Click on the map below to find out the details in your location. If your town is included, an activity is planned or has concluded. If you are planning an activity, or you have a report on a completed activity and it is not yet on the list, email us with the details so they can be published.
The 31st May is the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging that ended the South African War in 1902. Boer War Day itself is held on the Sunday before 31st May or near thereto to enable working people to attend.
Some cities and towns may choose celebrate Boer War Day on another day near 31st May to suit their circumstances.
CLICK HERE to download a message from His Excellency the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia to be read at Boer War Day Ceremonies in 2016.
CLICK HERE to download a message from the Chief of the Australian Defence Force to be read at Boer War Day Ceremonies in 2016.
The Adelaide annual Boer War Day Commemorative Service will be held on Sunday, 29 May 2016 at 1100 at our heritage listed Boer War monument on North Terrace in the city. The commemoration will include:
Invitations will be posted or emailed to all our Descendants and Friends immediately after Anzac Day.
CLICK HERE to download invitation.
The Albany RSL Sub-branch will be conducting their inaugural Boer War Day Memorial Service at Albany, details are as follows:
Should you require any further information contact Laurie Fraser OAM MBE, EMAIL or 0400 446 954 or Albany RSL Sub-branch, PO Box 241, Albany WA 6331.
On the fine, typically sunny Queensland morning of Tuesday 31st May, the Brisbane Boer War Day commemoration service was held in Anzac Square in the heart of the CBD.
Some 80 supporters attended, guest of honour Major General Iain Spence CSC RFD gave the keynote address. Qld BWM Assoc Chairman, LTCOL Ron McElwaine OAM RFD ED (Rtd), presented a genuine Boer War bayonet to the Light Horse Museum, which was accepted on behalf of the commanding office by Major Andrew Basingthwaight, OC A Sqn 2/14 LH (QMI). Our Queensland Padre, Father Geoff Reeder, himself a Boer War descendant, led us in prayers and Miss Mabel McCormack from Aspley State High School sang the National Anthem.
The Queensland Boer War Memorial Assoc. Committee express their thanks to all who attended and are especially grateful to the members of the 2/14 Light Horse (QMI) regiment, and the 2/14 LH (QMI) Historic Mounted Troop, who continue to provide wonderful uniformed support.
On Saturday, 28 May 2016 at 02.00 PM, the Reverend Paul Black and the ACT NBWM Committee conducted the fifth annual commemorative service at Saint John the Baptist Anglican Church, Reid that is located directly behind the NBWM site on ANZAC Parade.
This service is to pay tribute to all Boer War Veterans who served in the conflict to express "Praising what is lost - makes the remembrance dear". It is also to remember two local volunteers commemorated at the church - Sergeant William Bradshaw Galliard Smith of the 2nd Scottish Horse who was the second son of the Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith MA, Minister of St John the Baptist’s Church for thirty – one years. He was killed heroically at the Battle of Brakenlaagte on 30 October 1901 and Private William Frederik Young of the 1st Australian Horse who died of disease at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney. After being wounded in South Africa he then contracted enteric fever.
Mr. Nigel Webster, Chairman of the ACT Branch of the NBWM Association was the Master of Ceremonies, gave a welcome address to those present, and an overview of the hard campaigning that was the Australian soldier’s lot in the South African War. The Reverend Paul Black conducted a moving service and the principal military guest was Major General Iain Spence CSC, RFD.
Dr Joseph Johnson CSC, LLM, PHD, LMusical (Hons), FRGS, FSA Scot, FASC - Chairperson of the Reserve Forces Day Council of the Australian Capital Territory, attended the service. He read with panache the Boer War Day 2016 Message from His Excellency General Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC (Retired) Governor – General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Lieutenant William Kerr, B Squadron, 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers read the Boer war Day Message 2016 from Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, Chief of the Defence Force. Mr Peter Eveille, President of the ACT Branch Returned and Services League of Australia, read the Ode of Remembrance.
Ms Gai Brodtmann MP, Member for Canberra gave a moving commemorative address that focused on local service in the South African War and later laid flowers on the grave of Private William Frederik Young. Troopers Marcus Cameron and Michael Eland of B Squadron acted as Lance Guards in the church and at the graveside of Private William Frederik Young.
Mr Phillip Chalker, President of the Australian Light Horse Association attended mounted and in period uniform, greeting those attending at the entrance to the church, which provided excellent period atmosphere. He also read the bible reading chosen for the service from Ecclesiastics 3.
During the Service and at the graveside Sgt Jim Davey, 4th Squadron, the 5th Engineer Regiment played the bagpipes and the traditional Boer tune ‘Sarie Marais” was played at the church and also the haunting music of a Scottish lament at the graveside.
Representatives of the South African Military Veterans of Australia (SAMVOA) ACT Branch attended and were most welcome. Mr C. Lindesay of SAMVOA read the 139th Psalm during the service.
Floral tributes and wreaths were laid on the altar of the church and on the grave of Private William Frederik Young in the churchyard. An informal and enjoyable afternoon tea was held at the Parish meeting room after the service which produced many interesting anecdotes about the service of ancestors by the descendents present.
An increased number of descendants attended this year including Mrs Adrienne Bradley, a direct descendant of Sergeant William Bradshaw Galliard Smith and Mrs Betsey Boundy, the daughter of Sergeant Henry Clifton Prosser, Fourth South Australian Imperial Bushmen was present and who is a parishioner of Saint John the Baptist Anglican Church. Mrs Trish Barnes also attended being the descendent of Trooper Ashley Whitney of the then New South Wales Lancers (later WO1 of the Royal New South Wales Lancers and Guidon bearer at the opening of Frderal Parliament, Canberra).
Please mouse over images below for captions.
Clarence Town ANZAC Committee held our Boer War Service on Sunday 29 May 2016.
Our Padre Gordon Ewin led the service, with wreaths being laid by Col Medcalf and Tom Banister (on behalf of Dungog RSL).
It was perfect weather to hold a lovely Service for our Heroes.
Hobart's celebration of the Boer War Commemorative Day for 2016 was held at Mawson's Place Waterside Pavilion on Sunday June 5th. Initial plans were to hold the ceremonies at the Boer War Memorial in Hobart but was moved to the alternate, indoor venue because of bad weather.
Clarence City Band began to play airs about 11:50 as Australian Army Cadets, Militaria Collectors of Tasmania; Tasmania Rifle Regiment detachments; Tasmanian Volunteer Rifle Regiment; and Southern Volunteer Artillery Service arrived. The Australian Light Horse would also have been in attendance if not for the indoor venue.
The Commemoration officially started at 12:00 when Retired Lieutenant Colonel Chad Sutton Master of Ceremonies read the welcomes. Organiser Reg Watson then read an opening address, followed by Colonel. Michael Romalis who read the Soldier's Prayer, then Chad Sutton's reading of the Lord's Prayer.
Mr Peter Frethey played The Lone Piper on bagpipes as a number of wreathes were laid.
The Militaria Collectors of Tasmania would have then given a salute fire if the venue were outdoors.
Bugler Mr Geoff Downs played the Last Post before two minutes of silence, followed by the playing of Reveille. Chad Sutton then lead the crowd in the words of remembrance, “Lest We Forget.” afterwhich Clarence City Band played God Save the Queen, followed by Australian National Anthem, and then F. A. Packer's Tasmanian National Anthem.
The Australian Army Cadets then gave Honour Guard Dismounts before Reg Watson gave a Vote of Thanks, closing the ceremony.
In spite of the bad weather and change of venue, a marvelous job was done by all involved, as the event went well, and a good number of people were in attendance. The attraction pulled in passersby who found an interest in the array of Australian and Tasmanian military uniforms which spanned more a hundred years, from the Tasmanian Volunteer Artillery serviceman who represented soldier who served in the Boer War before Federation, those in Australian military uniform serving in the war after Federation
Launceston Boer War Day Commemoration will be held on Sunday 19 June 2016 at 1200. Boer War Memorial, City Park, Launceston.
Maitland RSL Boer War and Sandakan Memorial services will be help on Tuesday 31 May 2016 in Maitland Park
The Boer War Memorial service will commence at 1000, at the conclusion of the service there will be a refreshment break from 1030 to 1100.
The Sandakan Memorial service will commence at 1100.
CLICK HERE to download the programme.
The RSL Mosman Sub Branch and the Mosman Municipal Council held the 6th Boer War Day Commemoration service at the Cenotaph, beside Allan Border Oval, Mosman. Fortunately the rain held off until after the ceremony.
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Reid (Retd), Vice President of the Sub Branch was the Master of Ceremonies and also read the Messages from the Governor General and the Chief of the Defence Force.
Captain Duncan Spencer (Retd), a descendant, read the Craig Wilcox address, Lest we forget the Boer War as a Prologue to the ceremony.
Rev Dr Max Wood, Rector of St Luke’s, Mosman led the prayers and gave the Benediction.
Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Barnett (Retd) gave the Commemorative Address in which he gave a succinct summary of the background to the war and the war itself. He stressed the importance of the war in developing our own military structure as we came into nationhood and into World War I.
Mrs Vivien Bowman, a descendant, read the poem Lichtenberg by Rudyard Kipling.
Cr Carolyn Corrigan, Deputy Mayor MMC recited the Commemoration of the Fallen. The Act of Remembrance included the Laying of Wreaths, the Ode and Last Post and the Nation Anthem.
Lieutenant Colonel Tony Larnach-Jones (Retd) the Secretary and Public Officer of the National Boer War Memorial Association Inc. gave the Closing Remarks. He covered the recent history of Boer War Day in Mosman and the support given by the Mosman Municipal Council and the RSL Sub Branch. He stressed the need to keep Boer War Day going throughout Australia after the new National Memorial is completed. He presented an update on the development of the Memorial and the requirement for further funds beyond the $3.9M raised so far. No donations have been received from the NSW Government so far. The additional funds will depend on changes sought by the National Capital Authority. The Dedication date looks like being on Boer War Day 2017, Wednesday, 31 May.
On Sunday 29 May, the Nowra RSL Sub-Branch conducted their annual Boer War Service. The service was held at the Boer War Memorial in Rauch Park Nowra, and was attended by 50 people including local politicians and Commanding Officers from the local bases. The address was given by Captain Simon Bateman R.A.N. Commanding Officer of the RANAS Albatross. It was lovely to see so many people turn out in the lovely weather (for a change) for the 1600 service.
Photos show: Peter Williams, bugler next to the Memorial; Captain Simon Bateman, Fred Dawson (sub-branch President), Rick Meehan (sub-branch secretary), Rev Ted Brooker; a photo of the attendees; Shirley and Reg Newsome (Shirley is a daughter of a Boer War Veteran).
Ceremony held at the Boer War Memorial Sunday 29 May commencing at 11.00am and then for morning tea in the CWA Hall.
The Boer War Memorial is located in Robertson Park, Orange. It was originally located on the intersection of Summer and Anson Streets and then in the 1930s was moved in front of Robertson Park. Subsequently the memorial underwent another move to its final resting place at the northern end of the Park.
The memorial is made of Pyrmont purgatory stone and Waverly yellow rock.
The monument was designed and produced by local stonemasons, McMurtrie Bros in 1905 and was funded by the people of Orange in memory of those from Orange and District who fell in the South African War. Brigadier General Gordon, Commandant of the New South Wales Military Forces unveiled the monument on 29 March 1905. The memorial was restored in 2005 to mark the 100th Centenary.
The photo shows: Left, Les McGaw - Orange RSL Sub Branch; Right - Cr Reg Kidd - Chair of Cultural Heritage Community Committee - Orange City Council.
Perth’s weather again held fine as a round two hundred citizens gathered to commemorate the 114th anniversary of the signing of the Vereeniging Peace Accords on the 31 May 1902.
The venue was the South African memorial in Perth’s magnificent Kings Park which was looking its botanical best and a credit to the Botanical Parks and Gardens Board and their staff.
An unplanned coincidence of the day was that the service fell on the 100th anniversary of the death Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC who commanded British forces in South Africa and was the architect of the Vereeniging Peace Accords along with the wily Boer Commando leader, Louis Botha.
Mr Duncan Warren, AM RFD a senior RSL executive, fellow Vietnam Veteran and retired ARES Brigadier served as our MC on the day with the Reverend John Dunn, a former RAAF chaplain leading the service with quiet dignity and well-chosen prayer. Working hard to keep the many floral tributes in order was Lieutenent Colonel John Tick RAE Rtd, filling the critical role of Wreath Master. Our catafalque party was provided by Mr Bob Wise and his team from The Westralian Great War Living History Association. This group has earned an enviable reputation throughout the state for their re-enactment performances.
Our keynote speaker on the day was Colonel Mike Page whose delivery gave us a history lesson on the Boer War.
The Coastals Pipe Band again supporting us along with Ms Moira Wilson and her choral group. Moira and her team dressed in period nurses uniforms and rendering a couple of old favourites of the era: 'Soldiers of the Queen' and 'Goodbye Dolly Gray' as well as leading us in the national anthem.
Among the VIP’s and civic dignitaries attending were the tremendously hard working Senator Linda Reynolds, taking to out from the campaign trail and making her last public appearance for the Opposition, the popular and highly respected, retiring MP, Melissa Parke.
Among our state MP’s The Honourable Michael Sutherland MLA, (himself born in Johannesburg) representing the Premier and Mr Paul Papalia CSC former RAN representing the opposition.
13 Bde and RAAF Pearce were represented as was our ANZAC partner in the form of Mr Chris Ellison, the NZ Hon Con for WA and his wife Tia, Lt-Col Ian Healy, RNZIR Rtd representing the NZDF and Mr Peter Ramsay BEM representing the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association.
Her Majesty’s UK Government, flew its flag via Commander Grant Murry RN, enjoying a two year posting at HMAS Stirling before returning to operational duties in the UK and Colonel Rtd Robert Mitchell CD flew one for Canada.
Among the wreaths this year was one on request from the Lalapanzi Heritage Trust and Anglo-Boer War Museum of Louis Trichardt- Republic of South Africa 'On behalf of the Soutpansberg and Pietersburgh districts of Limpopo Province South Africa, descendants, erstwhile neighbours and friends lay this wreath in remembrance and honour of those who died in the Pietersburgh concentration camp during the Anglo-Boer War.' A first for us from South Africa which we hope will now become a regular event.
Contributing poignantly to the reconciliation aspect of the service was the laying of the 'Forrest Family Wreath' by Mrs Gaye Atkinson, and grandniece of Anthony Alexander Forrest who was killed in action in South Africa on the 15 of May 1901 at the age of 16˝.
The Horses and Transportation Animals Wreath was again laid by Mr Phil Sullivan and war horse Gee-Jay who with fine equine disregard for the dignity of the occasion, gave the flowers, temptingly within reach, a light browse.
The service was again strongly supported by the WA Afrikaner community and members of the South African Military Veterans Organization of Australasia and the reconciliation speech delivered by their Chairman, Mr Garth Pienaar served to reminds that our erstwhile “enemy” were very much cast in a mould similar to our own and that the tragedy and suffering of war affects all . Particularly poignant was the laying of the Emily Hobhouse wreath by a Boer Frau and child in period costume.
Mr John Sweetman delivered the WAMI address, this year fittingly recognising the unsung hero, Private Joseph Henry Minchin-KIA-Noreuil, France 2 April 1917.
The National Boer War Memorial Committee (WA Branch) in conjunction with the Boer War Memorial Society of WA Inc thanks all those who attended, assisted and supplied their services. They all contributed toward making the service a fitting and memorable one.
Those on the Military History Tours visit to the South African Battlefields commemorated the sacrifice made by their forebears at Melrose House, where the treaty was signed, on the anniversary.
The commemoration started out in the forecourt of Melrose House, where John H read messages from the Governor General and Chief of the Defence Force. This was followed by presentations to Ron and John L of their Boer War Descendant commemorative medals
We were then allowed entrance to the House. Melrose house was not to open, as a staff member had not turned up for work, out of kindness to long distance travellers, the staff who were there, let us in and gave us a guided tour. We were able to inspect the very room where 114 years ago the treaty that ended the Boer War was signed.
Missed out on the 2016 tour? Why not book for 2018 CLICK HERE.
Riverton (South Australia) RSL Sub-Branch will conduct their inaugural BOER WAR DAY Commemorative Service on Sunday 29 May 2016, in Scholz Park.
Commencing at 1130, the Service will commemorate the events of 1899-1902 in South Africa – the first conflict to involve our Nation – a conflict which provided the origins of Australia’s military culture and military history, where around 20,000 Australian men and women volunteered and around 1,000 Australians lost their lives to battle or disease.
The Service will also acknowledge the following presently known listing of Boer War participants who were either born in Riverton and surrounding district or lived/ worked in the district:
Private Arthur Edward Frank BIDGOOD (Saddleworth); Corporal John Henry Ward BOSWORTH (Edgehill nr Riverton); Trooper Albert Ernest CLAYTON (Riverton); Private Ernest John FEWINGS (Riverton); Lance Corporal Charles Henry GOODE (Saddleworth); Trooper Samuel Mortimer James GOODE (Saddleworth); Trooper Stanley Livingstone GOODE (Saddleworth); Private William Charles HAGEL (Saddleworth); Herbert John JONES (Riverton); Private James William NAIRN (Saddleworth); Private John James O’GRADY (Tothill’s Belt); Trooper Edward Clanfurgal O’HALLARON (Riverton); Corporal Nicholas Bayley O’HALLORAN (Riverton); Private William Henry OKE (Marrabel); Farrier Sergeant Benjamin Charles PILLIFEANT (Giles Corner); Trooper John Percival RICHARDSON (Saddleworth); Private Ernest RYAN (Marrabel); Quartermaster Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Francis Charles SIEKMANN (Saddleworth); Private Daniel SIMS (Tarlee); Corporal (later Sergeant) Henry Harold TRATHAN (Riverton); Trooper Emphraim Nathaniel WALTER (Hamilton); Private Thomas Hall WICKENS (Halldale near Riverton); Trooper Richard Edward WOOD (Macaw Creek)
All in the community are invited to attend and participate in this Commemorative Service. Relatives and descendants of those who took part in the Boer War are especially welcome.
For further details, please contact Mike Johnson, Secretary, Riverton RSL Sub-Branch, EMAIL.
The sky was clear blue and the morning comfortably cool as we gathered by 1100 Our Mayor of Singleton, John Martin, and members of Singleton RSL Sub branch were present; an elderly soldier, Mr Bill Beggs making a profoundly stoic effort to be present. Some new faces appeared: Mr and Mrs Francis and Merv Schubert, Mr Jason Graham including others and some old were sadly missed two being, Mr and Mrs Jack and Thea Flemming, once of South Africa; loyal carers of Boer War soldier's grave sites known to them before journeying to Australia to live. Our Boer War family's new venue was pleasant with State, National and Indigenous flags flying at half mast, the Eternal Flame- sculptured by Tanya Bartlett depicting a place of Remembrance. Our original place of reverence was as though a battle field: The Boer War Memorial in memory of Trooper H.W. Waddell (Inscription: 'A native of Singleton who fell in active service at Pienaars River South Africa War September 27th -1900'.(Note Australian War Memorial Records indicate Date of death 22/09/1900.): REGISTER OF WAR MEMORIALS IN NSW ...on internet.) fenced in roughly and surrounded by devastation caused by approx. 20,000 bats (all present ); Burdekin Park off limits to the public. This is not the will of Singleton Council which had apparently succumbed to 'greater forces' over the past decade or so!
Mr McCrone outlined The Second Boer War of 1899-1902 , and two fine young students from Singleton High School, Miss Khloe Kaiserfeld and Mr Aidan Halton descendants of WWI soldiers; possibly Boer War, gave deeper insights. Magnificent wreaths were laid then Mr Kyle Kermode (also a student of Singleton High School), our dedicated bugler, played Reveille. There was silence in Remembrance, then the Last Post sounded heavenward against the deep blue sky, crystal clear to the very end on the fresh morning air; ending as clear as the last note of the Jewish Shofar.
As time moves on swiftly, let us trust, we shall all be present to watch the dedication of THE NATIONAL BOER WAR MEMORIAL in Anzac Parade,Canberra, come 31 May 2017.
Sydney held its Boer War Commemoration on 29 May 2016. The weather was fine and sunny. The service this year was moved to the northern forecourt of the ANZAC Memorial due to construction work on additions and improvements to the memorial. The key guest was the Hon David Clarke MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice. Major General Gus Gilmore, Forces Commander Australia was to have delivered the address but due to operational reasons at the last minute was unable to attend. The NSW Chairman Lt Col David Deasey (Ret'd) stepped up and gave the address. The former Governor of NSW, Dame Marie Bashir was in attendance, as were representatives from Sydney Schools; Catherine Bouchier sang the National Anthem. The MC was Mr Darren Mitchell. Representatives from all services and service related organisations attended as did The Hon Greg Donnelly MLC representing the Leader of the opposition in NSW.
On 29 May, on a brilliant pre-Winter morning, a crowd numbering around 65 (including 5 descendants) attended our Boer War Commemorative Service marking 113 years since the Treaty signing at Vereeniging, ending the 2nd Anglo-Boer War where 23,000 Australians served and 1000 died. One descendant, Faith Bell, is the daughter of a Boer War veteran who went on to serve with honour in WW1, as did many of his compatriots.
From next year, a major commemorative Service will occur at this time at the new National Boer War Memorial being constructed in Anzac Parade Canberra. Stay tuned for dates and details.
Thank you to Fiona Scott MP (Member for Lindsay), Prue Car MP (Member for Londonderry), Cr Greg Davies (Penrith City Council) and all Sub-Branch members, students from Colyton High School and others who took time to pay honour to these 'Fathers of ANZAC'.
On Sunday May 29th the Three Springs-Arrino Sub Branch held its monthly meeting and donated $500 to the Boer War Memorial project in Canberra.
After the meeting we adjourned to the Memorial and after a reading on the War’s history, a wreath was laid, silence for the fallen and the saying of the Ode concluded our Service.
Our Sub Branch consists of twelve full Members and twelve Affiliates.
Glad we are able to help,
At Hawkesbury’s Boer War Memorial in McQuade Park, corner of Tebbutt and George Streets, Windsor, 1045 for 1100, Tuesday 31 May 2016.
This year the Wollongong Boer War service was organised by the Wollongong NASHO Association and they provided recorded music for a moving service. This year we welcomed Ms Val Charlton to our small group and the four of us each laid a wreath on the Boer War memorial at the Wollongong Cenotaph. The service was conducted by Mark Edwell and he welcomed Val and told of her association. Geoff Cuthbert spoke of his two Grandfathers and Great Uncle who fought together in the Boer War. He also spoke of the work being made towards the National Memorial and our desire to have it completed.
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