On Sunday, 13 November 2016, the annual Remembrance Day service was held at the Cenotaph in Adderley Street, central Cape Town. It was a warm day, with a slight breeze fluttering the flags and a bit of cloud cover keeping us pleasantly cool. As I recall, it had been very blustery the day before (the wind can be seriously pumping on the Foreshore in November!), so we were very lucky. (A brief summary of the event was broadcast on SABC News).
My first stop was at the four ceremonial guns of Cape Field Artillery, which had been set up on the median in Heerengracht, just on the side of the Coen Steytler roundabout. They were facing down the road, pointing towards the harbour. The gun crews were getting ready, making sure their uniforms were neat and tidy, and checking the guns. These 25-pounder GV1 guns are regularly fired on ceremonial occasions, such as the Opening of Parliament and 21 gun salutes for visiting heads of state, among others. During the Remembrance Day service, they fire during the Last Post and Reveille – even if you know it’s going to BANG, it’ll still make you jump!