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.

sadfrandom01

 

© DRW 2009-2018. Created 25/10/2009, updated 29/05/2011. 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.

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