My dad was there every year with his campaign ribbons, Ethiopia, North Africa, (Egypt to Libya), and the his Italian ribbon, and all his medals (gongs he used call them). A bugler would play the Last post, one of the towns minister (usually the Anglican priest for some reason), Would deliver an eulogy, say a prayer, the old soldiers would come to rickety attention, salute the monument and would be dismissed.
I wonder how long their names will live?
All the names of the men who fell in Weenen county, which included Estcourt at that time. Weenen means place of weeping in Afrikaans and with very good reason too,
Many of theses surnames can still be found in the local telephone book. R.LI (Rhodesian light infantry), this guy obviously joined up in the then Rhodesia. 1st R.N.C, (Royal Natal Carbineers) S.A.A.F (South African Air Force) my dad was in the Air Force, 31st Heavy Bomber Sqn, that flew Liberator Bombers. S.A.E.C. (South African Engineering Corps). The Engineering Corps was renowned for there bridge building and bridge repair work. S.S.B, usually known as the One Special Service Battalion, (I did my first three months of infantry "basic" with 1 S.S.B).
One S.S.B. was founded in the 1920's it's purpose was criminal rehabilitation, if the judge/magistrate found you guilty of a crime obviously not murder or rape, you were sent to One S.S.B. During the war they always managed to let the enemy know that they were facing a bunch of hardened criminals, and they had a ferocious reputation as cold blooded killers among the enemy. Great psychological warfare. When I did my basic training with S.S.B (!966) it was no longer a dumping place for criminals, but the instructors still treated us if we were .
South Africans of all languages, creeds and colours, were always willing to volunteer, in great numbers, (to help the "auld" country) although most of them had no real connection with England.