Tag Archives: anglo boer war

Things to See in South Africa: The Honoured Dead Memorial in Kimberley Travel Attractions 21 MAY 2016

The Honoured Dead Memorial stands at the meeting point of five roads, commemorating those who died defending the city of Kimberley against the Boers during the Siege of Kimberley in the Anglo-Boer War.

the honoured dead memorial in kimberley, northern cape, south africa 1

This sobering war memorial, inspired by the Nereid Monument at Xanthos and designed by the famed Sir Herbert Baker on commission from Cecil John Rhodes, was unveiled in 1904.

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It is listed as a provincial heritage site in Kimberley (Northern Cape), and is primarily built of sandstone quarried in from the Matopo Hills in Zimbabwe. The memorial serves as a tomb for 27 soldiers, and features the inscription (by Rudyard Kipling):

This for a charge to our children in sign of the price we paid. The Price we paid for the freedom that comes unsoiled to your hand. Read, revere and uncover for here are the victors laid. They that died for the city being sons of the land.

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Standing at the base of the memorial is the Long Cecil gun, pointed at the Free State and surrounded by shells from the Boers’ Long Tom guns.

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Related Link: Honoured Dead Memorial

Things to See in South Africa: Old English Fort and the Cogmanskloof Tunnel to Montagu Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 28 JUL 2015

The Cogmanskloof Pass connects the towns of Ashton and Montagu. Its entire 6.5 km stretch through a majestic landscape of towering rock formations. Renamed after Cape Colony secretary, John Montagu, the town’s original name of Cogmanskloof is where this pass took its name from.

IMG_20150708_135549 Cogmanskloof (R62) Tunnel to Montagu

The original route through the mountain included two fairly dangerous river crossings (Kingna River), and so following a few disasters, famed road and pass builder Thomas Bain was commissioned to build the pass through Cogmans Kloof in 1877.

Using a combination of dynamite and gunpowder (gunpowder because dynamite was apparently relatively new and they quickly ran out of supply), Bain and his team ‘dug’ (fine, blasted) through the Kalkoenkrans and opened the route in 1879.

IMG_20150708_135919 Cogmanskloof (R62) Tunnel to Montagu

The unlined tunnel is 16 metres long, and has a five metre high arched roof.

IMG_20150708_135452 Cogmanskloof (R62) Tunnel to Montagu

The tunnel is the oldest solid rock (unsupported by concrete) road tunnel in South Africa.

(Thomas Bain’s father Andrew Bain, actually built the very first tunnel along the western ascent of Bainskloof Pass near Wellington in 1835, but that collapsed during construction so it doesn’t count)

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At the top of the tunnel, blink and you will miss it, is the remains of a well camouflaged English fort (declared a monument in 1999), accessible via a short little hike starting to the right of the tunnel entrance, heading towards Ashton side.

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Taken from the Internet: “1899 heralded the Second Anglo Boer War and saw the construction of the English Fort above Cogmans Kloof. This was built by stonemason William Robertson at a site selected by Lieutenant Colonel Sidney, Commandant of the Royal Field Artillery. The fort was garrisoned by a company of the Gordon Highlanders who were survivors of the Magersfontein battle, commanded by a Lieutenant Forbes.

They were camped on the original road construction site below Kalkoenkrans (Turkey Crag) the site which is now the parking area below the fort on the Montagu side.

The fort measures 9,3 x 3,8 m on the outside. It has a simple entrance opening at the west end and 21 ‘waisted’ loopholes formed in the masonry without steel plates. The loopholes are 700-800 mm above the concrete floor and the 400 mm thick stone walls reach a height of about two metres inside the building.

Inside the fort, near the south-east corner, is a roughly circular mortared stone platform (400 mm high), together with a drainage channel and hole at the base of the adjacent east wall, which seems to indicate the presence of a water tank and hence a roof.”

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Related Link: Old English Fort | Cogmanskloof Pass