REPORT ON THE GROUND PENETRATING RADAR SCANNING OF THE GRAVE OF WIJNAND (VIC) HAMMAN, LICTENBURG HISTORICAL CEMETERY, NORTH WEST PROVINCE
The story of Lance-Corporal Wijnand (Vic) Hamman has been studied by EC Coetzee of the North West University for a number of years (see historical background). During the research it became clear that Hamman has two graves, one in the Browne Copse Commonwealth Cemetery outside of the town of Fampoux in France, close to the site where he had fallen, and another in his home town of Lichtenburg in the North West Province of South Africa. Soldiers who had fallen during the First World War, were usually buried close to where they had fallen and although it was common that a commemorative stone was erected in their home town, Hamman has a full-length grave in Lichtenburg. Coetzee therefore decided to investigate this matter further.
Since the above ground evidence could not give any clarity in this regard, it was necessary to do underground (archaeological studies) of the Lichtenburg site. Coetzee therefore partnered with his colleague, AC van Vollenhoven, registered archaeologist, since such work are regulated by the National Heritage Resources Act (act 25 of 1999). The latter indicates that an archaeological permit should be issued and that the work should be overseen by an archaeologist. It was decided to rather do ground penetrating radar scanning (GPRS) than excavation, due to it being a far more cost effective way. The results however, may provide evidence to decide to excavate the site in future.
For the project a permit was obtained from the Burial Grounds and Graves (BGG) unit of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA). The permit particulars are as follows: Permit ID – 2784; Case ID – 12719. This report deals with the detailed findings of the GPRS as well as the documentation of the site.