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From right to left: MAJOR Willem Steenkamp, Anton Hart, Enslin van Blerk, Koos van der Merwe (the REAL ONE) DR Mischa Galukhin ( Chairman of the Russian Club, Cape Town) and ex Soviet Paratroop Captain, His Eminence Archbishop of Egoryevsk Mark, Head of Moscow Patriarchate Department for Foreign Institutions, British soldier Jean -Paul Burrows, British Soldier Edouard de Villiers, Oleg Chepurnov and Daniel Lugovoy, the Rector of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Johannesburg.

The occasion was the Commemoration of the Russian Volunteers under Lt Col Maximov that joined the Boer Forces during the 2nd Boer War of Liberation against the British Empire ( 1899-1902).

The Wreath laying was undertaken by the Consulate General of the Russian Federation as well as the Heritage group, and a Poem / Prayer was sung by DR Elina Komarov ( not pictured here).

It was the first ever commemoration that was done in this manner!

After the ceremony all the guests and participants joined for snacks and vodka generously supplied by the Russian Consulate and the Witblits / Mampoer was supplied by myself to share with our Russian brothers.

An absolute awesome and unforgettable event.

Article by Anton Hart

Siege of Leningrad re-enacted by Historians dressed up as Red Army and Nazi soldiers to mark battle’s 70th anniversary



  • More than 400 actors dressed up as Soviet Red Army soldiers and Nazi Germany troops to recreate the battle
  • The fight on January 27, 1944, finally forced the lifting of the Nazi’s Siege of Leningrad which killed one million
  • The re-enactment on the 70th anniversary was part of memorial ceremonies across the city
  • It also coincided with the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, Poland

Read more:

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

(Photo: Facebook/First Army Division East)

(Photo: Facebook/First Army Division East)

How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps:
It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and,if not, why not?
He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path,he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?
For aperson to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10′ and 6′ 2′ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot
drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the
uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only
400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet.
There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as
they cometo a halt.
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.
The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV.
All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery .
A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred.

Among the notables are:
President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most
decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington , DC , the US Senate/House took 2 days
off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of
the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They respectfully declined the offer, “No way, Sir!”

Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that
guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment,it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a service person.

The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.


Kettenkrad NSU, Type HK101, 1945

In pristine condition and roadworthy.
With original German vehicle papers.
Sold with 2 spare sets of new track pads.
New 6 Volt battery.
Price GBP £65 000.


For further details, contact:



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