of the Walmer Cenotaph
all Walmer's war memorials, the Cenotaph set into the boundary wall of
the Town Hall is probably the best know. It was designed by W J
McWilliams, made by R Pennacchini of local stone and the bronze tablet
was cast by James Gardner. It was officially unveiled by the Earl of
Athlone on the 24th March 1925. Early in 2023 some
nefarious persons decided to steal the bronze plaques with the
names of the fallen and the bronze Springbok head from the Cenotaph,
causing damage in the process. See pictures for the before and
after of their visit.
April, the Port Elizabeth Branch has undertaken to facilitate/organise
the repairs to the Walmer War Memorial, which is used every year to
hold the Civic Remembrance Parade in respect of the fallen in all Wars.
We have liaised with the department of fine art at NMMU with regard the
Springbok head and with local stonemasons for the replacement of the
plaques. All will be manufactured in a material that is not so
attractive to “affirmative shoppers”!
On our part we are busy liaising with other Military Veteran
organisations to raise the necessary finance and at the time of writing
are waiting on a reply from the Metro with regards some financial
these villains started to dismantle the Main Cenotaph in Rink street.
As a result a group of architects removed all the remaining bronze
tablets and bronze
plaques and placed them in storage.
people cannot even look after their own memorials how can we expect
them to look after the Older Memorial?
The Prince Alfred’s Guard
Association secretary and SA Legion Port Elizabeth chair, Terry
Pattison, holds up a syringe used by vagrants to feed their drug habits
at the War Memorial in Walmer.
Vagrants are complicit in the
vandalism of the War Memorial in Eighth Avenue, Walmer, and adding to
its woes is the drug paraphernalia flooding the empty tomb honouring
the dead from World War 1.
Pattison recently found himself
ankle-deep in syringes at the site. He said squatters used discarded
needles to shoot up nyaope (street drugs). Nyaope. or whoonga, is a
popular cheap drug made by mixing low-grade heroin, antiretroviral
drugs and other bulking agents.
"I can't prove
I'm confident the vagrants know who's [stealing] because they’re there
all the time. They’re complicit. if not committing the crime
themselves,- Pattison said”. He said the presence of vagrants was of
"Often, they stash bits
of plastic, old blankets and other stuff around the War Memorial
memorial had all its
metal pieces stolen. including a venerated springbok head, in March.
Pattison said it was problematic getting rid of vagrants to preserve
what little sanctity was left. "We can't seem to keep them out”.- he
said. Initially, I tried to get an electrician to put the vagrants off
by floodlighting the place at night. But the electrical points were
vandalised till there was nothing left, not even switches. Vandals
destroyed everything, including the street lights."
An appeal for donations to assist with the
rhabilitation project was
launched. Donations have been received from: (as at 1/10/2023)
African Legion Port Elizabeth Branch (SAL);
Aloe White Ensign Shell Hole (MOTH);
Dogs of War Motor Cycle Club;
Evans & Sons Stone Masons;
Makanakop Shell Hole Grahamstown (MOTH);
Naval Officers Association of South Africa
(NOASA) PE Branch;
Port Elizabeth Historical Society;
South African Defence Force Association
South African Military History Society
Eastern Cape (SAMHSEC);
South African Sea Cadet Corps, TS Laherne;
The Walmer Renewal Project;
With grateful thanks.
Securtity lights working; vagrants moved on; gardening sorted out; new
flags and cordage; MISSION