African Armour Museum
S.A. School of Armour,
Free State Province.
Formerly at "Fort
Klapperkop", Pretoria until it's closure in mid1993
WD No. T68115
African Union Defence Forces No. U 74734
||National Museum of Military History
Tel: +27 011 646 5513
The Museum's Chief
Curator J.L. Keene has contributed the following information:
Churchill was built in April 1943 as a Mk IV by Leyland (makers no L
4358) and armed with a 6-pounder gun. We believe it was one of a contract
awarded to Leyland for 228 Churchill tanks in December 1942.
In September 1943 field workshops added appliqué armour and a Mk VII
commander's cupola and sights The all cast turret as made by Leyland
in April 1943 was retained, now in effect making the tank an Infantry
Tank Mk IV, Churchill Mk IX LT (Light Turret).
We believe that from April 1944 it fought its way up Italy as a gun
tank with the 25th Tank Brigade (British 8th Army) . Late in 1944 (post
September) , it was modified by the addition of a Petard mortar probably
close to the Italian town of Viterbo. It then formed part of the newly
formed 25th Armoured Engineers Brigade which was stationed in and around
a paratroop barracks at Viterbo. The tank was apparently commanded by
Lt Dempster Hemming, a troop commander with the 1st Squadron , Armoured
Engineers Regiment, Royal Engineers, who named his tank "Sweet
Sue" In this role it is very probable that it was in action during
the Senio River crossing and in the Po valley.
The 25th Armoured engineers Brigade was disbanded in May 1945 after
the cessation of hostilities in Italy and the Churchill was handed to
the 6th South African Armoured Division. In 1946 it was one of two AVREs
to be shipped from Genoa to Durban , South Africa, for demonstration
and training purposes. The Churchill came to this Museum in August 1960.
Not all the above information is verified, some information was acquired
from Lt Hemming and some has been put together from other written sources.
WD No. T172204R
African Union Defence Forces No. U 74733.
with the Engineering Support Group in Lyttleton , Pretoria.
This ARK belongs
to the School of Engineering , Kroonstad, Free State Province and will
be transported to Kroonstad when a tank transporter is available.
WD No. T32325
African Union Defence Forces No. U 74736