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Spionkop Lodge to honour the Volunteer Ambulance Corps

Tracey Campbell - February 13, 2009

Spionkop Lodge has embarked on a project to erect a monument to the Volunteer Ambulance Corps who were involved in the Anglo-Boer War.

The Anglo Boer war lasted 3 years, and was to become the most costly Britain had ever fought, both in terms of money and lives lost. The most futile and bloodiest battle was the Battle of Spionkop, fought on 24 January 1900. Astoundingly, there were 3 men on Spionkop that day who were to influence the course of world history – General Louis Botha, Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi.

Spionkop Lodge is situated on the site of the original farmhouse where Winston Churchill set up camp prior to the battle. The farm itself is now part of a 700 hectare eco-reserve, with some 270 bird species, an abundance of antelope, indigenous bush, and in June and July, a concentration of flowering aloes whose beauty leaves one breathless.

Raymond Heron is both the owner of Spionkop Lodge and a gifted raconteur and historian who brings to life the adventures and misadventures of that fateful day, as part of his specialised trips which are offered to guests as part of their stay at the lodge.

On a recent trip to the UK, Raymond and his wife, Lynette, met with Baroness Flather at the House of Lords.   The Baroness’s father was a stretcher-bearer in the war, and has agreed to be the patron.  The monument is to be a bronze memorial to recognise the volunteer stretcher bearers who played such a vital role in the war.

A meeting was also arranged with the South African High Commissioner, Lindiwe Mabuza, who has also agreed to support the project and is arranging a reception at South Africa House in London, scheduled for June.

Raymond hopes to unveil the monument in 2010 to coincide with the 110 commemorations of the battle of Spionkop and the Soccer World Cup.

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