Military History Tours On Tour - Boer War 112th Anniversary Tour to South Africa 1 June 2014
Another great day of touring.
In the bus at 08:00, we headed west toward Swartruggens and the Elands River battle site. Sadly the garden of rest that was painstakingly established a few short years ago is now no longer maintained, and the metal plaques have been stolen. Nonetheless we took a full working tour of the site, albeit picking-up the odd cobbler’s peg in the overgrown grass.. The logistic and tactical significance of the site was discussed, as was the conduct of the battle. Rob Foulds did us proud by strategically placing some flags. We ended our time with these lost Australians by saying the ode and ode and observing a short silence.
On to Wimpey coffee and a boxed lunch at Zeerust then an explanation of what happened at the Mafikeng siege in readiness for our arrival at the Mafikeng Museum. Sadly the museum was closed for renovations. Much needed, on our last visit it was in sore need of repair. Hopefully the work will bring it up to the standard of the other museums we have encountered on this visit. For us, we had to be content with a peep through the fence at the exterior.
At Mafeking cemetery we found a number of Australian graves, some dating from the time of the siege, others were later.
Another Wimpey coffee this time paid for by the tour leader to in part compensate for the Museum closure. Then to our hotel. A long drive tomorrow, we will be heading south to Kimberley and visiting the site of the battle of Paardeberg.