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 officially 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.
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 © 2009-2021. Created 25/10/2009, updated 29/05/2011. Moved to blog 07/02/2014, moved to Musings 09/01/2021