Memories of National Service in the SADF.
Like so many other white males of my age group I was conscripted to serve 2 years in the old South African Defence Force or SADF as it was known back then. I spent 1980 and 1981 doing my “National Service”, and came back a very different person to what I was when I went in. When South Africa became a democracy in 1994 the old “enemy” became the new rulers, while the old “rulers” conveniently shunted those of us who had served in the military aside to deal with our ghosts and memories.
I found writing about my experiences very therapeutic, however, time has dimmed many of my memories and so occasionally I got bogged down with dates, names and details, consequently I tried to avoid using those whenever possible. This page slowly evolved over at least 5 years and apart from minor changes now stands as my record of events as they were.
Since I wrote the original draft of this section of my web page, much water has flowed under the bridge, and in that period I have had many visitors to this page and I am struck by one thread which has come out of the old guestbook and the mail I have received. So many ex servicemen are still struggling with the consequences of what happened to them, the quest for answers and closure doesn’t seem to stop and I fear that there are so many guys out there who may never find peace. Its such a pity that the politicians of the day or anybody in the SADF never seemed to consider the consequences of what they did and they have left us all to be forgotten. I just hope that somehow we will all find peace, whether we were friend or foe.
61 Mech Battalion Group Veterans Association
SADF Honour Roll
South African and Rhodesian Sappers Home Page
61 Mech Battalion Group Blog
Wikipedia – 61 Mechanised Battalion Group
Wikipedia – South African Border War
32 Battalion Veterans Association Website
South African Air Force Museum
South African Naval Museum
South African Air Force Association
South African Special Forces League
Unofficial SA Corps of Military Police
Transvaal Scottish Online
The story of an SADF Ops Medic
The Sentinel Projects
Home of the AK47
© DRW. 1995-2017. Updated 22/08/2009. Moved to blog 06/02/2014