Langverwacht Hill memorial

Langverwacht Hill memorial

View of battlefield Damaged memorial View of memorial Names on memorial Memorial plaque

The Battle of Langverwacht Hill (23 February 1902) was the first time New Zealand forces suffered heavy loss of life in an overseas conflict. In order to prevent the escape of a Boer force, the 80 men of the Seventh Contingent had positioned themselves along a ridge on Langverwacht Hill. During the night their position was attacked by more than 700 Boers; 24 New Zealanders were killed and another 40 wounded.

In 1905 a memorial was erected on Langverwacht Hill to commemorate the New Zealanders who died. To represent the strength, constancy and long life of the British Empire, three oak trees were planted around the memorial. In late 2000 the memorial cairn was destroyed when an already weakened oak was toppled during a storm.

After the memorial was restored through the efforts of the New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa, Mike Walsh, a rededication ceremony was held in 2009. In 2010 the memorial was once again damaged, this time through vandalism. It has since been restored for a second time.

Community contributions

6 comments have been posted about Langverwacht Hill memorial

What do you know?

Carol Robertson

Posted: 18 Sep 2022

The name of Private Thomas McLew is named incorrectly as "McLow" on the inscription on the Langverwacht Hill memorial. The family would like the spelling of his name on the memorial corrected. Is this possible at all? When researching our family tree on my father's side (McLew) we found from the Boer war records that Thomas, a farmer of Dunback, Otago, NZ enlisted in the 7th Contingent, No. 25 Company, Otago Section. He sailed from Wellington in the S.S. "Gulf of Taranto" on 6 April 1901 with Lieut. Colonel Porter in command. Thomas was killed in action at Langverwacht on 24 February 1902 and is buried at Langverwacht Farm.

Garth McGearty

Posted: 20 Apr 2022

Farrier Sergeant OH Turner was a relative of mine on my mothers side of the family. There is a memorial to him on Douglas Street in Amberley, Canterbury NZ. Encsribed on the memorial is “To thine self be true”. Apparently it was found in a note in his pocket after his death.

Brent Kerehona

Posted: 19 May 2020

Hi Tobie,

Thanks for responding to my question a few years ago, it’s very much appreciated. Unfortunately I didn’t see it before my trip to South Africa in 2017, and was unable to visit. Another time maybe?

Tobie Lombard

Posted: 03 May 2016

Brent Kerehona the memorial is situated on our family farm near Vrede in the Free State. The farm belonged to My great grandfarther.

Brent Kerehona

Posted: 27 Mar 2016

I am hoping to visit the Langverwacht Hill Memorial in Jan 2017, there is some conflicting information on its exact location and I would appreciate anyone being able to confirm its whereabouts. I have numerous references to three different Langverwacht town locations and would like to know which one the memorial is at. Thanks.