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Paardeberg Museum Restoration Project - Funded by the Dagbreek Trust

Paardeberg Museum Restoration Project:

The battle of Paardeberg took place from 18-27 February 1900. It is one of the well-known battles of the Anglo-Boer (South African) War. During this battle General Cronjes commando was surrounded by Lord Roberts British Soldiers. General Cronje ended up surrendering after 9 days of fighting, and 4000 men were taken prisoner of war. The loss of this battle was significant for more than one reason. Not only was the date near that of the celebration of the Free State independence day (23 February 1854), but it was also on the same date as the famous battle of Amajuba (27 February 1881), where the Boers defeated the British 20 years earlier. President Kruger said: The British took Amajuba from us. It was also during this battle that the famous Boer scout, Danie Theron, had to crawl on his hands and knees through enemy lines to convey messages from General de Wet to General Cronje. On British side, this battle was tragic because of the heroic efforts of Colonel O.C. Hannay, when he and his mens deaths revealed to Lord Kitchener that a head-on attack against the Boer Commandos was nothing more than suicide and a disregard for human life. It was also during this battle where the most casualties were suffered by the British in a day, for the whole of the war. The British casualties included 303 soldiers who died, 906 were wounded and 61 soldiers taken prisoner of war. On Boer side 70 men were killed/wounded, and 4000 men were taken as prisoners of war.


In 1984 an idea came about to commemorate this battle by creating the Paardeberg Battlefield Museum near the original Paardeberg battlefield. In 1987 the project was launched and after many hours of research by the staff of the War Museum a beautiful and informative Battlefield Museum was established. The Museum building is a period piece and was part of the Tempe complex, dating from the British period and served as barracks for the British soldiers. The opening of the Museum took place on 23 and 24 February 1990 and was combined with a steam train tour, takings visitors from the Bloemfontein showgrounds to the Paardeberg Museum. The grandson of General de Wet, Dr. Carel de Wet, also attended the prestigious event. Unfortunately, as the years passed, the Paardeberg Battlefield Museum was vandalised because of its secluded location, which prompted the closure of the Museum in 2017.


A new project regarding the Paardeberg Battlefield Museum was started in 2018. Funding received by the Dagbreek Trust on 3 September 2018 enabled the Museum to start this special project, for which the Museum is very thankful. The Paardeberg Museum project includes the removal and moving of the building from the previous location to the War Museum in Bloemfontein. Piece by piece the building was taken apart, each part neatly marked and everything was brought back to the premises of the War Museum. In the meantime a location was allocated for the building to be erected on the Museum grounds. The Museum is very excited about restoring this old treasured Museum and will post photos of the progress as the project continues for our visitors to stay up to date about this new and wonderful venture.


Please note: The Museum removed all exhibitions before the closure of the Paardeberg Battle Museum. The vandalism was to the exterior of the building.



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Breaking down of building to be rebuilt on War Museum premises
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Paardeberg Museum after vandalism and closure.
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Paardeberg Museum after vandalism and closure.
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Paardeberg Museum after vandalism and closure.
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Exhibitions in Paardeberg Museum before vandalism.
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Exhibitions in Paardeberg Museum before vandalism.
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Exhibitions in Paardeberg Museum before vandalism.
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Exhibitions in Paardeberg Museum before vandalism.
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The Paardeberg Museum
Posted: 2018/11/07 (09:14:30 AM)


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