8 Mar 2021

Ladysmith Battlefield Sites

Siege Museum in Ladysmith

Ladysmith Siege Museum

An outstanding collection of items related to the 118 day siege of Ladysmith, situated alongside the historic Town Hall. Co-ordinates: S28° 33.544’ E29° 46.844’

Ladysmith Military Cemetery

Many of the soldiers who were killed in action or died of disease during the Siege of Ladysmith are buried in two separate sections of the Ladysmith cemetery. Those who died during WW2 are buried in another section. Co-ordinates: Anglo-Boer War graves: S28° 33.320 E29° 47.671’ and S28° 33.369’ E29° 47.676’. WW2 cemetery: S28° 33.435’ E29° 47.681’.

eNtombe Military Cemetery

Established as a neutral hospital during the Siege, after negotiations between Gen Schalk Burgher and White’s Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Sir Archibald Hunter. Many patients perished as a result of disease, and the unfortunate Pte Cohen of the Natal Carbineers was buried outside the perimeter because he was a Jew. S28° 35.739’ E29° 49.331’. Note that the road to this site can be very muddy and should not be attempted in a conventional vehicle after rain.

Caesar’s Camp and Wagon Hill

This formed part of Colonel Ian Hamilton’s sector and the two features (actually three is one included Wagon Point) were attacked by the Boers on the 6th January 1900. The battle lasted for 16 hours and the Boers on Wagon Hill withdrew after a daring charge across the summit by the Devonshire Regiment. The feature is commonly referred to as ‘Platrand’ and numerous monuments, memorials and gun positions are scattered across the summit. Access to both Caesar’s Camp and Wagon Hill is via Platrand Lodge. Co-ordinates:
Caesar’s Camp Burgher Memorial: S28° 35,233’ E29° 46.361’; Manchester Regiment Memorial: S28° 35.304’ E29° 46.965’; Rifle Brigade graves: S28° 35.366’ E29° 47.009’ and S28° 35.419’ E29° 47.030’. Monument to Pte Scott VC and Pitts VC: S28° 35.456’ E29° 47.388’.
Wagon Hill and Wagon Point: Devonshire Regiment Monument: S28° 35.472’ E29° 45.564’; ILH Monument close by; memorials to Lt Tommy Digby Jones VC and Field Cornet J de Villiers: S28° 35.416’ E29° 45.288’; Sgt Webb’s memorial: S28° 35.387’ E29° 45.268’

Various Siege Sites

There are numerous memorials and features relating to the Siege of Ladysmith. It is suggested that the following booklet will be of use in locating them: “The Siege of Ladysmith, 2 November 1899 – 28 February 1900” by Steve Watt. ISBN Number 978-1-928211-44-0.