Monday, January 23, 2012

Appeal for pre-1980 close-up photos of the South African War Memorial in Cannon Hill

I’m wondering if any residents have pre-1980 photographs of themselves standing next to the South African War memorial in Cannon Hill Park, showing the bronze corner pieces that were there until the 1980s. We are trying to get close-up photos of these bronze corner pieces so that we can reinstate replicas of them, as part of the restoration of this memorial.

Readers may be aware that work is about to commence work on restoring this 1906 South African War Memorial in Cannon Hill Park. More details can be seen at my blog entry on

As was mentioned in that blog entry, several bits of the memorial have been stolen by metal thieves. These were: the four eagles at the corners of the granite plinth; the olive branch held by the allegorical figure called Peace; the rifles and bayonets on the backs of the two solders.

For this restoration we will be making a replica of the olive branch. Subject to funding we would also like to make plastic copies, coated in bronze, of the other missing items.

Since my last blog entry, we have managed to find one of the two original bronze cast rifles. A member of the Parks Service saw the blog entry and had the item in their store room. The circumstances of how it got there we do not know. A photo of myself holding the bronze cast rifle is attached.


Also, a local resident has sent me a photo of themselves standing next to the monument in the 1970s. This is now the closest photograph we have of the bronze corner pieces that have gone missing – see attached photo. Previously, we assumed these corner figures were eagles, however from this photo they look more like a wreath with an S-shaped ribbon threaded through it.

If we can get some more similar photographs showing these corner pieces, from different angles, we’ll be able to make replicas.

So if you could check your old photo albums and spread the word to friends, this would be greatly appreciated.




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