Gideon Scheepers Memorial in Graaff-Reinet, Oos-Kaap
The Gideon Scheepers Monument is situated about 2 km outside of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Gideon Scheepers was born in 1878 and joined the Republic’s only military unit when was 16 years old. He worked for approximately six years as a telegraphist, heliographer and scout before being made a commandant at 22 years of age. He took on the British in the Second Anglo Boer War with a commando of about 150 men that he formed himself and they burnt farms and wrecked property of those who were unsympathetic to their cause. After falling ill, Scheepers was captured by the British in Prince Alfred on 10 October 1901, where he was charged and found guilty of war crimes. On the 18 th January 1902, at age 23, he was executed by firing squad in Graaff-Reinet and buried at the place of his execution. British troops moved his body that same night to an undisclosed location that was never found.
The Afrikaans Cultural Society erected a memorial to honour this leader, who many thought of as a hero. The memorial comprises of three rocks from the vicinity supporting a stainless steel needle, symbolising the spirit of hope and faith in God. The largest of the three rocks represents the steadfastness of the then young Afrikaner nation, while the two tilted rocks it supports, symbolise this nation – suppressed, but not fallen. A fourth rock bears the inscription of Gideon Scheepers.
The monument can be found on the R63 on a site as near as possible to the original location of his execution.
No admission fee is charged.
Open Daily to the public.
Rainfall occurs mainly in the autumn months, with March seeing the highest levels. Winter nights can drop below freezing.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 16˚C.
There are flights into Port Elizabeth International Airport, from all major cities in South Africa, on a daily basis. Car hire facilities are available and the airport is approximately 264 km from Graaf-Reinet.
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