On Sunday 17 September a commemoration was held for Major William Henry Hewitt VC at Sievers Punt in Hermanus. Major Hewitt received his Victoria Cross for valour he displayed on 20 September 1917 during the Battle of Delville Wood. He was serving in the 2nd South African Light Infantry at the time.
Major Wood retired to Hermanus in 1951 and he and his family lived in Voelklip for a decade. He loved the Cliff Path, especially a spot between Sievers Punt and Klein Eiland and the memorial gathering was held there. He died in the UK seeking medical assistance for the removal of pieces of shrapnel that had been lodged in his larynx for more than 40 years, but passed away soon after the procedure. He asked for his ashes to be consigned to the ocean from his favourite spot on the Cliff Path. This was done in 1974. Later the family erected a memorial bench for him.
The event was organised by the Hermanus History Society and the Cliff Path Management Group as part of a proposed programme to identify and create awareness of the history associated with the Cliff Path. Funding was generously provided by Sumaridge Estate Wines.
Those attending included Lt.gr Brian Porter of the Ex-Servicemen’s League and Neville Griffin from our local MOTH Shellhole. Speakers included Angela Heslop and Robin Lee from the Hermanus History Society, David Beattie from the Cliff Path Management Group and James Gray, Minister of the United Church.
Please contact Dr. Robin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information about Major Hewitt or the Hermanus History Society.
Published in Hermanus Times on 21 September 2017