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Pierre_Henri

Anyone interested in Boer War Stuff ...?

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lilythepink

Amazing reading and what generosity on the part of your group!

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Pierre_Henri
Amazing reading and what generosity on the part of your group!

 

 

Thank you Lily

 

For those interested, here is the whole week's metal detecting trip in picture postings...

Anglo Boer War Hunt : Tugela River 2012 : Day 1 and 2

International Metal Detecting Group : Anglo Boer War Hunt : Tugela River 2012 : Day 1 and 2

Anglo Boer War Hunt : British Camp at Harrismith : Day 3 and 4 : Part 1

International Metal Detecting Group : Anglo Boer War Hunt : British Camp at Harrismith : Day 3 and 4 : Part 1

Anglo Boer War Hunt: Day 3 & 4 continued: Dave’s amazing Cartridge Hoard

International Metal Detecting Group : Anglo Boer War Hunt: Day 3 & 4 continued: Dave’s amazing Cartridge Hoard

Anglo Boer War Hunt 2012 : Day 5 & 6 : The Merry Mud Men

International Metal Detecting Group : Anglo Boer War Hunt 2012 : Day 5 & 6 : The Merry Mud Men

Anglo-Boer War Hunt 2012 : The Prize Giving Ceremony

International Metal Detecting Group : Anglo-Boer War Hunt 2012 : The Prize Giving Ceremony

 

Regards

 

Pierre

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Pierre_Henri

Time Marches On ...

 

The pictures of our previous trip are now obviously deleted on PhotoBucket after a year has passed, but believe it or not: It is that time again that our group of international metal detectorists is going on our annual Anglo-Boer War detecting trip again.

 

On coming Monday we ready to roll and the excitement and anticipation is killing me!

 

All our finds are going to the Boer War museum in the Eastern Cape and nothing will be sold. Everyone in the group agreed to that. We are saving history - not exploiting it for financial or whatever other reasons.

 

This year will be a truly international group from South Africa, Ireland, England, and Canada - but unfortunately, a few foreigners from Gauteng are also coming with ....

 

I will do a day-by-day picture post on our return middle September on the International Metal Detecting Forum (as last year) and post the link here.

 

Wish us luck!

 

Pierre

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Guest Guest

Take only photos and memories.... what price history?

 

In 2006 when I first visited Spioenkop I was told by the man managing a small resort in the shadows of the historic mountain that a group of six British tourists had spent a happy week with their metal detectors spending all daylight hours on the mountain searching for Boer War artifacts. Apparently they left with a boot full of trophies that they said would finance their S African holiday. As a historian I was horrified that such historic sites were falling victim to unsupervised holders of metal detectors.

 

There are two clearly marked mass graves on the top of Spioenkop - one with the bodies of several hundred British soldiers buried soon after the battle.

 

http://www.griquas.com/2006/9Sep/261.jpg

and

http://www.griquas.com/2006/9Sep/247.jpg

 

When I was there in 2006 there was clear evidence of digging on the battlefield site - apparently by people with metal detectors (probably the British group). Back then there were still quite a few day visitors to the historic Boer war site while I was there so the large and prominent graves were left largely untouched. The road to Spioenkop was still quite good and the road signed.

 

Here's a quote from the link above.... I visited Spioenkop at about midday. Access was just ZAR15 - excellent value. I received an informative brochure when entering and after climbing a steep road arrived at the crest where so much death and destruction took place on 23-24 January 1900. My guide informed me that a group of six British guests staying at the Tugela River Lodge had come with metal detectors and left laden with gun shells and personal stuff like coins... sickening. I just took my cameras and spent a couple of very happy hours there. The lay out at the top is excellent and I had no problem following what had happened.

 

Things were very different in 2011 - when I went to Spioenkop on a fine Sunday my wife and I were the ONLY people there the whole time I was there (over an hour). This was a lovely sunny Sunday late morning/early afternoon.

 

The reasons were quite simple - the road to Spioenkop is now unsigned/unmarked (this was the only sign on the dirt road in 2011) - you take an old farm road which is fine until you get close to the historic site. Here the road was almost impassable by a normal car - probably is now; it is only after you make the final climb to the site that the road is sealed and quite good.

 

Once on the historic hill I encountered several bulls that now have free reign to graze over the historic site. Not a place you would take a family for an afternoon. I also discovered that since my 2006 visit a large amount of the steel cable used to guide visitors to key points on Spioenkop had been stolen, taken, removed.. whatever you like to call it. Here's a photo.....

 

I have absolutely no doubt that 99% of metal detector enthusiasts would respect the dead but it is the 1% of people who will rob and steal graves which are so prominently displayed at Spioenkop which concerns me as a historian. (They are more than likely not people with metal detectors as you don't need one). This old sign at Spioenkop is apparently never enforced.

 

If this grave robbing for artifacts has not happened yet it is only a matter of time before someone does so seeing that this and many other important Boer Was historic sites have become so open to abuse - if highly visible steel cable has been stolen from the top of Spioenkop then one wonders about what is going on in the mass grave sites.

 

Pierre says:

All our finds are going to the Boer War museum in the Eastern Cape and nothing will be sold. Everyone in the group agreed to that. We are saving history - not exploiting it for financial or whatever other reasons.

 

Pierre I applaud the decision of your group and I have absolutely no doubt that your party stay off the historic part of the battle field and would never dig up the long graves which are so exposed and open to being abused - my post is not to point fingers but simply to air my concerns (once again) about how S Africa is forgetting its historic roots - regardless of how morally good or bad they were they REMAIN history. Sites like Spioenkop remain an integral part of South Africa's history but are neglected, forgotten and discarded while the new Emperors (like Zuma) build multi-million dollar fortresses in their own remote villages simply to serve their own egos.

 

And, if anything, the Boer War epitomises how a stronger nation (Britain) attacked the Afrikaner states over the gold fields in the Witwatersrand. A very important lesson that is being replayed right now in the Middle East because of oil and gas.

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Pierre_Henri
In 2006 when I first visited Spioenkop I was told by the man managing a small resort in the shadows of the historic mountain that a group of six British tourists had spent a happy week with their metal detectors spending all daylight hours on the mountain searching for Boer War artifacts. Apparently they left with a boot full of trophies that they said would finance their S African holiday. As a historian I was horrified that such historic sites were falling victim to unsupervised holders of metal detectors.

 

There are two clearly marked mass graves on the top of Spioenkop - one with the bodies of several hundred British soldiers buried soon after the battle.

 

http://www.griquas.com/2006/9Sep/261.jpg

and

http://www.griquas.com/2006/9Sep/247.jpg

 

When I was there in 2006 there was clear evidence of digging on the battlefield site - apparently by people with metal detectors (probably the British group). Back then there were still quite a few day visitors to the historic Boer war site while I was there so the large and prominent graves were left largely untouched. The road to Spioenkop was still quite good and the road signed.

 

Here's a quote from the link above.... I visited Spioenkop at about midday. Access was just ZAR15 - excellent value. I received an informative brochure when entering and after climbing a steep road arrived at the crest where so much death and destruction took place on 23-24 January 1900. My guide informed me that a group of six British guests staying at the Tugela River Lodge had come with metal detectors and left laden with gun shells and personal stuff like coins... sickening. I just took my cameras and spent a couple of very happy hours there. The lay out at the top is excellent and I had no problem following what had happened.

 

Things were very different in 2011 - when I went to Spioenkop on a fine Sunday my wife and I were the ONLY people there the whole time I was there (over an hour). This was a lovely sunny Sunday late morning/early afternoon.

 

The reasons were quite simple - the road to Spioenkop is now unsigned/unmarked (this was the only sign on the dirt road in 2011) - you take an old farm road which is fine until you get close to the historic site. Here the road was almost impassable by a normal car - probably is now; it is only after you make the final climb to the site that the road is sealed and quite good.

 

Once on the historic hill I encountered several bulls that now have free reign to graze over the historic site. Not a place you would take a family for an afternoon. I also discovered that since my 2006 visit a large amount of the steel cable used to guide visitors to key points on Spioenkop had been stolen, taken, removed.. whatever you like to call it. Here's a photo.....

 

I have absolutely no doubt that 99% of metal detector enthusiasts would respect the dead but it is the 1% of people who will rob and steal graves which are so prominently displayed at Spioenkop which concerns me as a historian. (They are more than likely not people with metal detectors as you don't need one). This old sign at Spioenkop is apparently never enforced.

 

If this grave robbing for artifacts has not happened yet it is only a matter of time before someone does so seeing that this and many other important Boer Was historic sites have become so open to abuse - if highly visible steel cable has been stolen from the top of Spioenkop then one wonders about what is going on in the mass grave sites.

 

Pierre says:

All our finds are going to the Boer War museum in the Eastern Cape and nothing will be sold. Everyone in the group agreed to that. We are saving history - not exploiting it for financial or whatever other reasons.

 

Pierre I applaud the decision of your group and I have absolutely no doubt that your party stay off the historic part of the battle field and would never dig up the long graves which are so exposed and open to being abused - my post is not to point fingers but simply to air my concerns (once again) about how S Africa is forgetting its historic roots - regardless of how morally good or bad they were they REMAIN history. Sites like Spioenkop remain an integral part of South Africa's history but are neglected, forgotten and discarded while the new Emperors (like Zuma) build multi-million dollar fortresses in their own remote villages simply to serve their own egos.

 

And, if anything, the Boer War epitomises how a stronger nation (Britain) attacked the Afrikaner states over the gold fields in the Witwatersrand. A very important lesson that is being replayed right now in the Middle East because of oil and gas.

 

Scott Balson

 

100% - no problems

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Cold Sea

I've had the privilege to meet and detect with Lukas and Pierre. Here is a link to Lukas' work - Lukas van der Merwe | zamazamamovie.com.

 

The post about grave robbers is totally out of line here. I wish Pierre and the party happy swinging and keep on discovering. Wish I was there.

Edited by Cold Sea

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Lukas

 

Hello Cold Sea

 

Your link above includes the following quote from Lukas....

 

In my years of service in the mines employ one of my team leaders fell in to an ore conveyor shaft in the Madala side of the mine. Whilst he lay and we were waiting for a rescue pan to come and collect him, we spoke about the horrendous conditions underground for miners, as a result and as it so happened unfortunately he passed away. Right at that moment I decided that one day I would make a film that would show the public out there what it was like for people underground.

 

In 1980 I was fortunate to be able to sell 30 kilos of pre-1965 silver coin (acquired while I worked for Barclays Bank) for a small fortune at that time - about R10,000.

 

I put the money into a 50 acre farm near Champagne Castle.

 

I started building a Protea farm there and had dreams of having my own old S African token coins that visitors would exchange and use while on the property. The property would include a tea house which had amazing views of Champagne Castle...

 

One day while working on my land an old Sothu named (ironically) Lukas walked along my boundary and called out to me. He was in his 60s and told me a sad tale - he had spent 40 years working for De Beers. Months before he had suffered a major back injury as a result of a cave in deep underground while working in the mine. De Beers had no interest in a miner (despite his 40 years with the company) who could no longer do their menial work for them so he was fired with no superannuation and no payout.

 

As he could no longer support his family he was sent packing and when he passed my farm was looking for a place to call home.

 

Lukas became my foreman on my farm in the Drakensberg, enjoying a short retirement in relative peace before dying of a heart attack. He had a small kraal on my farm, his chickens, freedom and a small income from me for caretaking my property; he often joined me on weekends with a bbq on a 44 gallon drum cut in half. We talked about many things. I believe that he died in peace but I could never forgive a company like De Beers that simply turned their backs on a man who had been a loyal employee for over forty years.

 

If you had my book "Children of the Mist" you will note that the old Griqua who plays a major role in the books is "Lucas".

 

This is not coincidental.

 

Finally, I note that Pierre-Henry in his response post above has no issues with my post regarding Spioenkop and cannot understand why you do.

 

Scott Balson

Edited by ndoa18

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Pierre_Henri

2013 Metal Detecting Anglo-Boer War Detecting Trip

 

We had an uber cool trip this year - and as always, all finds were donated to museums.

 

We were accompanied by the South African Police and members of local historical societies.

 

Please see the following day-by-day posts I made on the International Metal Detecting Forum ...

First day of the Boer War Hunt – Norvalspond : The old river crossing over the Orange River

 

Boer War Hunt : Day 2 : McCrakens Hill and Kloof Camp

 

Boer War Hunt : Day 3 : Springfontein

 

Boer War Hunt : Day 4 : The British Camp at Slingersfontein

 

Boer War Hunt : Day 5 : A Freezing but Fabulous Day at Naauwpoort : Part 1 : Old Historical Pictures

 

Boer War Hunt : Day 5 : A Freezing but Fabulous Day at Naauwpoort : Part 2 : Our Actual Hunt

Boer War Hunt : Day 6 and 7 : Deelfontein Imperial Yeomanry Hospital and Camp

 

2013 Karoo Anglo Boer War Relic Hunt : The Final Prize Giving and Thank You

 

Regards

Pierre

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