The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 3 No 5 - June 1976

Tribute to the late Sapper Alfred Robert Willemse

by D.P.Tidy.

We were all deeply moved to hear of the death from wounds received in Angola of Sapper Alfred Robert Willemse 7237264N of the 2nd Field Engineer Regiment. He was in action in the No. 1 Military Operational Area (SWA - Angola) and was serving on the border for the second time in 1975.

It has been established that he was wounded during an artillery bombardment on 10th December 1975, and it is believed that he was removed by air to a hospital at Rundu. It appears that he died in the aircraft while in transit on 11th December 1975. His body was subsequently evacuated to Pretoria by air.

He was buried with full military honours at Geluksburg in the Bergville District on 17th December 1975, beneath the Drakensberg mountains he loved so well.

Alfred Robert Willemse (Bobbie) was the son of our Society member A.R. Willemse (Robbie), and went to school in Sasolburg, and then went to the Agricultural High School in Tweespruit. He had planned to take up full-time farming on the family property in the Natal Drakensberg, on the completion of his military service. Bobbie was a delightful boy of 19. He had strong Christian convictions and was baptized in the Baptist Church just before he left for the border for the first time. It seems only yesterday that as a schoolboy in the Free State he was showing his prized collection of white rats to my small son. Now he has gone, leaving the light of his ready smile behind him, and the grief of his many friends, and of his family, to whom we extend our heartfelt condolences.

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