1934 Livingstone Memorial at Victoria Falls

2015 David Livingstone Memorial Statue at Victoria Falls.

2015 David Livingstone Memorial Statue at Victoria Falls.

By August 1934, it had taken seven years to bring to completion a movement to erect a memorial to David Livingstone at the Victoria Falls, Africa, which he was, (so far as is known), the first white man to see. Livingstone was bom at Blantyre, in Scotland, and as a boy and young man worked in the local cotton mill. It was in the fifties in the 19th Century, when making one of his trying journeys on the Zambesi, that he discovered the Victoria Falls.

The Federated Caledonian Societies of South Africa undertook to raise £10,000 to erect a memorial on the spot, and this was formally unveiled on Sunday 6th August 1934. The originator of the scheme, Mr. William Lowe died before the work was carried out. The spray caused by the water tumbling into the chasm  sometimes covers the statue. It was appropriate, if only to show the progress made in those years leading up to the event, that the ceremony was broadcast by radio. Listeners In this country heard the speeches, not very clearly in some cases, but they did hear the roar of the “mist that thunders” as the natives called it. The water crashes over the gorge which is twice the height of Niagara. As children, we were all thrilled to read the story of Livingstone’s Journeys, and we marvelled at the hardships he endured and the difficulties he encountered in making progress in that unexplored land. Nowadays we can sit comfortably at home, see and listen to the thunder of the falls which he heard with awe. Interestingly, this reporter commented in 1934, “Before long we may be able to ‘see’ as well as hear, the famous falls!”

Pictured is the memorial statue, which should not be confused with a more modern one at the Zambian side of the falls.

Leave a Reply