Category: Heavy Artillery Memorial

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Kimberley

72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Museum Kimberley

These photographs of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial 72nd (Griqualand West) Siege Battery: Clyde ‘n Terry Hall of Militaria n Kimberley were taken in January 2018 by Diane Van Tonder and are used with permission.

The inscription is followed by the names and ranks of the 167 men who died in the Great War.

This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa.

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)

DRW © 2018. Created 14/09/2018. Images courtesy of Diane Van Tonder. 

Updated: 02/03/2019 — 05:04

The Machine Gun Corps Memorial

The Machine Gun Corps Memorial,  is located on the north side of the traffic island at Hyde Park Corner near the Wellington Arch. The memorial is also known as “The Boy David” as it depicts a 2.7m bronze statue of a nude David by Francis Derwent Wood.  The figure stands with one hand on his hip and the other resting on Goliath’s oversized sword.  On either side of the plinth are  bronze models of a Vickers machine gun, wreathed in laurels.

I have to be honest though, I did not really feel any connection to the memorial, unlike the Royal Artillery Memorial that conveys so much emotion in the oversized bronze figures that make up a part of the overall memorial. 

The memorial is inscribed:

ERECTED TO 
COMMEMORATE 
THE GLORIOUS 
HEROES 
OF THE 
MACHINE GUN
CORPS 
WHO FELL IN 
THE GREAT  WAR.

Below the inscription is a quotation from 1 Samuel 18:7:

“Saul has slain his thousands 
but David his tens of thousands
“.  

The memorial was originally erected next to Grosvenor Place, near Hyde Park Corner, but was dismantled in 1945 and eventually rededicated at its present location in 1963. It was upgraded to a Grade II* listed building (particularly important buildings of more than special interest) in July 2014.

DRW © 2013-2018. Retrospectively created 25/08/2018

Updated: 04/06/2018 — 06:20

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Warrior’s Gate, Durban

75th (Natal) Siege Battery: Warriors Gate Durban

My quest to have a record of all of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorials is one step closer as I can now share images of the SAHA Memorial at Warrior’s Gate in Durban. Special thanks to Carl Hoehler for the  information on where these memorial could be found, as well as additional information on the 6 guns that made up the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery, and to Shelly Baker for all the effort she took to find and photograph the memorial.

 

This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa. It is to be found within “Warrior’s Gate” at the corner of Old Fort Road and Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, in Durban (GE Co-ordinates -29.851048°, 31.026746°). Unlike its counterparts in Johannesburg Zoo and Port Elizabeth, there was no dedication plaque to be seen. However, the tompion on the gun does give some indication of why it is there.

 

The weapon ties into the 75th (Natal) Siege Battery and from the images it appears as if it is in a very good condition, and it is heavily fenced off to prevent illicit harvesting of scrap metal. 

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 08/07/2017. Images courtesy of Shelly Baker. 

Updated: 14/09/2018 — 09:00

Royal Artillery Memorial

In the area where Wellington Arch is, there are a number of War Memorials, one of which is the Royal Artillery Memorial. I did not see this memorial at its best, in fact it was looking decidedly green when I was there.

Wellington Arch and the Memorials in the area

Wellington Arch and the Memorials in the area

Royal Artillery Memorial

Royal Artillery Memorial

Neither was the weather very helpful on the occasions when I was taking photographs here. Even on the day I visited Wellington Arch I still could not get a sunny image of the memorial. However, World War 1 was not about sunny days, the all pervading view gained through black and white imagery is of cold and wet weather with gray leaden skies. Trying to imagine a battle like the Somme in colour would be almost impossible. Fortunately the sun did shine on me once.

The memorial on a sunny day

The memorial on a sunny day (Arch side)

Street side of the memorial

Street side of the memorial

Rear aspect of the memorial with the fallen artilleryman figure

Rear aspect of the memorial with the fallen artilleryman figure

The memorial is very rich in plaques, inscriptions and reliefs, but I think that the 4 bronze figures are what really make it stand out the most. In my opinion the most poignant of all is that of the fallen artilleryman. The inscription around the base reads “A Royal Fellowship of Death”.

The Fallen Artilleryman

The Fallen Artilleryman

In the front of the memorial is the figure of the Driver, he seems to look down on passers by as if to ask them whether they are worthy of the sacrifice that was made.

The Driver

The Driver

The gun portrayed on the memorial is 9.2-inch Mk I howitzer, and it was described by Lord Curzon as “a toad squatting, which is about to spit fire out of its mouth…nothing more hideous could ever be conceived”.

9.1" Breech loading Howitzer

9.2″ Breech loading howitzer

It is an incredibly powerful memorial, and generated a lot of criticism by those who had not manned the guns or been in the trenches, but overall the old soldiers seemed to understand the message that it carried.

The memorial’s main inscription on the west and east faces reads

“IN PROUD REMEMBRANCE OF THE
FORTY NINE THOUSAND AND SEVENTY-SIX
OF ALL RANKS OF THE
ROYAL REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING
AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918″

Commemoration inscription

Commemoration inscription

In 2009 an addition plaque as added to the many already there.

THIS PANEL WAS ADDED TO
COMMEMORATE THE 29,924 OF ALL
RANKS OF THE ROYAL ARTILLERY
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR KING
AND COUNTRY IN ALL PARTS OF THE
WORLD DURING THE WAR OF 1939-1945
+ THEY DIED WITH THE FAITH THAT
THE FUTURE OF ALL MANKIND WOULD
BENEFIT BY THEIR SACRIFICE. +
QUO FAS ET GLORIA

2009 Commemoration Plaque

2009 Commemoration Plaque

One of the relief panels on the memorial

One of the relief panels on the memorial

This memorial does not pull any punches, it is raw, emotional, and very powerful. It does not excuse itself or the men that are remembered here, and it does an excellent job of it too.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 07/03/2015

Updated: 09/01/2018 — 07:35

Walmer War Memorial in Walmer, Port Elizabeth

These photographs were kindly taken by Ronnie Lovemore in June 2011, and are used with his permission.

This memorial to the men and women of  Walmer who died during the two World Wars may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates    33° 58.684’S, 25° 35.135’E.

The drinking trough at the Walmer Town Hall originally came from the plinth that stood in Market Square, Port Elizabeth and on which the Prince Of Wales Obelisk was erected. The trough was removed when the Obelisk was replaced by the Howitzer that formed part of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial.

It was unveiled on 24 March 1925 and is situated in front of the Town Hall.

Remembrance Day 2001

Remembrance Day 2001

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 29/07/2011, added new pics 30/11/2011. Photographs © of Ronnie Lovemore.  Moved to blog 05/02/2014.

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:40

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Johannesburg

71st (Transvaal) Siege Battery: Johannesburg Zoo

These photographs of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial (71st (Transvaal) Seige Battery) at the Johannesburg Zoo were taken on 20 August 2011. Special thanks to Carl Hoehler for the  information on where this memorial can be found, as well as additional information on the 6 guns that made up the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery. Of special mention is the worker at the zoo called Kevin who assisted me in getting these photographs.


This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa. It is currently in the grounds of the Johannesburg Zoo. Like its counterpart in Port Elizabeth, part of the memorial is a dedication plaque:

 Erected by the Officers, NCO’s and Men of the South African Heavy Artillery in Memory of their Comrades who fell in the Great War 1914-1918

The SAHA ROH in JOhannesburg

The SAHA ROH in Johannesburg

The inscription is followed by the names and ranks of the 167 men who died in the Great War.

The gun has been in place at the zoo since 1920, and was restored in 2007.

Information Sheet

Information Sheet

It may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates 26° 10.111’S, 28° 2.039’E

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 21/08/2011. Roll of Honour list supplied by Carl Hoehler. Moved to blog 30/01/2014, Updated 08/07/2017

Updated: 14/09/2018 — 08:53

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Port Elizabeth

74th (Eastern Province) Siege Battery: Port Elizabeth

These photographs were kindly taken by Ronnie Lovemore in June 2011, and are used with his permission. Additional information on this Memorial kindly provided by Carl Hoehler.

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial, Port Elizabeth

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial, Port Elizabeth

Like a number of memorials in Port Elizabeth, this one has had somewhat of a disjointed existence. The original site for the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial (74th (Eastern Province) Seige Battery) in Port Elizabeth was in Market Square. It was to utilise the existing plinth of the Prince Of Wales Obelisk, topped by one of the 6 6-inch 26-cwt howitzers brought back from France and Flanders. The plinth had to be modified from the original to fit the trail of the gun, and 2 of the water troughs were removed, one ending up in the grounds of the Town Hall in Walmer. The Howitzer was placed atop the plinth, facing in a Northerly direction down Port Elizabeth’s Main Street. The ROH was afixed to the base and the brass plaque was dedicated:

Erected by the Officers, NCO’s and Men of the South African Heavy Artillery in Memory of their Comrades who fell in the Great War 1914-1918

The inscription is followed by the names and ranks of the 167 men who died in the Great War. The memorial was unveiled on 26 April 1921 by Field Marshall Earl Haig.


By 1927, plans were being drawn up to move the memorial once again, as it impeded the regulation of traffic in the square. In 1933, after much deliberation, it was decided to move the Memorial to St George’s Park.
The newly designed Memorial did away with the plinth, instead the gun was placed inside a feature resembling a gun emplacement, with the Roll of Honour affixed to the head wall behind the gun. With war looming the gun was removed in 1939 and utilised in training duties. It was returned by the army after the war and replaced on its base.
Vandals had already set their sights on the gun and Memorial, and the plaque had to be restored in 1953, a heavy steel grille was affixed to it at this time.

By the 1970’s the gun was collapsing on its wooden wheels and a low pedestal was erected to help carry its weight. In June 1995, it was removed completely for restoration, and the memorial was refurbished and altered to its present configuration. In 2005 the un-restored howitzer was in Bloemfontein awaiting restoration, and is probably still in that state at the time of writing.

The current memorial may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates   33° 57.881’S, 25° 36.653’E.

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery can be found in: (Open in new page)

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 30/07/2011, Edited 16/08/2011. Photographs © Ronnie Lovemore. Roll of Honour list supplied by Carl Hoehler. Moved to blog 29/01/2014, updated 08/07/2017

Updated: 14/09/2018 — 08:59

South African Heavy Artillery Roll of Honour

This Roll of Honour is a collation of images that I took at the SAHA Memorial in Johannesburg. The image is 1500×403 wide and opens in a new window.

South African Heavy Artillery Roll of Honour. Johannesburg.

South African Heavy Artillery Roll of Honour. Johannesburg.

The SAHA ROH in JOhannesburg

The SAHA Roll of Honour in Johannesburg

The six memorials relating to the South African Heavy Artillery are:

© DRW. 2014-2018.  Created 29/01/2014, updated 08/07/2017.

Updated: 14/09/2018 — 08:58

South African Heavy Artillery Memorial: Pretoria

125th (Transvaal) Siege Battery:  Pretoria


These photographs of the South African Heavy Artillery Memorial in Pretoria  (Specifically the 125th (Transvaal) Siege Battery), were taken on 03 June 2012. Special thanks to Carl Hoehler for the  information on where this memorial can be found, as well as additional information on the 6 guns that made up the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery.

Unlike the two memorials that I already have I have photographs of  (PE and JHB), there is no ROH attached to this memorial.  It is fenced and in a reasonably good condition too, although there are a number of vagrants using the park as a resting place.

This 6-inch 26-cwt howitzer is one of 6 brought back from France and Flanders to be part of the memorials to the South African Heavy Artillery that were established in major centres in South Africa. The inscription reads as follows:
To the Glorious Memory of all ranks of the South African Heavy Artillery, who gave their lives during the Great War 1914-1918. Their lives they gave for their country; for themselves they won honour that shall not fade. Theirs is the most splendid monument, not where they lie buried but in the hearts of all who recalling what they did keep their glory unforgotten.

Dedication Plaque

Dedication Plaque

This Pretoria Memorial to the SAHA may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates    25°44’37.50″S, 28°12’31.18″E.

The 6 Memorials to the Heavy Artillery May be found in: (Open in new page)

© DRW 2012-2018. Created 04/06/2012. Roll of Honour list supplied by Carl Hoehler. Moved to blog 29/01/2014

Updated: 14/09/2018 — 09:00
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