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St Albans Anglican Church


UPDATED: 26/01/2024

26 January 1923, Two Kimberley chemists charged with selling opium over the counter.
26 January 1947, Tommy Eden beats Paddy Walker 21-17 in the GW Men’s Bowls singles final.


St Alban’s Anglican church on Takoon Square, De Beers suburb, was built on a section of the Old De Beers cemetery, Kimberley’s second oldest such burial ground. Dating from circa May 1871, the cemetery as such was filled with great rapidity and by the late 1870s had fallen into disrepair. The boundaries of the graveyard were originally walled and were in the approximate position of where the hedge is today.

In 1883 the Anglican community in the Gladstone/De Beers suburbs decided that church services should be held in the area rather than force the women and children to walk past inebriated townfolk when attending services in Jones Street (now Phakamile Mabija Street), where St Cyprians Church was then positioned. Services were held in the De Beers Mining Company offices (where the former Gladstone School is situated) until the church (known originally as the De Beers Church) was ready for services.

The foundation stone was laid by the Bishop, Dr Bruce Knight on 3 October 1886 and within four months the nave, baptistery, porch and belfry were completed at a cost of £1040. The architects, Stent and Hallach, designed the church. The vestry was added in 1888 at a cost of £200. The sanctuary, chancel and southern transept were added in 1913, the last alterations or additions made. Historical artifacts within the church are the main chalice and patten set (donated by General Sir Frederick Carrington), and two candlesticks in the side Chapel altar used during Cecil Rhodes’ funeral ceremony.


Rebel Generals Manie Maritz and Jan Kemp

26 January 1923, Two Kimberley chemists charged with selling opium over the counter.
26 January 1947, Tommy Eden beats Paddy Walker 21-17 in the GW Men’s Bowls singles final.

In January 1915 Rebel Generals Manie Maritz and Jan Kemp (both pictured) were still extremely active in the Northern Cape.

Maritz and his men, including German soldiers, had attacked and defeated a Government garrison at Lutzputz on 18 January 1915. He was on his way to attack Upington (on the orders of the Germans) and could not resist the temptation of Lutzputz. What this action at Lutzputz had done was a morale breaker for the rebels in that they learnt from newspapers in the camp that Beyers was dead, de Wet captured, and the rebellion all but over. In fact, Maritz had sent a message to Pretoria from Lutzputz asking for terms of surrender, but had still decided to attack Upington.

At Lutzputz, Trooper BH Mulder of the 8th Mounted Rifles was killed, while Captain DMO Bowker of the same unit was wounded. There were other casualties and prisoners but at this stage unknown. In his book, Gerald L’Ange states there were at least 14 wounded Union troops.

The German Officer Commanding SWA, von Heydebreck, originally wanted a combined German/Rebel force to attack Upington from opposite sides of the town, and thus take some pressure off from the Union force advancing inland in SWA along the railway line from Luderitzbuch (now Luderitz). Maritz, always keen for action, was not keen on the Germans accompanying his force, telling von Heydebreck that if Germans were involved the rebels might not get any support from sympathisers in South Africa – especially if the Germans were seen attacking a South African town. By the time this delayed battle for Upington eventually took place, von Heydebreck was dead, and Colonel Francke was in charge of the SWA German force.

In the end Maritz compromised – as he had to because he needed artillery – and accepted a battery of German guns (four Krupp 18 pounders), two Pom-Poms, and two machine guns to assist him, while at the same time as his planned attack on Upington would go in, a German force led by Major Ritter would attack Raman’s Drift and Steinkopf.

This story to conclude on 31 January.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt


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