The late former president Daniel Moi’s remains will be ferried to Parliament and Nyayo Stadium by a gun carriage, a tradition that is widely used in State funerals.
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, while announcing the official program of Mr. Moi’s funeral arrangements, said Mr. Moi – who died on Tuesday – will be accorded full military honours.
“The former head of state will be accorded full military ceremonial honours which shall include conveyance of the body of the former head of state under escort in a gun carriage accompanied by military musical honours and a 19-gun salute,” said Mr. Kinyua, adding that Moi will then be buried in his Kabarak home on Wednesday, February 12.
Gun carriages have been used to carry the coffins of fallen soldiers and officers at military funerals and holders of high office with a military connection in State funerals to their final resting place.
The practice has its origins in war and appears in the nineteenth century in the Queens regulations of the British Army.
In a state funeral in the United Kingdom, the gun carriage bearing the coffin is drawn by sailors from the Royal Navy rather than horses.
This tradition dates from the funeral of Queen Victoria; the horses drawing the gun carriage bolted, so ratings from the Royal Navy hauled it to the Royal Chapel at Windsor.
This distinguishing feature is not invariable, however, as shown by the use of naval ratings rather than horses at the ceremonial funeral for Lord Mountbatten in 1979; one of a number of features on that occasion which emphasized Mountbatten’s lifelong links with the Royal Navy.
In State funerals in the United States, a caisson (a two-wheeled ammunition wagon), is used in place of a gun carriage.