Rhodesian Services Association Incorporated
 

 The Rhodesia Regiment 

This page is currently hosted on the Rhodesian Services Association website. Various domain names for the Rhodesia Regiment point to this web address. In due course there will be a Rhodesia Regiment website using www.rhodesiaregiment.org  It will work in conjunction with the book of the regimental history that is being compiled for the Rhodesian Services Association to post amendments and updates for the rolls that are being written up by a dedicated team of people.

We are grateful to Chris Whitehead, Editor of Rhodesians Worldwide www.rhodesia.org, for making available to us the domain names rhodesiaregiment.org and rhodesiaregiment.com both of which will be linked to www.rhodesiaregiment.org

Unit Pages

Please click on the links at the top of this page to navigate to the various unit and intake pages.

We welcome other intakes or units to participate in displaying their history. You will need to supply me with the text and photos I will do the rest.  I will ask for a small contribution per annum towards the internet service providor's hosting costs. Email hbomford@clear.net.nz for more information.

 

Rhodesia Regiment Book Project

This book is being compiled for the Rhodesian Services Association.  Over 160 people have submitted material so far; eight very dedicated people are involved with in depth research and assembly of this material; then there is the publishing team who are aiming at publication in 2012. 

This project has turned into a true team effort and the individual contributions are amazing.  I thank everyone who has put their shoulders to the wheel with me.

Background to the project
Ten or more years ago Dave Gordon, son of my late Dad's half section in Burma Ginge Gordon, wrote to me suggesting that a book on the Indep Companies in Rhodesia should be written. This idea stagnated with me for a time.

Sometime around July 2007 I approached Chris Cocks with the idea of writing a book on the history of the Rhodesia Regiment. We approached Alex Binda who had recently completed 'The Saints' and 'Masodja'. Alex agreed to take on the task. In 2009 disagreement arose between the three parties and Alex Binda went his own way and sought a new publisher.

We took stock of the situation and many people who had supplied material at my instigation, agreed to cede the rights to that material to the Rhodesian Services Association.

The objective of this book is to record the unit's history. It is not about egos and who writes the book. This regiment has a proud history dating back to 1898. We have set in place a management group. The sponsor and 'trustee' of this book is the Rhodesian Services Association.

It is very important to those of us involved with this project that we get as complete and accurate record of this unit’s history as possible. What records there are, are spread all over the world in archives, books, journals and people’s heads.  We want to bring as much of this information together as possible so that it is available now and for the future.  We owe it to our forefathers, our mates and ourselves to do this job.  

 

Please come on board – your contribution is essential – don’t put it off any longer – write it down before you forget it, if not for your sake but for your children and grandchildren’s.

Our deadlines are:

  • All written material must be received before the end of May 2011
  • All photos and illustrations must be received by the end of November 2011

The following lists and rolls are being compiled. Never before have these rolls been published covering the full history of the unit.

Regimental Roll of Honour 1898 - 1981

Our team compiling this history has been joined by Adrian Haggett and Gerry van Tonder who are assigned to assembling the first ever Rhodesia Regiment Roll of Honour covering the years 1898 – 1981. This is a huge task but one which already is achieving some wonderful results. The period 1966 – 1981 is already part of a project mentioned earlier in this publication. The period 1898 – 1966 is a lot harder to find records of so your input is most welcome. We require legible photos of memorials, headstones, Rolls of Honour, family records etc. In particular we are looking for:

  • Any Boer War era records pertaining to any mention of Rhodesians.
  • WWI era records pertaining to the 1st Battalion Rhodesia Regiment who served in South West Africa
  • Any WWII era records where the deceased is recorded as Rhodesia Regiment
  • Any records from between the wars where soldiers may have been killed or died during training.
  • Photos of any graves or memorials where the soldier is recorded as Rhodesia Regiment.

Honours and Awards made to soldiers serving in the Rhodesia Regiment 1898–1980

Another member of the team, Craig Fourie, is compiling this list. He needs your help. Any details no matter how small will make a difference.

 

Roll of Commanding Officers, 2 I/Cs and RSMs

Gerry van Tonder is compiling a record of COs, 2I/Cs and RSMs (CSMs in the case of the Indep Coys) of the Battalions, Depot (Llewellin), Indep Coys (up until they became part of the RAR at the end of 1977) and Cadet Battalions. If you can assist in any way this would really help with getting these records cemented for the future. Old issues of the Assegai as well as recollections from the officers and men of the Rhodesia Regiment are where this information is located. This has never been done before - please help us.

 

Information required:

As we find information that we are requiring we will publish it in Contact! Contact!, highlighting what is new as well as our existing older request’s that we are still outstanding. We would like help with the following:

  • What can anyone recall of the sports facilities at Llewellin and any sports teams based there?
  • We believe that 1 Indep. Coy were involved in Op Cauldron 1968/69 – we need your input.
  • Any RR involvement in any of the signature operations of the war, in particular cross border raids.
  • Rhodesian Regiment soldiers who served as attachments to the SAS (they were not badged as SAS) - we would like to get information from you regarding your uniform, in particular regarding what berets and badges you wore.
  • As many individual contact records and recollections as can assembled
  • Humorous anecdotes.
  • History and training of the 4 RR Tracker Unit and reflections of any persons involved.
  • Any post Independence stories that bear reporting on the ongoing life of the Regiment.
  • The Battle of the Honde...any memories at all and technical data
  • Any personal thoughts, reflections and ideas regarding:
    Leadership;
    The general role of the Regiment during the war;
    How the Regiment was regarded by the regular units;
    How the Regiment regarded the regular units;
    Disparities in kit allocations;
    Fireforce deployments;
    How military commitments impacted private lives, business etc;
    Any views on the stresses imposed on individual members of the Regiment during the war;
    Post war stress issues and any reflections on life after the war;
  • Intelligence Section of the Rhodesia Regiment during WWII. We have some interesting information that we want to follow up. We are looking for any family who had a member in the Regiment at this time who would have served in Rhodesia.
  • In 1947 the Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment was deployed to Northern Rhodesia in reaction to civil unrest on the Copperbelt mines - we need more information.
  • Nyasaland Emergency in 1959. In particular if anyone has information on Colonel Ken Harvey ICD, DSO, MBE, ED who was a Major in command of the Royal Rhodesia Regiment and on Operation ‘Wet Dawn’
  • Northern Rhodesia during the 1960 Congo Crisis.
  • Technical unit structure etc. from the period 1950 – 1960.
  • 1964 Riots – we need anecdotes and information from those deployed in support of the BSAP during this period.
  • Information on deployments during the early stages when infiltrators came across the Zambezi resulting in Operations Pagoda I and Pagoda II
  • Individual recollections relating to the following operations in 1968/69 - Nickel, Breeze, Cauldron, Cosmic, Griffin, Mansion and Gravel
  • Individual recollections of the beginning of Operation Hurricane in 1972.
  • Individual recollections of deployments in Mozambique prior to that country’s independence.
  • Depot Rhodesia Regiment - information on the technical background to the training, the organisation and the structure of the DRR.
  • Were any elements of the Regiment involved with Operation Mardon which was a series of co-ordinated attacks on bases inside Mozambique between 20th October and 2nd November 1976?
  • Comments and reflections on the Indefinite Call Up period.
  • Comments, reflections and strategies on general patrolling, OP, ambush and garrison duties
  • Were any Rhodesia Regiment personnel part of the first response to the Viscount Disasters?
  • The occupation of Mapai took place during Op Aztec in May/June 1977.  We believe that elements of 2RR were involved. Please contact us if you were involved.
  • Were any elements of the Regiment used in support of Operation Uric September 1979 when Mapai was occupied
  • Recollection from deployments during the cease fire and 1980 election and the period after that.
  • Rhodesia Regiment Dress Regulations.
  • Personal recollections during the 1979 and 1980 elections Personal recollections on the disintegration of the Regiment in 1980 along with any laying up ceremonies and the formation of the post-Rhodesia organisations.

You do not have to present your information in a well written format - we will sort that out. I can do recorded verbal interviews over Skype if necessary.

 

Photos in 300DPI please. If you do not understand scanning – we can help, alternatively you can send the photos to us and they will be returned. All input will be acknowledged.

 

Material can be sent to:

Hugh Bomford, email hbomford@clear.net.nz tel +64 7 576 9500 fax +64 7 576 9501 cell +64 275 45 8069 postal address PO Box 13003, Tauranga 3141, New Zealand.

Your input is important to the development of this book. This cartoon was specially drawn for this project by Vic Mackenzie.

There is a wonderful wealth of interesting facts about the Rhodesia Regiment and some of the famous people who served in it. Below is something to tantalise you extracted from Contact! Contact! - October 2009.

"We have had some really interesting material come in and we welcome more.  Some of the material received covered Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris former Marshal of the royal Air Force in WWII and bugler in the 1st Battalion Rhodesia Regiment in WWI.  He farmed around Salisbury before WWI.  Farm names Crofton Townsend and Gibson’s have come to light.  If anyone has any information on these farms please contact us.

Another gem gives us the details we had been seeking that link the Rhodesia Regiment to the 6th Battalion (Hauraki) Group through a common alliance with various British regiments which today form The Rifles.  The Hauraki Regiment and Rhodesia Regiment share the same year of formation – 1898.  In simple terms the regimental family tree runs like this:

In 1914 Capt. J.B. Brady set out with a number of Rhodesians from Cape Town bound for South Hampton.  A fellow passenger asked them where they were going.  “To France” was the prompt and spirited reply to which the passenger identified himself as the Marquis of Winchester and explained to the keen Rhodesian warriors that it was not as simple as they imagined to join the war effort against Germany and that they must first join a British regiment.  He invited them to join his regiment, the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (60th Rifles). 

On a more sober note, of that platoon that joined The King’s Royal Rifle Corps only twelve were still alive on the 11th November 1918.  Thus began the association between the Rhodesia Regiment and The King’s Royal Rifle Corps which can be seen through various parts of the Rhodesia Regiment uniform.

The Hauraki Regiment’s first Regimental Alliance began in 1913 with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.  In 1958 the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry were brigaded with The King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

The King’s Royal Rifle Corps titles are thus:
1755 The 62nd (Royal American) Foot
1757 renumbered The 60th (Royal American) Foot
1824 The 60th Duke of York’s Own Rifle Corps
1830 The 60th King’s Royal Rifle Corps
1881 The King’s Royal Rifle Corps
1958 redesigned 2nd Green Jackets (The King’s Royal Rifle Corps)
1966 redesigned 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets (The King’s Royal Rifle Corps)
1968 redesigned 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets
2007 The Rifles The current Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The other anecdote concerns the 1937 Coronation where we learned that that the Rhodesians were the second contingent of Empire troops to land in England, behind the Australians.  The Rhodesians, wearing their knee length shorts, together with the Australians had the place to themselves and it appears they had a hectic round of social engagements which they bravely endured and were injected with renewed vigour upon the arrival of the New Zealanders followed by the other Empire troops from Canada, West, East and South Africa, India, Malaya, Hong Kong, Somaliland, Aden, Fiji and Mauritius.  It seems like they had one hell of a party but to get the full story you will have wait until this book is released!"