Chief of the South African Army Lieutenant General Lindile Yam led a wreath laying ceremony to honour fallen heroes and heroines who died during World War I. Picture: Rudzani Matshili

Chief of the South African Army Lieutenant General Lindile Yam this morning led a wreath laying ceremony to honour fallen heroes and heroines who died during World War I. 

The memorial service of the centenary of World War I hosted by the army was held at the SA Army headquarters in Pretoria. 

“The reason we are all gathered on this parade ground is to take us back to 1918 when the hostilities of World War 1 formally ended “at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month,” Yam said. 

World War 1 was the first modern conflict where trenches were utilised. 

More than 70 million people were mobilsed and between 9 and 13 million people died. 

Chief of the South African Army Lieutenant General Lindile Yam led a wreath laying ceremony to honour fallen heroes and heroines who died during World War I. Video: Rudzani Matshili

 

Yam also recognised South Africans who served in World War II and paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. 

“We are honouring South Africans that served in World War II, serving in both North Africa and Europe. 

Job Maseko, the brave man that single handedly blew up an enemy ship in Tobruk, is but one of the heroes that made a big difference in the outcome of the African front.”

“As we observe the minute of silence and lay the wreaths, we remember and give honour to South Africans that paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. 

"We can continue to show our gratitude by being professional soldiers executing our daily tasks diligently in order to make SA and Africa a better place for all,” he told the crowd. 

During his address he emphasised the importance of adapting to new ways of executing soldiering in the army. 

“The face of war has changed over the past 100 years. 

"World War 1 was mainly fought in trenches. The world moved past this kind of warfare. 

"As a modern military organisation the SA Army needs to strive to keep up to date with modern technology.

“We need to change our doctrine to adapt to new ways of executing our soldiering,” he said.