May/June 2014

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
Editor’s e-mail
Phone +64 7 576 9500 Fax +64 7 576 9501

To view all previous publications go to our Archives

We are trying to get back on track with regular publications of Contact! Contact!

As you all probably know Gerry van Tonder and I have been very busy with the Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981 project as well as other ongoing Association work and in Gerry’s case, other book projects.

The Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981 project has almost reached conclusion with the script now in the hands of the printers. Current work taking place is on the image for the leather bound covers. We hope to be distributing by the end of June. The bulk stock that will be shipped by sea to England and New Zealand will of course take a few weeks to get to us and from then it is ‘all systems go!’

It has been a very long project and stressful project and I for one, will be very happy when we start dispatching them to those of you who have supported us with pre-publication purchases.

In the past it has taken me around 24 to 36 hours to transmit every edition of the newsletter by email to our 2,000 subscribers. It took this long because I had to trickle them out in order to try and avoid being seen as a spammer by the internet service providers (ISP). This was not always successful, and many of my emails were getting binned anyway. Over the past few months we have created an automated facility whereby the transmission of our bulk emails is handled by a specialised programme which does the trickling for me. This is a huge time saving and also it appears that far more of our emails are reaching the intended target. So, for some of you this may be the first newsletter that you have seen in a long time on account that your ISP may have been blocking my emails to you.

Parallel to this ‘IT stuff’ we have also created an on line auction site. I recommend that you have a look at the following link  If you have any interest then please register on line. Registration (which does not cost anything and we do not want your credit card details or grandmother’s birth certificate) will then allow you to bid. You will also be sent notifications of new items listed. We have a lot of prospective goods to auction covering a wide range of interests. We also undertake to auction on behalf of other associations as well as individuals.

We are beginning to wind up in preparation of the next October RV. It has been decided that we will try to alternate venues between Tauranga and Auckland on a yearly basis. This year we are holding the RV out of the Silverdale RSA. Please see more details further on in this newsletter.

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

We also have a Facebook group which you are welcome to join.  We have loaded up 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.  If you want to find us, search for Rhodesian Services Association on Facebook.

Please use these links on our website  for the following resources:
Guest Book
Guest Map
New link On line auctions

Please remember to let us know if you are changing your email address.


The Rhodesian Services Association holds a large Rhodesian flag for use at funerals.  Please contact me at to arrange delivery if required.

From Rob Bates:
It was with great sadness that we learned of the deaths, after a brutal attack, of Malcom (Mal) Francis and his daughter Catherine Francis on their farm in northern Zimbabwe.

The attack took place on 10 May 2014 with Catherine passing away in hospital on 14 May and Mal on 19 May. Mal was a BSAP Reservist at Sipolilo when I first met him in 1978 when he was part of the great 913-Xray crew accompanying the Pookie. At the time the local farming community was coming under increasingly heavy day and night time attacks with landmines planted in their roads daily. Mal was one of a core of farmers who mobilised under the Member in Charge to defend the district and take it to the terrorists full-on with amazing success. He was a leading light, a great farmer and inventor and one of the most amiable people you could ever wish to meet.

A very sad time for the family and many others of us around the world who knew Catherine and Mal.

From Peter van Dyk:
I got news earlier in the week that Steve Walters, a fellow soldier from 6 (Indep) Coy Rhodesia Regiment passed away on 26 May 2014. He had Parkinson's disease.


 Dateline Rhodesia 1890 – 1980
by Gerry van Tonder


After a long break, it is good to return to some degree of normality, but my next two publications loom, Op Lighthouse and the RAR Book of Remembrance. The Rhodesia Regiment book project turned out to be absolutely enormous, consuming all my ‘spare’ time and then some, as I stretched my bio-clock’s limits to facilitate interaction with the other project principals in three separate time zones. The end result, however, is without any doubt worth all the effort, culminating in what must rank as the best book ever to be written on Rhodesia’s military history - more than 600 pages of proud history, liberally interspersed with thousands of personal accounts, photographs, and illustrations, much never before seen in the public domain. I now look forward to distributing the book in the UK, so interested folk can e-mail me on

After almost two years of writing this column, I have also decided it was time for a bit of revamping, into a more informal diary of Rhodesia’s history, and in doing so hopefully make it more interesting to read.

The Foundation Years
Robert Baden-Powell, better known as the founder of the international Scout movement, left England on 2 May 1896, with orders from Zulu War veteran and Quartermaster General to the Forces, Lt-General Evelyn Wood, VC, GCB, GCMG, to report to General Sir Frederick Carrington, commander of the troops in Matabeleland, fighting the rebels.

After an exhausting ten-day coach trip from Mafeking, Baden-Powell arrived in the laagered Bulawayo at 1am on 3 June 1896, taking up lodgings next door to the club buildings, these now occupied by Grey’s Scouts. In his diary, Baden-Powell takes stock, relating that the white population had increased to nearly four thousand, guarded by an armed police force distributed throughout the country. He does point out, however, that the greater part of this police force was taken from Rhodesia by Doctor Leander Starr Jameson for his ill-conceived and disastrous assault on the Transvaal Republic of Paul Kruger.

At the same time, the bovine scourge of rinderpest devastated cattle throughout  much of Africa, and in efforts to control the spread of the disease, the authorities determined that healthy amaNdebele cattle had to be destroyed, a major blow to a tribe that measured its wealth in cattle. This, together with the drought, European management and the unbearable arrogance of policemen of their own blood, led to the uprising in March of that year, eventually also spreading to Mashonaland. With added impetus from their spiritual leader, the Umlimo, the amaNdebele impis, many armed with Martini Henry rifles, slaughtered any white they could find, man, woman or child.

As the rebellion spread, troops and patrols of irregulars conducted sorties into the countryside to rescue stranded settlers form outlying farms, mines and stores. Baden-Powell describes some of the leaders of these troops, now also including those from Fort Salisbury and Belingwe:
…Micky MacFarlane, erstwhile the dandy dancer, now a bearded buccaneer and good soldier all the time; Selous, the famous hunter-pioneer of Matabeleland; Napier and Spreckley, the light-hearted blade, who is nevertheless possessed of profound and business-like capacity; Beal, Laing, and Robertson, cool level-headed Scotsmen with a military training; George Grey, ‘Charlie’ White, and Maurice Gifford, for whom rough miners and impetuous cowboys work like well-broken hounds. Indeed, the Volunteer troops seem to have thoroughly adapted themselves to the routine of soldiering, as well as to the more exiting demands of the field of action.”

On 5 June, Colonel Herbert Plumer took a 460-strong column towards the Gwaai River, north west of Bulawayo, while Captain MacFarlane led 400 troops to the north. Colonel Jack Spreckley and his men were preparing to leave the following morning, but at ten o’clock that night, Sir Charles Metcalfe and the American scout Fred Burnham, “dishevelled and torn”, arrived back in Bulawayo. That evening they had ridden out to Colonel Beal’s Salisbury column, camped three miles outside Bulawayo. As they approached campfires that appeared to be those of the Salisbury troops, they stumbled into a large amaNdebele impi. Beating a hasty retreat, they were lucky to escape with their lives, taking a wide detour through the bush.

American Scout Fred Burnham, a sketch by Baden-Powell

Baden-Powell, accompanied by Spreckley, immediately set off for the piquet post at Government House, but found nothing untoward so returned to Bulawayo. As the day was starting to dawn, they again left the laager, this time heading for the Umgusa River, where they found an estimated 1,200 amaNdebele camped on the opposite bank. Baden-Powell despatched a trooper to Bulawayo to fetch Spreckley with reinforcements and, while waiting, ordered his men to have breakfast. The arrival of the support brought Baden-Powell’s strength to 250 men, with two guns and an ambulance. Included were “…a few volunteers in carts who wanted to join in the fun.”

Baden-Powell takes up the story of what ensued:
As we advanced, we formed into line, with both flanks thrown well forward – especially the right flank under Beal, which was to work round in rear of the enemy on to their line of retreat – a duty which was most successfully carried out. The central part of the line then advanced at a trot straight for the enemy’s position.

The enemy did not seem very excited at our advance, but all stood looking as we crossed the Umgusa stream, but as we began to breast the slope on their side of it, and on which their camp lay, they became exceedingly lively, and were soon running like ants to take post in good positions at the edge of a long belt of thicker bush. We afterwards found that their apathy at first was due to a message from the M’limo, who had instructed them to approach Bulawayo and to draw out the garrison, and to get us across the Umgusa, because he (the M’limo) would then cause the stream to open up and swallow up every man of us. After which the impi would have nothing to do but walk into Bulawayo and cut up the women and children at their leisure. But something had gone wrong with the M’limo’s machinery, and we crossed the stream without any contretemps.

So as we got nearer to the swarm of black heads among the grass and bushes, their rifles began to pop and their bullets flit past with a weird little ‘phit,’ ‘phit,’ or a jet of dust and a shrill ‘wh-e-e-e-w’ where they ricocheted off the ground. Some of our men, accustomed to mounted infantry work, were now jumping off to return the fire, but the order was given: ‘No; make a cavalry fight of it. Forward! Gallop!’

The Umgusa fight of 6 June, a sketch by Baden-Powell

Then, as we came up close, the niggers let us have an irregular, rackety volley, and in another moment we were among the. They did not wait, but one and all they turned to fly, dodging in among the bushes, loading as they ran. And we were close upon their heels, zigzagging through the thorns, jumping off now and then, or pulling up-, to fire a shot (we had not a sword among us, worse luck!), and on again. The men I was with – the Grey’s Scouts – never seemed to miss a shot.

Several of our horses got some wounds, and one man got a horrid stab straight into his stomach. I saw another of our men fling himself on to a Kafir who was stabbing at him; together they rolled on the ground, and in a twinkling the white man had twisted the spear from its owner’s hand, and after a short, sharp tussle, he drove it through the other’s heart.

In one place one of the men got somewhat detached from the rest, and came on a bunch of eight of the enemy. These fired on him and killed his horse, but he himself got up in a trice, and, using magazine fire, he let them have it with such effect that before they could close on him with their clubs and assegais, he had floored half their number, and the rest just turned and fled.

And farther on a horse was shot, and in the fall, his rider stunned. The niggers came louping up, grinning at the anticipated bloodshed, but Sergeant Farley, of Grey’s Scouts, was there before them, and hoisting up his comrade on to his horse, got him safe away.

‘One against eight,’ a sketch by Baden-Powell

Everywhere one found Kafirs creeping into bushes, where they lay low till some of us came by, and then they loosed off their guns at us after we had passed. I had my Colt repeater with me – with only six cartridges in the magazine, and soon I found I had finished these – so, throwing it under a peculiar tree, where I might find it again, I went on with my revolver. Presently I came on an open stretch of ground, and about eighty yards before me was a Kafir with a Martini Henry. He saw me and dropped on one knee and drew a steady bead on me. I felt so indignant at this that I rode as hard as I could go, calling him every name under the sun; he aimed – for an hour, it seemed to me – and it was quite a relief when at last he fired, at about ten yards distance, and still more of a relief when I realised he had clean missed me. Then he jumped up and turned to run, but he had not gone two paces when he cringed as if someone had slapped him hard on the back, then his head dropped and his heels flew up, and he fell smack on his face, shot by one of our men behind me.

At last I called a halt. Our horses were done, the niggers were all scattered, and there were almost as many left behind us hiding in bushes as there were running on in front. At length we mustered again at our starting point, where the guns and the ambulance had been left. We found that, apart from small scratches and contusions, we had only four men badly wounded. One poor fellow had his thigh smashed by a ball from an elephant gun, from which he afterwards died. Another had two bullets in his back. Four horses had been killed.

We learned some months afterwards from refugees and surrendered rebels, that no less than fifteen headmen had been killed, as well as more than two hundred of their men.

Colonel Robert Baden-Powell during the Matabele Rebellion. Photo National Archives of Rhodesia

Feature: Rhodes House, Oxford, England
My wife and I recently visited our son in Oxford where he is currently reading for his PhD in genetic research at that esteemed seat of learning. Ambling around the maze of narrow, ancient streets from one walled and gated college to the next, one is drawn into the rich academic tapestry that is associated with this university town, ever mindful of scores of cyclists pedalling their way to some important destination with a gowned professor, or perhaps just off to a tranquil spot on the River Thames which meanders through Oxford on its way to London, known here as the River Isis.

An Oxford weather vane carries a mortar and gown-clad scholar on Oxford’s main mode of transport, the bicycle. Photo Gerry van Tonder

Strolling down South Parks Road towards the Department of Zoology where my son also works, we cannot miss the very distinctive shape of a Zimbabwe bird atop a dome at the entrance to a large house. A masterpiece of that famous architect, Sir Herbert Baker, renowned designer, amongst others, of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and Groote Schuur and the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town, the magnificent Rhodes House in Oxford welcomes the visitor through a spacious domed rotunda. On top of the copper dome of the rotunda perches rather incongruously, a massive Zimbabwe bird, resplendent in a rich patina, gazing at the church spires of this university town.

In a flurry of wills and codicils in the last years of his life, Cecil John Rhodes ensured that he left a solid legacy that most will notice. An Oxford scholar himself, Rhodes left a large sum of £100,000 to Oriel College at Oxford, revenue which would ensure that the college would be adequately secure in terms of accommodation and upkeep. Arguably, however, the most indelible shadow his life would leave in perpetuity was a clause which considered that, “…the education of young colonists at one of the Universities in the United Kingdom is of great advantage to them for giving breadth to their views and for their instruction in life and manners, and for instilling into their minds the advantage to their colonies, as well as to the United Kingdom, of the retention of a united Empire.”

The Zimbabwe bird guards the rotunda entrance to Rhodes House in Oxford, England
Photo Gerry van Tonder

The Empire, as Rhodes knew it, would fall away in the winds of change later that century, but today 83 scholars are selected annually from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica and the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa (including Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), the United States of America, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Rhodes’ will made selection for the awarding of a Rhodes Scholarship very meticulous in terms of the qualifications and qualities which would make the individual successful to receive the world’s most prestigious scholarship. Criteria were weighted according to the prerequisites being sought by the Trustees:

·                     30% - literary and scholastic attainments;

·                     20% - the fondness and success of manly outdoor sports such as cricket and football;

·                     30% - qualities of manhood, truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for the protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness, and fellowship;

·                     20% - exhibition during schooldays of moral force of character and of instincts to lead and to take an interest in his schoolmates, for those attributes will be likely in after life to guide him to esteem the performance of public duties as his highest aim.

The Zimbabwe bird surveys the university city of Oxford from the dome at Rhodes House
Photo Gerry van Tonder

Some of the scholarship criteria have naturally been adapted by the trustees over the years as society’s definitions of these qualities detailed by Rhodes have evolved with the passing of time. Of particular interest is that after his visit to the German Emperor in 1900, Rhodes added a codicil to his will allowing for five German scholarships. These, however, were cancelled by a British Act of Parliament during the Great War.

Rhodes’ philanthropy in this regard did not really extend to those who could not afford to go to university. He had a post-university vision of young men from the British Commonwealth and America making up a fellowship of selected young men from English-speaking nations who learned the traditions which made the Empire great, and in so doing were well equipped to extend the progress of the British Empire throughout the world.

As you walk into the rotunda, your immediate attention is drawn to the stylised sun on the floor, imbedded into granite from Matopos. Suddenly you cannot help but feel the connection with home. The dome of the room carries emblems representing the Colonial countries and territories which share in his legacy, as well as those of the United Kingdom.

The rotunda floor at Rhodes House, the sun embedded in granite from the Matopos.
Photo Gerry van Tonder


The inside of the rotunda dome at Rhodes House, depicting symbols of some of the then participating Rhodes Scholarship countries.
Photo Gerry van Tonder

Another feature dominating the rotunda is the bust of Cecil Rhodes, set back in an enclave flanked by two pillars. The brooding bronze effigy is reminiscent of some ancient Roman emperor, a presence to remind those entering the house that he is responsible for the legacy which has survived more than a century.

The robust bronze effigy of Cecil Rhodes still gazes over his beloved Matopos. Photo Gerry van Tonder

Following the circular wall around, one finds rolls of honour to Rhodes scholars who lost their lives in the two world wars. Included in both are the names of Rhodesians, their country clearly shown. On the 1914-18 roll, appear the names of nine Rhodesians, amongst their South African counterparts. The four who died during the Second World War, appear on their own - under Rhodesia. The irony of German names on the WWII roll of honour does not go unnoticed. The years next to the names are when they graduated from Oxford University. My objective would be to find out what I could about these fallen Rhodesian Rhodes’ scholars.

Rhodes Scholar Rolls of Honour for World War One and Two grace the rotunda wall. Photos Gerry van Tonder


World War One

Photo Gerry van Tonder

Captain Vere Arthur Edmonstone ELLIOTT, ‘B’ Battery, 165th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action on 25 March 1918, aged 25 years, Capt. Elliott is buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Bienvillers Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Of interest is the fact that Capt Elliott was born in Rorke’s Drift, Zululand. His father, Frederick George Elliott was with the Native Department in Umtali.

Lieutenant Theodore Arthur CARNEGIE, 12th Battalion, the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Killed in action on 16 August 1917, Lt. Carnegie’s name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The memorial, ironically also designed by Sir Herbert Baker, commemorates 35,000 men who died in the Ypres Salient and whose bodies were never found. His mother lived in Bulawayo.

Tyne Cot Memorial. Photo thanks CWGC

Lieutenant Charles Hercules Augustus Francis NEWTON, 10th Battalion, the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Killed in action on 13 March 1916, aged 26 years, Lt. Newton is buried in the CWGC Essex Farm Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. His father, Sir Francis James Newton, KCMG, CVO, was Acting Administrator of Southern Rhodesia from 1909 to 1914 and British High Commissioner to Southern Rhodesia in 1924. Sir Francis, incidentally, was at Oxford University when Rhodes was there.

Lt Charles Newton. Photo thanks Ralph MacLean, SAWGP

Captain Stewart Arthur RODNEY-RICKETS MC, ‘D’ Battery, 82nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action on 31 October 1917, aged 23 years, Capt. Rodney-Rickets is buried in the CWGC Vlamertinge New Military Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Capt. Stewart Rodney-Ricketts MC. Photo thanks Ralph MacLean, SAWGP

Second Lieutenant John Clarkson TREDGOLD MC (Posthumous), 3rd Battalion, attached 11th Battalion, the Royal Scots. Killed in action on 12 April 1917, aged 21 years, 2Lt. Tredgold’s name is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France. The memorial was erected in memory of the 35,000 soldiers from the UK, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras Sector between the Spring of 1916 and August 1918, and who have no known grave. His father, Clarkson Henry Tredgold, was Southern Rhodesia’s Attorney General and later senior judge. His mother Ruth, was the granddaughter of the famous missionary, Robert Moffat. His younger brother, Sir Robert Tredgold, also a Rhodes Scholar, became Chief Justice of Rhodesia in 1950. 2Lt. Tredgold’s Military Cross citation was gazetted on 30 May 1917:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He carried out a dangerous reconnaissance and obtained most valuable information. Later, he rescued several wounded men under heavy fire.”

Lieutenant Ernest St Clair TULLOCH, 11th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. Killed in action on 7 July 1916, Lt. Tulloch’s name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. The memorial carries the names of 72,000 soldiers from the UK and South Africa killed on the Somme and whose bodies were never found. His mother lived in Umtali.

Thiepval Memorial. Photo thanks CWGC

Second Lieutenant Richard George HART, 3rd Battalion, attached 10 Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Killed in action on 30 July 1916, aged 24 years, 2Lt. Hart is buried in the London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval, the Somme, France. His parents lived in North Kana, Northern Rhodesia.

2Lt. Richard Hart. Photo thanks Ralph MacLean, SAWGP

Second Lieutenant Osric Osmond STAPLES, 6th Battalion, the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Killed in action on 25 September 1915, aged 23 years, 2Lt. Staples’ name is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. The memorial remembers the 20,000 soldiers who lost their lives in the River Lys area, and whose bodies were never found. Another memorial designed by Sir Herbert Baker.

Lieutenant Paul Dominic WILMOT, 3rd Battalion, attached 12th Battalion, the Royal Sussex Regiment. killed in action on 25 March 1918, Lt. Wilmot’s name is commemorated  on the Pozieres Memorial, the Somme, France. The memorial remembers the 14,000 British and 300 South African soldiers who died on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918, and whose bodies were never found. Lt Wilmot was reported as ‘missing’.

World War Two

Photo Gerry van Tonder

Major Cecil Leander John BOWEN, 1st Battalion, the Irish Guards. Killed in action on 15 May 1940, aged 44 years, Maj Bowen in buried in the small Narvik New Cemetery, Norway. Maj Bowen died during operations to counter the sudden and widespread German invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940, which resulted by early June in the occupation of the whole country. During WWI, Maj. Bowen had served in France as a Captain with the East Surrey Regiment.

Narvik New Cemetery, in the major port town on Narvik, north west Norway. Photo thanks CWGC

Captain Angus Dundonald CAMPBELL, General List, attached ‘D’ Company, 3rd Gold Coast Battalion, 12th(East African Division). Died of wounds received in action 23 April 1941, aged 40 years, Capt. Campbell is buried in the Nairobi War Cemetery, Kenya. Capt. Campbell’s units had been in the forefront of an assault on an Italian stronghold at Wadara in South Abyssinia, a battle that lasted three weeks. On 22 April, his company was tasked to carry out a frontal attack on an enemy position just across a tank-trap. The result ended in tragedy. Maj. Campbell was badly wounded and died the next day. Twelve others lost their lives. It would be early May before Allied forces finally secured Wadara.

Second Lieutenant John Desmond Thomas GUEST, 1st Battalion, the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Killed in action 21 November 1941, 2Lt. Guest is buried in the Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya. He died during a bayonet charge at the Battle of Sidi Rezegh. His twin brother, Ernest Melville Charles Guest, a pilot with the Royal Air Force, was killed in action on 4 October 1943. His father was Colonel Sir Ernest Lucas Guest, at the time Southern Rhodesia Minister of Air, Mines and Public Works, and Honorary Colonel of the 1st Battalion, the Rhodesia Regiment.

Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya. Photo thanks CWGC

Lieutenant Alan John SCOTT, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, attached the King’s African Rifles. Killed in action on 1 November 1944, aged 26 years, Lt. Scott is buried in the Imphal War Cemetery, north east India close to the border with the then Burma.

Imphal War Cemetery, India.  Photo thanks CWGC

Rhodesia’s Medals
The Police Medal for Meritorious Service was first awarded in July 1971, with eligibility applying to all ranks of the British South Africa Police. It recognised those who had served the force in a meritorious manner.

The Police Medal for Meritorious Service (PMM). Photo Gerry van Tonder

This circular silver medal, measuring 36mm in diameter, carries the national coat of arms (armorial bearings) on the front, referred to as the obverse. The back, or reverse, of the medal, shows a truncheon on a laurel wreath, surrounded by the words “For Meritorious Police Service”. The ribbon has stripes of blue and gold, colours of the BSAP, on a field of green. David Saffery in his book Rhodesia Medal Roll (Jeppestown, 2006), lists all the recipients, which include reservists.

Above and Beyond
The 23 May 1958 edition of the London Gazette listed the appointment of Major Christopher Bernard McCullagh, 1st Battalion, the Rhodesian African Rifles, to be a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division), MBE. The entry reads:
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following promotions in, and appointments to, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in recognition of  distinguished service in Malaya for the period 31st August to 31st December, 1957:
To be Additional Members of the Military Division of the said Most Excellent Order

The original recommendation citation, as endorsed by General Sir Francis Festing, Commander-in-Chief, Far East Land Forces, reads:
Since April 1956 Major McCULLAGH has displayed a standard of devotion to duty, personal courage, determination and zeal far in excess of that demanded in the normal course of duty. His skill in operations coupled with his boundless energy and determination to seek out and kill the enemy have been a byword throughout the Battalion. This officer’s personal contribution to the Unit’s effort against the enemy has been outstanding, and without question has been a most significant factor in achieving the successes so arduously secured.
His personal leadership and constant concern and endeavours on behalf of his men has been most marked throughout his long period in the jungle.
He has set an example of devotion to duty of the highest order and has richly earned the superb reputation he now enjoys within the unit as a company commander of outstanding merit.
He has been recently appointed Second-in-Command of the Battalion. His zeal, his cheerful unbounded enthusiasm together with his flare (sic) for sound administration has been thrown whole-heartedly into his new job. The extremely high standard of maintenance and morale within the regiment is very largely due to Major McCullagh’s unfailing devotion to unselfish duty.
This officer’s service in Malaya has been of such a high quality that it richly deserves recognition of a very high order.

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Image thanks to Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981

Who’s Who
To most of us the momentous Great Indaba in the Matopos on 22 August 1896 is well-remembered. It was taught at school and became an integral part of the folklore of Rhodesia from that date. In this the first of several meetings that would be conducted over five weeks with indunas of the amaNdebele rebels, four white men sat on an anthill, facing a group of men tired and hungry with defeat written on their faces. The drought, rinderpest and the bewildering might of the Maxim machine gun had forced them into their final refuge in the sacred hills of the Matopos.

Native Scout Jan Grootboom had, under a white flag, escorted the forty indunas down from the hills, to where Cecil Rhodes waited to commence peace talks. With Rhodes were surgeon Dr Hans Sauer, a companion and member of the Jameson Raid; a Mr De Vere Stent, War Correspondent with the Cape Times; and Johan Colenbrander, the interpreter. Colenbrander was reluctant to put his life at risk, but a payment from Rhodes of 1,000 guineas ensured his presence. Mollie Colenbrander, Johan’s wife and the only woman allowed in camp, handed out pistols to the men before they set out, with Sauer shoving one on each pocket, but Rhodes preferred to go unarmed.

Frederick Courteney Selous in his book Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia mentions that, at the outbreak of the rebellion, Colenbrander had formed a regiment of “…about 150 Cape boys, Amaxosa Kafirs and Zulus”.

The Great Indaba, a sketch by Baden-Powell

But who was Colonel Johan Wilhelm Colenbrander CB?

Colenbrander was born in Pinetown, Natal, on 1 November 1856, the son of Dutch parents who had emigrated from Java to Natal in 1854. As a youth he spent most of his time on the veld, becoming highly skilled in shooting and horsemanship, as well as becoming fluent in the language of the Zulu, people he shared his early adventures with. At fifteen, he enlisted as a trumpeter in the Natal Mounted Rifles, and at eighteen, during the Anglo-Zulu campaign against Cetewayo, he suffered a serious head wound from a Zulu battle axe as well as several assegai wounds during a prolonged bout of close combat with an amaNdebele rebel.

After the war, Colenbrander briefly served as secretary in Zululand to the white chief, John Dunn, also becoming commander of his army. He then opened a trading store at Usibepu, but with in-house rivalry still prevalent in the area, he lost his business.

Johan Colenbrander and his wife Mollie. Photos National Archives of Rhodesia

In 1883 Colenbrander married Maria ‘Mollie’ Mullins who, herself an excellent shottist and horsewoman and almost as proficient as her husband in the Zulu language, proved to be a perfect partner. The couple moved to Swaziland where Colenbrander set up a trading store, but in 1888 he was again to face financial ruin when his oxen died from the tsetse fly-borne sleeping sickness while on a trek to Delagoa Bay. Moving to Johannesburg to take up a position as a claims inspector, Colenbrander met E.R. Renny-Tailyour, who asked Colenbrander to accompany him to GuBulawayo in Matabeleland and the court of Lobengula, from whom he was hoping to obtain a concession. It was here that Lobengula developed a respectful relationship with this forceful but bright and cheerful white man who spoke isiNdebele like one of his own. It was therefore to this trusted friend that Lobengula relied on to interpret the concession proposals submitted by Rhodes’ emissary, Charles Rudd, and indeed it was due to Colenbrander that the so-called Rudd Concession became a reality, paving the way for Rhodes to venture into this part of the hinterland.

To further satisfy Lobengula of his intentions, it was agreed that two of the king’s indunas, Babyaan and Umshete should visit Queen Victoria, with Colenbrander to go with as interpreter and, as it turned out, guardian from London’s Victorian society which revelled in the exotic, treating the unfortunate ‘natives’ as museum exhibits. Totally unaccustomed to anything beyond the veld and granite boulders of their homeland, the two indunas were thrust into morning suits with pinstripes trousers and top hats. Colenbrander spent a considerable amount of time trying to teach his wards table manners, let alone the proper use of bathroom facilities in hotel rooms. The two amaNdebele insisted on using the fireplace instead of the toilet. One evening, after having put his charges to bed and going off to the theatre, the hapless Colenbrander was urgently called back to the Dover Street hotel where Babyaan had gone looking for his snuffbox. The problem, which led to much consternation was that, in all innocence, the induna  did not deem it necessary to put on any clothes before wondering around the hotel. Colenbrander found, upon his rapid return, a drawing room full of near-fainting Victorian ladies and an almost demented hotel manager.

The cartoon above, depicting that London hotel in disarray, is from the very talented pen of former District Commissioner Alex Bundock, Commanding Officer, Chikurubi Training Depot. Alex sadly passed away quite recently.

Babyaan would later describe Queen Victoria to Lobengula as very small, no higher than a calabash, but terrible to look at!

Cecil Rhodes deemed the London PR exercise such a success, that in 1890 he appointed Colenbrander as a representative of the Chartered Company. Three years later, Colenbrander was given the title Native Commissioner, and so Intaf, officially the Ministry of Internal Affairs, was born.

During the taking of GuBulawayo and the subsequent pursuit of Lobengula, Colenbrander saw active service in the flying column led by Major Patrick Forbes. After the demise of Allan Wilson and his small band of intrepid but deserted troopers, Colenbrander was with Forbes and Raaff as the ragged remnants of the column staggered back into GuBulawayo. The Colenbranders then set up a permanent home in the ‘liberated’ Bulawayo, consisting of a few large huts, from where they hosted Bulawayo society.

Feeling that his role as Chief Native Commissioner was confined to the mundane recruitment of labour and the collection and disposal of loot cattle, in 1895 Colenbrander resigned his post. His position, which had been dubbed ‘Collar-and-brand-em’, clashed with the empathy he had for the amaNdebele nation, a tribe he had lived with for many years. Colenbrander was, however, in a position where he could foresee rebellion, undertones of dissent very evident to his ‘native’ ears.

Colonel J.W. Colenbrander. Photo National Archives of Rhodesia

On 28 March 1896, the amaNdebele nation deprived of a king and devastated by locusts and rinderpest of Biblical proportions, rose against the vulnerable white settlers. It was during this time, as mentioned at the start, that Colenbrander led a band of mainly black irregulars. With the capitulation of the rebels, it is said that an old amaNdebele woman, in response to overtures of peace, was sent to Fort Umlugulu to enquire of the officer commanding at the post if ‘Johwane’ was with the white people who wish to parley. The reference was to Colenbrander, who the amaNdebele still trusted with his fluency in their tongue to interpret the right words. The indunas would only come down from the Matopos hills if ‘Johwane’ was there.

Those present at the second indaba were in awe of Colenbrander’s eloquent use of the native tongue, with the usual indigenous phraseology and flowery use of idiom or quip. This was Colenbrander’s finest hour. He diffused a still belligerent atmosphere, leaving the now convinced amaNdebele indunas to refer to him as umhlala n’yati – the tickbird (white egret) that removes irritations (from the skin of a buffalo). In a dramatic reversal of his views on women, Rhodes was persuaded to allow Mollie Colenbrander to attend the second indaba, but she remained seated on her horse a short distance away, ready to race back to Fort Usher should events turn bad.

Subsequent to this, and before the third indaba, the Colenbranders moved their camp deeper into the Matopos, thereby allowing the amaNdebele easier access to discuss matters they were not yet certain of. It was during this uneasy interlude, typified by the apparent African disdain for time, that Rhodes had asked one of the indunas if they had any chance of succeeding against the settlers, the grizzled old man responded by admitting that yes, they had really felt they could rout the white man, but they now knew they could no more beat the white man than lick their own elbows. After the chief had left, both Colenbrander and Rhodes tried to lick their elbows – with no success.

The imposing memorial to Mollie Colenbrander in the Bulawayo Cemetery. Photo thanks Alan Bryant

Mollie Colenbrander was unable to have children and died of heart failure on 9 October 1900, aged 36. To get over his difficulties during this time, Colenbrander, now with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, raised a mounted corps in South Africa called Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts, to fight in the Anglo-Boer War. Operating in the west, in early 1901 Colenbrander led 830 troops deep into the Graaff Reinet area of the Cape Colony as British forces pursued the elusive Commandant Scheepers. In April that year, Colenbrander was back in the theatre to the north and east of Pietersburg in the northern Transvaal, enjoying successes against the van Rensburg and Venter Commandos. By the end of the year, Colenbrander had been deployed to the west, as combined British forces tried to corner General Koos de la Rey.  For the first half of 1902, Colenbrander and his unit were engaged in chasing down Commandant Beyers. Now dubbed by Transvaal Republicans, the scourge of the Northern Transvaal, the tenacious Colenbrander hounded his enemy in the vast expanses of the Highveld from Pietersburg to Warm Baths.  By 5 May 1902, Colenbrander had secured substantial tracts of territory, the defeated Republicans reeling under the systematic persistent onslaught of the British forces.

Colenbrander’s marriage to his second wife, Yvonne Nunn, was short lived, as she died in 1905, only three years after they were married. The 59 year-old Colenbrander later offered his services at the outbreak of the Great War but, understandably, the British War Office turned down his offer. He then settled in Johannesburg, where he was to become technical adviser as well as actor in an I.W. Schlesinger production of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. During a scene shot at the Klip River near Johannesburg, Colenbrander, playing the role of Lord Chelmsford en route to saving the beleaguered garrison at Rorke’s Drift, fell as his horse caught its legs in some wire as they were crossing the river. Freeing himself from his mount, undaunted Colenbrander started to swim to the bank of the river, only to be trampled to death in the mud by the cavalry of horses that he had been leading. It was Sunday, 10 February 1918. Colenbrander was 61 years old.

A tragic end to the man described as a soldier, businessman, interpreter, agent and hunter. Colenbrander is buried in the Brixton Cemetery, in Johannesburg.

Colenbrander was twice mentioned in despatches. The first on 12 March 1897 for his contribution to the rebellions in Rhodesia, and the second on 8 April 1902 as the Commanding Officer of Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts during the Anglo-Boer War.

On 27 June 1902, the following appeared in the London Gazette, as Colenbrander was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath:
The King has also been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointments to the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (additional),
To be additional Members of the Military Division of the Third Class, or Companions of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, viz.:
Lieutenant-Colonel J.W.Colenbrander,
Kitchener's Fighting Scouts.

The Companion’s Breast Badge of the Order of the Bath, Military Division

At the Going Down of the Sun
The amaNdebele revolted against the presence of the white settlers in their kingdom, and at the end of March 1896, struck out at remote outposts such as mines, farms and trading posts, where they mercilessly slaughtered unarmed men, women and children. The Gwanda Patrol, 50 of 'C' Troop under Captain Brand and 50 Africander Corps under Captain van Niekerk, had been sent to rescue prospectors and their families in the Gwanda area, south of Bulawayo. On the return, the patrol was chased by amaNdebele impis over a considerable distance, during which time four troopers were shot and killed. We remember these irregular soldiers who, in the face of great odds, lost their lives to save those of others:

Two died later of their wounds:

The Medical Officer, Dr J. Levy and troopers F. J. Harvey, W Stowell, O. Ormsby, J. Ferreira, I. J. de Villiers, J. Wilson, C. Collins, W. Ashley, S. Kramer, J. Blackwell, E. Wallace and E. Farrell were all wounded in this action.

The memorial in Bulawayo Cemetery to the five members from ‘C’ Troop of the Bulawayo Field Force
who died rescuing stranded settlers in the Gwanda area south of Bulawayo.
Photo thanks Alan Bryant

Looking back…
On 4 February 1980, Rhodesian Governor Christopher Soames, in his daily telegram (no. 486) to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, reports on two major incidents perpetrated by ZANLA forces, one on the main Salisbury/Umtali road, the other in Gutu. He expresses ‘serious concern’ about ZANLA activity in the TTLs in the east of the country, at a time when all guerrillas should be in the designated assembly points.

Soames adds that he had positive proof that ZANLA commanders at some of the assembly points were deploying their men to politicise and intimidate the local population into voting for ZANU(PF). At some of the assembly points, the inhabitants had refused to attend daily roll calls. In paragraph 8, Soames refers to ‘massive intimidation by ZANU(PF) in the rural areas.’ Yet, history will show that he was powerless to act, even though he threatened to ‘deal firmly with intimidation. A copy of the full telegram is shown below.






…and they said
Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”
Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, c500 BC

The Guardians, by Joy Maclean, Books of Rhodesia 1974
The Matabele Campaign, 1896, by Colonel R.S.S. Baden Powell, Methuen and Co. 1897
The War History of Southern Rhodesia 1939-45, by J.F. MacDonald, Rhodesiana Reprint 1976

ANZAC Day 25 April 2014
Hobsonville, Auckland, New Zealand
We had good weather but numbers were down a bit of previous years. A few of our regular faces were absent due to family commitments. In all we had around 40-50 on the march and 70 at the service.

The Rhodesian Services Association wreath was laid by Mary Stiebel. The following address was prepared by Gerry van Tonder and delivered by Hugh Bomford during the Rhodesian service:
“On 28 June 1914, gunfire from an assassin’s pistol rang out in the streets of Sarajevo, tilting an already politically and economically fragile Europe into the horrific international conflict that became known as the Great War.

As this fateful sound echoed around the globe, Britain, together with her colonies and dominions, prepared to defend, not only her own territories, but also the free world from German dominance. From Canada to Australia, and from New Zealand to Southern Rhodesia, able-bodied men voluntarily enlisted in enormous numbers, rallying to the call of the Crown.

In Southern Rhodesia the British South Africa Police, the colony’s only standing regular force, was placed on a war-footing as Rhodesian volunteers sailed for Britain to serve in Europe. With a number of early enlistments with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps setting in motion a future relationship between the KRRC and the Rhodesia Regiment.

After a brief period of training in Rhodesia, the 1st Rhodesia Regiment under Lt-Col Burnside left for German South West Africa, to assist General Botha’s South African Forces in a brief but successful campaign to eliminate the German threat in that part of the continent.

With the return of 1RR to Rhodesian soil, the unit was disbanded, with many of its number enlisting with the BSAP to form two companies for active service in East Africa in the northern border areas of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. This unit would later be dubbed “Murray’s Column”.

In November 1914, enlistment also commenced for the 2nd Rhodesia Regiment, with the formation training nucleus dominated by members of the British South Africa Police and the Southern Rhodesia Volunteers. Major Rowan Cashel of the BSAP assumed responsibility for recruiting and reserves, assisted by a handful of experienced officers and NCOs, including Sergeant Thomas Nicholas Joseph Usher, also of the BSAP. Usher became the unit’s first Regimental Sergeant Major, before receiving his commission during the campaign.

In mid-March 1915, troops of the 2nd Rhodesia Regiment entered the theatre of East Africa where, for  two years they endured extreme hardships, covering vast distances in pursuit of the elusive von Lettow-Vorbeck and his askari-dominated forces. Earning its “East Africa 1915-17” Battle Honour, elements of the 2RR engaged the Germans in a succession of strategic battles such as Salaita, Latema-Riata, Wami River and German Bridge.

It was, however, a much depleted Regiment that returned home, its numbers hugely decimated by tropical diseases. The Regiment lost altogether 161 men in East Africa, with an equal number dying from disease, mainly malaria and dysentery, as those killed in action.

Speaking in Salisbury upon the Regiment’s return, Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Algernon Capell, expressing some regret that his Regiment was not “in at the kill” in East Africa. He said his men were very keen to go to another theatre, with a secret wish that this should be Flanders. This wish turned to reality, as men demobbed from the 1st and 2nd Rhodesia Regiments left for Britain to enlist with a myriad of British units for active service throughout Europe. These survivors of the rigours of tropical warfare on their home continent, faced a totally different battlefield, where the cold, calculated and determined mass destruction of human life was the order of the day. Many Rhodesians were to perish in this cauldron of bloodied trenches epitomised by names that neither humanity nor history will ever forget – The Somme, the Ypres Salient, The Loos…many, their graves known only to God.

These final words from Capell about his men may equally apply to all Rhodesians who, during the Great War of 1914-18, served Crown and country, many making the ultimate sacrifice;
“I would only like to say that your Regiment has done its duty. It has done its duty in every sort of situation and circumstances in the campaign, in the field, on the road, building bridges, swimming rivers, crossing rivers – it has never failed me. It has done its plain and simple duty, and absolutely nothing more. I think that Rhodesia too, has done its duty by the Regiment.”

We are very honoured and privileged today to have with us Mrs Mary Stiebel, the daughter of that first 2RR Regimental Sergeant Major Thomas Usher. Mary’s late husband Tony served with the 17/21 Lancers at Monte Cassino in Italy during WWII and then with 6RR in Rhodesia. Accompanying Mary is her granddaughter Pippa Stiebel. Pippa – you have a family to be proud of – thank you for being here today.

To Rhodesians who served in WWI 1914 – 1918 – Lest We Forget – we salute you”

Here are some photos from around the Antipodes:


Amber Mcintosh-Doná, Peter van Dyk, Steve Mcintosh-Doná, Peter Burridge and Kim Mcintosh-Doná. Photo thanks to Peter van Dyk

Peter van Dyk, Rob Bates and Russell Franklin. Photo thanks to Peter van Dyk

Rhodesians forming up

Rhodesians forming up

Mary Stiebel, accompanied by her granddaughter Pippa Stiebel, has just laid the Rhodesian Services Assn. wreath

A section of the Rhodesians assembled for the service

Rob Bates delivers his speech at the Rhodesian service.


Ballarat, Australia

Peter and Zia Browne


Sydney, Australia


Important Notice - October RV 2014
We believe that by alternating the RV venue between Auckland and Tauranga on a year-about basis that we can take pressure off the organisers as well as give more people the opportunity to attend the RV.

The 2014 RV will be held at the Silverdale RSA on the Whangaparoa Peninsular over Labour Weekend 25/26 October 2014. The RV will be on the Saturday and the AGM on the Sunday.

It is hoped that entertainment will be laid on the Saturday morning in the form of a golf tournament and a walk for non-golfers.

You are recommended to get your accommodation booked early. For information on accommodation options email John Glynn at or ring (09) 832 1300.

Those with campers can stay on site. Space is limited and you must belong to the Caravan and Camping Assn. Book your space through the Silverdale RSA 43A Vipond Road, Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa 0932. Phone 09 424 9026.  Web

Please direct all inquiries and bookings for the RV to Rhodesian Services Assn Secretary Chuck Osborne email

The October RV has been the catalyst for the strength of the Rhodesian Services Association. It has become a part of the Rhodesian Services Associations annual calendar taking place in October over Labour Weekend in Tauranga, New Zealand over the previous 11 years.

The first RV was intended as a one off event.  It was set up as a reunion and to acknowledge and honour the soldiers who had been decorated for their services in Rhodesia.

The first RV took place in Tauranga at the 6th Battalion (Hauraki) Regiment’s HQ in Tauranga during Labour Weekend in October 2002. The Commanding Officer of the unit, Lt. Col. John Dick ED welcomed us.  During the course of the welcome Lt. Col. Dick said that he recognised us as soldiers and people who had lost our country and he invited us to form a museum display in the regiment's History Room to safeguard our history.  When Lt. Col. Dick said the word "recognised" he did not realise the importance of that word to all Rhodesians.  I assure you that there were very few dry eyes at the end of his speech that day.

That was the beginning which has led on to a strong association between former Rhodesian soldiers, their families and our new country, New Zealand.  It must not be forgotten that the association between Rhodesia and New Zealand dates back to the late 1800's and the Boer War and on through WWI  and WWII and even into the present day where former Rhodesian soldiers work with New Zealanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Everyone is welcoming to attend the RV, irrespective of nationality or service to Rhodesia.

CQ Store
Visit  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.

New – info - UK store
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

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  Please note that we can only process credit cards via PayPal.  We do not accept postal orders or Western Union transfers. 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.


Here are some of the items that are most popular currently:

Rhodesia Regiment stable belt - This is a perfect copy of the original, 3" (75mm) wide with leather straps

Price NZ$60 plus postage

Inches 38-40; 42-44; 46-48 max extension 51.5 inches
Centimetres 95-100; 105-110; 115-120 max extension 128cm



Rhodesia Regiment Port
Price NZ$40 per bottle + P&P – we will ship world wide

Rhodesian Rugby Jersey
Price NZ$130 plus postage

Here is what one of our customers has to say:
Dear Hugh,
Just writing to let you know that this morning I received my Jersey.

I am absolutely DELIGHTED! The quality is fantastic, it really is - not that I would expect anything less from Canterbury!

Also, I would like to add that I have found your customer service most helpful - and really efficient. Please do let me know if there is somewhere I can post a review for your service and the jersey - it would be my pleasure.

Although not affiliated to Rhodesia/Zimbabwe by family/birth - I have studied both at University and in my private time extensively, and class the history of Rhodesia and early Zimbabwe as one of my main hobbies, along with rugby. I look forward to wearing this Jersey with pride, as Rhodesia was a great nation that I respect dearly.

My best regards,
George Evans.


Price NZ$22 each + P&P

Two styles available – either 100% acrylic with turnup (no lining) or 100% acrylic, no turnup, cable knit with polar fleece lining (very warm).

Sample pictures below - All $25 except RLI which is $32.50 plus postage.

To order from the CQ Store - go on line to - select what you want and then email 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  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.

We have stacks of new titles for more details go on line

Weep for Africa - A Rhodesian Light Infantry Paratrooper’s Farewell to Innocence by Jeremy Hall NZ$40 plus P&P. Soft cover.

Jeremy Hall’s childhood in the white-ruled apartheid South Africa of the 1950s and ’60s was ostensibly idyllic: growing up in the farming areas of Natal, he had free rein to pander to his keen exploratory mind, yet niggling away was entrenched racism and interracial hatred.

Closeted in the hallowed halls of an English-speaking high school, the revelation of the real world that followed – a world of township unrest, Afrikaner politicians issuing dire warnings of the red and black hordes massing on the borders – exploded into Hall’s psyche with his national-service call-up into the South African Defence Force (SADF), where he encountered the institutionalized hatred of the Afrikaner hierarchy for the English-speaking recruits, the rowe, or ‘scabs’.

Disillusioned and unsettled, following his SADF conscription, Hall found himself in 1976 signing on for three years with 2 Commando The Rhodesian Light Infantry as the bush war in that country erupted from a simmering, low-key insurgency into full-blown war.

As a paratrooper with this crack airborne unit, he was to see continual combat on Fireforce operations and cross-border raids into Zambia and Mozambique, such as Operation Dingo, the 1977 Rhodesian attack on ZANLA’s Chimoio base.


Rhodesia Regiment 1899 – 1981’by Peter Baxter, Hugh Bomford, Gerry van Tonder et al

Published by the Rhodesian Services Association

At the time of writing the book is with the printers.

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.

Bulk stock will be held and distributed from South Africa, New Zealand and the UK.

South Africa email
New Zealand email
UK email

81 Limited Edition leather bound books signed by the authors and numbered will be produced (one for each year the unit existed)za

1919 hard backs will be produced

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
Weight - current expectation is 2.1kg

The limited edition version are almost sold out, we have a few left - to purchase a Limited Edition deluxe copy email Aulette Goliath  and cc to Hugh Bomford

Keep watch on this newsletter as well as this web page for updates and pre-publication offers.

Our Supporters– please also view our webpage
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 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
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.

Mike donates a portion of his income from all Rhodesian related items sold to the Rhodesian Services Association. Please email Mike at with your order or query or go to  and do it on-line.

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.

Seeking info on Lt Col John Hugh Hassard Thompson (originally Knox-Thompson).
From Martyn Hobrough:
Some months ago you were kind enough to publish in Contact! Contact! a request for any information anyone might have about the late Lt Col John Hugh Hassard Thompson (originally Knox-Thompson). 

Thompson’s son, who now lives in Italy, lost contact with his father when his parents divorced and his father moved to Rhodesia.  Thompson (senior) was born in the UK and went to Sandhurst in 1937.  In 1961, in Rhodesia, he married his second wife, Jean Beatson-Bell.  They had no children, but one daughter of Jean's first marriage is apparently still alive and lives in Zimbabwe.  Her name is Catherine (Kate) Jane Picard; she was married twice, first to Trevor Alrick Theodore Range from Rhodesia and then to Peter William Pearce from South Africa. 

Thompson’s last known address was: Plot 2, Fenella Drive, Monvale, Salisbury.  It is known that in early 1960’s Thompson worked in the Federal Ministry of Defence in the office of Secretary to the Minister.  He obviously lost this appointment on the break-up of the Federation.”

If anyone has any knowledge of either John H H Thompson or of anyone who knew him or any members of his family then his son would be most grateful to hear.  Any information please email and cc to Martyn at


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 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: 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.