The Cenotaph in Cape Town was erected in 1924, before World War Two, and was designed by Vernon March to commemorate the South African soldiers in World War One. The memorial is dedicated to soldiers shipped out towards fronts in the East African Campaign, on the Western front and for men in the air and on the seas. The fallen for World War Two, the remembrance for these men, and for the Korean War victims were added in due time.
There are two bronze soldiers on their own column in actions scenes next to the cenotaph. One depicts the Western Front and the other depicts the East African Campaign. The main statue, the Cenotaph, is 8 meters high and shows four battle scenes. One resembles an aircraft scene, one an artillery scene, there is a hospital scene and the last is the Battle of Delville Woods in France. Writings on the memorial are in African and in English. The design is similar to the Derry Diamond War Memorial in Ireland. The Derry memorial was designed by Vernon as well.
The Cape Town memorial in was moved three times over the cause of time when Cape Town needed more room during its growth, more room was needed for infrastructure. Originally the Cenotaph was erected at the bottom of Adderly Street. It was moved 8 meters, its own height, when Adderly Street was widened in 1959. The Memorial was moved again in 2013. It moved 300 meters this time towards its current location on the Heerengracht Street. It was moved to make room for the new bus station.
You can see the Memorial on the Heerengracht Street near building number 31 in Cape Town.
All photo’s are provided by Jennifer Ptashnik.