The Cenotaph in Port Elizabeth Central, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Eastern Cape
The Cenotaph stands just outside the entrance to Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Park, alongside the traffic circle that branches off to Park Drive and Western Road.
A cenotaph is defined as a memorial which is erected specifically in honour of people whose physical remains are elsewhere. This cenotaph which was erected just outside the cricket grounds was opened on 10 November 1929 and its initial purpose was to commemorate those who died in World War I. After WWII, more panels were added for those men and women that died in this war.
The Cenotaph was the work of James Gardner of the Art School and erected by Pennachini Bros. The general idea of the memorial was that the lower portion represents the earthly life and as the eye moves upwards towards the upper part, the statue gradually begins to represent a heavenly life, implying that those who have passed are now in a heavenly place.
The base is in the shape of a sarcophagus and the shaft which tapers and merges into a shape that resembles an Urn at the top, round which is a frieze of cherubs playing musical instruments. There are two sculptures on the memorial, one representing a mother and children and the other St. George. The mother is seated with her children in her arms for protection and St. George is unbuckling his belt and throwing off his trappings, having obtained his objects.
The Memorial stands on a base of four steps and is further heightened by a plinth and these serve as platforms for the religious services sometimes performed here.
The unveiling was performed by Mrs WF Savage and dedicated by Canon Mayo and the Memorial has had to undergo some restoration only once which was performed by Anton Momberg in 1994.
Things to do and see
- World War I Memorial Panel
- World War II Memorial Panel
- Mother & Children Statue
- St George Statue
- Relief Panels
There is no entrance fee charged to visit the Memorial
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