Lovely little town, very picturesque when coming in from the north on the R707, I have not come from any other direction yet. Nestled between the hills on the bank of the Vals River with the big church forming a focal point, it just invites for a visit.
The Internet has a few websites dealing with Lindley, this one being the most general I found.
The town was laid out in 1875 and proclaimed by the Volksraad in 1878. It was named after Daniel Lindley who was the first minister to the Voortrekkers in Natal, Freestate and the Transvaal.
The town saw plenty of action during the Boer War (1899-1902). The most significant being the capturing of the Imperial Yeomanry, a volunteer force sent to South Africa to help in the fight. Details further down.
Another significant event was the destruction of the town in February of 1902 by British forces, a measure to counter guerrilla attacks.
An extract from the SA Military history of what other people thought of the town.
According to Thomas Pakenham, the De Wets' hometown was not a very inspiring place:'Lindley struck people as a depressing place. It was one of those strange, bare little towns, whose presence on the veld was so inexplicable: no visible roads led to it; no fertile fields, let alone trees or gardens, surrounded it; it was just a cluster of tin roofs and a bleak, tall church.' Winston Churchill's eyewitness report was more favourable: 'Lindley is a typical South African town, with a large central market-square and four or five broad unpaved streets radiating therefrom. There is a small clean-looking hotel, a substantial gaol, a church and a school-house. But the two largest buildings are the general stores.'
I don't need to waste ink on this page, the story of the Imperial Yeomanry is told here. I will just add the pictures of the British war graves in the Lindley cemetery and a picture of the two hills between which the Yeomanry were encircled.
The line is dead, although there is talk of re-using it again as part of the infrastructure improvement. This is part of the rail link from Wolwehoek in the north to Arlington in the south. All the station buildings are derelict.
The first NG church was built in 1876, it burned down in 1902 due to war action. A small replica of this church can be seen in the south east corner of the church yard (picture on the left).
A new church was built and inaugurated in 1928.
The other church we noticed was the Methodist church, but there are most likely others, just not found by us.
One of those lovely sand stone buildings.
The British war graves as shown above are in this cemetery. Also of note are some Jewish graves, like every other town in the Free State, here was a strong Jewish community.
Standard Encyclopedia of Southern Africa
"Ons Kerk Album van Hollandsche Kerken en Leeraren", publisher: unknown, printed in the 1920's