Prince Imperial's Memorial Vandalised
In July 2012 it was reported that the memorial to the Prince Imperial, near Nqutu in the Dundee district, had been the target of vandals for the second time in six months. The marble cross marking the site was destroyed and the supporting structure seriously damaged. This served no purpose: the site is a memorial – there are no human remains buried there and nothing of value is hidden below the surface.
The incident at the Prince Imperial memorial site followed hard upon the heels of the desecration of the Intombi Military Cemetery near Ladysmith, earlier in the year. A grave was dug up, creating a hole 2m deep, and a headstone was damaged.
From the photograph taken at the site the headstone appears to be one of the distinctive Border Mounted Rifles’ memorials. I believe the headstone is that of William Dixon Smith, Lieutenant Quartermaster of the BMR, who died at Intombi in January 1900 – not a faceless soldier to me, but a real person, whose Siege letters I’ve read and whose life and family history I have researched in depth. The situation is deplorable no matter which grave has been disturbed.
Intombi Cemetery showing desecration of grave of Border Mounted Rifles
Lieut QuarterMaster William Dixon Smith