Dirkie Uys is probably the most famous child hero from South Africa’s Voortrekker or “Great Trek” history. The Voortrekkers, meaning “pioneers of those who pull ahead” were great South African leaders and Dirkie was the son of one of these leaders, Petrus Uys (Piet)
Today the Dirkie Uys Monument serves as a reminder of this young boys’ bravery. At only fifteen years old, Dirk Cornelius Uys, served under his father and on the 10th April 1938, when Piet Uys’ commando was lured into an ambush by the Zulus, his father was mortally wounded. Despite his fathers’ instructions to his men to continue and to save themselves, Dirkie could not bear to see his father die alone. He turned his horse around and went back to his father to fight the Zulus alongside him. While trying to save his father, Dirkie fought off as many Zulu warriors as he could before he too was killed. The heroic death of father and son, side by side, led Piet and Dirkie to enter the folk history of South Africa.
The Monument is situated on Church Street in Somerset West and stands on a very large plot between the NG Moedergemeente (1860) and the Ou Pastorie (Church and Rectory). Today the Pastorie is a Guest House for visitors to Somerset West. The Monument is of an Oxwagon, made of stone, and in full tradition it faces North. It is surrounded by one metre high stone benches, built in the segments of an oxwagon's outer wheel.
No admission fee is charged.
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