South Africa Defence Force
School of Signals 1975 - 1998
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0064]
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0059]
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0057]
Above are three variant examples of the shoulder flash and left is a pair of the first example.
The lineage, designations and history of The School of Signals: The SA Union Defence Force (UDF) Military School was established on 1st July 1912. The School of Signalling began teaching on 1st October 1913 as a branch of the School. The Military School was established at the Presidents Residency in Bloemfontein but quickly out grew the premises and moved to Tempe.
In 1914 with the outbreak of WWI the School moved to the now formed Mobilization Centre at Potchefstroom. The School of Signalling trained 900 Signallers for service in Europe and 1,501 for service in East Africa.
In 1920 The School moved from Tempe to Roberts Heights and in March of that year was re-designated the SA Military College and The School of Signalling became the Signalling Branch.
With the recognition of the Permanent Force (PF) on 1st February 1923 eleven new PF Units were established. At this time there was no independent Corps of Signals so a Citizen Force (CF) was formed on 1st November 1923, this is recognised as being the official Birthday of the Corps.
At the outbreak of WWII in September 1939 the Signalling Branch again moved to the Mobilization Centre at Potchefstroom on 1st March 1940 and was re-designated School of Signals. A Signal Training Centre (STC) was established in February 1940 at Potchefstroom until 1944. On 18th October 1946 SACS became a PF and the Signalling Branch moved back to Potchefstroom as a branch of the School of Artillery and Armour.
On 1st July 1953 the School of Signals, SACS, was re-established from the Signalling Branch of the School of Artillery and Armour. On 20th December 1957 authority was given for establishment of a centralised signals school at Voortrekkerhoogte.
The School of Signals moved to the Army Gymnasium Heidelberg along with 1 Signal Regiment in December 1973. From 31st December 1978 to 31st December 1985
The School of Signals was merged into The Army Gymnasium along with 1 Signal Regiment and re-designated the Formal Training Branch of the Army Gymnasium. 1 Signal Regiment became the National Service Man (NSM) Training Branch of the Gymnasium.
On 1st January 1994 the MOD announced The Army Gym would revert back to its original role of the training of Junior Leaders for the SA Army. The Signals element was renamed the Military Base Heidelberg and the SACS units, the School of Signals and 1 Signal Regiment, under command.
With the formation of the SANDF, rationalisation in 1997 saw the centralisation of signals training and the relocation of the School of Signals and 1 Signal Regiment to Military Base Wonderboorn. The School of Signals closed at the Army Gymnasium on 5th December 1997 and began at Military Base Wonderboorn in January 1998.
[Colin Hodgkins collection SA 0063 & SA 0064]