Tinyeko Captain Ndhlovu

Ditsong National Museum Military History

January 2021

This unit is a reserve artillery regiment of the South African Army. It has a noble history dating back to 1855 when it was raised as the artillery company of the Durban Volunteer Guard. This article deals briefly with the 7 historical badges of the K.C.A.R (formerly N.F.A) dating pre-1899 to 1967.

Description of the seven badges of the K.C.A.R (formerly N.F.A)

  1. White metal cap/helmet badge; a flaming grenade. Worn on “pillbox” type hat, pre-1899. The greatest width is 3.81 cm. This badge was worn as a helmet plate by the Durban Volunteer Artillery including the emblem D.V.A placed on top by Queen’s Crown.[1]

 

    Figure: 1. Pre-1899 Cap/Helmet Badge
  1. White metal headdress badge; with the monogram “NFA” within wreath of laurel, 1902-1913. The greatest width is 4.76 cm.[1]

 

Figure: 2. 1902-1913 Headdress Badge

Figure: 3. 1903-1967; Cap/Headdress Badge
  • Cap/ headdress badge; an old-pattern field gun placed over mobile wheel; above a scroll engraved “Natal”, and ensigned by a crown below the gun with a scroll inscribed with the motto, “Armis Arte Audacia”. Worn in brass metal 1903-1939 and 1946-1960. Worn in bronze by Officers and Warrant Officers only, 1939-1967. The greatest width is 6.67cm.[1]
  1. Brass collar badge: a grenade of seven flames above, a scroll inscribed “Natal”. Worn in brass metal 1902-1940 and 1949-1967. Worn in bronze by officers and Warrant Officers only 1939-1967. The greatest width is 2,85 cm.[1]

 Figure: 4. 1902-1967; Collar Badge

Figure: 5. 1939-1945; Cap Badge
  • Brass metal, Cap Badge: South African Artillery pattern, an old-pattern field gun; above a scroll inscribed “Ubique” and ensigned by a crown; below the gun a scroll engraved “South Africa” — “Zuid Afrika”. Worn by the Regiment in bronze 1939-1945. The greatest width is 6.60 cm. [1] [2]
  1. Brass metal Shoulder Tittle including the block letters “NFA”. Worn 1903-1939 and 1946-1955. The greatest width is 12 cm.[1]

Figure: 6. 1903-1955; Shoulder Tittle

Figure: 7. 1967 Cap Badge
  • Bronze metal, Cap Badge: an old-pattern field gun with a crown placed over upon the centre of the wheel; above a scroll engraved “Natal”, ensigned by the South African lion; below the gun a scroll inscribed with the motto, “Armis Arte Audacia”. Worn in bronze by Officers and Warrant Officers and in white metal by other ranks, adopted 1967. The greatest width is 6.82 cm.[1]

 

These seven historical badges, listed and described above, are among the eleven that were adopted and worn by the K.C.A.R (former N.F.A) pre-1899 to 1967. The interesting part is that this unit once attended the coronation of the Zulu King Cetshwayo at Mlambongwena kraal near Ulundi in September 1873. [1] The 17-gun salute was fired at the coronation ceremony, paying homage to the new King. After 146 years, in August 2019, the Natal Field Artillery became the King Cetshwayo Artillery Regiment. The KCAR was given three years to design and implement new regimental insignia. [3] [4]

 

Reference

[1] Foote, S.C.: Badges of the Natal Field Artillery. Commando, June 1967. p.40-41.

[2] Foote, S.C.: Badges of the South African Artillery. Commando, April 1968. p.34-35.

[3] “Renaming process has resulted in Army structure that truly represents SA”. IOL. 16 August 19. Retrieved 19 January 2021

[4] Gilling, K.: “Regiment has served the nation”. Daily News. Independent Online. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2021

 

Acknowledgements

Ditsong National Museum of Military History – images of insignia.

 

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