Gunner Trevor Taute
Members of the Gunners’ Association, joined by MOTHS from Steel Helmet Shellhole, attended various Remembrance events which took place in Barberton, Mpumalanga over the last weekend in September 2023.
The Old Bill of Lone Tree Shellhole Barberton, MOTH Clarence Hobbs, ably assisted by MOTH Deon Holl his Wee Bill and other MOTHS from the Shellhole saw to all the arrangements for our arrival and the smooth running of both the morning and the afternoon parades. They were also actively involved in maintaining and preparing the memorial gardens to ensure a very pleasant experience for everyone attending.
On the morning of Saturday the 30th of September the Freedom of the City of Barberton Parade took place though the streets of Barberton at the Cenotaph just outside the Town Hall. The South African Irish Regiment are commemorating the 52nd Anniversary of their awarding of the Freedom of the City of Barberton
There was a march through town by the SA Irish Pipe and Drums band which was joined by the veterans from the MOTHS, Gunners and Transvaal Scottish followed by a short wreath laying ceremony which took place at the Memorial Gun at the steps of the Barberton City Hall. Wreaths were placed by the Officer Commanding from the General Botha Regiment, which is based at Dusty Ranch in Barberton as well as other members from the Department of Defence Reserves.
The Gunners’ Association Badge was placed and secured onto the Gunners plinth during the day in preparation for the afternoon Sunset Parade.
The Barberton Memorial Gardens, which were originally the training and mobilisation area for troops going to the East African Front during WW2 is where the afternoon sunset parade was held on the 30th of September. The SA Irish Pipe and Drum band performed a drumhead ceremony before the laying of wreaths. The last post was played, and the National Flag was lowered. The wreath laying ceremony then took place where several wreaths were laid.
Gunner Roy Andersen, National President of the Gunners’ Association, laying a wreath on behalf of the Gunners Association of South Africa.
Gunner Trevor Taute laying a wreath on behalf of Transvaal Horse Artillery.
Gunners and Moths proudly standing for a picture at the Gunners plinth.
Moths standing at the MOTH memorial.
After the parade the celebrations came to a peaceful end with a gathering at sunset on Heartbreak Hill. A toast was made to the late Sergeant Major Trevor (Porky) Wright HC MMM JCD who had sadly passed away earlier this year. He was sorely missed at the parades earlier that day. After this all participants attended a dinner at Jathira Guesthouse which was sponsored by the members of Lone Tree Shellhole. A good time was had by all. All in all, a good weekend and good camaraderie.
The memorable view from Heartbreak Hill:
The accommodation arranged for the weekend was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to visit the town of Barberton and the memorial sites any time of the year.
Notwithstanding the heat and outside of the official gatherings, there was plenty of time to socialise and engage with fellow Gunners and members from other associations. The afternoon events and get togethers were generally very well organised and enjoyable during the cooler evenings.
A special word of thanks to the Lone Tree Shellhole for their hospitality. Looking forward to the next one!