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Pictured is the memorial on Dutoitspan Road on the pavement between the Kimberley Club and St Mary's Cathedral. Note that the stone was placed in 2001 and at the time her name was unknown.

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY – 11 NOVEMBER

UPDATED: 11/11/2019
 
11 NOVEMBER 1888, De Beers Board passes resolution of Rhodes to build Kenilworth village for the white miners.
11 NOVEMBER 1899, First person, a black woman, killed by Boer shelling during the siege.
11 NOVEMBER 1918, Armistice Day.
11 NOVEMBER 1918, The schools re-open after being closed by the Spanish Flu epidemic.
11 NOVEMBER 1932, Boys High School War Memorial unveiled.
11 NOVEMBER 1936, Great Britain lose to SA Bowls side 114-110 at the Stadium green.
 

FIRST PERSON KILLED BY BOER SHELLFIRE

 

From 05h20 until 07h00 on the morning of 11 November 1899 three Boer Krupp 75mm guns positioned on Carter’s Ridge fired into besieged Kimberley, one of the approximately 200 shells killing a Black woman at 06h00 outside the entrance to the Kimberley Club.

 

The 40 year-old Sarah (no surname given), a Christian woman who resided in the Malay camp, had been walking with a companion either to or from her employer’s house where she was employed as the laundry maid. Her companion was untouched save for shock.

 

Her employer was Dr James Smith of 79 Dutoitspan Road.

 

Up until 5 March 2019, Sarah was “unknown” despite 30 years research by numerous persons. Thanks to Matthew Bode who found her Death Certificate we now know her Christian name, but sadly the certificate does not have her surname. She was buried later that day of the 11th November, probably in the Gladstone cemetery, but in a grave not marked by a headstone.

 

Three of the shells fired landed in the Kimberley Mine compound.

 

The Kimberley defenders retaliated by having a small reconnaissance of 421 men enter into a minor action with the Boers at Otto’s Kopje.

 

Sarah’s employer Dr James Smith DSO served with the Kimberley Regiment and was the Quartermaster Captain of the Kimberley Light Horse during the siege. He died of pneumonia in August 1901. One of his children, Constance, married Alpheus Williams, at the time the assistant General Manager of DBCM. Constance Hall is named after her.

 

(Pictured is the memorial on Dutoitspan Road on the pavement between the Kimberley Club and St Mary’s Cathedral. Note that the stone was placed in 2001 and at the time her name was unknown).

 

11 NOVEMBER 1888, De Beers Board passes resolution of Rhodes to build Kenilworth village for the white miners.
11 NOVEMBER 1899, First person, a black woman, killed by Boer shelling during the siege.
11 NOVEMBER 1918, Armistice Day.
11 NOVEMBER 1918, The schools re-open after being closed by the Spanish Flu epidemic.
11 NOVEMBER 1932, Boys High School War Memorial unveiled.
11 NOVEMBER 1936, Great Britain lose to SA Bowls side 114-110 at the Stadium green.

DID YOU KNOW

Historic Postcard Kenilworth Club KimberleyAnother pet project of Cecil Rhodes’ was the Kenilworth model village, a specially designed settlement for the white De Beers employees built some six kilometres north of Kimberley proper. Undoubtedly, it had been the success of curtailing the IDB problem with the implementation of the compounds that had made Rhodes think about a similar, although less draconian, ‘compound’ for the white miners.

On 2 September 1888 Rhodes had taken Sydney Stent the architect to the area and spoken to him of his idea, instructing him to prepare preliminary drawings. This was completed and the De Beers Board passed the plans for the village on 11 November 1888. Rhodes was intimately involved with all the planning and accompanied Stent on numerous occasions. He also planned a fruit orchard, which when completed, covered some 50 acres and consisted of 7000 to 8000 trees. South Africa’s first wild life nature reserve was at Kenilworth, and again, was an idea first mooted and then implemented by Rhodes. Sadly, he would never see the finished reserve which was opened shortly after the 1899-1902 conflict, and would last until its closure in 1925.

Calling Kenilworth “my hobby”, Rhodes always said that he had it built for the miners on the pretext that they were living in hovels in Kimberley, and paying exorbitant rents. The truth was that Illegal Diamond Buying (IDB) was rife, and he was actually trying to cut down on the activity by consolidating the miners into one village. A tram was introduced in February 1896 that made travel for the residents a lot simpler.

The establishment of the Kenilworth village only came about because of land purchases by the De Beers Company in 1887 when Rhodes had recommended that they buy up several farms north of Kimberley for “floors” purposes, namely area where the blue ground from the mines could weather. What was not utilised on the re-named Kenilworth Estate was used for cattle grazing, and then for Kenilworth village.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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