Roll Call: Cape Garrison Artillery

Programme Notes: CTMT 2007

07-closing-ceremony“The Cape Garrison Artillery, which is providing this year’s Castle Guard halberdiers, was founded in 1891, but traces its ancestry back to a volunteer engineer unit founded in 1859. Till the 1950s the CGA not only manned the Cape coastal batteries, but also formed contingents for service elsewhere during various wars in which South Africa was involved. With the demise of coastal artillery during the 1950s, the regiment converted to an anti-aircraft role and underwent much reorganisation and two changes of name before returning to its original title.

Its ‘colour gun’ (artillery regiments do not parade infantry-style colours) is still South Africa’s first-ever anti-aircraft gun – a light field-piece modified for high-angle fire in 1914. The gun’s name, for reasons now lost forever, is ‘Skinny Liz’.” (CTMT 2007)


Programme Notes: CTMT 2008

Cape Garrison Artillery

“The spiritual roots of the Cape Garrison Artillery go back to an engineer unit called the Cape Sappers and Miners, which was founded in 1859. The unit faded about 10 years later, but was reestablished in 1879. In 1891, the unit amalgamated with the newly established Cape Garrison Artillery, which assisted the Royal Garrison Artillery in manning the Cape Peninsula’s coastal batteries.

CGA not only manned the Cape coastal defences until the 1950s, but also provided offshoot units as required, including a mounted infantry squadron during the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War, a much-honoured heavy siege artillery battery during World War I, and several anti-aircraft units during World War II, one of which distinguished itself at the Battle of Sidi Rezegh.  With the demise of coastal artillery during the 1950s, the regiment converted to an anti-aircraft role, and underwent much reorganisation and two changes of name before returning to its original title.

At this year’s tattoo, CGA is deeply involved in a number of support activities, and their brand-new regimental band, which is still in the process of formation, has its own act.” (CTMT 2008)


Cape Garrison Artillery Band

video-17-kaapse-klopse-10“Cape Garrison Artillery Band was born earlier this year when the Platinum Brass Band formed a relationship with the CGA and volunteered to become its regimental band. Now 80 strong and growing, it was founded in 2005 as a youth organisation.

Originally, the Platinum Brass Band was a street band, playing traditional Cape melodies by ear for ‘Klopse’ troupes and Malay choirs, ‘but as things progressed, we saw the potential in our youth’, according to Mr Badroen Cassiem, one of a number of adults who sacrifice their spare time building up the band, and in spite of a perennial shortage of funds, it managed to find a music teacher to provide the members with formal musical training.

Earlier this year it ‘married up’ with CGA, which is headquartered at the historic Fort Wynyard, near the Waterfront. Its members are building up a good repertoire of ‘mainstream’ music, but for the 2008 tattoo it goes back to its roots and treats spectators to some good old Klopse ditties.

People interested in supporting the band can contact Mr Cassiem at 083 293 6074 or Mr R Brink at 084 484 2825.” (CTMT 2008)


Programme Notes: CTMT 2014

“The Cape Garrison Artillery Pipes & Drums makes its first ever appearance at the Cape Town Military Tattoo, and what a proud moment for the Cape Garrison Artillery (CGA) Regiment. Comprising of members from CGA Regiment and Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band, the band has combined its Military and Caledonian experience, creating a highly talented and disciplined pipe band. The CGA Pipes & Drums, under the leadership of Pipe Major Tony Reis, is based in Green Point at the historic Fort Wynyard.” (CTMT 2014)


Programme Notes: CTMT 2015

“The Air Defence Artillery (ADA) Regiment celebrated their centenary year in September 2015, by displaying their impressive mechanised artillery strength with a parade through the streets of  Kimberley. Making the celebration even more special was the first appearance, in Kimberley, of  the Cape Garrison Artillery Pipes and Drums.

Since the band’s first performance as the CGA Pipes and Drums at the Cape Town Military Tattoo in 2014, the band has become a regular fixture in the regiment’s functions. Besides being in demand at various public functions and military parades, the band is successfully running a music development workshop for a number of under-privileged children, all of whom have shown a fair interest in the great Highland bagpipe and snare drum.

The CGA Pipes and Drums, currently wearing the Ancient MacDonald tartan, is under the leadership of Pipe Major Tony Reis and Lead Drummer John van Niekerk. They are based at the historic Fort Wynyard, situated near the V&A Waterfront. They have a varied and diverse musical repertoire covering Scottish, Irish and Breton traditions, which is used in the marching, dancing  and competitive forms.

The pipe band is extremely grateful for the support and interest received from our Officer  Commanding Lt Col Bob Visser, and all members of the CGA Regiment.” (CTMT 2015)