Pop­py Day pa­ra­de

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - Voorblad -

He­ri­ta­ge Mos­sel Bay would li­ke to find out mo­re a­bout the sol­diers and their fa­mi­lies w­ho­se na­mes form part of the War Me­mo­ri­al at the Point.

"We would ap­pre­ci­a­te, al­so, any in­for­ma­ti­on on tho­se kno­wn to ha­ve died in the war but who are not lis­ted, and any who foug­ht in the war and sur­vi­ved.

"It is ho­ped that in­for­ma­ti­on bo­ards will be e­rected ne­ar the me­mo­ri­al, tel­ling their sto­ries," the chair of the He­ri­ta­ge Mos­sel Bay, Ca­ri­na Wig­gill said.

T­his wee­kend, on Sun­day, 11 No­vem­ber the 100th an­ni­ver­s­a­ry of the end of Wor­ld War I will be com­me­mo­ra­ted and the­re will be a spe­ci­al ce­re­mo­ny to mark the oc­ca­si­on at the War Me­mo­ri­al at the Point at 10:30 at an­nu­al Re­mem­bran­ce Sun­day Ser­vi­ce le­ad by the MOTHS.

In­vi­ta­ti­on

He­ri­ta­ge Mos­sel Bay would li­ke to en­coura­ge a­nyo­ne who can to at­tend and pay their re­spects, not on­ly to tho­se w­ho­se na­mes are re­cor­ded on the me­mo­ri­al but to all of the 350-plus young pe­op­le of the town who put their li­ves on hold be­t­ween 1914 and 1918 to go and fig­ht for our free­dom, tho­se who sur­vi­ved, and tho­se who died.

T­his is con­si­de­red to be the hig­hest in South A­fri­ca w­hen me­a­su­red as a pro­por­ti­on of the town’s to­tal po­pu­la­ti­on.

Des­cri­bed as one of the de­fi­ning e­vents of the 20th Cen­tu­ry, “The G­re­at War” star­ted in Au­gust of 1914. Mil­li­ons of de­at­hs occur­red be­fo­re the Ar­mis­ti­ce of 11 No­vem­ber 1918.

Af­ter the war, the re­si­dents of Mos­sel Bay we­re anx­i­ous that a worthy me­mo­ri­al should be e­rected.

At a pu­blic meet­ing held 9 May 1919 a War Me­mo­ri­al Com­mit­tee was for­med. At its meet­ing of 14 De­cem­ber 1922, the Town Coun­cil agreed that a 260 x 160 ft (79 x 49 m) of the "Vin­t­cent land" at The Point be set a­si­de for the pro­po­sed Me­mo­ri­al. The si­te se­lected was a­round the rock out­crop kno­wn as Frog Rock, which do­mi­na­ted the pu­blic re­cre­a­ti­on ground, that o­ver­look­ed The Poort.

Ne­ver in shadow

The cross shape of the me­mo­ri­al is so ar­ran­ged that lig­ht il­lu­mi­na­tes the na­mes of the fal­len from sun­ri­se to sunset and the na­mes are ne­ver in shadow. The na­mes of 21 of tho­se who did not re­turn, are in­scri­bed on a pa­nel sur­roun­ding the Mos­sel Bay Co­at of Arms (the town’s mot­to is ap­pro­pri­a­te­ly, “By Rig­ht and Jus­ti­ce we P­re­vail”) sur­moun­ted by the sim­ple in­scrip­ti­on, “Our Gal­lant De­ad”.

A li­ne dra­wn from the mo­nu­ment through the en­tran­ce ga­te­way links Mos­sel Bay to Del­vil­le Wood.

Del­vil­le Wood (kno­wn to the sol­diers as De­vil’s Wood) is re­mem­be­red as an ex­am­ple of su­pre­me sa­cri­fi­ce and was the most cos­t­ly acti­on the South A­fri­can B­ri­ga­de foug­ht on the We­stern Front.

On a mo­saic map of A­fri­ca and a por­ti­on of Eu­ro­pe a thin red li­ne marks the path from birth to de­ath of the sol­diers w­ho­se me­mo­ry is per­pe­tu­a­ted.

From the cen­t­re of the en­clo­sed spa­ce, a rim of sea ho­ri­zon can be seen at e­very point ex­cept w­he­re hid­den by the me­mo­ri­al it­self.

Lo­cal in con­cept

The me­mo­ri­al is lo­cal in con­cept and con­structi­on. The ar­chi­tect, Wil­li­am John Del­brid­ge, ARIBA, FCPIA, ISAA, was born in Mos­sel Bay in 1878.

The sto­ne ca­me from the ne­ar­by quar­ry and was wor­ked on the si­te. The buil­ders we­re Messrs Coe & Bol­ton, of Mos­sel Bay, ackno­w­led­ged for their ex­cel­lent work­mans­hip un­der the le­a­ders­hip of fo­re­man Mr Do­nald.

On­ly the mo­sai­cs by Messrs M­cKil­lop of Ca­pe Town we­re sour­ced out­si­de the town.

The to­tal cost of buil­ding the me­mo­ri­al was £2 000.

On com­ple­ti­on, the me­mo­ri­al was des­cri­bed as “a thing of rug­ged beau­ty and in­ten­se men­tal de­lig­ht” and as “one of the most re­mar­ka­ble and beau­ti­ful me­mo­ri­als of the G­re­at War". - Mr H J Bro­wn­lee, A.R.I.BA. ar­chi­tect, buil­der and en­gi­neer, Oc­to­ber 1924.

A li­ne dra­wn from the mo­nu­ment through the en­tran­ce ga­te­way links Mos­sel Bay to Del­vil­le Wood.

On a mo­saic map of A­fri­ca and a por­ti­on of Eu­ro­pe a thin red li­ne marks the path from birth to de­ath of the sol­diers. From the cen­t­re of the en­clo­sed spa­ce, a rim of sea ho­ri­zon can be seen at e­very point ex­cept w­he­re hid­den by the me­mo­ri­al it­self.

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