|An exterior display of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (within the lines of the School of Armour and 1 SA Tank Regiment). A vehicle hanger with several restored vehicles in running order, a National Monument and Indoor displays |
Geocaches and the Armour Museum Go top
Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and
seeking treasure. You need access to the internet and a GPS
The Armour Museum is home to one of these Geocaches. Find out more
on the Geocache page.
Facilities: 2 Special Service Battalion Auditorium for hire, seating 35.
Garrison Hall, function area catering for 80.
Public Programme: The Museum presents a wide range of subjects, such
as lectures, films, etc, as well as annual fund raising events. These
events will be broadly advertised.
Purpose of the Museum:
•To preserve the heritage and history of Armour in general and the SA
Armour Corps (SAAC) in particular.
•To provide an education service regarding the history of the past, the
present and the future.
•To provide an information service about Armour and the SAAC.
The idea of instituting a Museum and Research Library for the South
African Armour Corps started as early as 1994 and was officially
approved by the Chief of the SA Army on the 12th October 1995.
Approval for the use of a historical building located in the lines of the
School of Armour Tempe was granted in April 1995. This building houses
the indoor displays. Unfortunately however no funds were approved for
the museum, although the Department of Public works restored the
A number of fund raising projects were launched and with donations from
various private business and arms manufacturers, funds were raised for
the manufacture of a number of showcases and other items. An appeal to
all members of the Armour Corps and other interested persons resulted in
a number of different items being donated to the museum. With great
success and with the assistance of personnel from the School of Armour
the museum was officially opened by the then Chief of the Army Lt Gen
Reg Otto, SD, SM, MMM, on the 13th of September 1996 to coincide
with the 50th anniversary celebration of the South African Armour Corps.
To date the museum has gone from strength to strength accumulating
vast quantities of various items of interest and the collection of numerous
armoured tracked, wheeled and other vehicles.
The historical building dates back from the years 1902-1904, and stands
on historical grounds in Tempe, the farm on which British Occupying
Forces garrisoned after the occupation of Bloemfontein on 14th March
The large British Garrison (soldiers and families) soon had a need for a
military hospital. Between 1902 and 1904 three large pre-fabricated wood
and corrugated zinc buildings were erected for this purpose.
Accompanying these hospital wards were pre-fabricated administration
blocks and nurses quarters. These hospitals also cared for woman and
children of the concentration camp, (Anglo Boer war 1899-1902). These
concentration camps were situated adjacent to this area. The British
Garrison used the hospital complex until 1912-13. With the establishment
of the SA Union Defence Force in 1910, these hospitals, in 1912, were
declared a Military Medical Service Training Facility. The hospitals also
functioned as military hospitals until closure in October 1921. In 1923 the
facilities were sold to the Bloemfontein City Council for the price of £ 17
500,00 and were then used as isolation hospitals during several
epidemics, such as the polio epidemic of 1934 and 1943. During the 1943
epidemic the first Iron Lung was introduced to a hospital in South Africa
to treat patients with lung conditions. In 1966 the hospitals started scaling
down and early 1967 the now disbanded 2nd Armoured Car Regiment
moved in to occupy the area and buildings. During the same year the
School of Armour took over from 2nd Armoured Car regiment and in 1970
the final historical building was taken over by the School of Armour.
In 1985 part of the buildings from that era were demolished to make way
for new buildings from for the School of Armour. In 1995 the historical
building was declared a National Monument.
The SA Armour Museum entails Go top
An exterior display of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (within the lines of the School of Armour and 1 SA Tank Regiment)
A vehicle hanger with several restored vehicles in running order
A National Monument with
o Indoor displays
o An auditorium - The 2 SSB Room
o The Garrison Hall
o The Wall of Remembrance
An Annex - Hull-Down - with indoor displays.
A Research Library
A Museum Shop - The Gun Barrel
Research library Go top
Adjacent to and part of the museum is the research library, which specialises in the gathering of information, documents, periodicals, books etc with emphasis on Armour warfare and equipment. The library also accumulates information of personnel, vehicles and archive books of the South African Armoured Corps (SAAC) in particular. To date the library is in possession of a vast quantity of books, periodicals, documents, etc for research purposes. This library also responds to requests from around the world in regard to equipment and history of the SAAC.
Hull Down Go top
"Hull-Down" which was officially opened on 2nd September 1999, houses additional equipment and training aids which through space available cannot be housed in the museum building. "Hull-Down" is only opened on request. Contact the Curator.
Lesakeng Go top
Within the lines of the School of Armour and 1 South African Tank Regiment some sixty plus armoured, tracked and wheeled vehicles are displayed. Other equipment such as guns, radar, mine rollers and ploughs are also displayed.
"LESAKENG" (the corral for old horses) houses numerous armoured tracked / wheeled and other vehicles, mainly runners.
The total structure as is stands to date was developed and constructed with donations from private funds, and good friends of the museum. "LESAKENG" was officially opened on the 30th March 2001. The enclosure is an ongoing process, as funds become available with the goal of a concrete floor.
One of these projects as called "adopt-a-brick", where for R50,00 a brick in the wall of Lesakeng can be adopted.
The application form is available in MS Word or PDF
Map Go top
Hours: 09:00 - 16:00 Daily except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
After Hours: Arrangements with the Curator.
Group Visits: Arrangements with the Curator 14 days prior to the visit.
Admission: Free of charge. (Donations welcome)