Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment

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Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment
SANDF 6 Field Artillery Free State emblem
SANDF Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment emblem
Active1854 to present
Country South Africa
Allegiance
Branch
TypeReserve Artillery
Part ofSouth African Army Artillery Formation
Army Conventional Reserve
Garrison/HQKroonstad
Motto(s)Aequo Animo Ac Virtute " Power gives peace of mind"
Battle honours
  • Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902
  • Tobruk
  • El-Alamein
  • South-West Africa
Insignia
Collar BadgeBursting grenade with seven flames
Beret ColourOxford Blue
Artillery Battery EmblemsSANDF Artillery Battery emblems
Artillery Beret Bar circa 1992SANDF Artillery Beret Bar

The Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment (Afrikaans for Free State Artillery Regiment) is an artillery regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit. It is part of the South African Army Artillery Formation.

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

The First Regiment[edit]

In 1854 the Free-State became an independent Republic. The British forces withdrew, leaving behind four 9-pounder garrison guns in the Queen's Fort in Bloemfontein. This was for many years the only ordnance the Free State Republic had.

The Free State Artillery Corps was subsequently founded in 1864 on a request by President Johannes Henricus Brand and housed in Queen's Fort.

Anglo Boer War[edit]

By the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, the corps was commanded by Major Richard Friedrich Wilhelm Albrecht. The unit (in 1898 some 160 men, 24 cannons of various calibers) served on the Western front, Natal front and into the Guerrilla phase of the War. The unit played a major role in every major battle of the war where Free State forces fought.

The Second Regiment[edit]

In 1922, 3 Permanent Battery was formed. This unit was split up on 1 July 1926 into two units namely 4 Burgher Battery and 5 Burgher Battery.

In 1932 these two were renamed 1 Oranje-Vrystaat Veldartillerie and 2 Oranje Vrystaat Veldartillerie.

World War 2[edit]

On 1 February 1940 these units were joined as 12th Field Battery and did sterling service in Egypt. They took heavy casualties at Tobruk and El-Alamein.

On 18 April 1946 the unit was renamed 6 Field Artillery Regiment.

Current[edit]

Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment was based at Tempe, Bloemfontein, but relocated to Kroonstad in 2007.[1]

Battle honours[edit]

  • Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902
  • Tobruk
  • El-Alamein
  • South-West Africa

Officers Commanding[edit]

  • Cmdt P.H. Fick
  • Cmdt Danie Acker 1991

Insignia[edit]

SADF era Vrystaatse Artillery insignia

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ultima Ratio Regum; the Artillery History of South-Africa, South-African Army Information Bureau 1987
  • Swemmer D, Die Geskiedenis van die Vrystaatse Artillerie, Unpublished Manuscript, 1946
  • Barnard,S.L.(ed) van der Westhuizen,G. Smit, L. Vrystaatse Artillerie: Die Geskiedenis van 6 Veldregiment