Tag: Voortrekker Monument

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Klapperkop could probably be moved to the extinct category as it seems to have lost its reason for existing, being superceded by the SADF Wall of Remembrance at the Voortrekker Monument.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

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:56

South African Defence Force Wall of Remembrance: Voortrekker Monument

Following the non recognition of members of the SADF by the so called “freedom park”, it was decided that a fitting tribute be made to the members of the SADF that lost their lives in service. The South African Defence Force Wall of Remembrance was offically unveiled at the Voortrekker Monument on the 25th of October 2009.

The Wall was erected to pay tribute to the members of the SADF who lost their lives in service of their country over the period 31 May 1961 (the coming of the Republic) and 27 April 1994 (the birth of the SANDF). It was made possible through private donations and contributions in kind and no state funds were used to this end.

The area by the Wall has also become home to the 32 Battalion Tree of Honour which commemorates those soldiers of 32 Battalion who lost their lives during the border war, as well as the newly found 31/201 Battalion Memorial. Recently a niche wall was erected for those members of the SADF who would like to have their ashes at the memorial.

The commemoration service is held on the Sunday closest to the 31st of May, and I have attended a number of these since the opening of the wall. I have seen the service grow in size and the interest being shown is heart warming.

As each year passes so the list of casualties becomes more complete, and the supplementary list becomes longer, and each year more people acknowledge this memorial for the sacrifices it represents.

There is also a Memorial to the Unknown Soldier at the Wall,and a wreath always gets laid at this silent sentinel.

Memorial to The Unknown Soldier

Memorial to The Unknown Soldier

Recently the wall dedicated to the Honoris Crux, Van Riebeeck Medal, and Louw Wepener Decoration was also added, and a number of holders of these decorations were present.

A plaque relating to the Mapai Incident is also at the wall, and there are niches for the “Ebo Four”

I have too many images to show them all on this page, so am adding in these random images of a special place that has become a home for ex-soldiers, and a source of comfort and recognition for the many families who lost their loved ones in the defence of the country.  The Wall may be found at S25°46.546,  E28°10.460.



© DRW 2009-2018. Created 25/10/2009, updated 29/05/2011. Moved to blog 07/02/2014

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:56

Voortrekker Monument at Emma Park in Linden

These photographs were taken on Emma Koppie in Linden.

I really struggled to find this monument the first time around. It does appear in the streetfinder, but the physical path to it took quite a bit of searching. Fortunately the local cat lady was able to help.

A quick search revealed a bit more of the story behind the memorial. “The (ocwagon) Johanna vd Merwe was dragged up the Emma Park Koppie by members of the church (The NGK in Linden) and the Laerskool Louw Geldenhuys. At the top of the koppie the hoofs of the oxen were imprinted in stone and on the other side at the Voortrekker Hall, the wheels were also imprinted. Afterwards there was a party at Emma Park.” I am hoping to get photographs of the ox wagon tracks in the near future. Special thanks to Mignon and Hendrik at “Wamakerskloof” for the information.

I returned to the monument in November 2011 to see what state it was in, and all I could see was that the koppie had been fenced and was more overgrown than before. I still was not able to get to the Voortrekker Hall where there were other plaques, but was able to photograph them using my zoom.

© DRW 2007-2018. Updated 25/11/2011. Moved to blog 05/02/2014.

Updated: 06/01/2018 — 12:39

Downed Rhodesian Viscount Memorial; Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria

This Memorial, unveiled on 2 September 2012, is situated  at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. The original images of this memorial were kindly provided by Ryno Human and were used with his permission. I have since replaced these images with those taken by Igmar Grewar

The shooting down of these two Rhodesian civilian aircraft on the 12th of February 1979, and the 3rd of September 1978 has always been contentious, especially in the light of the callous and coldblooded slaughter of 10 survivors on the ground. The incidents did bring about reprisals from both sides, but no real satisfactory explanation was ever forthcoming from those responsible.

Sadly the truth will never come out, and any attempt to reach some sort of answer has always resulted in official bluster and denial. However, this memorial serves as a reminder that the horror and barbarity of warfare can affect those who are not in the military too.

© DRW 2013-2018. Images © Igmar Grewar and Ryno Human. Created 10 July 2013. Moved to blog 27/01/2014. Images replaced 16/03/2014. Removed dead link 10/03/2016. Replaced original ROH images that were displaying incorrectly and replaced with one large image 22/05/2016.

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 21:00

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.

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 20:52

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.
Updated: 05/01/2018 — 07:48

31/201 Battalion Memorial

I do not know the history of this memorial or of 31/201 Battalion, I encountered it for the first time while attending a memorial service at the Voortrekker Monument. These images I took on  29 May 2011. 
When I saw it  some of the brass plaques were barely legible (overzealous polishing?)  but the Battalion Roll of Honour is available at the  31/201 Bn website. The Needle was due to be unveiled at a ceremony on the 18th September 2011.

Information Plate

Information Plate

Google Earth co-ordinates for the memorial are roughly -25.775656°  28.174189°

© DRW 2007-2018. Created 29 May 2011. Updated 30 August 2011. Moved to blog 01/01/2014

Updated: 05/01/2018 — 07:48
Blogging while allatsea © 1999-2018. All photographs are copyright to DR Walker or the relevant photographer. Frontier Theme