Military History Tours On Tour - Boer War in South Africa 31 May 2016
A great day of touring today.
We started out in the forecourt of Melrose House, where John H read messages from the Governor General and Chief of the Defence Force. This was followed by presentations to Ron and John L of their Boer War Descendant commemorative medals
We were then allowed entrance to the House. Melrose house was not to open, as a staff member had not turned up for work, out of kindness to long distance travellers, the staff who were there, let us in and gave us a guided tour. We were able to inspect the very room where 114 years ago the treaty that ended the Boer War was signed.
A short hop through Pretoria traffic landed us at the library that was the officers’ prison during the Boer War; the very prison Winston Churchill escaped from. There we were again given a guided tour and were able to inspect the map where wartime events were plotted.
After this we drove up to the Union Building where we took in the view of Pretoria and inspected the statues of Castor and Pollux and Nelson Mandela.
Lunchtime called. We drove to the Blue Crane Restaurant where we ate amongst the birdlife.
Moving on, we drove up to the Vortrekker Monument. From this vantage point, John H described the action where Ron’s uncle, Peter Clark won the DCM in September 1900.
This was followed by an inspection of the grand structure with Pieter explaining the significance of the marble frieze that tells the story of the trek and the significance of the architecture. A lift to the top gave us breathtaking views inside and outside the structure.
As the light was waning we visited one of the forts built to defend Pretoria that was never used.
Then to dinner and sleep; tomorrow, a long drive, Elands River, Zeerust and Mafikeng.