In September 1904, Captain George A. Hamilton-Dickson proposed a motion that a site be found for a memorial and that the Town Council start a scheme to build it.[1]:16 The Johannesburg Town Council thought that the memorial should be dedicated to all those that had died in the war but Phillips and the committee would disagree and continued with the project.[2] Sir Lionel Phillips and his company, H. Eckstein and Co, purchased 40 acres (16 ha) in the Sachsenwald Plantation (Saxonwold) as land for the memorial.[3]:124

On 30 November 1910, Field Marshall the Duke of Connaught and Lord Methuen reviewed a group of volunteers at Milner Park before being accompanied by a detachment from the Imperial Light Horse to the Sachsenwald Plantation (Saxonwold).[4] There in front of a solemn gathering, the Duke laid the corner-stone to the future memorial.[4] The site had only been approved a month before the Duke's visit by the town council and no architect or design had been finalised.[5]

The memorial was designed in 1911 by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, before he became famous for his war memorials after the end of the First World War. The design for the memorial was a 20 metres (66 ft) tall stone four-arched structure which was completed in 1913.[6] The design of the memorial is said to have been based on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris as well as other Roman triumphal arches.[7] The town council laid out five vistas that would lead up to the memorial and fenced off the 40 acres.[6] On the columns are the names of members of the raised Rand regiments who lost their lives in the war and is made up of members of the Bethune's Mounted Infantry, Commander in Chiefs Bodyguard, Johannesburg Mounted Rifles, Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry, South African Light Horse, Imperial Light Horse, Railway Pioneer Regiment, Imperial Light Infantry and Rand Rifles.[8]

Sir Lionel Philips would pay for, from his personal funds, a bronze sculpture that would adorn the top of the memorial as a gift to the people of Johannesburg.[1]:18 The bronze sculpture was commissioned by Sir Hugh Lane, who had hoped to have it designed by Auguste Rodin, but settled on Naoum Aronson.[1]:18 Designed in Paris, the bronze sculpture, when finally mounted atop the memorial in April 1914, would face to the west.[1]:18 As to what the sculpture represents, the sources differ with some calling it Nike the Greek Winged Goddess of Victory while others, in the interest of reconciliation between the English and Afrikaaner populations, referred to it as the Angel of Peace.[1]:16–18 The Lutyens Trust says the initial design was for a triumphal angel but the final design was one of an Angel of Peace.[7] The memorial would be known as the Kakiemonument by the Afrikaaner population who had fought against the British during the war.[1]:18

The memorial was rededicated on 10 October 1999 in "memory of the men, women and children of all races and all nations who lost their lives in the Anglo Boer War, 1899–1902".[9] 1 June 2002 saw a gathering at the memorial to commemorate the hundred-year anniversary of the end of the Second Boer War, on 31 May 1902.[2] A total of 22 000 British soldiers, 7 000 Boers, 24 000 black men, women and children, and 22 000 white women and children who had died during the war or in concentration camps, were remembered at the ceremony.[2]

In 2015, the City of Johannesburg budgeted R1,000,000 to restore the memorial which included cleaning the sculpture and adding a protective coating.[10] Other work carried out to restore the memorial was the introduction of storm drainage, as the stone blocks had moved out of alignment due to years of excessive moisture in the ground.[11]:66


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Monick, S (1991). "Silent Voices of Time". Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies. 21 (3): 15–34.
  2. ^ a b c Davie, Lucille (31 May 2002). "The end of the first modern war". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  3. ^ Shorten, John R. (1970). The Johannesburg Saga. Johannesburg: John R. Shorten Pty Ltd. p. 1159.
  4. ^ a b "Duke and Soldiers' Memorial". Cheltenham Chronicle. 3 December 1910. p. 8.
  5. ^ Carman, Jillian (2006). Uplifting the Colonial Philistine: Florence Phillips and the Making of the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Wits University Press. ISBN 9781868144365.
  6. ^ a b "Geocache Description: The National Anglo Boer War South African War Memorial". Geocaching. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b Knowles, Chris. "Rand Regiments Memorial". The Lutyens Trust. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Anglo Boer War Memorial in Johannesburg". Blogging while allatsea. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  9. ^ Ball, James (12 November 2015). "Restoration of the South African War Memorial Saxonwold". The Heritage Portal. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Rand Regiments Memorial restoration draws attention". Rosebank Killarney Gazette. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  11. ^ Walters, Christine (2003). "Annual Report 2002-2003. Chapter 8" (PDF). Johannesburg City Council. Retrieved 15 December 2015.