The "Ras" cannon of the Anglo-Boer War
Martienie was one of two cannon built during the Anglo Boer War in December 1880 on the farm Bokfontein in the district of Brits by Marthinus Ras. The second one was just called "Ras".
Martienie was first utilised against the British garisson at Rustenburg in January 1881 where 93 shots were fired on the British, but the war was over before the second cannon, "Ras", could be deployed.
The "Ras" cannon were the first cannon that were built in South Africa.
Martienie's barrel was 4˝ foot long, with a bore diameter of 3 inches. It fired a lead ball weighing 7 pounds.
Ras was a smaller cannon than Martienie, with a bore diameter of 2 inches, but a longer barrel of 5˝ foot.
Ras was built to fire a projectile of 2 inches in diameter and 4˝ inches long.
After the First Anglo Boer War, Ras was sent to Europe and put on display in Paris. It was only returned to South Africa after the Second Anglo Boer War.
After the First Anglo Boer war, Martienie was used as a noon-gun in Pretoria.
In 1885 an Austrian by the name of “Compolier”, loaded Martienie with stones and fired on the State President's Residence, badly damaging the gun. After this unfortunate incident Martienie was moved to a museum.
Martienie and Ras are both preserved in Pretoria - Martienie at Denel in Erasmuskloof and Ras at Fort Schanskop.
Marthinus Ras posing with Martienie
SOUTH AFRICAN CANNON ASSOCIATION
Martienie at Denel
Ras at Fort Schanskop