Bezuidenhout’s Cannon (Durr 794)

September 25, 2010
Starting the fun run
October 17, 2010

Bezuidenhout’s Cannon (Durr 794)

By: Gerry de Vries, 1 October 2010
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A 1 ½ pounder cast iron cannon captured by the Voortrekkers from Capt. Smith’s fort in Port Natal during the siege of 1842. The left trunnion is marked “EB” for Ehrendahl Bruk in Sweden and the right is marked with the year of manufacture 1803.

Major Lood Pretoruis and Gustav Preller both recorded in 1910 and in 1925 that the gun was “liberated” by a certain Bezuidenhout who lifted it off its carriage and carried it off on his shoulder. After the siege, the peace arrangements stated that all equipment captured by the Voortrekkers had to be returned to Capt. Smith. Bezuidenhout refused, stating that the gun was captured by him personally and that it was now his property.

When the British annexed Natal, Bezuidenhout moved to the Free State to escape English rule. He moved again in 1883 and settled on the farm “Lakenvlei” in the Belfast area in the Transvaal.

Public spirited members of the Belfast community collected money and bought the cannon from Bezuidenhout. The gun was fired to commemorate various dates which were of importance to the local community. The gun is presently housed at the Belfast High School.

The above information was researched and passed to me by M.C. Heunis who lives in Bloemfontein.

Gerry de Vries

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