Square Hill Remembrance Service – Johannesburg

By Gunner T Taute

On Sunday 24 September 2023 a parade was held at the South African National Anglo-Boer memorial outside of the Ditsong Military Museum for the Battle of Square Hill. The parade was in remembrance of the members of the Cape Corps who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War 1.

The Cape Corps that was formed in December 1915. The Cape Corps was first mobilised during the Great War as a non-combatant unit, specifically as service to the troops at war behind enemy lines. This however did not sit well with the troops who raised their discontent so much so that their commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Morris appealed to General Allenby to allow the troops the opportunity to participate in the front. The request was approved and followed by intensive training to prepare the Battalion for combat in the Middle East.

In December 1917 General Allenby had success during the Battles of Gaza and Palestine and he was planning on an aggressive offensive against the German allies. Unfortunately, this was delayed until the September in 1918 when General Allenby launched the Battle of Megiddo. The Battle of Square Hill, and the 1st Battalion Cape Corps involvement played a significant role in this battle. More information on this historic event can be found here.

The commemoration of the Battle of Square Hill was attended by members from various South African veterans’ associations including the SA Legion, Gunners’ Association, SANDF Medical Association, members of the Navy and the MOTHS. Members of the Naval Sea Cadets also attended and marched on the parade.

The Speaker of Johannesburg City Council also attended the event and laid a wreath. During the wreath laying a lament was played by a member from the Irish Pipe Band. Overall, a memorable event which was richly informative and enjoyed by all.


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