The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 1 No 4 - June 1969

Cape Field Artillery - Missing Trophies

Some time ago the South African Military History Society received a letter from Major L. A. Crook writing on behalf of the Cape Field Artillery Regimental History Committee. Major Crook's letter is reproduced below. Any information which readers may he able to supply and which may be of use to the CFA Regimental History Committee in assisting them to locate these missing trophies would be sincerely appreciated:

"We wonder whether you could include in some future issue an appeal to military historians for assistance in tracing several unit trophies which apparently disappeared ahout 1907/1914 when the CFA Headquarters were in the Old Drill Hall at Cape Town. These trophies were:

(a) A rammer and sponge found in the kraal of the Gcaleka Chief Kreli on 9th October, 1877, and presented to the Unit (then Prince Alfred's Own Cape Volunteer Artillery) by Sir Bartle Frere, then Governor of the Cape.

(b) The first shell fired by a 12-pounder gun in anger in the Langeberg Campaigii in 1897. It was fired by the Unit and later recovered, suitably mounted and inscribed and presented to the CFA detachment commander, Major Inglesby, by Gunner G. F. Shelvoke, a member of the detachment.

(c) A home-made machine gun . . . manufactured by the Boer forces from a Mauser rifle and pieces of agricultural machinery. Reputed to have been used in the Siege of Kimberley it was unearthed at a farmhouse in the Free State by a patrol under Col. the Hon. C. P. Crewe, CB, who presented it to Lieut. Janisch of the Prince Alfred's Own Cape Artillery (as CFA was then known) detachment attached to the patrol.

(d) A Gardener (or Maxim) machine gun presented to the Unit by Rudyard Kipling about 1902. (The machine gun may have been a Maxim -- our records are not too clear on this point.)

Except for (d) above, all the trophies are mentioned in our Regimental History 'Gunners of the Cape' and the details given have been extracted from our records. Photographs of (a) and (c) are in fact in our possession.

The Regiment is most anxious to recover these trophies if at all possible. Many enquiries have been made in this regard over the past three to four years without result but we continue trying and hope that some day someone will be able to give us some information on them which may lead to their recovery."

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