OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 30, 2017.
Webpage updated: June 30, 2017

        

PLYMOUTH HOE

SOUTH AFRICAN or BOER WAR MEMORIAL

The South African or Boer War Memorial is located at the north-east corner of Plymouth Hoe, near the entrance to the Royal Citadel.  It is also known as the Prince Christian Victor Memorial.  The National Grid reference number is SX 479 540.

The South African Memorial stands high above Plymouth

 

It was a gift to the Town of Mr Alfred Mosely CMG, of London, was dedicated to HRH Prince Christian Victor, who served with distinction under General Sir Redvers Buller, and to the officers and men of the Devonshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire Regiments who laid down their lives in the South African War.

The obelisk is 43 feet in height and comprises a shaft of red granite mounted on a green base and with steps and pillars of grey Devonshire granite.   On each side is a bronze panel measuring 4 feet 6 inches by 3 feet 6 inches.

The South African Memorial on Plymouth Hoe

Lady Butler, wife of General Sir William Butler KCB, commander of the Western District, laid the foundation stone at Midday on Bank Holiday Monday August 4th 1902.  Also present were the Mayor and Mayoress of Plymouth, Mr & Mrs J A Bellamy; the Deputy-Mayor, Mr T Greek Wills; General Sir William Butler; Mrs, Mrs and Miss Mosely; Colonels Clarke, Johnson, Bunney, Richards, Exham and Marriott-Smith; Majors Cleave and Hickman; and numerous representatives of the Corporation.

The obelisk was designed by Mr Frederick W Marks ARIBA, of Staple Inn, London, and the granite was supplied by Messrs Fenning and Company, of London.  The contractor was Mr R T Hortop, of Mutley, Plymouth, and the memorial was erected under the supervision of the Borough Engineer and Surveyor.

At the request of HRH Princess Christian, the memorial was unveiled by Lady Audrey Buller, wife of Sir Redvers Buller, the first commander-in-chief of the War, at 4.30pm on Sunday August 8th 1903.

Four bronze panels adorn the base.  One, entitled "Towards Another World", was the work of Mr Emile Fuche MVO, and is dedicated especially to HRH Prince Christian Victor.  The remaining three panels were the work of Mr Onslow Whiting.  The one facing north shows the spirited charge of the Devonshire Regiment at Waggon Hill and is inscribed with the words: ~One point in our position was occupied by the enemy the whole day but at dusk in a very heavy rainstorm they were turned out of the position at the point of the bayonet in the most gallant manner by the Devon Regiment led by Colonel Park.  General White's despatch 7 January 1900.~

Another panel shows the Somerset and Gloucestershire Regiments in action; and the last panel carries the inscription: ~This obelisk is erected by Alfred Mosely to the memory of Christian Victor Prince of Schleswig-Holstein and to the officers, non-commissioned officer and men of the Gloucestershire, Somerset and Devonshire Regiments who fell during the Boer War, 1899-1902.  Onslow Whiting. November 1902.~

Mr Alfred Mosely was a merchant in South Africa but chose Plymouth as the location for the memorial because of family ties with Devon.  He had been responsible for setting up a field hospital at Natal during the campaign and it was there that Prince Christian Victor had died of injuries sustained during the War.