No problem.... Until I was able to blow up the picture it was believed and sold to me as being the Pearce of the ILH.....
Glad that the Pearce medal (who's grave it is) is in good hands....
Thank god for a good camera, anyway the Pearce that I have is also buried in another part of Intombe.....
Brett Hendey wrote: Many thanks, Mike! I will add the pics to Pearce's file, which is otherwise very thin indeed. Like many of the other British soldiers represented in my collection he is unresearched.
Military Historical Society
I couldn't find Intombi Cemetery the first time I went looking for it. Even the lady at the Siege Museum looked blank when I asked her how to find it. With the help of a contemporary map I found it the second time and went back a couple more times after that.
I was sorry to hear it's no longer safe to visit but am pleased to have done so in safer times. I believe the individual grave markers were taken away for 'cemetery maintenance' some time in the late 60s or early 70s. When the time came to put them back, surprise surprise they'd all disappeared. The only individual graves that survived are the more substantial ones of some officers and colonial troops. There are a number of regimental memorials as well.
I took the photo below on a visit in 1998. There are 10 ILH gravestones which have been incorporated into a brick wall as a regimental memorial, presumably having been consolidated in their current location. I took the photo because I have the QSA clasps Elandslaagte & Defence of Ladysmith to 337 Tpr. W.G.B. Saunders who died of wounds received at Wagon Hill 6/1/1900. His grave is on the far left.
The naming on the graves has been reproduced in varying degrees of indistinctness but Brett will be interested in the one 4th from left which is that of Tpr. H.C. Gorton. Presumably the individual grave was erected later on the spot where he was buried.
Numbered from left to right those I can decipher are:
1. Tpr. W.G.B. Saunders DOW 10/1/1900
2. Tpr. W.P. Lawrence Died of enteric 4/12/1899
3.Tpr. J.C.Taylor Died of enteric 20/12/1899
4. Tpr. H,C, Gorton DOW 11/1/1900
6. Sgt. H.C. Benson DOW (sustained at Elandslaagte) 9/12/1899
8. Tpr. R.A. Foley Died of enteric 18/1/1900
Many thanks for the recent history of the Intombi cemetery, and for the photo showing the placement of Gorton's gravestone.
From time to time, I have come across mentions of the activities in the late 60's/early 70's that involved the 'renovation' of Boer War cemeteries and memorials. Some cemeteries were destroyed and replaced by a monument in a 'Garden of Remembrance', which is what happened at Estcourt. I have photographs of the Estcourt cemetery taken in the 1950's, when all the graves were marked with neatly named metal crosses. A new memorial with the names of all the men who had been buried in the cemetery was erected on high ground on the opposite side of the Bushman's River, and there is now no trace of the cemetery. The metal crosses were presumably recycled.
I wonder if this sort of thing happened in the other South African provinces, and if there is a published record of the 'renovation' programme?
I've also been to the memorial garden at Estcourt and was disappointed to find that everything had been consolidated into a single memorial. I have the QSA CC/TH/RL to 11060 Shoeing Smith A. Byford, 63rd Bty. RFA, who died of enteric 19/5/1900 and is on the memorial.
Most of my battlefield and cemetery visits have been in Natal but one major cemetery I've been to where no metal crosses remain is President Brand Cemetery in Bloemfontein. As with Intombi, the only graves there are the marble headstones of officers and some local troops plus regimental memorials and the main cemetery memorial.