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 provider's hosting costs. Email hughbomford@xtra.co.nz for more information.

Rhodesia Regiment Museum Display
The display area in the Garrison Club, 6th Battalion Hauraki Group, Tauranga, New Zealand has recently been set up with an emphasis on the Rhodesia Regiment. See our Hauraki Display page - click on this link to view

Rhodesia Regiment memorabilia
Check out our CQ Store for berets, badges, lapel pins, stable belts, shot glasses, bumper stickers, and more

Rhodesia Regiment Book Project

'Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981' by Peter Baxter, Hugh Bomford, Gerry van Tonder et al

This is what is being said about this book:
"The text, pictures and illustrations, combine into a volume that is now a benchmark for regimental histories."
Major Andrew Banks, British Army currently serving with the Directorate of Planning (Manpower)

As the 19th century and Queen Victoria's long reign drew to a close, volunteer squadrons of the Rhodesia regiment, recruited by Colonel Baden-Powell, were positioned along the border with Bechuanaland, to defend Rhodesia against Boer aggression.

In 1914 Rhodesians again rallied to the Crown with the formation of two battalions of the Rhodesia Regiment to counter the German presence in South West and East Africa.  Shortly after, many volunteered to join the Allied forces on the Western Front.

During the Second World War the indomitable combat prowess and leadership talents of Rhodesia Regiment volunteers were strongly evident in many theatres, including North Africa, Somaliland, the Middle East, Italy, the Adriatic, Western Europe and South East Asia.

In 1947 the Crown bestowed the ultimate accolade, with the title 'Royal' prefixed to the regiment, in recognition of Rhodesia's great contribution during two world wars.  Through the 1950s and '60s, the experiences of Rhodesians in successive areas of conflict-Malaya, Suez, Aden and Nyasaland-significantly enhanced aspects of Rhodesia's territorial army, particularly with regard to counter-insurgency (COIN) warfare.

Conscription ensured combat-readiness for the growing number of battalions and independent companies established throughout the country, providing a solid basis for the regiment to play a vital role in countering the ZANLA/ZIPRA guerrilla insurgencies of the 1960s and '70s.

Such is the 81-year-old story of a proud territorial unit, the Rhodesia Regiment, now written and preserved for posterity, encapsulating the memory of all those who served in the regiment as well as those who laid down their lives for their country, many in foreign lands.

Coordinated by Hugh Bomford, this definitive history has, over a period of 14 years, been compiled by a core group of dedicated people, with over 400 other contributors.

On 5 August 2014, after Her Majesty had confirmed that she would personally like a copy of the book, a delivery was made by one of the authors in a visit to Buckingham Palace.

Readers comments - click here to view

Exerpts - click here to view

Addendum & Errata - click here to view

Queen Elizabeth presentation - click here to view

Book details
614 printed pages (618 total number of pages) 300 x 220mm Portrait made up as:
596pp x b/w
8pp x colour photo section
8pp x colour map section
56pp full colour appendices for Honours and Awards; Uniforms, Embellishments and Equipment.  
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 2.72 kg

1900 hardbacks were produced
81 Limited Edition leather bound books signed by the authors and numbered were produced (one for each year the unit existed).

The Limited Editions are sold out. However #1 is being held and will be auctioned world wide at some point in the future.

To purchase
Email thecqstore@rhodesianservices.org 

Prices ex New Zealand in NZ$ - does not include P&P 
Hardback book: NZ$65 - this is a Special Offer - normal price NZ$99

The authors et al
Peter Baxter is an author, historian and African field, mountain and heritage travel guide.  Born in Kenya and educated in Rhodesia, he has lived and travelled over much of southern and central Africa.  He has guided in all the major mountain ranges south of the equator, helping develop the concept of sustainable travel, and the touring of battlefield and heritage sites in East Africa.  His interests include British Imperial history in Africa and the East Africa campaign of the First World War in particular.  His first book was Rhodesia: Last Outpost of the British Empire; he has written several books in the Africa @ War series, including France in Centrafrique, Selous Scouts, Mau Mau, SAAF’s Border War and Somalia: US Intervention, 1992–1994.

Hugh Bomford, born in Rhodesia, grew up in a family with a proud background of military service.  At 17, he did his national service before serving with 1 and 4 (Indep) Companies Rhodesia Regiment from April 1976 to October 1977.  He then did the obligatory ‘six weeks in, six weeks out’ call-ups, serving with A Company 4th (Manicaland) Battalion Rhodesia Regiment.  When the family farm came under constant threat from terrorist activity, he was loaned to the local Police Anti-Terrorist Unit.  Hugh takes a keen interest in military history and from this interest developed his involvement in what has become the Rhodesian Services Association, of which he is the editor and quartermaster, based in New Zealand.

Gerry van Tonder was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia and joined Internal Affairs in 1975, stationed variously at Karoi, Chikurubi and Sipolilo, based at Fort Harrison in the Zambezi Valley, and Mt Darwin where he served in the Intelligence Section.  In 1977 he undertook the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ sponsored degree programme, graduating in 1979 with a Bachelor of Administration (Hons).  He was the Returning Officer for Rushinga during the Zimbabwe election, through the period of transition from the ceasefire and return of the ZANLA insurgents to assembly points.  He is co-author of Rhodesian Combined Forces Roll of Honour, 1966–1981, and also Operation Lighthouse - a book on the role of Internal Affairs in the Rhodesian Bush War as well as numerous other military and British local history publications.

Over 400 people who supplied information are listed in the front of the book.

In addition to the named authors the following people have written chapters or appendices on their own or in coordination with others:
Craig Fourie
Tony Fraser
Adrian Haggett

The following list is of those people who have made significant contribution to the project:
Nick Baalbergen
Diana Bomford
Chris Cocks
Kerrin Cocks

John Lomas
Tinka Mushett
Mike Vivier
Dudley Wall

This book has, in all essence, been a product of a "committee effort", however unlike some committees that bicker and muddle along - this project has been more on the lines of a military operation where there has been a job to do and everyone has given their best for the ultimate objective.

The concept of this book dates back to around 2000. It has been "full on" for me since 2007 and as co-ordinator of this project, I (Hugh Bomford), thank everyone who has put their shoulders to the wheel.

There will be some very unique records that have never been published before in this book. 

The cover - above shows the final design of the whole cover - front, spine, back and flaps.
A great deal of importance has been placed on the design of the dust cover of this book, to which end a number of people have had a hand in its design over a period of several years.  The main photo was supplied by Mike Simpkins; taken in 1961 at Llewellin Barracks it shows Intake 41, B Company, Depot Royal Rhodesia Regiment. The soldiers who can be seen full face in the foreground of the photo are identified as (L-R):
L/Cpl JJ Smith (seen over the Instructor's right shoulder)
WOII Alf Leppert (Instructor)
Cpl TR Herbert (to the left of the Instructor)
Rfn LL Badam-Thornhill (ditto)
Rfn AV Knott (ditto)
Cpl D de L Slatter (at the extreme right of the photo)

In this photo Instructor WOII Leppert is in the uniform of the Northern Rhodesia Regiment.  He saw many years of service in the army and his final posting was as Battalion Quartermaster with 4th (Manicaland) Battalion Rhodesia Regiment, by which time he was commissioned and had reached the rank of Captain.  He was awarded the Defence Force Medal for Meritorious Service in 1976.

The Rhodesia Regiment badge on the front cover is the Helmet Plate worn circa 1927.

The Regimental Colours - black, red and rifle green are depicted along the lower edge.

The back cover centre piece is taken from the last flag to be flown by the 1st Battalion Rhodesia Regiment.  This was presented to Col Norman Gourlay Jardine ICD, OBE, TD for safe keeping in 1980.  The flag is now on display in the Rhodesian Services Association archives.  It shows the final badge used by the Rhodesia Regiment, as well as the Battle Honours won by the Regiment throughout its proud history.

The photo on the spine is of the person who most influenced the production of this book - Sgt Peter Bomford who, along with thousands of WWII volunteers, began their service in the Rhodesia Regiment.  He was later awarded the Military Cross while attached to the 1st Gurkha Regiment, 21 (East Africa) Infantry Brigade in Burma.  This photo pays tribute to, and is representative of the personnel who volunteered for service during WWII, initiating their training with the Rhodesia Regiment and then becoming attached to units throughout the British Empire for the duration of hostilities.  Of those who returned from WWII, many went on to form the nucleus of what became the final phase of the Rhodesia Regiment.

Project coordinator details:
Hugh Bomford, email hughbomford@xtra.co.nz tel +64 7 576 9500 cell +64 275 45 8069 postal address PO Box 13003, Tauranga 3141, New Zealand.