Holkrans battle site near Vryheid. Visited December 2023. (Private land.)

Holkrans battle site near Vryheid. Visited December 2023. (Private land.)

 

Holkrans Monument – Vryheid District. Hugh pointing to Johann Wilhelm (Willie) Bland’s name – part of the Boer Commando massacred.

Holkrans visit with Louis Scheepers, Kai Klingenberg, Charles Mason and Hugh Bland. (Image Andre Van Ellinkhuysen)

 

Some of the names of the murdered Boers.

 
I have always wanted to visit Holkrans where a deadly encounter between Boers and Zulu’s took place on 6 May 1902. 56 Boers were murdered when caught off guard. There was an amnesty at the time and a peace treaty was signed a week after this event. Boers had been raiding the Abaqualusi tribe for cattle (some stolen from the Boers). The British were warned that an attack on the Boers was to take place but did not ‘warn off’ the Boers and in fact this Zulu force had mustered in Vryheid. The tragedy at this late stage was to cause much bitterness. My Great Great Grandfather’s grandson was among those murdered. He was Johan Wilhelm(Willie) Mark Patrick Bland Bland.
Thanks to Andre van Ellinckhuyzen for arranging the visit to this remote site. Also to Louis Scheepers and Kai, a 16 year old lad who is fanatical about history.
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KZN: A Photographic Historical Record

KZN: A Photographic Historical Record