Truck reduces Bedford’s war memorial to rubble

A 36-ton truck packed with potatoes has felled the iconic Bedford war memorial.

She spoke to the driver who said he had come from Elliot and was looking for a place to sleep.

“He fell asleep 200m away from the monument and went straight into our war memorial, which is no more. It is completely written off.”

Auld said relatives of the slain soldiers wanted the engraved chunks of carved Bedford sandstone removed to a place of safety, but there was an issue with finding R30000 to pay for cartage.

The stone lay in the town centre for three and a half days, blocking a lane of the R63. Traffic was forced to use a detour through town, she said.

Yesterday afternoon, Smith said the road was being cleared by the municipality.

Auld said they were struggling to get hold of the truck owner, who was from the Elliot area, to get him to pay for the damage.

Auld said the monument was a “sensitive and sentimental landmark” and would have to be rebuilt.

Charles Brett, a committee member of the SA Legion in Bedford which acts as a custodian body for the memorial, said: “Quite a few of the soldiers were from local farming families of Scottish origin.

“ We hope to move the stones to a local farm. We are waiting for an order number from the (municipality’s) disaster fund.

“The monument is an important part of Bedford’s heritage and was built by Scottish masons.” — mikel@dispatch.co.za

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