The year of arrival for the family is noted as 1899, however, I have so far only found the following in shipping lists to the Cape:
Sailed from Southampton on the Arundel Castle departing 29 February 1896:
Mrs. CLAPHAM, age 31
Mr. CLAPHAM, age 23, single, a painter
W. CLAPHAM, male, age 8,
B. CLAPHAM, male, age 5
M. CLAPHAM, female, age 3
N. CLAPHAM, female, age 1
Sailed from Southampton on the ship Germam departing 26 February 1904:
Mrs. E.C. CLAPHAM, age 40
V. CLAPHAM, age 17, a Clerk
A. CLAPHAM, age 15
M. CLAPHAM, age 10
E. CLAPHAM, age 6
Sailed from Southampton on the Kenilworth Castle departing 01 October 1904:
Mr. W.H. CLAPHAM
Sailed from Southampton on the Avondale Castle departing 29 October 1904:
Mr. CLAPHAM, married
Some sources say the family settled in Cradock. I found that Victor's family settled in Observatory, Cape Town, where he walked from home to Wynberg Boys' School every day. He received a tickey a day to catch the train home after school, so he could help in his father's grocery shop in Main Road Observatory. One day he bought sweets with the tickey, and walked back from school, only to receive a hiding from his mother when she found out. He never repeated that again.
With the outbreak of World War I, Victor volunteered with the 8th South African Infantry and took part in the East African Campaign in German East Africa (now Tanzania). He suffered through blackwater fever, dysentery and malaria. After collapsing one day, a comrade, Ernest FREEMANTLE, carried him for more than 50 km in over 40 degrees Celsius heat. Victor was sent home to Pietermaritzburg via Mombasa by wagon and then hospital ship. He was medically boarded in 1917. He worked as a fireman for the Natal Government Railways, and enrolled for further studies. He graduated with top marks and was presented with a oak desk. Victor later became a train driver for the South African Railways. He married Nellie Eliza PARKS in Ladysmith in October 1912. She was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, England, daughter of James PARKS. They had 6 sons:
1) Victor (Vic) James born 24 September 1913. He married Helen Felicitas Minnie Thelma Vivienne Marguerite (aka Vivienne Marguerite, born 23 July 1910, died in 1995 at Braemar Nursing Home in Pinetown). He died on 19 July 1994 and last lived at 32 Chapel Road, Botha's Hill. He was a graphic artist. Vic joined the Army when World War II broke out. He was involved in founding the Springbok Legion, a politically liberal organisation for soldiers and veterans. After the war he worked as an information official for the United Party, and as cartoonist for The Guardian newspaper. In 1931 he took part in the Comrades but had to pull out with cramps. Later he joined Lindsay Smithers, rising to Creative Director of what was to become one of South Africa's largest advertising agencies. He founded the First Hillcrest Scouts. In 1976 he was awarded the Bronze Wolf by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting. His illustrations appeared in South African and international Scout publications. He established the Veld Lore newspaper at his Rover Crew in Natal in about 1947, which soon became the provincial publication and then the national newspaper for Scouts. He continued publishing it until his death. He pioneered the Join-In Jamboree concept for Scouts in their home countries during World Scout Jamborees. The concept earned the highest award from the Public Relations Society of America in 1976.
2) Hugh Albert. He was a Sergeant with 2 Royal Durban Light Infantry and 4 Brigade 2 South African Division (Union Defence Force) in World War II. He was mentioned in despatches.
3) Douglas Ernest born 04 November 1914. He married Marjorie MARTENS on 11 July 1940. He was a display artist and also a cyclist. He had one son, and the family lived at Worthney, Esikoleni. He died in Pietermaritzburg in 2003.
4) Marcus Leonard born 04 January 1920. He married Ada DE VILLIERS on 30 August 1943. He was a long distance cyclist, and served in World War II. Marc worked for the South African Railways and lived at 397 Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg.
5) Eric William born 13 August 1922. Married Winifred Sarah McGILL, divorced in 1962. He died on 19 June 2006 and was to married Barbara Ann (born 02 Nov 1939). They lived at 31 Orient Road, Wynberg, Cape Town.
6) Ronald Parks, born in Pietermaritzburg. He married Pauline Margaret PRETORIUS. They divorced in 1956-1957. He died in 1958, and at the time was married to Thelma Winifred.
The returning WWI soldiers formed the League of Comrades of the Great War. In 1918, Victor approached them with his idea for a road race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. It was not welcomed. He tried again in 1919 and 1920, and was again rejected. He persisted until he gained approval in 1921 and received a loan of £1 to have the race run under the League's auspices.
During the first race, a troop of Boy Scouts was camping alongside the main road in Pinelands. Unaware of the race, they were surprised to see a convoy of cars approach. One of the Scouts was 12 year old Vernon JONES, who became the most significant recorder of Comrades history. Years later he recounted seeing a bedraggled runner caked with sand and sweat. That was Bill ROWAN, the winner, at that stage 13 miles short of the finish. Vernon never met Bill, but he did meet every subsequent winner up to and including Bruce FORDYCE.
|The Clapham residence in Greyling Street|
The Comrades Museum and administrative centre in Connaught Road in Scottsville was designed by Wynand CLAASEN, the former Springbok rugby captain who was an architect by profession. His father, George, won the race in 1961.
The direction of the race alternates each year between the up run starting from Durban and the down run starting from Pietermaritzburg. In 1988 the race finished in Pietermaritzburg for the second consectutive year, to celebrate Pietermaritzburg's 150th anniversary. The race has The Big Five - hills on the route - Cowies Hill, Field's Hill, Botha's Hill, Inchanga and Polly Shortts.
|The Comrades down route|
|The Comrades up route|
According to Cape archival documents, Francis SHORTT and his wife Sarah Johanna Rosina HUGO adopted Portland, as he was the illegitimate son of Jane GOODRICKE and Walter BENTINCK. Walter was the Auditor General of the Cape Colony from 1808 to 1812. He returned to England on three months leave in January 1812, upon the death of his father. He returned to the Cape in May 1814. He bought the farm Rustgeworden on the Liesbeeck in October 1814. On 14 January 1816, his twin sons Walter and Portland were baptised (they were born 19 December 1815). By January 1833 he had returned to England. Sarah was the daughter of Catharina Maria CASARSE, widow of Cc.J. HUGO. Sarah's grandmother was Rosina VAN DE KAAP who was born in slavery. Francis arrived at the Cape on 15 April 1807 on-board the Fly from Portsmouth, and set up as a shipping agent at 2 Wale Street, Cape Town. He was from Annan, Dumfries. He married Sarah at the Cape on 04 August 1817. On 12 September 1817, he was licensed as a surgeon and had consulting rooms at 12 Tuinwyk. Sarah died in August 1821 and Francis applied for permission to leave the Cape in June 1822 on-board the Ann for New South Wales.
After Polly Shortts, there's Ashburton, named for the home town in Devon of William ELLIS, who settled in the area after making his fortune in the Australian gold rush. Further along the route, the sign "Lion Park" indicates the area of South Africa's first such park, established by Dick CHIPPERFIELD of Chipperfield's Circus.
Camperdown was the home of the John VANDERPLANK, a young English Naval officer who introduced black wattle to the area. His brother Charles, living in Australia, sent him the seeds, which he planted as hedges, and was surprised when they grew into trees. In 1887 the bark of the black wattle began to be used as a source of tannic acid in the tannery industry. John is buried at the Church of the Resurrection cemetery. The church's foundation stone was laid by his wife.
Cato Ridge is named after George Christopher CATO (25 Feb 1814-1893), a landowner in the early Durban days. He was Durban's first Mayor. His family were Huguenots originally named CATON, who settled in London. They were silk weaving traders, and went to the Cape in 1826, settling in Grahamstown. When he was 12 years old, his father was killed by an elephant in the Addo bush and George left to find work in Algoa Bay. He married Elizabeth GRIFFIN in 1834. In 1838, he sailed on an expedition to explore and trade at Port Natal. The following year, together with his brother Christopher Joseph, they set out with their wives and children to settle in Port Natal. The same year he sailed to Delagoa Bay in the Mazeppa to rescue the survivors of Trichardt’s trek. His trading business expanded to include a small shipping agency and a fleet of coasters, which plied between Algoa Bay and Port Natal. These tied up at the foot of Stanger Street known for many years as Cato's Creek. While the port was still under the government of the Natalia Republic, George was asked to lay out a plan for a town to be called D'Urban. When the trekkers besieged the British troops at Congella in 1842, the CATO brothers are said to have helped Dick KING and his servant, Ndongeni, by ferrying them across the bay so they could ride to Grahamstown for help. George was among 10 English settlers who were taken to the camp at Congella, and then sent handcuffed to Pietermaritzburg where they were kept in stocks as punishment for having British sympathies. In 1845 he was given unappropriated land by the British government in appreciation for his services. When the town achieved municipal status in 1854, he was elected Mayor. He died in Durban on 09 July 1893.
Drummond is named after Sir Charles F. DRUMMOND, a former director of the Natal Land and Colonisation Company.
Arthur's Seat gets its name from Arthur NEWTON, the five-time race winner. He would take a breather there, and legend has it that those runners who pay their respects by leaving a flower in his honour, will be rewarded with a successful finish. The Wall of Honour, further along the route, includes bricks purchased by finishers and reflects their names, race numbers and any little quirks they may wish to add.
The village of Botha's Hill was named after Captain Cornelis BOTHA who owned Botha's Halfway House Inn and was a former Harbour Master in Durban. He married Deborah MARITZ, daughter of the Voortekker leader Gerhardus (Gerrit) MARITZ.
Field's Hill is named after John FIELD, brother of William Swan FIELD, Durban's first Magistrate. The British government gave William a farm named Richmond in 1851 in recognition of his services and contribution to the Byrne immigration scheme. In 1867 he relinquished the farm to John. John's son-in-law, William GILLIT, named his farm Emberton, a portion of which became known as Hill Crest. Field's Hill is the longest, steepest and most damaging part of the course. At the bottom of the hill, lies an industrial and residential area that owes it's existance to the Wayside Hotel. It was established in 1849 as a place for stagecoaches to change horses while travellers enjoyed refreshments. The following year, a town was built and named Pinetown after Sir Benjamin PINE, Lieutenant-Governor of Natal (1849-1856) and later Governor (1873-1875). Pinetown was for a time the home of Lord BADEN-POWELL, founder of the Scout Movement. His original house is preserved.
Cowie's Hill is named after William COWIE, the son of Scottish settlers and a farmer who joined the Voortrekker group led by J.J. UYS and his son Pieter into Natal in 1837. He had lived in Uitenhage and married Magdalena Josina LAAS. On 11 July 1844 the farm Tafelberg was sold by Andries VAN TONDEREN to William for £225. A nearby hill, known originally as Steilhoogte, became known as Cowie Hill. William was appointed Postmaster in Durban on 22 December 1844. He died on 23 October 1856.
In 1847, two German settlers, Hypolite JARGAL and Philipp Jakob JUNG, bought land in the vicinity of Durban and named it Wandsbeck. The following year, Jonas BERGTHIEL, a British merchant, brought out 183 German immigrants on the ship Beta leaving Bremen in November 1847 and arriving at Port Natal on 23 March 1848. He renamed Wandsbeck to Westville, after Martin Thomas WEST, first Lieutenant-Governor of Natal, under whose administration most Voortrekkers left Natal. The settlers were given 210 acres each, 10 acres for growing vegetables and the rest to be put under cotton. Seed was supplied free, but they had to buy farming implements and oxen themselves. Cotton farming was unsuccessful, and the settlers changed to successfully grow vegetables and flowers. The Bergtheil Museum is named after Jonas and is situated in Westville’s oldest building, built circa 1840.
The hill, 45th Cutting, is named after a British infantry regiment - the 45th Regiment of Foot. The area is named Sherwood, after the Sherwood Foresters, a nickname of the regiment that was stationed there between 1843 and 1859 and who constructed a cutting with picks and shovels through the hill.
The first woman to run the race was Frances HAYWARD, a typist from Durban, in 1923, but her entry was refused, so she ran as an unofficial entrant. She completed the race in 11:35 and although she was not awarded a Comrades medal, the other runners and spectators presented her with a silver tea service and a rose bowl. She died in 1977.
In 1931, Geraldine Isobel WATSON, a Durban schoolteacher and another unofficial entrant, finished in just over 11 hours. She had only trained for six weeks. In 1932 she ran unofficially again, finishing in 11:56 and became the first woman to complete both the up run and the down run. In 1933 she ran her third consecutive Comrades, after six months of training and finished in 9:31. Geraldine participated in nearly every Comrades Marathon as spectator, competitor, helper and attendant since the 1920s. Geraldine was born on 05 March 1890 in Woodford, Northhamptonshire, England. She was the seventh daughter of the Rev. J.T. Watson, Rector of Woodford, and Marion Grace (daughter of Sir Courtenay HONEYWOOD, Baronet). Geraldine attended Bishop Otter Memorial College in Chichester. She arrived in Natal in 1911. She taught in Natal from 1911 to 1923, in the Cape from 1923 to 1928, and again in Natal in 1928. She lived at the Esplanade Hotel in Durban in 1932/3. Geraldine died in 1975, the Golden Jubilee Year which marked the official opening of the race to women. She donated the trophy for the last runner to finish, the Geraldine Watson Trophy.
Other women who ran in the unofficial years included the well-known ultra distance runner, Mavis HUTCHINSON (aka the Galloping Granny), who completed seven Comrades. She ran her first Comrades in 1965 and again the following year, becoming the second woman to complete an up and a down run. Her first run inspired Maureen HOLLAND who watched her run past in Pinetown, to attempt the race in 1966. Maureen ran six Comrades and had the best time for the women runners when in 1971 she completed the course in 8:32. She died in October 2011. Lettie VAN ZYL ran unofficially from 1973, and later secured three consecutive wins in 1976, 1977 and 1978. In 1967 while waiting for her husband Tony to finish his training session at Alexandra Park, Elizabeth CAVANAGH decided on impulse to give running a go. She was in her mid 30s and had never taken part in any sport before. She ran her first Comrades in 1970, finishing with 10 minutes to spare. She became the first official women's winner in just over 10 hours in 1975, and went on to earn her Green Number by completing 10 Comrades.
In 1924 the Natal Witness donated a silver tea set for first prize. Arthur NEWTON declined the prize, believing he had had more time to train than his competitors, and donated it to the runner-up. In 1928 the newspaper donated £25 as first prize.
|H.P. Masterton Smith|
In 1935, Robert MTSHALI, a young black runner, completed the race as an unofficial entrant in 9:30. He received a special award from Councillor Vernon Lyall SHEARER. A plaque bearing his name was unveiled on 10 June 2005 at the Comrades Museum, dedicated to all the men and women who completed Comrades prior to 1975. In 2005 his sole surviving daughter, Sibongile Mtshali (43), was living in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth. Robert died on 01 June 1967, while walking home from his road works job. A car knocked him over in Ferguson Street, Port Elizabeth. He had moved to the city in the 1940s and bought the house that Sibongile still lives in.
|Robert Mtshali plaque|
In 1962 the race saw its first foreign entries as the Road Runners Club of England sent four of the best long-distance runners in Britain. One of them, John SMITH, won the up race in under six hours, missing the record by 33 seconds. In 1975 the race was officially opened to all races and women. Vincent RAKABELE finished 20th to become the first black runner to officially win a medal. In 1989, Sam TSHABALALA became the first black winner of the Comrades. He was badly injured in a motor accident in 1991. After a courageous battle, he made a comeback in 1992, claiming a silver medal. In 2008, Dave ROGERS broke the record for the most Comrades finishes when he completed his 43rd race in 11:09 at age 65. He was met at the finishing line by Clive CRAWLEY (77), the first runner to win 42 medals. Dave's first race was in 1961, taking him 10:13.
Runners have 12 hours to complete the race. This was extended from 11 hours in 2003. There are a number of cut-off points along the route which runners must reach by a prescribed time or be forced to retire from the race. A runner who has successfully completed 9 marathons wears a yellow number, while those who have completed 10 races wear a green number, which is permanently allocated to the runner for all future races. Medals are currently awarded as follows:
Gold Medals - the first 10 men and women
Silver Medals - 6hrs 00min 01sec to sub 7hrs 30min
Bronze Medals - 9hrs 00min to sub 11hrs 00min.
Wally Hayward Medals - 11th position to sub 6hrs 00min
Bill Rowan Medals - 7hrs 30min to sub 9hrs 00min
Vic Clapham Medals - 11hrs 00min to sub 12hrs 00min
Prior to 2000, only gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded. The Bill Rowan Medal was introduced in 2000. Bill had predicted a finishing time of 9 hours for himself in that first race. The Vic Clapham Medal was added in 2003 and the Wally Hayward Medal in 2007. In 1995 prize money was introduced for the first time.
From 1962 to 1994 the race was run on Republic Day, 31 May. After this public holiday was removed in 1995 by the government, the race date was changed to Youth Day on 16 June. In 2007 the race organisers bowed to political pressure from the ANC Youth League and changed the race date to Sunday 17 June for 2007 and 15 June for 2008. In 2009 and 2010 the race day changed to 24 May and 30 May respectively to accommodate football's Confederations Cup (2009) and World Cup (2010) in South Africa. It now takes place on the Sunday closest to 31 May.
In 2009, Chris MANN, honorary Professor of poetry at Rhodes, wrote the following tribute:
The Natal Witness
1933 Natal Who's Who
Voortrekker Stamouers 1835-1845, by Jan Visagie
British Residents at the Cape 1795-1819, by Peter Philip
National Archives of South Africa