Francis Farewell Square – Memorial Square

This square is situated at the site of the original 1824 camp set up by Henry Francis Fynn and Francis George Farewell.  It has served as Durban’s market square for many years and today is considered as the historic centre of Durban.

Facing the Post office is a statue of Queen Victoria that has been erected to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.   It was sculpted  by William Hamo Thornycroft and  is a  particularly gracious portrayal of the queen, as she would. have looked at the founding  of the young colony of Natal.  Facing the City Hall are statues of Sir John Robinson, who was the first Prime Minister of Natal and also of the second Prime Minister, Mr Harry Escombe.

Nearby is the Statue of Peace that was erected by the Durban Volunteers in memory of their comrades who fell in the Second Anglo Boer War.  Facing south is a statute of General Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa and co-founder of the League  of Nations and United Nations.

On Gardiner Street is the Cenotaph, erected in memory of those that have fallen  in the two World Wars.  Built after World War I,  it commemorates the fallen of both World Wars.  The ‘sacred acre’ is entered through bronze gates that were first opened by King George VI in 1947. A large bronze mausoleum in the form of a horizontal cross is inscribed with a roll of honour. Behind this stands a  bronze sculpture of ‘The Fallen Soldier’ by Percy  Behind this is a granite needle on which the image of a soul borne heavenwards  is depicted in ceramic plaques. The World War II  roll of honour is displayed on the surrounding walls.

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