Fallen soldiers remembered in wreath laying ceremony in Cape Town

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A military procession was held in Cape Town in honour of fallen soldiers. Remembrance Day is traditionally observed on November 11th and it pays homage to veterans who fought in international wars including the First and Second World Wars.

The Day, also known as Armistice Day, is commemorated each year at the Cenotaph War Memorial site.


South Africa entered World War II just three days after Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939.

At the time, the South African army numbered only 5 300 regulars, with an additional 15 000 men in the Active Citizen Force.

Among them were these three servicemen.  They are 99-year-old William van Wyk, 98-year-old Jacob Human and 97-year-old Walter Brewis.

War Veteran Jackson Human says, “I was in Durban and they placed me in the army. There I ended my service in Durban as a driver.”

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis addressed the event which was hosted by the City of Cape Town. He is the grandson of a World War II serviceman.

“I am the grandson of a World War II veteran who is now sadly passed away but my grandfather Gwen Hill-Lewis whose name I used as my second name. He fought in North Africa from Durban, Libya and Egypt and also ended the war in Italy and then came home and married the lady I call my grandmother.”

Many soldiers did not return and were honored through a wreath-laying ceremony.

The City of Joburg also held the National Civic Remembrance, at the Cenotaph on Harrison Street, on Sunday in honour of all South Africans who supreme sacrificed their lives for the country in times of conflict, including the fight for democracy during the apartheid era with the laying of wreaths.

Many soldiers could not return and were honoured in a wreath laying ceremony.

Evan Rendall, the grandson of a war veteran, William Otto Rendall, who passed on in 2012 says, “His experience for war wasn’t good. He always felt the war was never worth it but he survived and he was the youngest of 3 brothers that actually made it back to South Africa he lived quite a graceful life. He always told us that war is not always the answer it’s mediation and also respecting the other person.”