South African Boer War Memorial
The South African Boer War began on October 11, 1899. A lack of cohesion on the part of the Boers and initiative among the imperial forces saw the conflict, which many British people believed would be over within a few weeks, become a stalemate and protracted into a period of almost three years.
At least 59 South Australians were killed in action. A further 16 died in connection with the war, while another four died in training or on their return. Captain Hubbe was killed on 12 September 1900.
Horses sent to South Africa fared badly. Conditions were harsh and they were given little or no opportunity to acclimatise. Many died in battle or of disease. Others succumbed to exhaustion and starvation. Horses that survived did not return home.
The life-size (3.4m high) bronze statue of the mounted Bushman was both carved and cast in England. Its energy and patriotic mien were noted even before it left for Adelaide on the liner Wakool in April 1904. A photograph of the statue greatly impressed King Edward. The Princess of Wales and several generals visited Jones’ studio to view the work.
The statue was erected in front of the main entrance to Government House on the corner of North Terrace and King William Street. It sits on a 3.7m high pedestal of Murray Bridge granite designed by Garlick, Sibley & Wooldridge and made by W Waylock of Adelaide.
In 2013, Council approved the South Australian Committee of the National Boer War Association’s proposal to install an audio unit collocated with the Boer War Memorial statue at the corner of North Terrace and King William Street. An interactive, stainless steel bollard (installed in 2014 by Council with Real Estate Institute of South Australia funding support) provides further historical information and soldiers’ narratives from the Boer War.
You can listen to the audio files below.
- The Memorial - Introduction by His Excellency Rear Admiral The Honourable Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, Governor of South Australia - listen now
- The Battles - Introduction by Brigadier Tim Hanna AM, State President of Return & Services League of Australia - listen now
- The Conditions - Introduction by Brigadier Robert Atkinson AM RFD, Royal Australian Army Medical Corps - listen now
- The Commemorations - Introduction by The Honourable Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC CVO MBE, the 33rd Governor of South Australia - listen now