These photographs were taken in September 2009 and in 2012 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Sadly, like so many things in South Africa it had been vandalised. In 2009 I noted that plaques had been prised off the wall in the one cupola, in 2012 it had still not been rectified. I believe even more plaques had been stolen since then.
The ROH covers casualties from both World Wars as well as South African Air Force casualties from The Korean War. Images of individual plaques are available on request.
Also present on the site is the Delville Wood Memorial, with the Police Memorial close by. The Union Buildings may be found at the Google Earth co-ordinates -25.740731°, 28.211792°
World War 1 vandalised plaques
© DRW 2009-2018. Created 12/01/2011. Updated 03/06/2012. Moved to blog 01/02/2014
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 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.
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
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.
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
The South African Police Memorial at the Union Buildings is easily overlooked, but its lines of names and plaques proves that being a policeman in South Africa is a very dangerous job.
At the time of writing 5689 policemen and women have lost their lives in the course of their duty. The full list of names is available at the South African Police Officers Memorial website
The cornerstone of the memorial was laid on 20 May 1983 by the Commissioner of the South African Police, Genl. MCW Geldenhuys. The architect was Maree and Sons, and it was unveiled by the State President, Mr PW Botha, on 17 October 1984.
The memorial is accessible from the parking area in Government Ave, between the Union Building and the terraces below. it is located across from an amphitheater that hosts an annual memorial service to commemorates the sacrifice of the members of the police force.
It may be found at Google Earth co-ordinates 25°44’30.95″S, 28°12’49.62″E.
© DRW 2009 – 2018. Created 14/09/2009, edited 03/07/2012. Moved to blog 27/01/2014
My late maternal grandfather was a Delville Wood survivor, having been wounded on the 18th of July 1916. He never really spoke much about his experience at the battle, and if he had I probably would not have been able to comprehend the horror and slaughter of this battle. As a result of his service I have an interest in the memorials, and there are 2 specific memorials that I have in mind. The first being at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and the second at the sight of Delville Wood in France.
Delville Wood Memorial at the Union Buildings
The original images I had were taken by Terry Cawood, but I have since visited the memorial and have replaced most of them. Unfortunately, photographing the memorial properly from the front has just never been possible due to sun and light conditions.
The memorial above has a central group of figures representing the theme of physical energy (represented by the war horse) and two nationalities of South Africa, British and Boer, with one hand clasped over the horse’s back in friendship. This theme is present too at the Memorial at Delville Wood in France, and in a similar Memorial in Cape Town. The bronze by Alfred Turner represents Castor and Pollux, Greek and Roman mythological figures of the twins who had one mother and two different fathers, one mortal and one immortal, making Castor mortal and Pollux immortal.
Castor and Pollux bronze on the memorial arch.
The story of the battle is not an easy one to tell because so much was happening, however I do recommend reading Delville Wood: Gethsemane for the South African Brigade by I.S. Uys. I also recommend visiting the Delville Wood website, especially if you are researching a casualty.
Unfortunately, many of the bronze plaques and fittings have fallen to theft, but so far Castor and Pollux are safe on their memorial arch.
© DRW 2007-2018. Updated 24/05/2012. Images replaced 14/07/2012. Moved to blog 19/01/2014