Ladysmith is located on the banks of the Klip River (“stone river”). river. It is on the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, about 26 km from the Van Reenen pass.
Following the Battle of Ladysmith, whilst British forces under Lieutenant General Sir George White regrouped in the town, Boer forces surrounded Ladysmith. The siege lasted 118 days, from 2 November 1899 to 28 February 1900, during the most crucial stage of the war. Approximately 3,000 British soldiers died during the siege.
A large number of the Second Boer War Battlefields around Ladysmith have been preserved as memorial sites. Monuments and memorials to those who died during the battles have been erected at most of them.
Located next to the town hall there is a small museum detailing the battles and history at the time of the Siege. The museum was opened in 1985 and holds around 60,000 documents related to the Siege and Boer War.
Located just south of the town, this area saw action during the Relief of Ladysmith. The Burgher Memorial on Wagon Hill was erected in honour of Boer forces killed during the siege and relief of Ladysmith.
On Platrand there are memorials to the Imperial Light Horse, the Devonshire Regiment, the Earl of Ava and a number of others.
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