Company Gardens, Cape Town, Sunday 23 July 2023
by Gunner K. Ashton
The Delville Wood Commemoration service took place at the Delville Wood Monument in the Company’s Garden in Cape Town on Sunday 23 July 2023.
Although gloomy and cold weather greeted us more than 250 guests attended a well arranged memorial service which included Alderman Clive Justus, our guest speaker, who stood in for Deputy Mayor Alderman Eddy Andrews who took ill the day before, DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Kobus Marais MP, Michael Masala for the DMV, Brig Gen John Del Monte, R Adm Alan Green representing the Delville Wood Trust, senior representatives from all arms of service, local Regiments, the Diplomatic Corps as well as an amazing MOTH turnout with Banners.
The National flag was flown along with the Defence Force, SA Navy, SA Army, SA Airforce, SAMHS and CMVO flags.
The 48-man ceremonial guard was made up by the SA Navy Junior ratings supported by the SA Navy Band Simonstown.
The Nelson Mandela Regiments Pipes and drums lead by Pipe Major Andrew Imrie brought the MOTHs and MOTH banners onto parade as well as playing the lament.
This year I introduced the Cape Town Welsh Choir to the service which lifted the hymn segment lead by Gunner Padre Tony Bethke as well as the singing of the National Anthem.
The Sea Cadets are now a standard in all our memorial services in Cape Town and they are incredible as wreath orderlies and ushers. These are youngsters who are essential to the longevity of these services.
Some 40 wreaths were laid.
My thanks go to SA Navy CWO J. Majoko and SA Army SSO Col Mkize who superbly supported the Ceremonial aspects of the Commemoration.
Gnr Kevin Ashton
National Chairman of the Gunners’ Association SA