BLESKOP MEMORIAL, near Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
For The Greater Glory Of God

In Memory of the Men from this Valley who gave their lives in the Great War 1914- 1919


This WW1 Memorial commemorates the sacrifice of just 10 men from the Valley of Groot Drakenstein, Simondium, Wellington, Plasir De Merle, Pickstone Farms and Erin Vale. It is not known why only these 10 are on the memorial but it is believed that the Gray Family (who owned Plasir De Merle from 1943) were very much involved in the the memorial and we know that it was built by J. A. Clift of Paarl sometime in the 1920’s. It is also believed that there are strong links with Groot Drakenstein Games Club.

Bleskop Memorial, 11 November 2017

Full details of the above are on this site.

I am struggling to identify the final 4, there are ones who could be them but with no clear link to South Africa there is no way of being certain:

R G S Wiltshire
P Turner
T Parsons
G Prichard

It is possible, as with A J Thrift, that the initials may not be correct on the Memorial.

It is known that the Memorial, see older photos, stood on higher ground than it does today. The Road was rebuilt in the 1960’s and in the 1980’s the Memorial was taken down and refurbished (possibly for WW1 70th. Anniversary).

Nicholas Browse Gray with his son, Douglas Wagner Gray and his Daughter Anna Sybella Louise Schelpe. This photo is from the Decker Collection which is maintained by the Paarl Heemkring – a local historical society.

This picture hangs in the Manor House at Bien Donne:

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  4. jorrie jordaan

    cleared up a mystery for me.
    i am a registered national guide with matters military/anglo boer war as my main interest
    going to do the market garden and normandy routes in may 2020



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