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


12 Oct 1963: P2/18090 Air Corporal Hermanus Pieter Bodenstein from the School of Technical Training died from head injuries sustained in a private motor vehicle accident 8km from Middelburg on the Hendrina Road. He was 25.

12 Oct 1975: 71236384N Trooper David Barand Le Roux from 1 SSB was Killed in Action when his Eland 90 Armoured Car detonated a landmine near Luiana in Southern Angola during Operation Karen 2 that was launched to clear SWAPO/PLAN bases in South-Eastern Angola prior to the launch of Operation Savannah. He was 20.


1966 – WO2 Robert Albert "Bob" BOUCH MCM (Post) (33), Col Sgt Michael Patrick "Mick" CAHILL MCM (Post) (25) and Col Sgt John "Geordie" WRIGHT MCM (Post) (39), all of C Sqn, SAS, and Supt John WICKENDEN MCM (post) (44), BSAP attached to the SAS, were all killed in an accidental explosion at the Zambezi River, near Chirundu. Maj Dudley Coventry of the SAS was about to lead a team of operatives on a clandestine mission into Zambia with the objective of destroying a bridge over the Kafue River. Waiting for night to fall, the team prepared their Klepper canoes and kit on the banks of the Zambezi River, opposite the Kafue River mouth. Water-proofed pentolite charges had been packed in a suitcase and stashed in one of the canoes, ready for Bouch and Cahill to set off, with Wright and Wickenden to follow later to exfiltrate their comrades. At about 1900, disaster struck, as the explosives detonated prematurely. In the blast, WO2 Bob Bouch, Col Sgt Mick Cahill and Supt John Wickenden were killed instantly, with Col Sgt Geordie Wright dying in Dudley Coventry's arms minutes later, the latter surviving the blast with blown eardrums.

1977 – Rfn Dennis Campbell BEATTIE, 3 RHU, RDR, died on active service.

1977 – PO Jeremy Oliver "Jerry" LESTER, Uniform, BSAP, was killed at Sipolilo in a shooting accident when an AK47 mounted on the back of a vehicle was fired during a morning maintenance check, Op Hurricane. The incident occurred at the police station itself.

1978 – Pte Shandare GANDANGA, D Coy, 1st Bn, RAR, was killed when he fell from a helicopter, Mangwende TTL, Mrewa district, Op Hurricane. He lost a rifle magazine and as he tried to grab it, he sadly lost balance and fell out.

1978 – Rfn Edward James HARTLEY, 6(Indep) Coy, RAR, died in a vehicle accident. Lt-Col Terry Leaver states: "I have a feeling that this was due to a troop carrying vehicle we used called a 'Crocodile' overturning in the Chipinga farming area after a heavy rainstorm. The driver was going too fast for the extant conditions and the road was undulating, wet and twisty. My last instruction to the driver was ‘don’t speed’. To no avail, sadly."

1979 – Rfn M.H. BURSLEM, 2nd Bn, RDR, died on active service.

1979 – DSA Daniel Brighton MHAKAYAKORA, Kp Prtn, Intaf, died on active service.

1979 – Cst Edson NEDZA, Uniform, BSAP, was killed in a CT action, Op Thrasher, at the age of 23.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • October 12, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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