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Battle of Berg-en-dal Monument

Belfast, South Africa

A brutalist war memorial piercing through the rolling farm landscape. 

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Just outside Belfast on the N4 highway sits this piercing war memorial. The monument was built in 1970 as a replacement for the original, much smaller, monument that was placed in 1930.

This piercing, brutalist piece commemorates the Battle of Bergendal which took place in  August 1900. Thousands of British and Boer forces battled in what was the last set-piece battle of the Second Boer War. The battle resulted in the retreat of the Boer forces, more than 400 casualties, and Lord Roberts declaring the entire South African Republic as British territory. 

The site is difficult to miss when passing from either direction on the N4. An additional monument sitting behind the main one also commemorates the lives of the British forces that were lost. There is some signage giving background on the events of the battle, but due to sun damage, it’s difficult to read. The names of the lives lost on both sides remain forged on granite plaques around the memorial.

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June 5, 2023

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