The Vickers QF 3.7inch anti-aircraft gun.
In many ways because of the significance of our 2ft narrow gauge railway in particular any other categories of preservation at Sandstone tend to be overlooked. One of the most significant of these is our collection of military vehicles which was assembled over many years in association with the SA Armour Museum in Bloemfontein. This arrangement is a very good example of a public private sector partnership which has worked well for both parties over the years.
We concentrated on two categories. Firstly vehicles that were used in world war 2 by South African forces, mostly North African Italy. These comprise of some of the most famous vehicles of world war 2, a Mark 4 Sherman Tank, a White Half Track, a Twenty Five Pounder, Canadian Ford Trucks in various configurations, etc. The second category is South African designed and manufactured vehicles built for the Angolan conflict and for other operational purposes in South Africa. We have some of the most famous vehicles in this country namely the Rattle, the Casspir, the Buffel, the Eland, some heavily modified Saracens and a very wide range of Carmel vehicles namely Carmel 2050 and 100.
We tend to be strict about our provenance in the sense that we do not go outside of those categories with the exception of two Russian vehicles which were captured by South African forces in Angola and which we consider to be appropriate because they were military vehicles opposing South African forces in conflict and therefore they are of great interest.
In order to raise the profile of our collection we will be taking a British manufactured world war 2 anti-aircraft gun namely a Vickers QF 3.7 inch calibre, in a purpose built facility inside our main security gate. This type of Anti-Aircraft gun was developed by Vickers-Armstrong in the UK in 1937 and built until 1945. This type of gun remained in service in Britain until 1959 when it was replace by guided missiles. The gun weighs in at 9317kg.
The sign below will be the centre point of this display which will remind people when they arrive of the presence of a historically significant and important collection of military vehicles with a very strong South African identity.