rondganger, noun

Forms:
Also rondeganger.
Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch rondeganger roundsman, watch.
historical
see quotation 1887.
1873 L.G.R. in Cape Monthly Mag. VI. 211In the guard-house are two soldiers placed called the ‘Rondegangers,’ who watch an hour-glass and take turns to reverse it when the sand is run out.
1887 S.W. Silver & Co.’s Handbk to S. Afr. 11In the Castle there was an accurately manufactured sun-dial, and in the guard-house two soldiers, called ‘Rondgangers,’ whose sole duty it was to watch an hour-glass, and take turns to reverse it when the sand had run out. Then they had to ascend a small tower placed over the Castle-gate, and with a cudgel strike a bell weighing six hundredweight as many blows as may denote the hour.
1919 M. Greenlees tr. of O.F. Mentzel’s Life at Cape in Mid-18th C. 157Owing to the violent winds that frequently rage at the Cape, no clock can be put up in the open, so the hours are struck by hand upon a bell that hangs in a little tower over the Castle gate. There are always two soldiers, ‘rondgangers’ as they are called, stationed in the guard-house to see to the ringing of the bell.
1926 P.W. Laidler Tavern of Ocean 52During September, 1716, a ‘rondeganger’ or rounds man left the guard room to sound the hour as usual. The bell did not sound, nor did the man return.
1969 I. Vaughan Last of Sunlit Yrs 50The old bell which tolled the hours, and where story has it, a rondganger hanged himself for love of a secunde’s daughter, still hangs there.
see quotation 1887.
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