Today, 12 August, we salute and honor the following men who sacrificed their lives whilst standing in the defence of what they held dear at the time and against evil and tyranny. 


12 Aug 1970: 65490377 Rifleman Christopher Coetzee from 2 Parachute Regiment was killed in a private motor vehicle accident. He was 21.

12 Aug 1975: 68366228PE Able Seaman Hugo Johan Jacobus Bus from SAS Kimberley accidentally drowned at East London when the boat in which he was a passenger, capsized near Stoney Point during a Naval beach landing exercise. He was 23.

12 Aug 1978: Three members from 1 Parachute Battalion were Killed in Action after walking into an enemy ambush in Southern Angola while in hot pursuit of a SWAPO/PLAN insurgent group approximately 45 men strong. Pierre Du Bois and Cornelis van der Nest were killed instantly after suffering multiple shrapnel wounds when a Soviet 82mm High Explosive Mortar Bomb landed and exploded between him. Johannes Greyling broke cover and ran over to where their bodies were lying in order to retrieve the radio so that an air strike could be called in. It was during this process that he suffered fatal gunshot wounds. The three casualties were:

  • 75398263BG Lance Corporal Pierre Johannes Du Bois. He was 19.
  • 74440124BG Rifleman Johannes Barend Greyling. He was 20.
  • 74445370BG Rifleman Cornelis Frederik van der Nest. He was 19.

12 Aug 1981: Two members from 6 SAI were Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces in Southern Angola near the Cut-line. They were:

  • 77301497PF Corporal Marthinus Johannes van Staden. He was 19
  • 78352887BG Rifleman Jacob Jacobus Blom. He was 19.


    12-Aug-71 Cst Not recorded Ziwewe Uniform BSAP KOAS Killed when knocked over by a lorry near the Sinoia Caves on the main road to Kariba. He was 27 years old.

    12-Aug-76 DO John Hudson-Beck Regular Intaf KIA by a landmine detonation near Melsetter, Op Thrasher. A farmer from Melsetter.

    12-Aug-77 Sgt Paul Mashimbwe J Tp, SU BSAP KIA Killed in a contact, at the age of 29. The stick, led by SO Lee le Crerar, was crossing a piece of open ground in the Chiduku TTL, Wedza (Op Thrasher), when they were fired upon by a group of about 15 CTs. In the ensuing firefight, Paul was killed. Elements of Juliet Troop made contact with the same CTs the following day, killing two of them.

    12-Aug-77 Cst Lazarus Nyagano D Tp, SU BSAP KIA Killed in a contact in the Maramba TTL, Mrewa district, at the age of 25, approximately 6 km north of the Delta Troop Base at Mutawatawa PV whilst on an OP. They sighted approximately 30 armed CTs and summoned Fire Force (2 Commando from Mtoko) who arrived in full force with a Dakota. The Delta call sign directed the Fire Force to where the CTs were seen last but no further sighting was made. Unfortunately the Delta call sign was moved into a stop line and then later fired on by call signs on the ground including the K-Car. Nyagano was killed and two others, including the sergeant major Stick Leader were wounded. When the Fire Force left, another Delta call sign picked up tracks and followed them to the Nyadiri River. An RR Company was operating on the other side and they made contact with the CT group that evening, killing several. Paddy Allen, the Troop Commander had the difficult task of trying to improve morale within the troop only to be killed himself in a road accident the following month.

    12-Aug-78 Cpl Victor Carl Meyer 1(Indp) Coy RAR MIA presumed drowned. Victor's stick was ordered to OP an arms cache on an island downstream from Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River but, after several days of inactivity his 2Lt decided to swim to the island for an inspection. Victor made it to the island only to realise his officer was in difficulty and returned to the water to save the officer's life - which he did but, lost his own in the process. His body was never found and, in the plethora of admin and investigations, it is possible that Vic was overlooked for a bravery award.

    12-Aug-78 Cpl Arthur Strydom RhASC DOAS Died aged 42 years.

    † Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †  

    • August 12, 2017
    • Piet Fourie
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