A Rhodesian Services Association Inc. publication
Registered under the 2005 Charities Act in New Zealand number CC25203
Registered as an Incorporated Society in New Zealand number 2055431
PO Box 13003, Tauranga 3141, New Zealand.
Secretary’s e-mail email@example.com
Editor’s e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone +64 7 576 9500 Fax +64 7 576 9501
To view all previous publications go to our Archives
This issue of Contact! Contact! makes up for its delay in publication by containing a “supersized” edition of Gerry van Tonder’s Dateline column. Gerry puts a tremendous amount of work into these columns and without him this publication would be all the poorer.
In our last edition I reported that our financial membership was at a record level. We peaked at 220 financial members and as the end of our financial year draws to a close (30th September) it is time to for renewals. Emails concerning membership details, the AGM etc will be going out from our Secretary Chuck Osborne, letting people know what to do. Further comment on our membership is made below – see Rhodesian Services Assn. Purpose & Web Links.
Rhodesian Forces Archives Project
Over the last few months we have been working (amongst other things) on what has been labelled the ‘Rhodesian Forces Archives Project’. This is going to be a significant on-line reference resource. The entry point is off this link http://www.rhodesianservices.org/rhodesian-forces-archives-project.htm
From this page the subdivisions into the various sections begins. All the areas are under construction but there is a suitable amount of material for you to look through and also to get a feel of what we are setting out to achieve. This project is massive; we are covering the whole history of Rhodesia. Here are some of the ongoing sections of the project.
Museum and Archives:
All this work is exceedingly time consuming. All those involved have jobs and families so their input to this project and other aspects of the Assn. is done in their ‘spare time’.
Let us not forget that in addition to the on-line archives project we are forging ahead with plans to construct a building to house our museum, act as our admin centre, and be a place for social and commemorative events. By the end of the year we should have concept drawings and costs.
This Association has grown way beyond its humble beginnings where we marched on the ANZAC Day parade at Hobsonville and struggled to pay for the wreath. We now have an international following and a very sound financial base. Our turnover from our CQ Store and other income generators is on a par with a small business. Our bank account would be the envy of any small business, principally because we don’t pay any wages!
We must preserve our history. We are providing a base that will be carried on by future generations. In order to keep this ball rolling and gathering mass, it is essential that we get more help from everyone with a connection to, or interest in Rhodesia. If you are reading this then you must have an interest and I urge you to get in behind this Association in whatever way that you can to provide support for what we are doing. See more detail in Rhodesian Services Assn. Purpose & Web Links below.
RV Annual Auction
We need quality items for the auction on 10th October. Paul Nes is the auction coordinator. Please email Paul on email@example.com for more info. Here are some suggestions:
Please do your bit to help this Assn.
Rhodesian Services Association Purpose & Web Links
The Rhodesian Services Association Incorporated is an Incorporated Society as well as a Registered Charity under the New Zealand Charities Act 2005. The purpose of the Association is to provide benefit and education to the community. For detail and disclosure please refer to the opening page of our website www.rhodesianservices.org
This Association is committed to the preservation of Rhodesian military history. In order to do this we must build a museum and administrative centre. Land is available in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Our current financial membership is 220; we have over 2,000 newsletter subscribers and over 2,000 Facebook group members; we need a bigger percentage of people subscribing to the newsletter and following Facebook to commit to financial membership.
Where there is a will there is a way. We need your support in every way possible. We need business brains to guide us and we need energetic, driven people to work with us.
If we all put our shoulders to the wheel we can do this.
Here are a few things that you can do:
Ø Become a financial member - we need a large percentage of our 2,000 plus listed subscribers to this newsletter, and the 1,900 plus members of our Facebook group to show their support and belief in our aspirations and make the small individual commitment of NZ$10 per annum (on current exchange rates approx. £5, US$7.50, R90) for financial membership. Email Assn Secretary, Chuck Osborne firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Ø Remember us in your Will.
Ø Purchase from our CQ Store.
Ø Encourage the younger generation and descendants of Rhodesians to become involved.
Ø Introduce philanthropic investors to our cause.
Our Facebook group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/152017521536350/ . We have loaded a lot of photographs from various events, as well as others from our museum displays. We have found that Facebook is another platform assisting our purpose of preserving Rhodesian history.
Please use these links on our website www.rhodesianservices.org for the following resources:
Guest Book http://www.rhodesianservices.org/guest-book.htm
Guest Map http://www.rhodesianservices.org/guest-map.htm
On line auctions http://www.rhodesianservices.org/auctions.htm
The Rhodesian Services Association holds a large Rhodesian flag for use at funerals. Please contact me at email@example.com to arrange delivery if required.
John House died in a care home in Bognor Regis on 16th August 2015. John served in the Police Reserve and in the Police Reserve Air Wing (PRAW), usually flying as navigator for Peter Raynor.
Editor’s note: John was one of the few teachers who I really liked and respected. RIP John. Condolences to Margaret – I will never forget John’s firm but fair methods in the classroom and on the cricket field.
Ian Robertson died on 24th August 2015. He will be remembered as one of Rhodesia’s premier rugby players.
“During his career Robertson was capped 56 times for Rhodesia; he holds the record for the greatest number of points in a season (120) and the most points gained in a game (30 points against South Western districts in a Currie Cup match at Bulawayo in 1974). His career total of 437 points from 12 tries, 60 penalties, 21 drop goals, and 73 conversions is more than 130 points better than the next man — Terry Bowes (304).
Robertson played 12 games for South Africa — 5 of them Tests. He played 8 games for the Junior Springboks, 4 matches in the South African XV, twice for the South African Barbarians, once for a combined Quaggas/Barbarians team and once for the Quaggas side. He played first-class invitation matches in Cardiff and in New Zealand. He was also capped for Western Province.
Robertson was born at Salisbury on 28 April 1950. At Prince Edward School he played in the First XV for two years and in the Craven Week side in 1968. He made his Mashonaland debut at the 1969 tournament.
His club-playing career has been largely dedicated to Old Hararians with brief spells at Johannesburg and Cape Town.”
For the full profile go to http://rhodesiansportprofiles.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/ian-william-robertson.html?m=1
October RV 9th to 11th October 2015
We want you to come to the RV on 9 – 11 October 2015.
It is time to book your tickets. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of those attending.
Adult ticket is $30.
This covers you for your RV dinner etc as well as annual membership of the Rhodesian Services Assn. Under 12 year olds ticket is $12.50 and does not include membership. If membership is required then an additional $10 is payable.
Those wanting RV Lapel Pins (example below) will need to make their request before 30th September. They are $10 each.
Your ticket will contain all the details that you need. Below are some of the main points of the weekend agenda:
Friday 9th October
From 4 pm the Garrison Club at the Tauranga Army Hall is open for an evening of socialising. There will be food and drink available at very reasonable rates.
Saturday 10th October
Golf Tournament: Contact Greg O’Carroll on email@example.com or call 027 268 0374 for details of time and venue.
10 am Te Puna Quarry Park Ramble: Join us for a wander through a very picturesque rural park after which we have some refreshments. Details will be on your ticket. Contact Hugh Bomford by email firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 027 545 8069 for bookings – essential for catering please.
2 pm RV Registration in the Garrison Club to collect name tags etc.
3 pm RV Welcome. Everyone must be assembled upstairs in the Garrison Club for housekeeping announcements following which will be the Welcome.
Sunday 11th October
9 am clear up at the Garrison Club.
10 am AGM - venue to be advised. Editor note: At the time of writing we have not set a venue. Financial members will be informed where the venue is when they receive their Agenda by email in a few days’ time..
Dateline Rhodesia 1890 – 1980
by author and professional researcher
Gerry van Tonder
My column this time around is a special edition, featuring the recent dedication and unveiling of the Rhodesia Native Regiment/Rhodesian African Rifles Memorial, at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) near Alrewas in England. For those living in the UK, or even just visiting, the memorial must be seen to appreciate the full significance of this fine tribute to one of Africa’s great regiments. I am extremely fortunate to live in Derby, only 23 miles from the NMA, so if you would like to know more, please email me: email@example.com
You will notice that several references are made to old African veterans from Zimbabwe, especially flown over for the event. At the time of the newsletter release, there is still an embargo on publishing photos of these old ‘masodjas’. This is entirely for their own safety.
I also feature the role of Rhodesian Coloured troops in our military history. Whilst we all remember them from our bush war days, few will know that they played a very important role in WWII. Their logistical contribution in Egypt, Palestine, Abyssinia, and East Africa was tireless and exemplary, operating under extremely difficult conditions. This feature, I know, will go a long way to not only creating a far greater level of awareness and appreciation, but also as a tribute to a community-in-arms largely forgotten.
The Foundation Years
On 12 January 1900, three months after the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, a frustrated and annoyed director of the British South Africa Company, Philip Lyttleton Gell, wrote from his home in England to his close friend Alfred Milner, British High Commissioner for Southern Africa, based in Cape Town. Gell pulled no punches in his damning views of military red tape stalling any firm action on the ground being taken to defend the fledgling outpost of Rhodesia from belligerent South African republican forces on her south-western border. Gell expresses empathy for Milner after General Redvers Buller’s [VC] humiliating defeat at Colenso, commiserating with Milner’s “darkest hour”.
Alfred Milner (Photo Black and White Budget January 1900)
“There is only one factor which can possibly stand between you and the justification of your policy – the incompetence of British Generals; the want once more of gumption and decisiveness at Head-Quarters. That we have Generals, i.e. soldiers with brains, we know, for they are always turning up: but these accursed red tape traditions of seniority, and the easy going camaraderie which sacrifices a thousand men rather than wound the feelings of a senior officer, keep the young men back until their powers are failing.
This lack of Generalship in every rank is making us grind our teeth, and I do foresee that if further blunders habitually occur, the nation will sullenly turn aside – not because it feels beaten, but because it loves its soldiers, and will not see them sacrificed to incompetence. The man in the street knows now that [Lt-Gen. Paul] Methuen is a blunderer, and that Buller is, to say the least, slow-witted. Some think he is just sulking.”
Possibly more out of a desire to protect BSACo economic interests in Rhodesia, Gell goes on to write, “You will have heard that our confidential scheme for reinforcing Rhodesia has now been approved. I urged it when Mafeking was first invested, but it was pooh-poohed. Then six weeks ago, we pressed it formally – no answer! Now it is authorized – three months lost, the expense to be incurred all the same!”
This last page of a note, on Government House, Cape Town-headed paper, in which Milner, after passing his love on to Gell and his wife Edith, writes in his own hand, “We have not allowed grass to grow under our feet in sending in Rhodesian Field Force. I packed Carrington off in double quick time and lent him 6 15-pounders to boot. A.M.” What is very interesting, is Milner’s scribble on the left, “What fools we are – militarily! Oh my.” (Gell Private Collection)
At the same time, Gell sent this telegram (below) to Milner, in which he reveals that plans had been discussed to deploy “Indian Ceylon Volunteers” to Salisbury and Bulawayo, where they would take up BSAP duties, thereby allowing members of the force to be sent to bolster Plumer’s Mafeking relief column.
(Gell Private Collection)
Feature:Forgotten and Misunderstood Soldiers
I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t remember the ‘Goffals’ from our bush war of the 1970s. Anecdotal memories are plentiful, especially the lingua franca of the Rhodesian Coloureds – folk of mixed race. Much of the so-called ‘troopie’ slang of the period had its origins in the Coloured lexicon, that unique ‘language’ comprising a rich tapestry of words from Afrikaans, English and indigenous languages. And so it was that the behaviour and talk of our Coloured brothers-in-arms became synonymous with and integral to the culture of Rhodesia’s armed forces during the guerrilla war. Sadly, however, this also provided a source of ridicule. More often than not – primarily through misunderstanding – the Coloureds bore the brunt of derision and mockery meted out by many other members of the defence forces.
A few years ago, I received an email from a Zimbabwean Coloured, Augusto Manacas, who rapidly became my principle source of information for Coloured soldiers who lost their lives in the 1970s. It is therefore with Augusto’s full support and assistance that I pledged to him and the Coloured community that I would do a feature on the Coloureds in our military history. Augusto made it clear to me that their community does not regard the term Coloured as derogatory. He also added that, to this day, the word Goffal is used by them to identify Coloureds from Zimbabwe. This article does not profess to be exhaustive and comprehensive, but serves to acknowledge, with gratitude, their contribution.
Particular thanks to Augusto for assisting with written material and photographs. [Editor note: I am also grateful to Augusto Manacas and Lionel Naidoo for their support over the years]
Lt-Col JF MacDonald, in his two-volume publication The War History of Southern Rhodesia 1939–45, states that 271 Coloureds were in fulltime service during WWII, of whom 228 served outside the country. They suffered 29 casualties.
There was one particular unit that was staffed almost entirely by Coloured people: the Coloured Mechanical Transport Depot. Raised in October 1939, once training was completed the unit was deployed by ship to East Africa via Durban, for the campaign against the Italians in that region. The unit was disbanded in 1943. All members who served in East Africa were awarded the Africa Star. They wore the General Service badge and were one of only two units to wear it in a blackened colour as a distinction. They wore a felt backing to the badge.
(Dudley Wall illustration, with thanks)
The Coloured people’s contribution to the Second World War is hardly acknowledged in any of the historical accounts of Southern Rhodesia’s war effort. Coloured people participated in WWII like their white and black comrades. Seeing as they were exempt from conscription, their recruitment into the army was technically voluntary. In spite of the fact that they were prohibited from combat duty, and therefore trained as drivers and mechanics, they all still underwent basic military training. As it transpired, many did become involved in combat. At the time, the colony’s white population only totalled some 64,000, so the Coloured participation must be regarded as significant to the Empire’s war effort.
James Muzondidya in his Walking a Tightrope: Towards a Social History of the Coloured People of Zimbabwe (Africa World Press, 2005) writes that, right from the outbreak of WWII, members of the Coloured community voluntarily stepped forward to enlist. Upon completion of their training in Salisbury, they were deployed to East Africa in December 1939 as the Reserve Motor Transport Company. However, the Government did not stop recruiting Coloureds into the army as drivers, mechanics and general labourers. In March 1943, the second Coloured unit, the Mechanical Transport Unit, was posted to East Africa, made up of fifty Coloured drivers.
By the end of the war, there were some 230 Coloureds in active service, mostly in the 55th Southern Rhodesia General Transport Company. At home, others of their community volunteered themselves for defence industrial work, such as in military uniforms and food canning factories. Coloured women joined their white counterparts in the Voluntary Aid Detachment Unit, which provided general assistance to wounded soldiers and civilians in Southern Rhodesian hospitals.
“The forces in East Africa were also glad to accept an offer of a hundred Coloured drivers as soon as they could be trained. Early in October, therefore, recruiting was opened for the [Southern Rhodesia] Coloured Mechanical Transport, and the unit was ready to proceed on service in January 1940. A press report describes the kindly reception accorded to the Coloured troops on their train journey to Durban, and the alarm and dismay of some members of the unit on their first sight of the sea. Some of them, we read, ‘wanted to jump ashore when the boat sailed’. They soon conquered their distrust of the new element, however, and on arrival in Kenya, found camp life there much to their liking.”
There was a great shortage of drivers and transport at the beginning of the East African campaign, and the Union Defence Force QMG was acutely aware of the situation. Forty-five vehicles and drivers had been sent by sea, but it had been decided to send convoys overland (by rail) from Pretoria to Broken Hill in Northern Rhodesia, and then by road on to Nairobi, Kenya, via Tanganyika. These convoys became a regular occurrence and were vital to keeping the Allied forces supplied in East Africa. The SRCMT would have been a part of this system.
Coloured Mechanical Transport Coy in Salisbury 1940. (Photo J.R. Cooksey)
Fighting Forces of Rhodesia, volume 5, October 1945, carried this very interesting article from The Rhodesia Herald, reporting on the homecoming of the 55 General Transport Company:
“Salisbury station was a-flutter with bunting and a-quiver with pride again yesterday morning, when another big contingent of Service men came home for good.
All this Salisbury has seen before, and is touched by the heart every time with gratitude and joy. But the scene at the other end of the special train was unique. It was the return after nearly six years of service, of 55 General Transport Company.
They were the first unit to reach Salisbury complete, instead of shedding many members on the way; and they were the first unit to return from active service. And the Colony was proud of them, this body of service men who have won high commendation for their efficiency in Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt and Palestine.
Few had been away from Rhodesia continuously since the unit went on draft in January 1940; some belonged to the draft that went away in 1943. But most had been years away, often five in all. Their happiness at coming back and the welcome they received from their families were moving indeed.
Fit, erect, modestly confident of themselves, they gave a picture of what their community can contribute to the Colony when the opportunity and call are there.
Coloured WWII Memorial Plaque, Bulawayo. (Photo Reg Stephens)
FLAGS AND BANDS GREET REPATRIATES
Bulawayo station was beflagged and festooned with flying pennants, and a military band was playing when the “repat train” from Durban steamed in yesterday evening. Bulawayo citizens were there in hundreds. Children were lifted shoulder-high as the train was signalled.
The scene on the platform opposite the coaches which brought in the personnel of the 55 General Transport Company was particularly happy and orderly.
Bulawayo’s community turned out in full strength, and the hour before the train resumed its journey to Salisbury passed all too quickly. All the personnel went through to Salisbury. About 50 will return to Bulawayo after demobilisation.
By kind permission of the Commissioner of Police, Colonel J.E. Ross, the B.S.A. Police Band gave a welcome performance at the station, and the Mayor, Councillor N. St. Quintin, kindly consented to meet the soldiers.
A message of welcome was published in The Rhodesia Herald from the Society.”
The Rhodesian Tribune, Vol. 1, No. 4, of November, 1945, carried this article:
“FINAL PARADE BEFORE DISCHARGE OF 55th GENERAL TRANSPORT COY. PERSONNEL
The personnel of the 55th (Southern Rhodesia) General Transport Company, East Africa Army Service Corps, held their final parade before demobilisation on the Drill Hall parade ground in Salisbury on Friday, November 2, 1945.
The Minister for Defence and Air, Col. W.H. Ralston, inspected the parade, and afterwards addressed the men, congratulating them on their fine record throughout the war. Col. Ralston was accompanied by the Commandant General of the Southern Rhodesia Forces, Air Vice-Marshall C.W. Meredith.
Under the command of Major R.M. Slatter, 70 men of the company were drawn up in line facing the saluting base. On the arrival of the Minister, the parade presented arms: four buglers of the R.A.R. sounded the General Salute, and the Union Jack was broken at the flagstaff.
Col. Ralston then inspected the men, returning to the saluting base to take the salute at the march past. The entire parade was a creditable performance of smartness and precision, all more creditable as the men had not done any ceremonial drill for many months.
Members of the community, children from the Moffat School, and demobilised and unfit members of the Company were present in the crowd.
‘You will know,’ said Col. Ralston in his address, ‘that His Excellency the Governor fully intended to carry out this inspection and to make an address in recognition of the services you have rendered throughout the war. Owing to ill-health he is unable to be present in person and expresses his regrets.’
Colonel Ralston said that they had earned a very fine reputation for discipline and good behaviour during their service, which would contribute towards good citizenship in the future. He wished them success on demobilisation.
At the outbreak of the war the community had volunteered to assist in the war effort, and a number of drivers were recruited, receiving their preliminary training at the B.S.A.P. Depot. In December 1939, the first draft left for East Africa, where they were posted to East African reserve motor transport companies and served with distinction throughout the Abyssinian Campaign.
Later a second unit was formed in Rhodesia. This was known as the S.R. Coloured Mechanical Transport Unit. East Africa Command, pleased with the work the first contingent had performed, asked Rhodesia to send up the second unit to form a 100 percent Coloured unit.
FORMATION OF COMPANY
In July 1943, the unit was changed into a General Transport Company, and so the 55th (S.R.) G.T. Coy. came into being. Unfortunately Rhodesia could not supply sufficient European leaders and Coloureds to form a complete unit, so United Kingdom officers and B.N.C.O.s and Northern Rhodesian African drivers were obtained.
In the Company the Coloureds were kept in separate sub-units, providing personnel for headquarters and one transport platoon, while others served in the Company’s workshop platoon as tradesmen.
The Company was stationed at Soroti, in Uganda, till June, 1944, and was engaged in ferrying vehicles from Juba, on the Nile in the Sudan, to Nairobi. These vehicles were landed on the west coast of Africa, taken up the Congo and assembled by the Belgians, from whom the Company took them over. Some 5,000 vehicles of all descriptions, loaded with essential stores, were ferried by the Company.
In addition to the task of ferrying, the Company had to transport troops from Tororo to Juba for the Nile Valley Route to the Middle East. For this task, two extra African platoons were added, bringing the total of all ranks in the Company to over 900.
Southern Rhodesia Government map of WWII East Africa
The ferrying task was most exacting and it was imperative that vehicles and stores were got through to Nairobi without delay. The run from Juba to Nairobi was 800 miles through the hot, low-lying fever swamps of Uganda, and over the mountains of Kenya, where the road ran at an altitude of 9,000 feet. Despite bad weather conditions, the convoys always got through in good condition. Fever was the worst enemy, and mechanics often had to work on repairs till midnight in the middle of some swamp.
In this ferrying task, Coloureds occupied key positions. A small number of them were permanently camped on the Nile and, assisted by Africans, collected vehicles on the west bank, ferried them across and prepared them for convoys leaving from the east bank.
Convoys contained from 60 to 150 vehicles, and Coloured mechanics kept the vehicles in good condition. Each platoon travelled about 2,500 miles each month. It was planned that the Company would travel up the Nile to join the forces in North Africa, but the unit could not be replaced.
Finally, the work came to an end, and the Company moved to Nairobi to re-equip before moving on to the Middle East. While the unit was re-equipping, the men went through an intensive course of training, and more officers and B.N.C.O.s came from Rhodesia to replace the leaders from Britain who had been serving with the Company.
A very high standard in weapon training was reached, the G.O.C. congratulated the Company on its achievements at a Nairobi weapon meeting. East African Command paid the unit a fine compliment on the way it had carried out its ferrying tasks.
On September 20, the Company embarked at Mombasa for the Middle East and proceeded immediately to the R.A.S.C. mobilisation centre at Tahag. A further month was spent in training and again the Company was complimented on its efficiency. From all the units stationed at Tahag it was selected to provide the main guard at headquarters during the visit of the D.S.T. Thirty-six were put through a motorcyclist’s course, and became first-class dispatch riders.
IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The Company then relieved an East African G.T.C. and in November, 1944, moved to Abbassia where the headquarters was established. One platoon and a section of workshops was stationed at Quassassin, one platoon at Fayid, and half a platoon at Suez. It was a great disappointment to all ranks to be kept at base, as they had wished to get across to the fighting in Italy. While in the Cairo area, the Company was congratulated on its standard of vehicle maintenance.
At the end of April, the Company moved to Palestine and was stationed at Sarafand. The work here was more interesting than in Egypt, though it was more exacting. Though short of drivers, the unit took over an extra half platoon of vehicles. Their main task was to collect Arab labourers from villages in the area, and having delivered them to the various Royal Engineer installations, remain and work for the engineers.
The dispatch riders proved invaluable, as they were able to study their maps and reconnoitre the many various routes, afterwards guiding the African drivers to their destinations.
On September 5, 1945, the unit left Sarafand to return to East Africa for demobilisation. On its departure, it was thanked for its good work, and was also complimented several times at Sarafand for the cleanliness of its camp and arms, the keenness of guards and sentries, for shooting and hard work by all ranks.
The Africans left for discharge or transfer, and the detachment continued to Durban, finally arriving in Salisbury on October 1. They were singled out for their smartness, discipline and behaviour both on board and the train.”
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists three graves of the SRCMT, all at the Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery:
Mt/217 Driver Mohamed Ghulam, died 14 April 1943
Mt/194 Driver William M. Peterson, died 2 October 1945
Mt/119 Driver John Edward Plaatje, died 26 November 1942
Two SRCMT headstones in Harare. (Photos Richard Perry)
The Rhodesia Defence Regiment
Coloured troops training at Llewellin Barracks in the early 1960’s. (Photo Augusto Manacas)
The dark green stable belts of the Protection Units took on a new significance in the continuing war against terrorism. Over the years, the Reinforcement Holding Units and the Protection Units had quietly grown, and their deployment had become increasingly important in the defence of Rhodesia’s borders.
On January 1st, 1978, these units were combined to form an official regiment, and took their place proudly alongside longer serving regiments of the Rhodesian Army. The Regimental Depot at which servicemen were trained for the Rhodesian Defence Regiment was at Inkomo Barracks, just outside of Salisbury.
The embryo from which the new regiment had grown existed for many years, in the form of the Reinforcement Holding Units. These were originally purely paper units that were formed at the beginning of 1973 to take on theoretical strength those Coloured and Asian personnel who had completed their Territorial service with the Supply and Transport platoons. Also included were members of ‘Dad’s Army’, comprising the older age group White personnel who had completed their territorial service obligation with the Rhodesia Regiment battalions.
Coloured troops during the Bush War of the 1970’s on a Rhodesian Army recruitment poster.
(This poster is stocked in the Rhodesian Services Assn. CQ Store)
For several years, members of the Reinforcement Holding Units were called up for a short period, once or twice a year, and deployed in non-combatant roles. However, as the war escalated, the need for protection and guard troops increased the task of these personnel, and extended it to a more active role. As a result, in 1974 the Protection Companies were formed on a small basis, embracing the Coloured and Asian members. These two Protection Companies had a more mobile role than the previous Holding Units, and acted as escorts for army convoys transporting supplies and equipment to operational areas. They also guarded encampments and machinery where necessary. The situation remained at this level for three years. During this time, however, the strength of the Protection Companies had been increasing, along with that of the Reinforcement Holding Units, as a growing number of men completed their service with the territorial forces.
Coloured soldier on patrol with his MAG machine gun. (Photo Augusto Manacas)
When the combined strength of the units reached approximately 6,000, it became obvious that such a reservoir of manpower could be more effectively deployed than hitherto, and the suggestion of forming a new regiment was put forward.
Thus the Rhodesian Defence Regiment was born, placing the Protection Companies and Holding Units on a properly co-ordinated and recognised footing.
Two battalions were formed: the Number 1 Mashonaland Battalion, based at Cranborne Barracks in Salisbury, and the Number 2 Matabeleland Battalion, based at Brady Barracks in Bulawayo. The new regiment had its own Depot at Inkomo Barracks, near Salisbury, where the Coloured and Asian National Servicemen were trained, and where older serving members receive pre-deployment training.
The familiar sight of Coloured soldiers in the operational areas during the 1970s. The soldier in the middle is wearing the Rhodesian Services Corps stable belt, a unit in which many Coloured troops served.
(Photo Augusto Manacas)
These battalions were made up from four different categories of servicemen.
Firstly, there were the National Servicemen from the Coloured and Asian ethnic groups, who were required to serve eighteen months, as were their White counterparts in other regiments.
Secondly, there was the ‘K’ Intake, comprising the 25 to 38 year age group of Coloureds and Asians who had not previously been subject to call-up. This category was required to serve for eighty-four days. Half this period was spent in training at Inkomo and the second half on deployment.
(Dudley Wall illustration, with thanks)
The third category was the continuously embodied volunteers. These were Coloured and Asian members who volunteered for a year of continuous service. At the end of that year, they were free to leave or to sign on again for a further year. This arrangement virtually made them regular members of the regiment. There was, however, some discrepancy between conditions of service for these continuous volunteers and those of regular members of the army. To address this, the first step was the appointment of the first Coloured officer: a medical officer, with the rank of Captain. The Rhodesian Women’s Service, from its inception, accepted Coloured recruits as permanent members of the force, several of whom were deployed at Rhodesian Defence Regiment Headquarters at Cranborne.
The fourth category was ‘Dads Army’, who were the older Whites of over 38 years.
Both battalions were structured to take into account the different tasks required of the companies. The national servicemen, the ‘K’ intake, and the continuously embodied volunteers were generally deployed on the higher priority tasks, whereas the over-38-year-old category, who were liable for a shorter period of commitment than the younger men, were used for more sedentary tasks.
A pilot group of Coloured national servicemen were then given full combat training, followed by deployment in the field. The commander of the Rhodesia Defence Regiment, Lt-Col. Peter Grobbelaar, expressed satisfaction with the way in which the servicemen had adapted to training, adding that they had given a good account of themselves. Discipline was strict, as it should be with all effective forces, and Grobbelaar pointed out that the Coloured soldier appeared to have the natural aggression that was vital in all combat troops. The step from defensive to combat role had not been particularly difficult, since more and more as the war escalated, the members of the Protection Units were required to display a more aggressive role in the face of attacks by the enemy.
Lt-Col AK Boyd-Sutherland MLM, 2nd from the right, chats over a beer with RDR troops. (Photo Craig Fourie)
After a long period of semi-obscurity, the Protection Units and Dad’s Army finally found their own identity in the Rhodesia Defence Regiment, with their own insignia and embellishments, the troops bent on proving their worth.
Cooperation and consideration between the various ethnic groups improved considerably. On occasions where units of mixed ethnic groups had been deployed, the members of this new regiment displayed a most responsible attitude in making allowances for the differences in diet and religious practice that must obviously have existed. Problems arose, on occasion, in supplying the required contents of ration packs; for example, a Moslem would require a different ratpack to a non-Moslem, but these difficulties were readily ironed out.
There was no discrepancy in pay and general conditions between the different ethnic groups of the territorial strength of the new regiment.
Despite their newness, the Rhodesia Defence Regiment possessed certain distinctive foibles, one being their own language. The RLI ouens were famed for being incomprehensible to the ordinary listener, but the RDR certainly offered a challenge to the RLI superiority in this area.
The story is told of the RDR private who, on seeing heavy artillery in the field for the first time, went and called his friend, saying, “Hey, Joe, just come outside and sight the size of this cattie!” (catapult).
The tale is also told of the radio operator who persisted in asking Control to, “Bowl me the ages, ek sê.” After a considerable pause and a great deal of head scratching, Control finally realised that the operator was merely asking for a time check.
Photo taken at Founders High School at the disbanding of RDR units in 1980.
L–R: WO2 Hickey (RIP), band master 1RDR; Parade Commander Major Mike Slaven (ex-Rhodesian SAS, Malaya); WO1 Frans Botha (RIP), 2RDR. (Photo Craig Fourie)
And, of course, all armies have their own clowns who never seem to quite know why they are there at all, and rather wish they were not – no doubt some of the officers also wished they were not. An RDR private appeared before an officer on a disciplinary offence. When he was given an opportunity to speak, he proceeded to ramble on in such a vague and inconsequential manner that in the end the officer stopped him.
“Are you prepared to accept the punishment of the disciplinary officer, or do you elect to stand trial by court martial?” the troopie was asked.
To which the bewildered troopie replied, “I’d just like to stand down, sir.”
History does not relate his fate.
We salute our Coloured and Asian brothers-in-arms – their task was not an easy one.
Rhodesia Native Regiment/Rhodesian African Rifles Memorial
On Sunday, 19 July 2015, the National Memorial Arboretum (home to the post-WWII British Armed Forces Memorial) at Alrewas in the English midlands, played host to the dedication and unveiling of a memorial to one of Africa’s finest black regiments, the Rhodesian African Rifles and its WWI predecessor, the Rhodesia Native Regiment.
(Photo thanks Peter Gillatt, South African Legion)
The UK Branch of the RAR Regimental Association had worked on this prestigious project for several years, drawing on global resources and manpower across the Rhodesian diaspora. It was a major undertaking, driven by a nucleus of dedicated and motivated former RAR officers. The end result, the Great Zimbabwe-styled monument, exceeded expectations – a credit to every single individual involved.
The day itself went way beyond anything that anyone had anticipated. They came together from all over: New Zealand, Australia, the United States, South Africa, Zimbabwe …
Guests walk through part of the pristine 150-acre National Memorial Arboretum to the memorial.
(Photo Colin Bewes)
The dedication ceremony gets underway in warm sunshine. (Photo Albert Weidemann)
Maj-Gen Angus Ramsay CBE, DSO (British Forces in Cyprus) chats with Brig Pat Lawless SCR (Photo Andries van Tonder)
The dedication service was conducted by Major Reverend Tony Lee who, after the bidding prayer, blessed and dedicated the memorial, “… to the honour of the Rhodesia Native Regiment and the Rhodesian African Rifles and their service to Crown and Country.” (Pictured below)
(Photo Colin Bewes)
After a prayer by Padre Lee for all members throughout the world, author Gerry van Tonder presented, for blessing, a specially leather-bound copy of the RNR/RAR Book of Remembrance (see photo below). The book was placed within the Memorial Chapel at the conclusion of the ceremonies, “… that it may be a lasting testament to all those who gave their lives in the Service of King, Queen and Country.”
(Photo Colin Bewes)
Padre Lee then offered a prayer for all who died in the service of the Rhodesia Native Regiment, the Rhodesian African Rifles, and those since:
“We remember before God all the past members of our two Regiments who died in the service of King, Queen and Rhodesia. We remember too, those of our number who have subsequently passed from this life. We acknowledge their courage and devotion to duty, which serves as an inspiration to us all. We pray comfort to all widows and bereaved families and uphold them in our love and prayers.”
(Photo Colin Bewes)
An RAR veteran then read out those immortal words from the WWI poet, Laurence Binyon’s ode, ‘For the Fallen’:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Ensigns to the colours and standard bearer:
L-R: Bill Liversidge (RAR), John Wynne Hopkins (RAR), Peter Gillatt (SA Legion) (Photo Colin Bewes)
The President of the RAR Regimental Association, The Most Honourable Robert Michael James Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, KCVO PC DL, (pictured below) then delivered the main address.
(Photos Andries van Tonder)
Captain Andy Telfer SCR, then delivered an adapted version of the Chindit Prayer. (pictured below):
When Rhodesians mourn their glorious dead,
We should recall what Wingate said:
“One day, I know not when or where,
We’ll say, I’m proud that I was there.”
So for those in that far off land,
Who fell in battle, let us stand, Remember just for what they died,
Of those shall be our boast and pride.
(Photo Andries van Tonder)
Four buglers of the Royal Green Jackets (The Rifles) Regimental Association then played the Last Post, followed by Reveille and a minute’s silence. Regimental Colours were lowered.
Last Post, as Gerry van Tonder, left, and Brig Vic Walker salute. (Photo Peter Gillatt)
Regimental Colours and the SA Legion standard lowered, the party under the command of Ian Robertson. (Photo Colin Bewes)
Official proceedings peaked when an RAR Masodja – a decorated Malayan Emergency and Rhodesian Bush War veteran, struggling with poor eyesight and assisted by Keith Adams, unveiled the commemorative plaque on the conical tower of the memorial. The old soldier gently turned the RAR flag back, revealing the central plaque, and as Padre Lee called for God’s blessing on the memorial, the Masodja was meticulously folding his regiment’s flag – a regiment that he had, like all his brothers, served with distinction. He stood justifiably proud.
The central unveiling plaque on the conical tower of the memorial. (Photo Andries van Tonder)
This was followed by the laying of wreaths, and an impromptu singing of Sweet Banana by a group of RAR veteran Masodja.
Laying wreaths, L-R: John Glynn (Rhodesian Services Association), Bryn Price (Intaf) and Peter Dickens (SA Legion, UK). (Photo Peter Gillatt)
Wreaths surround the base of the conical tower. The photo tribute is to Capt Alan Gardiner Redfern MBE (RAR and KRRC attchd. LRDG), who was killed in action in WWII, and laid on behalf of his father, Col John Redfern (RAR). (Photo Peter Gillatt)
The two memorial plaques on the curved back wall of the memorial. (Photos Gerry van Tonder)
Andy McNeill had spent a considerable amount of time, effort and personal expense to organise the very special treat of the day. Within minutes of the official part of the memorial dedication ending, and coordinated on the ground by Andy, two Alouette III helicopters of 300 Squadron, Royal Flight, the Royal Netherlands Air Force, paid aerial fly-past tribute to the memory of the RNR and RAR. With each successive fly-past – all of six loops – the two choppers came in lower and lower. The clattering signature whine of the aircraft wiped away the forty years since the Bush War, when Cyclone 7 meant support, comfort and lifesaving casevac. There was many a tearful eye, as choked-up veterans and guests waved, shouted and recalled a distant war.
(Photos Colin Bewes and Andries van Tonder)
As the guests made their way to the marquee for lunch, Rev Major Tony Lee, Gerry van Tonder and an RAR veteran Masodja, took the RNR/RAR Book of Remembrance to the NMA chapel where it will be permanently on display.
The RNR/RAR Book of Remembrance compiled by author and historian Gerry van Tonder. (Photo Gerry van Tonder)
The ‘commercial’ version of the Book of Remembrance, now available to buy in the UK and South Africa. (Photo Gerry van Tonder)
The lunch was equally memorable, as old friendships were rekindled, and faces placed to names only ever seen on computers. Rhodesian camaraderie is alive and flourishing.
(Photo Colin Bewes)
A pensive Brig Dave Heppenstall MLM, next to the RAR colours. (Photo Colin Bewes)
RAR Regt. Assoc. (UK) Chairman, Col Malcolm Clewer, gives his lunchtime speech, while Brig Pat Lawless SCR, lends a hand. Pat Lawless was absolutely tireless in ensuring the day was a success. (Photo Andries van Tonder)
Chairman of the memorial fundraising committee, Maj-Gen Mike Shute OLM, on the right, with Gerry van Tonder. (Photo Andries van Tonder)
It is appropriate that the man whose name is so firmly embedded in our military history, the indomitable Brigadier John ‘Digger’ Essex-Clark (pictured below), have the final word on what was a truly remarkable event. This in an email from him after he had returned to Australia:
(Photo Andries van Tonder)
“I send this as ‘First-thoughts’ accolade from a jet-lagged pneumonia-addled emotional debtor to those involved in the extraordinarily successful new RNR/RAR Memorial and its unveiling and dedication, plus its intense heart-wrenching ancillary events that have left me emotionally and physically spent, yet overflowing with pride and ‘Band of Brothers’ fulfilment.
All, including their descendants, who once served in the Rhodesian Native Regiment or the Rhodesian African Rifles must thank those who have now left a smouldering spirit of those deaths, and that brotherhood of service; with the very best Infantrymen, in the best fighting units of that huge but troubled continent: in a most beautiful spot in the United Kingdom.
Those who were fortunate to be there at the unveiling and dedication of our Memorial, and to represent the huge diaspora who could not, were emoted physically and mentally, by those moving and highly spiritually charged too short moments of the ceremonies involved, and their supporting activities. The emotions that surged within our quivering fibres as we remembered those grand and unforgettable warriors with whom we were so fortunate to serve, and their African representatives with us, controlled and consumed our bodies and our minds with pride and surging brotherhood of arms and mutual dedication to a worthy cause.
Personally, I whole-heartedly congratulate and applaud all those involved in the concept, funding, and erection of the edifice representing, possibly, the best moments of our pasts, and also thank them for enabling me to play a tiny part in those soul-searing, body shaking, and eye moistening moments.
I was humbled by the magnificent event, which was, perhaps, one of the most emotionally charged periods of my adult life.”
‘Lest we forget’
John ‘Digger’ Essex-Clark, from Canberra Australia.
Brass plaques on the memorial centrepiece, the conical tower. (Photos Andries van Tonder)
I received this very heart-warming – and surprising – story from a South African, Jan Viljoen, who had contacted me via my website. Written in Afrikaans, this is the version I translated:
“My great-grandfather’s family arrived in the Free State just after the Great Trek, and took up farming in the Hoopstad/Bultfontein District. Wesselsbron, our hometown, was only established in 1923.
Both my grandfathers were born on 15 October 1893 [the date that Captain Campbell of the Fort Salisbury Column, became the first casualty of the Matabele War at Iron Mine Hill]. By 1897, the clouds of war had started gathering and oupa Johannes Hendricus ‘Jan’ Viljoen had not yet started school. Come 1899, he could not start school either, as everything had ground to a halt.
With Kitchener’s scorched earth policy, great-grandad left on commando, taking part in the battles at Magersfontein, Belmont and Modderrivier. In his absence, his wife, ouma Lenie, made the decision to leave their home, and taking their three boys, the small family fled on their own in a small wagon, constantly moving up and down along the river to avoid incarceration in the concentration camps. Her efforts were successful, but the boys suffered badly from malnutrition.
Great-grandad was also eventually captured, and only returned home in 1905 from India, where he had been sent as a prisoner of war. When he arrived back, he found everything had been destroyed by fire, and there was no livestock left alive. In the barn, he found a small amount of burned wool, which he cleaned up as best he could. He borrowed a horse cart and went to Richmond to purchase five sheep from family in the area. In this way, they restarted their lives.
A small school was soon established about six kilometres from their farm, and oupa Jan, now twelve years old, and his brothers, went to school for the first time, riding donkeys.
In 1908, a British schools inspector visited the school, where the energetic and clever Jan immediately caught his attention. That very afternoon, he dropped in on great-grandad, where he strongly recommended to him that the boy had to continue with further education.
Great-grandad, however, had no money and no income either. Then the miracle happened, when this British schools inspector offered to pay for the boy’s continued education. Great-grandad only had to provide clothing. Oupa Jan then went to Hoopstad School, where the hostel would later be named after him.
Thereafter he attended Jongen School in Wellington, where he passed his matric, all the while still being financially supported by his benefactor, the British schools inspector. Great-grandad’s financial situation had improved sufficiently by then, which meant that oupa Jan was able to go to university where, at the University of the Orange Free State, he graduated with a BA in Law. He then took up teaching.
In 1928, oupa Jan entered politics, and after many years, he became a member of parliament for the Afrikaner Party. Later still, in 1948, he was appointed Minister of Education, Arts and Science in Dr DF Malan’s National Party cabinet.
Minister Jan Viljoen standing second from the right. On his right is future prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd. (Photo Jan Viljoen)
He retained this post with Malan’s successor, G.J. Strydom. At about this time, oupa Jan received an honorary law PhD from Rhodes University.
Oupa Jan became an important player in the nation’s politics, and in some circles it was felt that he may become a future state president, but this was not to be. His health deteriorated because of the malnutrition he suffered during the Anglo-Boer War, and on 7 December 1957, he passed away.
South African Minister Jan Viljoen. (Photo grandson Jan Viljoen)
The family had always spoken of a Mr O’Brady, that magnanimous British school’s inspector – had it not been for him, oupa Jan would not have become the success he was in life. This man gave oupa Jan his first lucky break in life; a life which, very early on, had been devastated by war.
In 1936, oupa Jan had an opportunity to meet his generous benefactor for the first time. This happened in Rhodesia, and Mr O’Brady was in fact Colonel John Banks Brady, DSO, OBE, ED, the then Territorial Force District Commandant, Bulawayo.”
After the Anglo-Boer War, Brady had decided to remain in South Africa to pursue his chosen profession in education, serving as Headmaster of Grey College in Bloemfontein, before becoming a school’s inspector. In 1909, he took up the post of Senior Inspector of Schools in Southern Rhodesia, from where he joined the hundreds of Rhodesian volunteers heading for Britain to enlist at the start of World War I in 1914.
Col John Banks Brady DSO
Commissioned on the Special List as a Lieutenant, he had the distinction of being the first commander of the Rhodesian Platoon of the KRRC, thus starting the long association of Southern Rhodesia with this famous British Regiment.
After a period as a Company Commander with the 2nd Battalion KRRC, Brady was appointed as a General Staff Officer with the 4th Corps, and then Brigade Major to the 148th Irish Brigade, before returning to regimental duty in 1917, becoming Second-in-Command of the 2nd Battalion KRRC. Brady commanded the 4th Battalion in the last four months of the war, before serving with the Army of Occupation on the Rhine, where he also commanded a battalion. Wounded twice, Brady was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, the Croix de Guerre, and mentioned in despatches four times.
Returning to Southern Rhodesia in 1920, he continued to serve both with the Reserve of Officers of the Regular Army, and as the District Commander of the Southern Rhodesia Territorial Force. Upon his retirement in 1937, Brady was promoted to Colonel. He then entered into politics, successfully taking the Bulawayo North seat.
Oupa Jan remained eternally grateful to Colonel Brady.
The Rhodesian Prison Cross for Distinguished Service (PSC).
A 38mm green on silver Maltese Cross, holding a green-on-silver Zimbabwe bird, surrounded by a silver wreath. In between, are the words "For Distinguished Service”. Reverse plain. Silver clasp.
There were only three recipients: Directors J.C.C. Reyneke and F.L. Patch, and A.M. Hall.
(Photo Gerry van Tonder)
Seventy years ago, Japan surrendered, ending conflict in the Pacific theatre, and heralding the end of World War II.
…and they said
Alfred Milner, British High Commissioner to South Africa, in Cape Town, writing to Phillip Lyttleton Gell, British South Africa Company board, sometime in July 1900, and during the Anglo-Boer War:
“Strange how sex enters into these grave matters of State. It always has, it always will. Princess R. [Radziwiłł] works on that tremendously. She is to me … the most repulsive animal imaginable … Cleopatra makes me sick. But there is no doubt that she did have (not in any coarse sense), a hold over Rhodes.
She is dangerous. At the same time, it must weaken her influence that we should all know … that she is a perfect liar.”
Princess Catherine Radziwiłł had stalked Cecil John Rhodes and asked him to marry her, but he refused. She then got revenge by forging his name on a promissory note. She was convicted of forging Rhodes’s signature and spent time in a South African prison for her crimes. A Polish princess from the Polish-Lithuanian aristocratic Radziwiłł family, she was born as Countess Ekaterina Adamovna Rzewuska, member of the House of Rzewuski. She married Prince Wilhelm Radziwiłł at age 15 and moved to Berlin to live with his family.
Princess Catherine Radziwiłł (Photo archives)
Visit www.rhodesianservices.org/The%20Shop.htm to see what is in store for you.
Please give our CQ Store consideration when buying a present for friends or family. Profits from the sale of these items go towards the Museum Fund. All prices are in NZ$ and do not include postage.
UK based stock
Gerry van Tonder is holding stock of the smaller CQ items in the UK. All items stocked in the UK are noted on our website with a Union Jack You can order direct from Gerry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
NZ customers can pay by direct deposit with bank details being supplied on request
Overseas customers - we prefer payment by PayPal, personal or bank cheque. We can accept personal cheques from most countries with the exception of South Africa. If you elect payment by PayPal, we will bill you from email@example.com
Please note that we can only process credit cards via PayPal. Rest assured, if you want to make a purchase we will make a plan to enable you to pay!
Clothing - shirts, jackets, caps, beanies, aprons, and regimental ties.
Berets & Badges – most Rhodesian units available.
Medals & Ribbons – an extensive range available.
Posters & Maps – high quality reproductions.
DVDs & Phone tones – historical footage, unique cell phone tones.
Other goods - flags, bumper stickers, lighters, and more, as well as quality products direct from our contributing supporters.
After a 15 year gestation period, this long awaited book is now available:
Rhodesia Regiment 1899 – 1981 by Peter Baxter, Hugh Bomford, Gerry van Tonder et al. Published by the Rhodesian Services Association.
This book is a definitive record of the Rhodesia Regiment. It is being funded and published by the Rhodesian Services Association as part of a major historical record.
Queen Elizabeth II, Colonel in Chief of the Royal Rhodesia Regiment, posed for a photo for this book and graciously gave us her good wishes for the success of the project in 2011. She asked if she could have a copy of the book.
On Thursday 7 August 2014 a copy was delivered to Buckingham Palace by Gerry van Tonder and Hugh and Diana Bomford's eldest daughter. The book was duly delivered to the Queen who was in residence at Balmoral Castle at the time. A letter of thanks from Her Majesty was received a few days later. This was landmark event in the history of our country and for this, the largest literary project in the history of Rhodesia, a very proud moment.
Inscription in the Royal presentation book.
Contact these stockists for price details:
Worldwide sales ex New Zealand email firstname.lastname@example.org
South Africa email email@example.com
UK email firstname.lastname@example.org
Zimbabwe email email@example.com
Total 614 printed pages 300 x 220mm portrait made up as:
528pp x b/w text/photos
8pp x colour photo section
8pp x colour map section
56pp full colour Honours and Awards and Uniforms, Embellishments and Equipment sections
Appendices covering Honours & Awards includes numerous citations; complete Roll of Honour 1899-1981; Leadership Roll; Intake numbers and dates
2pp x tip-in page
Over 8,000 individual names in the book
Illustrations - over 1,500 photos, maps and drawings
Rhodesian General Service Medal ribbon lapel pins
Lapel pins depicting service medal ribbons are very popular around the world so we did a consumer survey and decided that it was a worthwhile project.
RGSM ribbon lapel pin measures 19mm x 6mm with a clutch pin fastener on the back
Price NZ$10 + P&P
Available to UK residents from Gerry van Tonder firstname.lastname@example.org
British South Africa lapel pins
These are jewellery quality gold plate. Measure 22mm x 15mm with a clutch pin fastener on the back
Price NZ$10 + P&P
Available to UK residents from Gerry van Tonder email@example.com
(We now manufacture and stock BSAP, RLI, Rhodesia Regiment and SAS lapel pins)
Rhodesian SAS No 1 dress bullion wire wings
These are a very accurate reproduction of the original wings. They measure 75mm x 35mm
Price NZ$40 + P&P
Some of our popular products:
With Remembrance Day a short way off we suggest that you look through our extensive range of berets and badges on this page http://www.rhodesianservices.org/berets---badges.htm
The Rugby World Cup kicks off in the UK soon. Wear one of our carefully researched and reproduced Rhodesian Rugby jerseys and celebrate Rhodesia’s past glory on the rugby field by going undefeated against the mighty All Blacks in 1949 – a proud record that can never be taken away from us.
Price NZ$130 + P&P
Available in short or long sleeve in various sizes – see this page for details http://www.rhodesianservices.org/clothing.htm
We now stock three sizes of flags (not counting our lapel pins, embroidered and adhesive decals):
3 foot x 5 foot (approx 900mm x 1500mm) comes with brass eyelets for hanging @ $40 plus postage
2 foot x 3 foot (approx 600mm x 900mm) comes with brass eyelets for hanging @ $30 plus postage
12 inches x 18 inches (300mm x 450mm) come with a 24 inch/600mm stick @ $20 plus postage NOTE- you may wish to purchase without the stick in order to reduce postage costs
Remember – when you support the Rhodesian Services Association CQ Store you are helping to preserve Rhodesian history.
To order from the CQ Store - go on line to http://www.rhodesianservices.org/clothing.htm - select what you want and then email firstname.lastname@example.org for a full price including postage and methods of payment.
Books for Africa
I again remind you that all the books and audio visual disks that I stock and sell are listed at www.rhodesianservices.org/Books.htm These sales are my own hobby and income from sales is directed to me and not the Rhodesian Services Association. However, the Association does benefit indirectly from these sales. A great selection of books, many with a Rhodesian connection, can be found on the link above. All prices are in NZ$ and do not include postage.
A small sample of titles in stock at www.rhodesianservices.org/Books.htm
Our Supporters– please also view our webpage http://www.rhodesianservices.org/our-supporters.htm
This section is for individuals and businesses who support this Association either by giving us something for auction at the RV in October; by donations from sales generated from our listings of their product or service; by offering discount to buyers who mention the Rhodesian Services Association when making a purchase; contributing material to our Museum and Archives.
Email me at email@example.com for details of how you get a mention here.
The Association is very grateful to all our contributors; please reciprocate this support by supporting them in turn. Please don’t forget to mention where you saw their advert.
Buckles and Tees www.bucklesandtees.co.nz
Mike Vivier has a number of Rhodesian related lines which include the 'Advice to Terrorists' image on t-shirts and aprons as well this stunning Rhodesia Regiment belt buckle which sells for NZ$24.95 excluding postage. 100% New Zealand made.
Please note that Mike is down to his last two Rhodesia Regiment belt buckles and is unsure if he will do another manufacture run. If you want one – be quick – first in first served.
Mike donates a portion of his income from all Rhodesian related items sold to the Rhodesian Services Association. Please email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order or query or go to www.bucklesandtees.co.nz and do it on-line.
Gerry van Tonder Professional Research Services www.rhodesiansoldier.com For Service History Research, Copy Editing, Proofreading.
Gerry offers a professional, quality research service, specializing in the service history of Rhodesians who served in the two World Wars.
“It is amazing what information exists about your father, grandfather, or uncle, and as I have experienced with everyone for whom I have done what I call a Fact File, invariably information comes to light, which they were not aware of. Go to www.rhodesiansoldier.com and use the Research button to access samples and to make inquiries.”
The Global Forked Stick - Snippets and Requests
With grateful thanks to Vic MacKenzie for use of this illustration to better explain
the ‘forked stick’ connection for those who were not raised in Africa.
Craig Bone paintings auctioned by the Rhodesian Services Assn for the Rhodesian African Rifles Assn.
On behalf of the Rhodesian African Rifles Assn. we ran two auctions for original oil paintings by world renowned artist, Craig Bone. These auctions raised US$6520.00 with 100% of proceeds going towards the construction of the Rhodesian Native Regiment/Rhodesian Africa Rifles Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas, England (see details in Gerry van Tonder’s column above).
Rhodesian and Armoured Forces Research
This email from Laurent Touchard:
I've almost finished my article about Rhodesian armoured forces. I have two questions:
First, if I'm right, T17 Staghounds were used by the Southern Rhodesia Reconnaissance Car Regiment until 1956 and then given to the battalions of the RRR. They were put in storage in 1963 until UDI. At this time they were used briefly by the RLI and in 1966 given to the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Royal Rhodesia Regiment to use in their Recce Platoons?
Second, do you know when the Staghounds were put out of service from the RRR? Possibly with the (re)birth of the RhACR in 1972?
Thank you very much if you can help.
Please email your comments to Laurent on email@example.com
From the Selous Scouts Regimental Assn.
After the sold-out success of the first edition, it was decided to publish a second edition of Selous Scouts: The Men Speak, even bigger and better than before. It includes many more articles and photographs, as well as improvements made in response to readers’ comments, adding a new dimension to this amazing book.
The second edition will be available in September/October 2015. Secure your copy of this hugely popular book today.
Direct your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Staying the Course – 125 Years of Golf in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe
Contact John Kelley on email@example.com for more details.
That’s all folks, so until next time – go well.
Celebrate ‘Rhodesia Day’* on the 11th November each year
*The concept of ‘Rhodesia Day’ originates from the late Eddy Norris and family. During the 90 year
life span of Rhodesia we experienced the best of times and the worst of times. I encourage everyone to use this
day to remember the good times as well as remembering those who are no longer with us.
Rhodesian Services Association donations.
You can make a donation to the Rhodesian Services Association by clicking on our 'Collection Hat' below which is a typical slouch hat of the type used by the Rhodesian Army up until the 1960’s. Click on the hat or this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=MLMB2B8Y2UY3G and if you are registered with PayPal the process will be immediate. If you are not a PayPal member you will be given instruction on how to make a credit card payment via PayPal. Thank you - every bit helps.
This newsletter is compiled by Hugh Bomford, Newsletter Editor of the Rhodesian Services Association. It contains many personal views and comments which may not always be the views of the Association or Committee.