Hildebrand Monument

Information

The Memorial to Field Cornet C.P. Hildebrand of the Boer Forces’ Martiz Commando – Darling was the most southerly village to which a Boer commando penetrated during the Anglo-Boer war (1899 – 1902).

The white marble gravestone has been incorporated in the memorial needle (1939).

By 1901 the conventional war between Britain and the Boer Republics, Transvaal and Orange Free State, had ended with the occupation of Pretoria by the British. The Boers switched to guerrilla tactics, living off the land and harassing British forces wherever they found them. Part of this strategy was to infiltrate Commandos into the Cape Colony to attack the British. This approach explains the presence of a Boer Commando 1,500km from home, at Darling in November 1901. This was the furthest that Boer forces penetrated South, and the closest military action to Cape Town of the War.

During September 1901, Commandos under the leadership of Manie Maritz and Jan Theron, arrived in the Van Rhynsdorp district and joined forces. The decision was taken to attack British forces near Cape Town. After a successful attack on a British military supply column between Lamberts Bay and Clanwilliam, Hildebrand was appointed Veldkornet and was ordered, to take 150 men and conduct a raid south, towards Hopefield and Darling. The rest of the Commando would meet him there after raiding Piketberg.
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