Colonial Division Memorial: 1899 - 1902
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Plinth designed by HJC CORDEAUX
During the Anglo-Boer War, East London served as an important port of entry for military supplies. While the immediate area saw no conflict, many of the Colonial Division units were raised here, and the Equestrian Statue was erected as a memorial to those killed in action.
The bronze horse and rider is mounted on a plinth of Irish marble, and stands in front of the main entrance to the East London City Hall in Oxford Street. The statue depicts a mounted military scout, and was sculptured by W. Reynolds-Stephens of London. The soldier was modelled on the figure of Captain J.G Hearns M.C of the Cape Mounted Rifles, and his mount was modelled on a horse named "Boodles".
The inscription on the memorial - in finely composed bronze lettering - reads :
"This statue was erected to the memory of the officers and men of the Colonial Division who lost their lives in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902".
The names of men killed in action from the Cape Mounted Rifles, the Queenstown Rifle Volunteers, Border Horse, Cape Medical Corps, and two regiments of Brabant's Horse are recorded on fine bronze panels on the sides of the plinth.
The Equestrian Statue was officially unveiled in November of 1908 by Sir E.Y Brabant, the Commandant General of the Colonial Defense Force. It received an award as best equestrian statue from the the Royal Academy in 1910.
(William MARTINSON 2013)