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Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Memorial
King William's Town, Eastern Cape

Francis John WILLIAMSON: Artist

Date:1897
Type:Memorial
Status:Extant


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32°52'44.40" S 27°23'23.06" E Alt: 382m
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The Memorial to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, marking 60 years from the date of her accession in 1837, was funded by public subscription and was erected in a park in the civic centre of King William's Town. The inscription engraved on the front (north) face of the granite plinth of the memorial recorded the following information:

ERECTED
BY THE PEOPLE OF
KING WILLIAM'S TOWN AND DISTRICTS
TO COMMEMORATE THE
DIAMOND JUBILEE YEAR OF
THE GLORIOUS REIGN OF
HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY
QUEEN VICTORIA
1897

The base of the granite memorial plinth was provided with fine classical mouldings. The memorial plinth was also capped with another set of well detailed mouldings. The memorial plinth was surmounted with a finely observed bronze statue of Queen Victoria, sculpted by F J Williamson. The detail of the sculptor was engraved in large letters on the side of the vertical face of the square base of the statue with the following wording:

F. J. WILLIAMSON Sc. 1898,
ESHER,
LONDON

The bronze statue was cast at the Hollinshead & Burton foundry at Thames Ditton in London. This detail of the foundry was engraved in letters on the rear vertical face of the square bronze base of the statue with the following wording:

HOLLINSHEAD & BURTON
FOUNDER'S
THAMES DITTON, LONDON.

The memorial has recently (March 2016) suffered the indignity of having a large fire, fueled with car tyres, made directly below the front (north) face of the granite plinth. This was almost certainly the action of a group of supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters party, as evidenced by the large red EFF sprayed repeatedly onto the memorial. The conflagration completely destroyed the granite face and main inscription on the north side and has severely damaged the associated mouldings. The bronze statue appears to have survived intact.

(Submitted by William MARTINSON, June 2016)