Tag Archives: rudyard kipling

Things to See in South Africa: Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town Travel Attractions 22 MAY 2016

Completed and dedicated in 1912, the imposing granite Rhodes Memorial sits on Devil’s Peak overlooking Cape Town, a memorial to the English-born South African politician Cecil John Rhodes.

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Designed by famed architect Sir Herbert Baker, the memorial is situated at Rhodes’s favourite spot on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak – in fact, Rhodes’s own wooden bench is still situated below the memorial (which makes sense considering that he own most of the land making up the lower slopes of Table Mountain!). The site faces north-east, which one can easily imagine as marking the start of the Cape to Cairo road, Rhodes’s championed imperial dream of a British colonial Africa.

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Built mostly of Cape granite quarried on Table Mountain, the memorial consists of a massive staircase with 49 steps (one for each year of Rhodes’s life) leading from a semi-circular terrace up to a rectangular U-shaped monument formed of pillars.

At the bottom of the steps is a bronze statue of a horseman, Physical Energy by George Frederic Watts. Eight bronze lions by John Macallan Swan flank the steps leading up to the memorial, with a bust of Rhodes completing the installation.

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The inscription on the monument is “To the spirit and life work of Cecil John Rhodes who loved and served South Africa”. Also inscribed, below the bust of Rhodes, are the last four lines of the last stanza from the 1902 poem Burial by Rudyard Kipling in honour of Rhodes:

The immense and brooding spirit still
Shall quicken and control.
Living he was the land, and dead,
His soul shall be her soul!

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Today the memorial is part of the Table Mountain National Park. It sports a well-known tea room, making it a popular viewpoint and picnicking spot. It also marks the starting point for a number of walks and hikes on Devil’s Peak.

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Related Link: Rhodes Memorial

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.

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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