Annual National Gunners Memorial, 18 April 2010

Article by Captain Werner Joubert, Communication Officer, School of Artillery

On Sunday 18 April 2010, the South African Gunners from the South African Artillery and the South African Air Defence Artillery once again came together to remember their fallen comrades who had paid the ultimate price in various different operations and wars.

The next generation remembering the past generation



















The venue was the National Gunners Memorial site in Potchefstroom and the event was the Annual Gunners Memorial. During the Memorial Service, fallen gunners, who had served in the Artillery during both World Wars as well gunners who had fallen in other wars and operations serving South Africa, were remembered and honoured for their sacrifice. During the service gun salvos were shot with 88mm G1 ceremonial guns and wreaths were laid by various dignitaries and guests to honour these members.

Gun of the past










Gun Salvo










Gunners Memorial with wreaths




















The 2010 Gunners Memorial Service was highlighted by the presence of the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, the Honourable Mr T.S.P. Makwetla as well as the attendance of the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, Mr M.S. Booi. Other VIP guests that attended included General (Ret) Constand Viljoen and Warrant Officer Class 1 (Ret) Koos Moorcroft.

The Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mr Thabang Makwetla











Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, Mr Nyami Booi - Laying a wreath























General (Ret) Constand Viljoen and Mrs Viljoen laying a wreath












During the last year the Gunners Memorial Site has undergone a tremendous transformation from the pale and bleak looking monument to a well-maintained and professional looking monument. Upgrading and renovations to the Gunners Memorial Site included, the extension of the paving for VIP guests, the planting and layout of gardens, the building of a new lectern type podium and the replanting of 16 Popular trees to replace the old ones that has died over a number of years. The Gunners Memorial site has developed into a monument that we, the South African Gunners, can be proud off and that now gives the necessary courtesy and respect to those whose names are remembered on the walls of the Gunners Memorial.

During his address, the National President of the Gunners Association, Major General (Ret) Philip Pretorius also honoured the fallen gunners that were being remembered with the memorial service. He also gave thanks to the members who were involved with the renovation and maintenance of the Gunners Memorial Site. He specifically mentioned the involvement of the Thlokwe City Council and individuals of the Potchefstroom Branch of the Gunners Association who was responsible for the transformation of the Gunners Memorial.

Major General (Ret) Philip Pretorius also announced his retirement for the Gunners Association after serving the Association for more than 20 years.

Remembering the sacrifices of those who went before us, is essential to reach our future successfully and for the Gunners who is now serving the Guns it forms the cornerstone of our commitment and standard of what is to be done to secure a safe tomorrow for the people of our beloved country.

Until next year then, we will live by our motto, UBIQUE, and for those who are no longer with us we can only say “End of Fire Mission, Well Shot, Stand Down.”