Bulawayo

Main Street, Bulawayo looking South, 1928

From a photograph by Edwin A. Payne

This photo was taken from a position just beyond the Rebellion Monument which is seen in the picture below from 27 years earlier.  Bulawayo was Rhodesia’s largest town/city for more than 50 years; only being overhauled by Salisbury in the 1940s.

There is much to record about this historic city which was founded in 1893 at the location of the kraal of the last Matabele King: Lobengula. This page will display a selection of items of interest as time permits.

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Main Street, Bulawayo c 1901

Photo by T.D.Ravenscroft, Rondebosch

Although undated, it must be after 1900 when the Rebellion Memorial was erected.

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The Rebellion Memorial under construction in Bulawayo, 1900.

The monument was designed by W. Douslin and constructed by Messrs. Sherriff & Burgbacher.

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The Rebellion Memorial in Bulawayo c 1904

Photo by T.D.Ravenscroft

The quality of some of the early photography is really excellent and, by clicking the link above, a high resolution scan may be seen (click the resulting picture a second time to view). This will enable you to read the names on the visible plaques detailing those who lost their lives.

The main inscription reads:

TO THE MEMORY OF

THOSE 259 PIONEERS OF CIVILIZATION

WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE

MATABELE REBELLION  AD 1896

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The empty plinth was designed for, or certainly begged, the erection of a finishing artifact. In due course, and for a short time, this was provided in the form of a lion which, however, was widely considered to be rather puny for such an important memorial. A few years later it was replaced by a Gardner Gun which had seen action at the Battle of Bembezi in 1893 as well as during the 1896 rebellion.

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Bulawayo Rebellion Monument c 1914 with the Gardner Gun now in place.

Photo by Lennon & Co

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As the above photo even when expanded is not as clear as the earlier one, here are the names which appear on the above plaque. .

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 MAIN STREET, BULAWAYO, AT SUNRISE.

 From an Oil Painting by T.H. Bryant.

The view above shows Main Street in 1926 with the Rebellion Memorial in the foreground and John Tweed’s statue of Cecil Rhodes beyond.  A similar view little more than 30 years earlier would have shown but wild bush country.

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The Rebellion Memorial looking north along Main Street, Bulawayo c 1910

This view to the north is not so often seen as those looking south.

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The Great-War Memorial on Main Street, Bulawayo 1930.

       Photo by Allister Macmillan

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