Gunners’ Memorial Trust visit to The Gunners’ National Memorial in Potchefstroom

Monday 30 August 2021 Article by Gunner Dominic Hoole

On a wet Thursday 26th August 2021 a small group of the Trustees of the Gunners’ Memorial Trust visited our Gunners’ National Memorial in Potchefstroom. Due to COVID this was the first visit since May 2021.

We can report back that overall, our Memorial is looking good, considering that the regular visits have not taken place. There are a number of issues that need to be worked on. Firstly, it looks as if the water table may have risen as there is an excess of water that does not seem to wash away.

Picture of the build up of water at the entrance of our National Memorial

In order to try to remove the water build up we are looking at putting in a French Drain to assist in drainage.

Secondly it looks as if we have some new residents at our Memorial in the form of a family of mongoose that have been tunnelling in the area underneath the Guns. This has caused some of the guns to sink into the ground.

The newly refurbished GV1, or 25 Pounder, with Gunners (from L to R) Wolf Wassermeier, Dirk Bloem and Roy Andersen after looking at the gun sinking down due to the tunnels.

The GV2, or 5.5inch, will also need some refurbishment attention in the near future. The covers have already been ordered and the damaged ones replaced. The trestles will also be sprayed black.

The three First World War Guns that adorn the Needle and dwarf memorial walls also require respraying in the next 12 to 18 months. The wooden wheels are still in good condition, the covers being replaced earlier this year. The wooden slats on the shrapnel shields will also need replacing.

Picture of the 18 Pounder QF Gun

The 40mm Bofors has also been uplifted and moved to the workshop to be refurbished. We hope to have her back before the end of the year.

In conclusion whilst there is always work to be done to maintain our National Gunners’ Memorial we are well positioned to keep to a maintenance or holding plan to build up to next year’s Gunners National Memorial Service, which we hope will be on site after two years of, excellent, virtual services.