The day before the unit was supposed to close for 2019, the phone call was received that NMAR had to travel to Port Elizabeth to do a 15 round gun salute for the late Lt Gen T. Makhosi.

As NMAR is a reserve force unit and a very small percentage of its members live in Cape Town, members had to join the convoy en-route and the process was started to call up members, secure fuel for the vehicles, have vehicles and guns inspected, booking accommodation, re-fuelling arrangements and completing the necessary paperwork – no name but a few of the routine tasks which the unit has to comply with and does like a well-oiled machine after having done these exercises regularly before.

In the early hours of the morning of the 18th of December 2019, the convoy left Cape Town and the first members were collected in Robertson, the next group was collected in Oudtshoorn where all the vehicles were re-fuelled. The convoy traveled safely along the Longkloof road to Port Elizabeth where the last members joined the convoy and Nelson Mandela Artillery Regiment met up with the members of the SA Army Artillery Formation’s gun tractor and funeral gun.

After rehearsals and on the 21st of December, the gun crew fired the 15 round gun salute at about 12h00, it was time to pack up and secure the guns then early the next morning, the return trip of 17 hours on the road back to Cape Town started.

Every trip is an experience on its own and one is just very grateful when everybody is safely back at the base.

Pictures were taken by Major Dalene Coetzee.
The members of NMAR who fired the 15 round Gun Salute
The procession and getting ready to go to the gravesite

Coffin being carried to the grave site

The gun crews firing the gun salute
Gun crews
National Ceremonial Guard leading the procession
(left) CWO J Niemand (FSM of SA Arty Fmn) and (right) MWO B Havenga (RSM of NMAR).