Chris Taylor will be leading  a Historical Walk through Simon's Town on Sunday 31 October, starting at 10.00 at the Old Burying round. This is his first Simon's Town walk in about 4 years. Lots of fascinating and very human stories, mainly naval as can be expected after 300 years of naval activity. The cost is  R100 per head. Call 082 908 3456 to book. The number is limited to 15. Itinerary below.

  • SA Navy Casualties, World War 2 - In World War 2 South Africa did not have her own navy. Volunteers joined the British Royal Navy. The memorial lists the deaths of South African seamen in often desperate actions.
  • Old Burying Ground - A fascinating and very real place that records the stirring adventures and deaths of many sailors of the Empire. Dangerous times indeed!
  • Martello Tower - Built in 1806 to defend Simon’s  Town against the French. Remarkable for its round design and sturdy structure, it could not be defeated by the guns of the time.
  • The Battle of Muizenberg 1795 - The arrival of a British fighting force changed our history. Without this skirmish we would be speaking French in SA today.
  • Joshua Penny - Irrepressible Yankee who was pressed into service by the British, his remarkable story and lies.
  • Horatio Nelson - We also claim his fame, although he only once came here, as a sick midshipman in HMS Dolphin, 1776. 
  • Slavery - Outlawed by the British in 1833, the practice took many years to die out completely. The unfortunate rescued ‘prize slaves’ spent 14 years in unpaid apprenticeship. Hear about the terrified prize slaves destined to be eaten.
  • Anglo-Zanzibar War 1896 - A classic and unscrupulous example of Empire bullying, the pretender to the Sultan’s throne was sent fleeing by the gunboats of the Royal Navy. The shortest war in history; 40 minutes!
  • Jubilee Square - Laid out in 1935 to mark the silver jubilee of King George 5th.  Home to...
  • Just Nuisance - The only dog ever enlisted in the Royal Navy. A huge morale booster and favourite of the enlisted men (he had no time for officers). Great tales of a Great Dane.
  • Rifles the Leopard - Long before Just Nuisance the dog was Rifles the full-grown leopard, ship’s cat like no other. An extraordinary tale, would not be allowed today!
  • The Beginnings of Simon’s Town - Named after Simon v. d. Stel, 1687, was declared the official winter anchorage of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1741due to huge storm losses in Table Bay.
  • Drunk & Disorderly - The sailors of the 19th century were a rough lot, their main aim on coming ashore was to get drunk. Their behaviour was appalling.
  • Diana and Vasiliiy Golovnin, 1808 - A tale of first-rate seamanship and determination, this deserves our admiration even 200 years later.
  • CSS Alabama and Captain Raphael Semmes, 1863 - The American Civil War reached Cape Town! The Confederate raider CSS Alabama coaled in Simon’s Town and then fought a duel off Cape Town with a Union vessel. Huge excitement in Cape Town, crowds flocked to watch.
  • Boer War Prisoner of War camp, 1899 - Up to 2500 Boer prisoners of war were held in a prison camp just beyond Boulders Beach. When Boer forces invaded the Cape the prisoners were hastily placed on ships.
  • World War 1 - Simon’s Town was hugely active in the war. A curiosity; Japan stationed their cruiser Mikasa here.
  • North Batteries - Lower North, Middle North, Upper North. Mainly ancient guns from the 1st World War and even earlier.
  • World War 2 - 330 ships repaired in Simon’s Town, the biggest was the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. A lot of German submarine activity off the coast.
  • Training Ship General Botha - Was the original training establishment for sea cadets, anchored in Simon’s Bay. Launched 1886, arrived in SA 1920, sunk by gunfire 1947.
  • Simon’s Town Agreement 1955 - Simon’s Town had long been a British naval base. The harbour was handed over to SA and in 1957 the SA Navy was created.
  • Collision SAS Kruger and SAS Tafelberg, 1982 - 16 men died in an avoidable collision, and the Kruger sank.
  • Group Areas Act 1967 - Substantially changed Simon’s Town. All black and coloured residents removed to other more distant areas.
10/31/2021 - 00:00
Events Exhibitions Tours
Tue, 10/12/2021 - 08:40

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