A memorial dome is a new and welcome addition to the School of Artillery honouring all gunners who died while in service at the Potchefstroom training facility.
To this end a memorial service will be held each year on the Friday closest to 7 September, the school’s birthday.
“The School of Artillery memorial terrain was planned in April 2021 with the approval of acting Officer Commanding Lieutenant Colonel Buks Botha with the site identified alongside Ogilvies oak facing north. The location was chosen, as one looks out from the memorial dome entrance to see new life when Ogilvies oak starts to bud and regrow at the start of spring,” according to the school newsletter.
“The memorial dome comprises a round structure with a tin hat roof, two walls for a roll of honour, the School of Artillery badge in the centre, with ranking plants between the openings to grow against the trellis and four benches arranged around the memorial.
“Paving leads to the memorial entrance with two G1 25pdr barrels on each side symbolising gun opening data (angle of mounting).
“The barrels protect those who have passed on. Star jasmine is planted to close the trellis structure with lavender around and on the sides of the entrance.
“At the dome’s entrance, two School of Artillery memorial dome flags are on display. They are School of Artillery Storm flags with a silver fringe and two silver tassels on a silver cord. The silver fringe adds timeless and elegance to the flag and has no other purpose. This is because a fringe is never regarded as integral to a flag`s design as it is attached to the side of the flag and stands apart from images or lettering. The use of the ceremonial silver fringe is at the discretion of the owner and has no other meaning or implications.
“The School of Artillery memorial dome flags are attached to G1 25pdr rammers as flag poles. The rammers will carry the names of sentries participating in the memorial. The parade sergeant-major will also carry a G1 25pdr rammer. Traditionally the unit song, Per Scientiam Vires, is sung during the annual School of Artillery Memorial Service.
“The G1 25 Pdr gun previously on display at the unit`s entrance (gun-line) was refurbished by Denel Land Systems and is now the ceremonial gun firing the salvo during the memorial service,” the newsletter states adding construction work on the memorial dome started on 1 October 2020.
Information courtesy of the School of Artillery Newsletter.