On the afternoon of Wednesday the 28th of January 1970 a school bus was on it's way to take school children to their homes. The bus stalled on the Highbury level crossing near Henley-on-Klip where it was hit by an oncoming train, 23 children died and 14 were seriously injured in this horrible collision. This tragic accident shocked the whole country.
Just before the collision Johan le Roux a matric leaner from Dr. Malan High school pushed two smaller children, Willem Nel (10) and Petrus van der Walt(8) , out of the bus to safety. Johan did not make it to safety and lost his life when the bus was hit by the oncoming train.
For his heroic action in the face of death Johan was awarded the Flare of Honour for Bravery ("Erefakkel vir Dapperheid") posthumously on the 9th of October 1971 by the then Minister of Education, Johan van der Spuy.
In 1973 he was also awarded theWoltemade Decoration for Bravery (Silver).
Part of the R551 between Meyerton & Pretorius Streets was also named in honor of Johan.
The Johan le Roux off ramp is a well known entrance to Meyerton from the R59.
At the nearby Japie Greyling primary school a memorial was erected to commemorate this tragic happening.
To visit this memorial which is located inside the school grounds, stop in front of the main gate and hoot once. The gate will be opened and after you have parked your vehicle please report to the office and let them know you have come to visit the memorial.
Memorial at S 26º 29.510 E 028º 03.974
If you want to visit this memorial outside school hours you can contact them at 016 365 5251 during school hours to arrange a time and date so that one of the personnel will let you in. This was arranged with the principal Christine van Niekerk.
This cache was placed to commemorate this horrific event in our history.
While researching the information around this event we found that people have started to forget about this tragic event. We had to talk to many people before we could find the exact spot where this accident happened.
The road that crossed the railway lines at the Highbury level crossing in 1970 was Bosbok Street.
The crossing no longer exists but the exact spot where the crossing used to be, can be viewed from the point where Bosbok Street crosses Springbok street.
On the opposite side of the railway line there is a prefab concrete wall blocking the view to the crossing from that side.
Now, let's find the cache..The coordinates published above will take you to the graves of some of the children.
Find the grave of Johan le Roux.
a = Month †
b = First digit of day * + first digit of day †
c = a
A = Sum of the last two digits of the year *
B = Last digit of year †
C = Numeric digit of the grave No.
Now calculate the coordinates for the next waypoint;
S 26º 31.abc E28º 02.ABC
These coordinates will take you to a waypoint where you will find a pole (picture below) right next to the level crossing where this tragic accident took place.
(The level crossing was closed not long after the accident.)
On the pole you will find a tag with five digits needed to calculate the final coordinates for this cache.
Before you move on to the final coordinates, please take a moment to remember this tragic accident that took place about 30 meters from where you are standing.
YOU SHOULD NOT CROSS THE RAILWAY LINES!! THE CACHE IS NOT ACCESSIBLE FROM THE RAILWAY SIDE!!
d = fifth digit
e = first digit + forth digit
f = forth digit + fifth digit
D = third digit
E = first digit
F = forth digit
Final Coordinates = S26º 31.def E028º 02.DEF
To unlock the combination lock you will need a 5 character word.
First determine the following numbers;
- First two digits of year †
- First two digits of day † - last digit of day †
- Month †
- Numeric digit of the grave No.
- Last digit of the day †
Now presume that A=1, B=2, C=3 .....
Convert the numbers to their alpha equivalents and that will give you the 5 letter word to unlock the combination lock.
The cache is an ammo box placed in a self-made container (360mm x 260mm x 120mm) Please make sure that you lock the combination lock by scrambling the letters on the lock after you finished the cache.
Enjoy the hunt!
I just want to thank the following people who contributed in putting this cache together;
Brent Peacock : Editing.
Keith Lane : Supplied Material for Container
Leon Kirchner : Permission to place the cache on the property.
Quintus vd Merwe : Original idea and combination lock.