Casper Bakkes

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Casper Bakkes(b. 03/11/1925 – d. Paarl, 06/01/2016) was an historian, diarist and actor.


Born Casparus Marius Bakkes.

He completed a doctorate in Military History and went on to become a prominent military historian, lecturing at the Military Academy, first in Stellenbosch and then at Saldanha Bay. From 1970 he was Director of the Institute for Historical Research at the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria. He was married to author Margaret Bakkes, and he himself was responsible for Boskroniek April-Junie 1977: dagverhaal van ‘n grenssoldaat, an account of his experiences as a 50-year-old soldier in South Africa’s border war (2008). He is also well known for his interest in the art of the diarist - keeping a daily journal of events, in the style of Samuel Pepys - recording his experience of life in South Africa.

His contribution ot South African theatre, film, media and performance

At the age of 12, he was selected to play the part of Piet Retief’s son in the Afrikaans-language version of Joseph Albrecht and Andries A. Pienaar’s Die Bou van ‘n Nasie (1938), with Myles Bourke as his father and Anne Immink as his mother. In the English-language version the part was taken by Gordon Buchanan.

He was also a member of the Volksteater and a co-founder of Radio Pretoria.


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