Military History Tours On Tour - Boer War in South Africa 29 May 2016
A truly great day of touring.
At 0800 we headed out for the Peace Monument at Vereeniging. On the way we were able to inspect a blockhouse of the type used to trap the Boer forces in the latter part of the war.
The magnificent Peace Monument at Vereeniging commemorates the place where negotiations took place to end the conflict. ‘Tis a pity that the park around the monument is not as well maintained as it could be, and the fence has to be continually locked to ensure the monument is not vandalised.
Then to Vredefort where Neville Howse won the first Victoria Cross awarded to an Australian. We were able to view the hill where the incident took place. John explaining in detail what happened, and Pieter giving background on General De Wett, whose force the British were engaging when this NSW Medical Team member acted so bravely.
Before we left the vicinity of Vredefort, we visited the location where the meteor hit making the Vredefort Crater 300 million years ago. This event created the rugged terrain over which this engagement was fought. George, our local guide gave us the full story.
Lunch was eaten on the road; we needed to move fast in order to visit the high quality Klerksdorp Museum before it closed at 1600. The Museum is located in the old town jail, it has great exhibits covering local history and the Boer War.
With the sun low, we visited the Klerksdorp Boer War and Concentration Camp cemeteries. We found some Australian graves in the well maintained Boer War section. We were saddened to see the ages of children who died in the concentration camp, and whose names are recorded on the wall of remembrance. Sad too is the state of the Concentration Camp cemetery.
A short drive and we were at our hotel for another great evening meal in good company. Tomorrow we head for the National War Museum in Johannesburg.