Pictured here with Turbi Hills’ Old Bill Ben Wolff (right) and Moth Iain Purdon is Sandy van Niekerk. Van Niekerk handed the shell hole a complimentary copy of her grandfather’s memoirs about the Battle of Delville Wood. As a survivor of this gruesome battle, Private Peter Knox put his memoirs to paper at the age of 79. Photo supplied.
Date: 19 November 2021 By: Andries van Zyl
We will remember them … On Sunday, 14 November, members of the South African armed forces, military veterans and civilians remembered those who had made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their country as part of Armistice Day, also called Remembrance Day.
At 05:00 on Monday, 11 November 1918, a document was signed that brought an end to the First World War. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of that year, the guns fell silent. The war that was supposed to end all wars had come to an end, but not before an estimated nine million people had lost their lives. To pay homage those who had died in the war and subsequent wars, Remembrance Day was also commemorated at the MOTH’s Turbi Hills Shell Hole in Louis Trichardt.
During the event, Sandy van Niekerk handed the shell hole a complimentary copy of her grandfather’s memoirs about the Battle of Delville Wood. As a survivor of this gruesome battle, Private Peter Knox put his memoirs to paper at the age of 79. Sandy wrote a book about it afterwards, titled The Story of Delville Wood. Apart from handing them a copy of the book, Sandy also laid a wreath on behalf of Lt Tim Kleinenberg, the first allied soldier from this area to die at Turbi Hills in North Africa, shot by an Italian sniper.
Also among those who paid tribute to his fallen comrades was the 94-year-old Ron Rose (born 14 August 1927), who laid a wreath on behalf of those who had died during the Second World War. Moth Rose is the only Second World War survivor of the Turbi Hills Shell Hole.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.