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Boer War Memorial

From Historical Hastings
Sir Leslie Rundell inspecting the Royal Engineer Volunteers at Hastings Station

The Boer War Memorial on White Rock commemorates those who gave their lives during the South African War. Constructed of Peterhead granite, it stands 22 metres high and was erected at a cost of £322. The unveiling took place on the 6th of May, 1903 by General Sir H. M. Leslie Rundle K.C.B. K.C.M.G D.S.O - the day being declared as 'Peace Memorial Day' in front of a large crowd. The procession from Hastings Railway Station to the memorial had a minor hiccup in that the mounted police went off at a trot with the Yeomanry close behind, leaving a large gap before they were followed by tha carriage bearing the Mayor and the General. At the ceremony itself, the Corporation Band was present, performing from the nearby White Rock Bandstand. Following the unveiling the dignitaries retired to a luncheon at the Queens Hotel. During the meal, the bands of the 1st Sussex Royal Engineers, the 2nd Cinque Ports Royal Garrison Artillery, and the 1st Cinque Ports Rifle Volunteers played selections in front of the hotel, the music being audible through the windows[1]. The whole event was reported on by means of a four page supplement to the Hastings & St. Leonards Observer.

The moment of unveiling

The names of the fallen were incised and gilded, however when it became necessary to add some further names in September of that year (1903), it was found that the gilding did not stand up to the sea air, so all names were 'blacked in'[2]. It is sometimes referred to as 'the Obelisk', or the African War memorial.

The memorial was struck by lightning in October of 1974, although the main structure was undamaged other than evidence of the charge 'tracking' down the south west side, the finial required replacement.

During 1925, to permit a crane to work on repairs to the Pier, the memorial was enclosed by a hoarding from December of that year to March of the following year - an event which attracted much comment in the press[3]. In addition, the memorial was moved approximately 150 feet to the east in 1926.

Names of the Fallen

H.M.S.Powerful — Leading-Seaman William Tribe.

H.M.S. Terrible — A.B. Seaman Geo. Alfred Thomas.

Royal Horse Guards — Trooper Robert Charles Knowles.

2nd Dragoons — Trooper William Ross.

3rd Hussars — Trooper Edward Jones.

9th Lancers — Trooper Chas, Bertram Board.

11th Hussars — Trooper Fredk. G. Foster.

12th Lancers — Trooper Albert Edward Tomlin.

14th Hussars — Trooper Ernest Catt.

17th Lancers — Trooper James Burton.

Imperial Yeomanry — Lieut. Arthur Phillips, Corporal Walter John Hopkins, Trooper Donald Harry Campbell, Trooper William Gooliff, Trooper Albert George King, Trooper William Alfred Dixon Laskie, Trooper James Edward Harman.

Prince of Wales’s Light Horse — Trooper Thomas Hamilton.

Scots Guards — Private John Robert Housden Christian.

Royal Garrison Artillery — Gunner Leonard Fellows.

Royal Engineers — Sapper W. Francis.

The Buffs — Signaller Fred Wills, Private J. Horace Dawson.

The Northumberland Fusiliers — Lance Corporal Edward Charles King.

The Royal Sussex Regiment — Lance-Corpl. John Streeter, Private Charles Herbert Creasy, Private Harry Dunn, Private John Luck, Private Elkana Russell, Private George Tomlin, Private Thomas Herbert Beeney, Private Frederick James Hilder, and Private W. A. Veness.

The Royal Sussex Regiment (Volunteer Companies) — Private George Ernest Cheal, Private Spencer Herbert Draper, Private James Martin, Private Albert Mitchell, Bugler Thomas Pattenden, Private William Wilkins, Private Walter Charles Wood.

The Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) — Pioneer-Sergt. Willis Burgess.

The Northampton Regiment — Private Arthur W. Walter.

King’s Royal Rifles — Private James Wm. Beeney.

Royal Field Artillery — Gunner N. Upton.

Seaforth Highlanders — Private Albert Frank Vidler.

South African Constabulary — Trooper Alfred Richard Jardine, Trooper Edward C. Wilcox.


References & Notes