Day 5: Monday 2 July

Stayed in today to read my Boer War book and catch up on the local newspapers. The column on the right contains some info about the Irish that fought on the Boer side.

Cape Point There's an on-going row in the letters column about where the two oceans meet: Traditionally, the two oceans which wash its coastline, the cold Atlantic on the west and the warm Indian Ocean on the east, meet off Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent, but scientists are now trying to re-define the meeting place. The tourist broschures refer to Cape Point--"where two oceans meet." And folks who depend on tourism at Cape Agulhas are not happy! Cape Point has its place in seafaring myth. It is off this headland that the Flying Dutchman, a phantom sailing ship, has periodically been sighted.

Face Other news was that Ramatoulaye Diallo was crowned the "Face of Africa" at Sun City.

On 13 September, 1899 a large gathering of Irishmen in Johannesburg decided to establish an Irish Brigade and offered their services to the (Boer) Government. Colonel John Blake, an American of Irish descent, was elected commander of this First Irish Brigade. These Irishmen and Irish-Americans took part in the battles of Modderspruit and Colenso (in which Irish regiments also fought on the side of the British), and fought at Brandfort. A second Irish brigade was later formed by a Colonel Lynch. The picture shows John McBride in South Africa.

John McBride in South Africa

The first battle of the Second Boer War started at 2.30 pm. on 20 October 1899 when the Royal Dublin Fusiliers clashed with Luke Meyer's scouts at Smith's Nek Pass, east of Dundee. The memorial gate at Stephen's Green In 1907 the Duke oj Connaught opened the triumphal arch, erected at the Grafton Street end of St Stephen's Green, as a memorial to the 212 officers and men of the five battalions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who fell in that war. The names of some of the battlefields are carved around the granite blocks of the arch and those of the fallen are inscribed on limestone panels over the gates. (Pat Liddy)

To previous day

To next day