Trials of a Troepie

The military is a breeding ground for cartoons, there is just so much that can be done with the average soldiers trials and tribulations.  These cartoons were drawn by Moth Brian Porter and are reproduced with his permission.  Special thanks to Joe Borain for passing these gems onto me.

DRW ©  2012-2019. Images © Brian Porter. Moved to blog 07/04/2014

Roodepoort Civic Fountain

It appears as if the Roodepoort Civic Fountain memorial still exists. Courtesy of Diederik Cloete the following images and information can be added to the record and the fountain may be removed from the extinct list.

The fountain is situated outside the Roodepoort Civic Centre in Christiaan de Wet Road,

(Google Co-ordinates  -26.09592, 27.84427) . 

The fountain is in excellent condition but was  not working when the photographer was there. Possibly because it is broken, or because of the present level-2 water restrictions being in-force, The fountain is totally incorporated into the design of the actual Civic Centre building, with the same building style and materials evident. The building was opened on 4 July 1980, by the Honourable W.A. CRUYWAGEN, the (then) Administrator of Transvaal. It is possible that the fountain was dedicated on the same day.
The fountain consists of three tiers (excluding base receiving fountain- pan), with each square, stacked upon each other in ascending size, it stands about 2.5 meters tall and the dedication plaque is affixed to the second (middle) tier of the fountain (on the West face) facing the building. 
The dedication plaque is of black marble, and the inscribed sandblasted thereupon, in both Afrikaans (top) and English (bottom), and reads as follows: –

Overall Diederik was impressed by the condition of the building, its surroundings and appearance, and I have to admit on the few occasions that I was there I too was impressed. However, of the “Roll of Honour” mentioned on the face of the fountain, there was no indication on the fountain or in the surrounding area that there ever was  a physical roll of honour. And any attempts to enquire from the security guards if they knew if such a roll was perhaps somewhere inside the building affixed to a wall, was answered in the negative. The security guards also got sticky about the image taking and insisted that it was not allowed. 

The following considerations can be made:  It may very well be that the reference to “the roll of honour” is referring to the National Roll of Honour (as maintained by the actual Security Forces)   and since the plaque refers to more that one force,  it was (is) probably referring to the Defence Force (SADF) and Police Force (SAP) as known at the time. No time period is mentioned on the plaque and whether it was referring to the Border War? or WW2, or WW1, Somewhere in Roodepoort or Florida the answer lies. 

What about the fountain that I thought was the Civic Fountain in the first place? It could be that I was mistaken about it being the Civic Fountain, but without seeing the original newspaper report that I saw at the time I am unable to confirm anything. 

According to the old newspaper report I found in the local library, this fountain, situated on the corner of Ontdekkers and Golf Club Terrace was originally dedicated to “The Fallen Members of the South African Security Forces”.  The dedication plaque is missing so there is no real way of knowing whether this was the site of the plaque or a Roll of Honour.  I did ask around at the time and somebody whispered that the plaque had been removed because it was not politically correct. 

So, until we know more, I think this memorial may be removed from the extinct list. I do have hopes for the finding of that ROH in the future. 

© DRW 2011-2018. Created 12/09/2011. Moved to blog 07/02/2014. Updated 31/12/2016. Images and text by Diederik Cloete, reproduced with permission.

South African Defence Force Memorial: Fort Klapperkop

The South African Defence Force Memorial at Fort Klapperkop could probably be moved to the extinct category as it seems to have lost its reason for existing, being superceded by the SADF Wall of Remembrance at the Voortrekker Monument.

The Memorial was unveiled on 31 May 1979, and the casualty names are arranged in order of year and rank on plaques surrounding the central statue.

Unveiling Plaque
Unveiling Plaque
Dedication Plaque
Dedication Plaque

There are many more names on the Wall of Remembrance at the Voortrekker Monument, and that may be part of the problem.  This Memorial does not incorporate all the members of the SADF that lost their lives, whereas the VTM wall does.

Typical Name Plaque
Typical Name Plaque

Fort Klapperkop was one of four forts constructed in 1897 to protect Pretoria against attacks. It was handed over to the ZAR Government on 18 January 1898. It was surrendered to the British with the fall of Pretoria, and from then on were manned and armed until 1902 by the Imperial Army. The 4 forts were handed to the Defence Force in 1921 and declared National Monuments in 1938. Schanskop and Klapperkop served as military museums but they were closed in 1993 and the forts were purchased by the city council.

The Memorial may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates  -25.779524°, 28.210037°

© DRW 2009-2018. Created 22/08/2009. Moved to blog 07/02/2014

The Koevoet Memorial; Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria

The Koevoet Memorial is situated  at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria and images of it were kindly provided by Ryno Human and are used with his permission.

The Memorial was unveiled on 6 April 2013 by Lt Genl “Sterk Hans” JG Dreyer SOO, SOE. Founder and officer commanding Koevoet.  The Roll of Honour may be found at South African Police Officers Memorial.

More images are available at the Koevoet Memorial page

© DRW 2013-2018.  Images © Ryno Human. Created 08/07/2013. Moved to blog 25/01/2014.

War Memorial at Hoërskool Roodepoort.

I was totally unaware of this memorial until I received an email from Ryno, who said that he had seen it while playing rugby at the school. I was quite surprised myself but had to wait till school re-opened before being able to photograph it. Unfortunately it also decided to rain during my visit so invariably I will have to go back one of these days for better pics (I am afraid that never happened).  Special thanks to Hoërskool Roodepoort for giving me permission to photograph the memorial. There are 6 names of past pupils on the memorial. It was designed and erected by Gerhard Kotze. November 1992

CO. C.J. Joubert 13-07-1966 (SAAF)
Cpl. D. Van Niekerk  07-03-1985 (SACMP)
Capt. C.L. Smith 21-08-1973 (SAAF)
L/Cpl W.A. Van Wyk 27-06-1988 (10 Armrd Car Sqdn)
Cpl. R.S. Gibbon 19-06-1976 (1SSB)
2Lt. H. Stapelberg 31-07-198  (116 Battalion)

© DRW 2012-2018. Created 27/01/2012. Moved to blog 22/01/2014

32 Battalion Roll of Honour

Roll of Honour.

The names are in the order that the brass plaques are placed on the Tree of Honour. The limitations of this page have meant that I am using an image of the original post of the ROH I had on my website. (Image opens in a new window)

 © DRW 2009-2018. Recreated 12/11/2014.

32 Battalion Tree of Honour

The 32 Battalion Tree of Honour  was originally unveiled on 26 May 1985 by Maj Genl. GL Meiring, commander of SWATF. Originally from Buffalo in the Caprivi, it was subsequently moved to Pomfret and then to Zeerust, finally being planted at the Voortrekker Monument on 10 October 2009.
The photograph above was taken at the unveiling of The South African Defence Force Wall of Remembrance at the Voortrekker Monument on 25 October 2009. 

The Tree of Honour holds the names of members of 32 Battalion who were killed in action 1976-1991, each emblazoned on a small brass plate.  

The Roll of Honour may be found at my 32 Battalion ROH Page

When I last saw it the Tree of Honour in 2012 it had been moved from its original spot, to a different area close the Wall of Remembrance. It had also been trimmed and work had been done on it to preserve if for future generations.

The Tree may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates -25.775545°,  28.174480°

© DRW 2009-2018. Created 25 October 2009. Updated 31/08/2010, moved to blog 01/01/2014, edited 21/05/2015 to space images better and to fix errors.