by Marcus Duvenhage

Training Conventional Phase. Everyone in the photo is a national serviceman. The corporal is J C Van Zyl. We were all teachers and thus slightly older than his 19 years. Nevertheless he was a very good instructor, and he worked very well with us. He was very full of himself, but is he wasn't like this, he wouldn't have been a good corporal :-))) His catch-phrase was always "Hoooor JY!!!" (`Do you hear me?')

The chap jumping over is David Warralow. He was English speaking and if I remember correctly, his farther was one of the big cheeses at Volkswagen SA at the time. Later that year David himself requested to be withdrawn from the course. This was a pity not least because he would have made a good officer.

The logical sequel to the previous photo. We were issued with new canvas boots. (The green ones in the photos.) I walked the `Vysbyt' in mine - big mistake! The old brown leather boot, drill or `jumper' type, remains the best.

The teachers also did P.T.!! On more than one occasion I heard talk that us teachers didn't do `proper Infantry School P.T.' because we were older. Bull!!! Bravo Company. Platoon no. 4 busy with class competition. Third from the left is Henry Bayman who presently teaches at Wagpos just outside Brits. Third from the right is Gerrie Duvenage, who presently teaches at Potch Gymnasium. Fourth from the right is Johan Zwarts who is presently teaching at Hoerskool Brits. The chap on the poles is Wilhelem De Bruin, known as "Oompie" or "Uncle". Look at his glasses and you will understand the origins of his nickname. He was always in trouble, but he was one of the main characters in the platoon. Unfortunately he committed suicide the year after he completed his national service. This was a great pity.

Members of Platoon 4. Bravo Company. We are having a brief rest at the instruction huts after a morning of hard training. Overalls feature noticeably!!!

Saturday morning 27 km route march. `Marble' in the rucksack and all. Things were rather difficult!

Published: 4 August 2000.

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