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Members of the Durban branch that participated in the annual Amashova Classic Cycle Race in Durban.



TABLE OF CONTENTS MESSAGE FROM NATIONAL PRESIDENT FROM THE EDITORS DESK NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS Medal Project Portfolio Reports BRANCH NEWS Eastern Province Bloemfontein Cape Town Rosedale Durban Kagiso Pretoria United Kingdom COMMEMORATIONS DELVILLE WOOD COMMEMORATIONS Bloemfontein Cape Town Durban Pretoria Legion Motorcycle Charter Johannesburg WARSAW FLIGHT COMMEMORATION SERVICE BATTLE OF SQUARE HILL Cape Town Johannesburg Kimberley Port Elizabeth Richmond, United Kingdom BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN Cape Town East London Pretoria Legion Motorcycle Charter Johannesburg VETERANS DAY Durban Johannesburg Pretoria REMEMBRANCE DAY Bloemfontein Cape Town – Cenotaph Cape Town – Rosedale Durban Johannesburg Lower South Coast Port Elizabeth

4 6 7 7 10 11 11 11 11 12 12 15 15 16 20 20 20 21 21 21 24 25 25 26 26 26 28 28 29 31 31 31 31 33 33 33 33 35 34 36 36 36 36 36 38 40 40 2

Pretoria Swakopmund Field of Remembrance – London London – Cenotaph Richmond – United Kingdom Turkey REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICES AT SCHOOLS Durban High School Glenwood High School Grey College – Bloemfontein Grey High School – Port Elizabeth Mount Edmund Christian Brothers College – Pretoria Maritzburg College – Pietermaritzburg Pretoria Boys High School St Andrews School – Bloemfontein St Charles College Jeppe High School Legion Poppy Concert Jeppe Boys High School – Poppy Day Concert by Commander S. Chapman OTHER COMMEMORATIONS Armed Forces Day – United Kingdom Alpine 44 Memorial Service Zonderwater Italian Prisoners of War Association Memorial Service Battle of Sidi Rezegh OTHER STORIES 24 Jaar se Betrokkenheid by Militere Veterane – Jurie Van Der Merwe Radio 702 Walk the Talk International Day of Peace Church Service Nedbank Foundation Blankets South African Legion 100 Year Commemorative Plaque Placed on SS Mendi British Women in World War 1 Ramcat Fishing Competition Newcastle - Giving Christmas Joy through the Flower of Remembrance My Grandfather William Loffstadt by Legionnaire Les Loffstadt MOTH General Secretary South African Awarded the Victoria Cross: Battle Of Cambrai – Third Battle Of Ypres. Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sherwood Kelly VC CMG DSO Captain Arthur Moore Lascelles VC MC OBITUARIES

40 41 42 44 44 44 45 45 47 47 48 48 49 49 49 51 51 51 52 54 54 55 56 56 56 56 58 58 60 60 61 61 62 63 64 64 64 74 77



MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT The second half of each year is always busy in the veteran environment. This year just seemed to be busier than most. Going through the articles in this edition of the Springbok shows just how busy all our branches and members have been. Once again, I thank you for everything you do. Never think that it goes without notice. To our many veterans who are in need they really thank you. It is always pleasing to see that the three pillars that we agreed upon for the Legion are being so well supported, they are: 

Remembrance - Wear a Poppy of Remembrance of a fallen veteran

Recognition – share stories that recognise veterans

Service – assist veterans with voluntary service

I wish to thank the current National Executive for all their support and work that they are doing. We finally bid farewell to Lgr Marietta Venter, the past National Secretary and Lgr Riana Venter van Zyl is settling in well. NHQ staff are very busy and catching up on all the work that has to be done. The communication to and form the branches has certainly improved. We had a welcome visit from our National Vice President, Lgr Brian Klopper, to NHQ in November. It was important for him to see what was going on at NHQ and the various projects that were happening at the time. He was put to work immediately what with the Concert and Remembrance Sunday. I hope that you have all bene able to read his report on his visit. The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, RCEL, held a very important special conference on 9 November in London, Trafalgar Square, on the request of the Grand President, His Royal Highness, The Duke of York KG, to decide on the future of the RCEL. The Legion was invited, and we requested our local Trustee to attend on our behalf. There were two resolutions that were passed: 1. That the RCEL is dissolved as an unincorporated charity.



2. That the RCEL is reformed as a Company Limited by Guarantee in accordance with the Articles of Association, dated 03 July 2017, titled – Articles of Association of the RCEL and that assets are transferred from the old to the new entity. The Legion is very grateful for the continued support of the RCEL and the agency work that they have entrusted to the Legion. All the grants are up to date and at last the NHQ financial accounts are up to date ready for the audit to take place. There are still many of the motions passed at our last Congress that need to be taken care of. These are in the hands of members of the NE. The date for our next Congress is the 12 th – 14th October 2018 in KZN. As you are aware we will be electing a new National President so please start now to look around. Our National Vice President, Lgr Brian Klopper, has made it known that he is prepared to stand and has now been on the NE since our last Congress. The Legion needs new blood and direction. There is a proposal to amend the Military Veterans Act as well as some definitions of veterans. This is being worked on by a team and once more is known it will be distributed. The Department of Military Veterans, DMV, is still being turned around which is very disappointing and taking far too long. This is also affecting the effectiveness of SANMVA. We have been requested once again to give them space and time to sort it out. In the meantime, the Legion should just carry on doing what it does best. Please ensure our members are not taken in by the scams that are once again appearing. Once again thank you for everything you are doing for our veterans! Lgr Godfrey Giles, National President.



FROM THE EDITORS DESK. The second half of 2017 was certainly a very busy period for the South African Legion of Military Veterans with not just organising and/or attendances at numerous commemoration services, but also in respect of the regular telephone conferences of the National Executive and the National Executive Committee. The distribution of responsibilities started to take shape during the period which included a new monthly branch reporting system. This system ensured that National Headquarters were kept informed of all events at branch level. Unfortunately the second half of the year also had a number of challenges none other than the very late distribution of the December 2016 and June 2017 editions of your favourite newsletter, SPRINGBOK. In the December 2016 edition I had already explained why the edition was late. In an attempt to save on postage it was decided to distribute the June 2017 edition (which was ready for distribution on time) with the December 2015 edition. Then along came the revised Member’s Handbook. Once again a decision was made to save postage and delay the distribution of the two editions of SPRINGBOK until the handbook was printed. By now you would have received a rather bulky envelope containing two editions of SPRINGBOK and a brand new Members Handbook. What is encouraging is the number of schools that, notwithstanding some challenges, still observe the Annual Remembrance Day Services. These schools are supported by the local branches of the Legion and deserve a compliment. I have therefor decided to include a separate section which covers the Remembrance Day Services at the schools. The SPRINGBOK is the half yearly newsletter which aims to inform the 35 branches of the Legion of the activities of the Legion. Unfortunately only a small number of branches submit any stories and or reports. Every branch must have some or other activity which should be reported and included for all members of the Legion to read. I would like to challenge EVERY branch to submit at least ONE story/report for inclusion in the June 2018 edition of SPRINGBOK. Let us truly make the June edition Legion newsletter. May 2018 be filled peace, prosperity and joy. But always remember to smile and live up to our motto “Not for Ourselves, but for Others”. 6


NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE The Management Committee of the National Executive Committee held monthly telephone conferences. While there has been some teething problems in getting the conferences set up it was finally agreed that these would take place every third Tuesday of the month at 18:30. With branches, regions and portfolio sections increasingly submitting their reports the overall picture of wat is happening around the country and in the United Kingdom is visible to the committee. As these reports are distributed to members in advance it also shortens the telephone conference. Numerous topics were discussed and some important decision taken. MEDAL PROJECT The SA Legion Medal Project started in January 2013 after a visit to the SANDF Medals and Awards Sub Section. During this visit it became obvious that the Sub-Section wasn’t being successful with the distribution of the large number of medals that were not being distributed as there had been a number of relocations, changes in addresses of applicants and emigrations. The SA Legion undertook to assist the SANDF in the distribution of the medal The Legion assisted 61 Mech Veterans Association during a medal packages via the Legion’s presentation ceremony. branches. As the project grew, assistance was given by MOTH Shell Holes, 61 Mech VA and the Paratrooper Canopy on the Garden Route, including SAMVOA (Australasia) and SAMVOA (USA). This project has also seen a number of posthumous presentations to family of veterans who have passed away or who passed away during their deployment on combat duty. The 2013 distribution of the medals by the SA Legion started with a number of medal packages which we had inherited from the SANDF for distribution, Locally: Cape Town (30 Medal Packages), Eastern Cape (10 medal packages), Potchefstroom (6 medal packages), Bloemfontein (9 medal packages), Gauteng and Pretoria Region (66 medal packages), 61 Mech (21 medal packages).



Internationally USA (8 medal packages), the UK and Scotland (11 medal packages), Australasia (14 medal packages). A further 36 medal packages were also handed to the SA Legion during 2013 where the addresses of the recipients were unknown. During the latter half of 2013 a further 87 medal packages were distributed both locally and to the UK, USA and Australasia by the SA Legion In 2014 , Cape Town received a total of 44 medal packages for distribution, Durban received 8 medal packages, Eastern Cape received 23 medal packages, East Rand 12 packages, NHQ distributed 28 medal packages, Kimberley 2, Orange Free State 2, 61 Mech 6 and Koevoet 10 packages. At this stage the Moths assisted with the distribution of 9 packages in Nelspruit and a further 19 packages at Dickie Fritz on the East Rand. Internationally 5 packages were distributed to Namibia, 15 packages were distributed to the USA and 40 packages distributed to Australasia. Happy medal recipients.

In 2015, medal distribution was done via a greater number of distribution locations. Cape Town branch received 25 packages for distribution, the Durban Branch received 20 packages for distribution, Brakpan Branch received 24 packages for distribution, Bloemfontein Branch 14, a second batch of 20 packages were sent to Durban Branch, Pretoria Branch received 24 while 5 packages were distributed in Rustenburg. Port Elizabeth received a total of 29 packages and the Eastern Cape received 19 packages 61 Mech received 34 packages for distribution, NHQ distributed 52 packages. Assistance was given in Limpopo Province with the distribution of 6 packages, Silent Soldiers Brotherhood assisted with the distribution of 4 packages in the Vaal triangle. There were 14 packages distributed to the UK and Europe, 3 to the USA, 1 to Myanmar and 22 to Australasia. Medal Presentation in the United Kingdom



2016 saw the following number of medal packages being distributed; Cape Town Branch received 27 packages for distribution, Durban Branch received 19 packages, Bloemfontein Branch 8, while the East London and Port Elizabeth Branches received 5 and 2 packages respectively. Silent Soldiers Brotherhood again received 10 packages for distribution. Pretoria Branch received 11 packages and NHQ received 35 packages for distribution. Six packages were distributed to the USA for distribution in the USA and Canada, the UK and Europe received 7 packages and The National President, Legionnaire Giles presenting medals to Australasia received 25 recipients. packages for distribution. 61 Mech VA received 15 packages for distribution to their members SAMVOA from Australia also assisted in distributing a medal package to an applicant in Japan who at the time of distribution was recovering from a stroke 2017 saw a change in the manner in which distribution of medal packages were being done. Due to the vast amount of time an effort that gets put into the SA Legion Medal Project, the 2016 National Congress passed the resolution that medal recipients were to be informed that their medal packages were at NHQ awaiting distribution via courier or collection by hand. Distribution to the recipients is done via Aramex Courier at a cost of R 100.00 per courier bag, the medal packages are then sent directly to the physical address of the recipient The following Branches and distribution agencies received the following number of medal packages for distribution: Cape Town Branch - 27 Medal Packages, Durban Branch - 12 Medal Packages, SAMVOINT (Australasia) - 17 Medal packages, SAMVOINT (USA) - 3 Medal packages, 61 Mech VA - 7 Medal Packages and UK and Europe -10 Medal packages. NHQ has also to date distributed 79 medal packages to recipients via courier or had the medals collected from the office. There are still 85 medal packages of the last batch of 237 approved medals received remaining at NHQ which needs to be claimed by their recipients. Emails are being sent out to the recipients requesting them to arrange for collection of their long awaited medals There is presently a batch of 284 applications which has been finalized for submission to the SANDF Medals and Awards for processing. 9


Medals and Awards is also busy with the printing of certificates for approved medals. Of the some 500 medals that have been approved and are awaiting the printing of the certificates by Medals and Awards, the SA Legion can expect to receive + 300 of these for distribution At the SANDF Medals and Awards Sub Section, there is only one person who processes the vast number of medal applications that are submitted by Veterans, Serving Members etc. During the course of this medal project, Mrs Rika Engelbrecht of Medals and Awards, has been the quiet champion of medals for Members of the Bloemfontein branch at the end of year veterans, working behind the function. scenes, and without whom this project would not have been the success it has been. During the past year, despite the pressures and expectations of her job which has resulted in her suffering ill health, she has succeeded in processing a large number of applications. PUBLIC RELATIONS PORTFOLIO The Facebook Pages remain very active with the membership of the South African page at 5 791, the Royal British Legion page at 2 261 and the Canada page at 125. A wide verity of topics are regularly posted which sometimes result in some interesting conversation. These are however monitored by the Administrators that remove any messages that contravene our code. We have been very fortunate in that all the members are well behaved and to date very few postings have had to be remove. All parades and functions involving the Legion is posted on the various Facebook pages which carries the image of the Legion to all corners of the World. Reports placed on the “open” Legion Facebook achieved following results: Reburial of the casualties in Swakopmund Municipal Cemetery reached 8 966 people, story on the Captain Arthur Moore Lacelles VC reached 10 084 people and the Pretoria Remembrance Day report reached 9 390 people. LEGION REGALIA A variety of Legion regalia is available on the webpage of the Legion at 10


BRANCH AND REGIONAL NEWS EASTERN PROVINCE The AGM was held in East London this year over the weekend of 19th May, and the Port Elizabeth delegates to attend were the Branch Chairman, Lgr Brian Klopper, and Lgr Neville Primmer. Also in attendance was the National President, Lgr Godfrey Giles. The business on the Agenda related to the Legion as a whole and its vision as well as the Eastern Cape Region. There was much discussion and clarification as well as the election of the Regional Executive for the next 12 months. The Regional Chairman elected was again Lgr Brian Klopper. BLOEMFONTEIN The branch held its end of the year function at Springbok Park on Saturday 02 December 2017. CAPE TOWN Poppy Day Collection A big thank you to all who gave up their time and money in support of Poppy Day. It’s too early to say what the final result is likely to be but well done to Lgrs McKinney, Nesset and Fourie for their hard work on the collection and the function at the Barnyard which was in aid of Poppy Day. Members of the Cape Town branch handing over Christmas parcels A special thank you to Pam at 2 Military Hospital.

Poole for her hard work behind the scenes over many months. Without Pam’s efforts it is doubtful that Poppy Day would have got off the ground. Yearend Function The final branch function for 2017 took place at Rosedale on Thursday 14 December at 1730 for 1800.



Rosedale Service Centre Carols at Last Light Rosedale Service Centre held its annual Carol Service at Rosedale on Saturday 16 December 2017. Visit to 2 Military Hospital On 22 December 2017, the chairman of the Cape Town Branch Peter Napier Members attending the Annual General Meeting of the Durban branch. and the chairperson of the Woman’s Auxiliary Jenny Jewell, visited 2 Military Hospital to hand over Christmas parcels for those unfortunate enough to be spending Christmas in hospital. Matron Major Rivona van Zyl received the parcels and remarked how this annual event had become something special for her. On behalf of the patients she expressed her thanks that the Legion had remembered those less fortunate and assured Peter and Jenny that the parcels would bring much joy to the recipients. DURBAN Annual General Meeting The Durban Branch held its AGM on 30 September 2017 at 84 Signal Unit, Lords Ground Military Base. There were in excess of 40 Legionnaires present, with just over 20 apologies. Here is a view of some of those in attendance. The venue was very full - some even had to stand! Godfrey, your kind message was well received and ended in spontaneous applause - thank Members of the Durban branch that participated with their you! Eliptigo ‘cycles’ The Committee was re-elected en bloc, with the addition of one new member (Nico Ras, another resident in our block of flats). The new Committee will elect a Chairman and VC at our first meeting (on October 12


18th). I’m hoping to stand down as Chair and will nominate Bryan Doré to take over. I’ll gladly give him all the support and assistance that’s possible. Many attendees remained behind after the meeting to socialise and enjoy a braai together. Amashova Classic Cycle Race The race took place on Sunday, October 22nd. We had a team of cyclists riding in SA Legion colours, all of whom finished in good time. Lgr Johann Kruger rode an Strom damage to the BESL Building in Durban. Eliptigo ‘cycle’ from Cato Ridge. Furthermore, about 25 Legionnaires and family/ friends manned a refreshment table at Umlaas Road. It was a most enjoyable experience. If you weren’t there, you’d better make a point of volunteering next year! Storm Damage During a severe storm that devastated parts of Durban on 10 October 2017 the BESL building was badly damaged. The building comprises flats as well as the offices of the Durban Branch. Fortunately there were no injuries and repairs to the building is in progress. Soon after posting the damage on the Facebook Pages the branch received donations to effect the Participants in the Marching for Others to raise funds for the Knysna repairs. victims.






KAGISO On the invitation of the Kagiso Branch Chairman, the National President visited the Kagiso Branch on 5th August 2017. This allowed formal and informal talks to be held about several subjects. The branch has many old members of the SA Army band who have a few instruments and wish to teach the youth how to Some Branch members with their charter. play. Regiment President Kruger has been approached to assist them in this project. PRETORIA During the second half of 2017 the branch held two branch meetings. The branch also started with visits to members of the branch that are not so mobile anymore. Members of the branch attended the following ceremonies, Delville Wood Service, South African Police Counter Insurgency Veterans Service, Border Boys Service, Battle of El Alamein Service and the Remembrance Day Service. As a member of Members that participated in the Three Point Challenge Charity March the Pretoria Memorial at the statue of General J. C. Smuts in London. Services Council the branch was involved with the planning and hosting of the Delville Wood and Remembrance Day services. The branch organised and hosted the first Veteran’s Day in Pretoria. See the report elsewhere in this edition. A member of the branch was instrumental in arranging the annual Ramcat Fishing Competition for people in wheelchairs. 15


Members of the branch were also very active with Legionnaire Hennie Bresler attending the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph in London as part of the United Kingdom and Europe Branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans. Vice Chairman of the branch arranged the Remembrance Day activity on the border between Turkey and Iraq. While the branch was not able to do Poppy Day collections in the Capital it manage to provide Poppies and collection tins to Pretoria Boys High School and Mount Edmund Christian Brothers College. The branch further managed to make more people aware of the Poppies which were provided to various churches in Pretoria. In addition the branch provided the Poppies that were used at the Remembrance Day and Reburial Service in Swakopmund. UNITED KINGDOM Marching for Others 1. Fund Raising for the South African Legion for Knysna Fire Victims The South African Legion conquered the 101st Four Days March Njimegen, the Netherlands; the largest multiple day marching event in the world. England Chairman Lgr Claudio Chiste` completed the 200km challenge over 4 days in military marching kit to raise funds for the South African Legion, with amazing support and encouragement from the South African Legion UK & Europe Branch. The history of this march started in 1909 (being based in Nijmegen since 1916), in order to maintain the operational marching capability of the Dutch Army. Foreign groups were only being allowed to enroll later in 1928. To date, the event hosts delegations from more than 60 countries, both military and civilian, with this year seeing a total of 47,000 registrations (with 38,000 finishing). During the march there Members that participated in the Three Point Challenge Charity March at the statue of Nelson Mandela in London. are a range of elements: humidity, temperature, rain, heat, cold, which after 11.5 hours of daily marching negatively affects the cleanliness of your socks and footwear. Blisters are a given as uphill, downhill or uneven paths; gravel, concrete, dirt or cobblestones can all contribute. There are certain medical check points every 10km; however blisters could strike at any time, for which you should be educated in first aid blister draining and 16


patching in order to make it through the day. Incorrect foot care could result in being side-lined with a foot infection. The worst thing you can do is ‘tough it out’ and soldier on… This might work on the final stretch of the last day… however doing this on day 1-3 may create a side-lining injury, such as no skin left on your heel. Each 10km there was a 15min break to rest the legs (elevate to promote blood circulation) and hydrate. Lgr Claudio Chiste`, alongside his marching partner Bob, an officer in the Dutch Army. Each day typically ended at circa 23:30 (bed time), with a 02:00 wake-up in order to have breakfast at 02:20 and be ready to leave camp fully kitted for 03:30 to be in time for the 04:00 marching start time (max 3 hours sleep for the four nights of the march). The event was well organised; despite the days which were either extremely hot Members that participated in the Three Point Charity march or rainy proving challenging for enjoy a refreshment after the march. participants, the local population helped keep spirits lifted with offerings of refreshments and the blaring sound of Dutch folk music. The fundraising target of £2,000 was surpassed. Approximately half of these funds will go to the SA Legion UK & Europe to contribute to the fund which will assist mostly UK-based vets in need, with the remaining funds to be directed to assist the victims of the recent Knysna fires. Legionnaires are encouraged to follow this example, taking on meaningful projects or challenges to raise funds. South African Legion of Military Veterans United Kingdom and Europe Inaugural Ball and Awards Dinner On 16 September 2017 the inaugural ball and awards dinner of the United Kingdom and Europe Branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans took place at Cole Court, Twickenham. A very formal event. Guests were welcomed by the Regional Chairman Cameron Kinnear. After the three course meal a number of awards were presented. These included the Chairman’s Award 17


(for the Legionnaire whose conduct and action epitomise the Ethos and Credo of the Legion – Not for Ourselves bur for Others) to Legionnaire Theo Fernandes. Highest Contribution (also called the “Not for Ourselves but for Others” award for the Legionnaire that who made the greatest economic/fundraising contribution during the year) award to Chairman of the England Branch Legionnaire Claudio Chisté. Home Fires Award (this is for a wife who had to put up with people working all hours to get things done, a wife who has shown dedication above and beyond the call of duty) awarded to Me Karen Dickens. Wooden Spoon Award went to Legionnaire Steve Moritz and the Shooting Award was awarded to Legionnaire Graeme Scott. Certificates of Appreciation was awarded to Legionnaires Craig Esterhuizen, Toy Povey, Tino De Freitas, Jose Lopez, James Dow and Andrew Bergman. Marching for Others 2: Three Point Challenge raising Funds for BESL Court. The SA Legion UK & Europe successfully completed their Three Point Challenge on 25 November in support of the SA Legion veterans who were victims of the recent storm and floods that hit Durban on October 10. Particularly hard hit were the SA Legion flats at BESL Court in Umbilo, which suffered the loss of their roof and water damage to the flats and contents below. This Marching for Others team effort builds on a successful individual effort, with this ‘vasbyt’ raising £1,000 funds for fellow veterans in need. South African military veterans started the Three Point Challenge by mustering at South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, moving on to the second point at Parliament Square, then to the third and final point, the SA Cenotaph at Richmond cemetery. The distance covered was 19.3km and the target was to achieve this in less than three hours walking time, excluding a few refreshment stops along the way. In addition to military marching kit there was also a weighted kettlebell passed around to promote team work and the GV feeling. SA Legion UK & Europe Regional Chairman, Lgr Cameron Kirk Kinnear: ‘The motto ‘Not for Ourselves but for Others’ has a deep resonance for veterans who offered themselves as trained and motivated servicemen and women. Members of the SA Legion, UK & Europe have once again shown that they pay homage to that motto by embarking on another Marching for Others event to raise awareness and much needed funds for veterans in need. The team embarked on a 19.3km march to raise £1000 for much needed repairs to BESL Court, in Durban. At the successful conclusion of the march, Richmond Councillor Margaret Buter presented the team with certificates and badges for successfully completing the challenge.






An example once again for other veterans. Next year will see the SA Legion UK & Europe embark on more events to raise awareness and funds for fellow veterans.’ Carabiniers Memorial Service and Medal Presentation A small group of Legionnaires and MOTH’s attended the Observance of the Carabiniers Members that received medals at the Royal Hospital Chelsea Memorial on Sunday 03 ceremony. December 2017 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea hosted by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Association. The day commenced with a service in the Chapel of the Royal Hospital followed by a curry lunch. After this the Chairman of the England Branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans presented medals to a number Legionnaires and MOTH’s in the Statue Court within the hallowed precincts of the Royal Hospital. Attendance of the Observance is a privilege afforded the Legion because of its South African connection. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys) amalgamated with the 6th Regiment of Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) who were present at the Relief of Kimberley during the South African War 1899 – 1902 (Anglo Boer War). The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are affiliated to the Natal Carbineers and through this look forward to “Saffa” participation in their annual event. COMMEMORATIONS DELVILLE WOOD Bloemfontein Springbok Park was the venue of the annual Battle of Delville Wood Memorial Service on Sunday 16 July 2017. The service was attended by various fellow veteran organisations. Attendees at the Battle of Delville Wood service held at Springbok Park



Cape Town The annual Battle of Delville Wood Memorial Service took place in the Gardens on 16 July 2017. The South African Legion was one of the many veteran organisations that attended and a member of the Cape Town Branch laid a wreath on behalf of the Legion. Durban Once again the Durban Banner bearers at the Battle of Delville Wood service in Cape Town. Branch of the South African Legion played the leading role in the organization of the Battle of Delville Wood Memorial Service at the Cenotaph in Durban on Sunday 16 July 2017. The service was well attended and wreaths were laid by all veteran organisations in Durban. Pretoria

Lgr Del Monte laying a wreath during the Cape Town service.

The Department of Military Veterans (DMV), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), international diplomats and groups, as well as military veterans around South Africa remembered the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Delville Wood in WW I at the weekend.

Memorial services were held in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town as well as many towns around the country, such as Port Alfred. The Pretoria memorial was held in Burgers’ Park, with the sentries posted by the Pretoria Regiment, a Reserve Force unit, which has performed this duty for the last 30 years. The regiment also provided the bugler and the piper for the service. The SANDF Band (SA Medical Health Service) provided music.






Lgr Rick Andries welcoming guests at the Delville Wood Service in Durban.

M.C. Marina Valentine described the sacrifice of the 1st South African Infantry Brigade in taking and holding Delville Wood, part of the great Somme Offensive, while Colonel (SAAF) Addie Burt gave the benediction and in his remarks, read from the diary of a soldier who had fought at the Wood. He spoke of how the brigade commander, Brigadier-General Henry Lukin, had spoken to the survivors, praising their valour and expressing sorrow for their

losses. This was also Burt’s last memorial service before retiring. Representatives of the DMV, the four services of the SANDF, the French and German military attaches, the representative of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, as well as numerous veterans organisations, led by the CMVO, SA Legion and MOTH, laid wreaths. New veterans’ groups also participated, including one representing the Khoisan Nation. Following last year’s large centenary events, both in South Africa and abroad, the memorial service was a quiet remembrance which, as Colonel Burt reminded those present, was held so the sacrifice of these soldiers should not be forgotten. Guests and Banner bearers at the Battle of Delville Wood service in Pretoria.



SA Legion Motorcycle Charter Roughly 120 people attended the Delville Wood parade at the SA Legion Motorcycle Charter (MC) on July 16. This was a strong turnout at the MC’s premises at Griffiths Court Western Extension where people paid tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during wars. A total of 763 soldiers of the First South African Infantry Brigade died during the battle of Delville Wood from July 15 to July 20, Members of the Legion Motorcycle Club attending the Battle of 1916. It was one of the bloodiest Delville Wood service. offensives during World War One. Of the 3 032 men of the First South African Infantry Brigade who fought in the Battle of the Somme, 763 were killed, 147 were wounded, 296 were taken as prisoners of war and 525 were missing in action. Three commissioned officers and 140 men of various ranks escaped death. Six Rhodesians were among the 20 fighters who were killed in the heavy battles. These pulverised soldiers, who were never buried, made the “supreme sacrifice”, according to master of ceremonies, Trevor Thomas. Young and old, including Douglas (15) and his sister Sarah Gunn (11), paid tribute to the fallen comrades by laying wreaths at the shrine, saluting the vacant chair (a symbol for soldiers who died and were not buried) and took part in a “klipstapeling”.

Regimental Pipes and Drums of the SA Irish Regiment ready to march on the parade at the Johannesburg service.


Founder of the SA Legion MC, Jimmy Ross, also thanked women for their role in wars. He and Thomas thanked all sponsors and everyone else who attended the parade.


Johannesburg The annual Legion Delville Wood Commemoration Service was held at the View, Parktown, with over 600 attending the service. This service is co-hosted by the Legion, Transvaal Scottish Council/Association and the Speaker of the City of Johannesburg. The South African Irish Regimental Pipes and Drums led the column of more Veterans on parade with guests at the Johannesburg service. than 170 veterans on parade. Wreaths were laid by the Speaker, Cllr Vasco da Gama, Old Bill of the MOTH, representatives of Angola, Central African Republic, France, India, Morocco, Pakistan, New Zealand, Germany, Nigeria, British, SANDF, Wits University, WVF, CMVO, MOTH, MOTHWA, Gunners, Sappers, SAAFA, Naval Officers, Jewish ex Service League, Airborne, Armour, Savannah, 32Bn, Military Intelligence, RAFA, Polish Combatants, Rhodesian Light Infantry, SA Infantry, MAG, Order of St Johns, Commonwealth War Graves, National War Fund, General Smuts Foundation, Delville Wood Trust, Mendi Memorial Trust, 44 Alpine, Italians of SA, Old photo of a low level fly past by a SA Air Force Hercules C-130 Flame Lily, Zonderwater, aircraft during the Warsaw Flight service Scouts, Rand Club, Holocaust/Genocide, Ditsong Museums, Heritage Foundation etc. Members of all the various units that were at Delville Wood were present including the medics. Family of Col Thackeray were also present and laid a wreath. WARSAW FLIGHT COMMEMORATION SERVICE The annual Warsaw Flights Commemoration Service took place at the Katyn Memorial in the James and Ethel Gray Park, Melrose Johannesburg on Saturday 09 September 2017. This was the 25


73rd anniversary of the heroic flights over Warsaw by Allied and South African airmen to drop supplies to the Polish Home Army and civilian population in Warsaw, at the time locked in a mortal struggle for Freedom. The religious service was followed by a reception at the Ditsong National Museum of Military History. Legionnaires Godfrey Giles and Brain Smith laid wreaths on behalf of the World Veterans Federation and the South African Legion of Military Veterans. BATTLE OF SQUARE HILL Cape Town Following permission given to attend an informal ceremony in Legion attire at the Castle to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Battle of Square Hill on 20 September, Lgr Peter Napier was honoured to lead this tribute with a short speech on the battle itself. Moths Leon Robertson, Bryan Sterne Attendees at the Battle of Square Hill wreath laying at the Castle. and Fanus van der Merwe were present, as was Messrs Mark Ernstzen and Gerhard Enslin of 32 Bn Assn and ex-3 SAI veteran John Farelo. There were other veterans such as Moth Eddie Sykes who wanted to attend but were seriously delayed in the traffic by that horrific crash on the N1 incoming. (Eddie contacted us and requested that the service go ahead as planned, regardless of the traffic problems). Wreaths and poppies were presented in remembrance of those who fought and fell at the Battle, and Mr Farelo laid the Roll of Honour of 1 SACC at the statue of The Lady of Good Hope (“Miss Murphy”). Since it seems that no other formal service has been planned to commemorate Square Hill, some of us decided that a simple act of remembrance is the least that we could do. Johannesburg The annual Legion Battle of Square Hill service was held at the Rand Regiments Memorial, Saxonwold, next to the Ditsong National Museum of Military History.






There was a good turnout and support from the Speaker fo the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Vaso da Gama, diplomatic representation form Greece, Argentine, Angola, France, Russia, as well as Reserve Force Council, WVF, MOTH, MOTHWA, Gunners, SAAFA, SA Infantry, Armour, Korean War, SADFA, Military Intelligence, Polish Combatants, RAFA, RAFA Officers, Blind veteran just laid his wreath. Transvaal Scottish, National War Fund, Joburg Heritage, MAG, Regiment President Kruger Assn, East Park Comdo, Pretoria East Comdo, SANDF, and three various SACCMVAs. Refreshments were served after the Blind veteran just laid his wreath. service by the support of the City of Johannesburg once again. Kimberley Members of the Kimberley Branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans assisted with the organization of the Annual Battle of Square Hill Memorial Service at the Cenotaph in Kimberley on Sunday 24 September 2017. Port Elizabeth The branch was responsible for the annual Battle of Square Hill Commemoration Service which took place on Sunday 24 September 2017. The guest speaker at this year’s event was Brigadier General Alexander (SA Army Retired). Following the service Battle of Square Hill service held in Kimberley.



General Alexander presented medals to members who finally received their medals courtesy of the Legion. General Alexander thanked the Legion for their work in obtaining the medals. United Kingdom RICHMOND UPON THAMES – September 23 2017 – The England Branch of the South African Legion today hosted the inaugural Battle of Square Hill Parade at the South African cenotaph at London’s Richmond Cemetery. Veterans on parade during the Battle of Square Hill service in

The inaugural parade was preceded by Port Elizabeth. a dignified ceremony in the cemetery chapel to dedicate the new banners and flags of the SA Legion UK Branch. South African Legionnaires were then joined in the parade and Act of Remembrance by representatives of the Royal British Legion (SA Branch), Royal British Legion (Gloucester), and MOTH. (Gazala Shellhole). Guest of Honour was Councillor Margaret Buter, who represented the Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Councillor Buter told the SA Legion of a personal affinity with the memorial: She originally hails from Zambia where her grandfather served with the King’s African Rifles. South African Legion England Branch Chairman, Lgr Claudio Chistè, said he was Members that attended the inaugural Battle of Square delighted at the success of this first Hill in Richmond, United Kingdom parade, which has been a precursor to the Centenary of the Battle of Square Hill in 2018. “Today’s inaugural parade has already served to promote awareness of this important event in South African military history,” he said “It was an honour to be able to welcome Councillor Margaret Buter of the Borough of Richmond upon 29





Thames, as well as so many representatives of other veterans’ organisations. As next year marks the centenary of the battle, we are already preparing to grow this annual event into one with full diplomatic and military representation. We also hope to reach out to descendants of those who fought and fell at the Battle of Square Hill, so watch this space.” Following the Act of Remembrance, a wreath was laid at the SA Cenotaph on behalf of the SA Legion by Lgr Iain Dunn, Parade ready to step off for the Battle of El Alamein service in and a floral tribute was then laid by East London. Shaun Kennedy of MOTH. Gazala Shellhole at the grave of Natalie Opperman (1904-1988), Chairman of St. Dunstan's (South Africa), and had been awarded the Star of South Africa (Civil) Knight for her life-long devotion to those blinded in the two World Wars. It is the highest civilian award in South Africa. BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN Cape Town. The Annual Battle of El Alamein was held in the Gardens in Cape Town which was attended by various Veteran Organisations. East London. The Battle of El Alamein was commemorated during a service at the Cenotaph in East London. Pretoria This year the 75th commemoration of the Battle of El Alamein took place at the Coalbox2 Shellhole of the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH) on Sunday 22 October 2017. It was once again very Legion wreath laid at the Battle of El Alamein well attended and Lgr Jaco Lötter laid a wreath on service in Pretoria behalf of the Pretoria Branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans. 31





Legion Motorcycle Charter. A Battle of El Alamein Commemoration Service was arranged by the Legion Motorcycle Charter. Johannesburg Legionnaire Godfrey Giles attended the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein held at Light Horse Regiment Head Quarters, Kelvin Johannesburg. A very moving serviced was held and well attended. Wreaths laid during the Battle of El Alamein service held by the Legion Motorcycle Charter.

VETERANS DAY It is very pleasing to see that this Veterans Day is getting more and more support each year. It started off as a personal thing for Lgr Giles some 25 years ago at West Park Cemetery and was accepted by the Legion as an event. Now it has spread across the country. The idea is to recognise and remember Wreaths laid at the Light Horse Regiment Headquarters.

those that have gone before us. Just to clean up the grave, place a Poppy and a moment of reflection means a lot. Hopefully we can get family members to join us at their loved one’s grave in future. Durban Durban Branch once again involved learners from Glenwood High School during Veterans Day on Sunday 05

Learners from Glenwood High School assisted members of the Durban branch in placing Poppies on the graves in the Stellawood Cemetery.



November 2017. Poppies were place on the graves of casualties in the Stellawood, Wyatt Road Military and Hillary cemeteries. Johannesburg A number of veterans placed Poppies on the graves of veterans in various cemeteries in Johannesburg. These included the Veterans that placed Poppies on the graves of veterans in the Braamfontein, Brixton and West Brixton Cemetery. Park cemeteries. Pretoria On Saturday 04 November 2017 a group of military veterans comprising members from the South African Legion of Military Veterans, Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTHs), Memorable Order of Tin Hats Woman’s Auxiliary (MOTHWA), South African Defence Force Association and South African Military Veterans Organisation International, participated in the annual Giles family placing Poppies on each grave West Park Cemetery for the last 25 years. veterans day by placing Poppies on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries.

Veterans that participated in the Veterans Day in Pretoria.


The group placed almost 1 000 Poppies on the graves of military and police veterans in 7 cemeteries in and around Pretoria. On completion they all returned to MOTH Evenden House in Lyttelton where the South African Legion provided each member with a





“boerewors” roll while the MOTH pub was open where a cold one could be enjoyed. REMEMBRANCE DAY Bloemfontein In Bloemfontein the annual Remembrance Day Service took place at Springbok Park on Sunday 12 November 2017. The service was attended by members of the South African Legion of Military Veterans (including the President and Wreaths laid during the Remembrance Day service in Vice President of the Bloemfontein. Bloemfontein branch), Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH), South African Air Force Association, South African Defence Force Association, 61 Mech Veterans Association, Parabat Veterans Organisation, British South Africa Police Regimental Association and Club 55. Cape Town – Cenotaph This year the branch was represented at the Remembrance services, hosted by the City of Cape Town, at the Cenotaph in Cape Town and for the first time in a number of years at the service in Hermanus. Thank you to Lgr Adrian Louw for laying the wreath at Hermanus. Sounding of the Last Post during the Remembrance Day service at Rosedale. Cape Town – Rosedale

An annual Remembrance Day Service was held for the residence at the Cape Town Rosedale complex on Sunday 12 November 2017. The well attended service was conducted by the Rev Ralph Thornley our Honorary Chaplain with music provided by the band of the Cape Town Rifles (Dukes). 36





Durban. The Durban branch faced a particular challenge as a week prior to the service a large number of the bronze plaques at the Cenotaph in Durban were stolen. Fortunately the quick action of various law enforcement agencies ensured that a large number of the panels Deputy Mayor of eThikweni, Ms Peer, laying a wreath on behalf of the were recovered and people of eThikweni. placed back in place in time for the service. The service held at the Cenotaph in Durban was once again very well attended. Dignitaries included Ms Fawzai Peer, Deputy Mayor of eThikweni, and Surgeon General, Lieutenant General A. Sedibe the most senior military dignitary in attendance. Wreaths were laid by the eThikweni Municipality, Surgeon General, Arms of Service of the South African National Defence Force and various veteran’s organisations. Johannesburg Hosted jointly by the City of Johannesburg and the National Headquarters of the South African Legion of Military Veterans the service took place at the Cenotaph opposite the City Hall on Sunday afternoon 12 November 2017. The service started with the march past of various veterans organisations, Dignitaries that attended the Remembrance Day service in South African Police Service, Johannesburg. Johannesburg Metro Police, Rescue Services and scouts. The service was attended by various foreign representatives. The 38





National President laid a wreath on behalf of the World Veterans Federation and the Vice President on behalf of the South African Legion of Military Veterans. Lower South Coast It is really welcoming to see the younger generation being encouraged and taught the reason why it is important not to forget and always to remember them. Jesslyn Ross wearing a Royal British Legion shirt, presenting with her father, Lgr Richard Ross on behalf of the Legion MC South Africa at the recent Remembrance Parade held in the Chapel at the Margate Retirement Village on Saturday, 11 November 2017. Port Elizabeth – Walmer The parade, this time in bright sunlight, marched to the Cenotaph behind the Pipe Band, accompanied by a contingent of Sea Cadets and Grey High School Cadets. The service was conducted by the Reverend Nel of St Mary's Jesslyn Ross and her father Richard Ross at the Cathedral, the Last Post sounded and wreaths laid Remembrance Day service at the Margate by the various dignitaries and organisations. Retirement Village. Snacks were courtesy of the City Fathers, while liquid refreshments were available from the cash bar after the parade at the Aloe White Ensign Shellhole. Pretoria Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Pretoria memorial Services Council the council had to, after more than 40 years, arrange the annual Remembrance Day Service at an alternative venue than the Union Miss Gillian Loffstadt laying a wreath during the Remembrance Buildings. The service was held Day service in Pretoria. 40


at the MOTH Evenden House in Lyttelton. Notwithstanding this very late the service was attended by more than 200 people and some 30 wreaths were laid/crosses planted by members of the Diplomatic Corps (this (this included two French Army Cadets that accompanied the French Naval Attache in laying a wreath on behalf of the Republic of France), representatives from the South African Air Force and the South African Navy, and most of the veteran organisations in Pretoria. There was a very solemn moment when Miss Gillian Loffstadt, a matriculant and daughter of Legionnaire Les Loffstadt, laid a wreath in Memory of her Great Grandfather Able Seaman William Loffstadt, and the fallen of Hood Battalion, 63rd Royal Naval Division, The “new” graves in the Swakopmund Cemetery. at the Second Battle of Passchendaele November 1917. Following the service refreshments were provided by the member organisations of the Pretoria Memorial Services Council while the MOTH pub was open for those that required something a little cooler. Swakopmund - Reinterment and Remembrance Day In terms of the Royal Charter dated 23 May 1917 that established the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Commission is responsible for the care and maintenance of all Commonwealth casualties from the World wars. Where this is no longer possible the graves are exhumed and reinterned in a cemetery where the grave can be maintained. The Commission could no longer maintain the 12 graves in the Mulderene Cemetery in Walvis Bay. The remains of eight South African (five soldiers and three sailors) and four British sailors were exhumed at Walvis Bay's Mulderene cemetery during October 2017 and reinterned in the Swakopmund municipal cemetery's acre of the war-dead early in November 2017 in time for the annual Remembrance Day Service. The death of these Commonwealth silors/soldiers occurred during the Second World War in the Walvis Bay area and at sea, as a result of accidents, drownings and illness. They were buried at Mulderene more than seventy years ago.



Swakopmund's municipal cemetery is the last resting place of 63 soldiers of the German Army and South African armed forces who died during the South West Africa Campaign of the First World War (1914/15). The South West African Campaign ended German occupation of South West Africa and was part of the war effort in World War I (1914-1918) against Germany. Dignitaries that attended the Remembrance Day service in On Sunday 12 November 2017 the Swakopmund.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission joined forces with the Escarpment Shellhole of the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH) to commemorate Remembrance Day in the Swakopmund Cemetery to coincide with the reinternment of those exhumed from the Mulderene Cemetery in Walvis Bay. The service was attended by various dignitaries and wreaths were laid on the newly interned graves as well as other Commonwealth and German graves in the cemetery. Field of London


HRH Prince Harry attended the opening of the Field of Remembrance, on the lawn of St Margaret’s Church, Westminster beside Westminster Abbey on Monday 06 November 2017. Prince Harry laid a Cross of Remembrance in front of two Legionnaires on parade at the Remembrance Day service in wooden crosses from the Graves London. of Unknown British Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars. The ‘Last Post’ was sounded by a musician from the Band of the Honourable Artillery Company followed by a two minutes’ silence after which His Royal Highness






met veterans from past and more recent conflicts. Members of the United Kingdom and Europe branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans were in attendance. London – United Kingdom A large contingent of the United Kingdom and Europe branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans attended the annual Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph in London. The contingent formed part of the impressive veterans marching columns. Richmond – United Kingdom At 10:30 on Saturday 11 November 2017 members of the United Kingdom and Europe branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans gathered at the South African Memorial Cenotaph at the Commonwealth War Graves Legionnaires on parade at the Remembrance Day service at Commission section of the Richmond. Richmond Cemetery in London to mark 99 years since the cessation of hostilities and to honour the South African fallen. Tigem - Turkey. In the beginning of 2016 a number of South African Veterans mobilized to go to Turkey to work on the Eastern Border Mine Clearance Project in Turkey. Turkey has approximately 3 000 000 Anti Personal mines on its borders and these mines now have to be cleared. Once in Turkey other military veterans join the South African Legionnaire Kevin Bolton paying a compliment after laying a group to work on this project. wreath at the Remembrance Day service at Tigem, Turkey. Some from the United Nations 44


Development Programme some from the Quality Assurance Company. The group was made up of South African, New Zealanders and British military veterans. The South African group represented Sappers, an ex-member from the Armour Corp, Infantry Corp and an ex member of the South African Police Service. In 2016 we were all new at the game in Turkey and were still finding our feet so we remembered Fallen Comrades by standing on the 11th November 2016 at 11h00 holding a 2 minute silence and reciting the ODE of Remembrance during our weekly co-ordinating meeting. In 2017 now established and operations in full swing on the 11th November at 11h00 on a bitterly cold and wet Saturday morning we remembered our Fallen Comrades again. This time we held a small ceremony at our camp Head Quarters in Tigem on the Turkey / Iran border a few kilometres north of Mount Ararat (from the bible, Noah’s Ark). 15 of us assembled in 2 rows recited the Soldiers Prayer, recited the ODE of Remembrance and held a 2 minute silence before laying a wreath and paying our respects to our comrades and fallen soldiers. All going well we will be able to remember our fallen in 2018 in a most fitting way again far away from home. REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICES AT SCHOOLS Durban High School On Tuesday, 7 November 2017, Durban High School hosted Old Boys, Veterans, Members of the Defence Force, friends and staff of Durban High School and the Grade 8 learners, at the Annual Remembrance Service in lieu of Armistice Day. Remembrance Day service at Durban High School.

The Service was dedicated to remembering those who lost their lives in the Boer War, First World War (19141918), World War II (1939- 1945), Korean Campaign as well as all those who have died in service since 1955. All guests were handed a poppy to be worn over their hearts, and the meaning of this symbol was then explained by the Head Master A. D. Pinheiro, during his welcome. 45





According to tradition, the poppy has become known as the symbol of remembrance. It represents the battlefields which, before, had been bare wastes, and upon which poppies had sprung up after the land experienced bloodshed. It is a symbol carpeting the graves of men who died and from 1920 the poppy became known as the “flower of sacrifice and remembrance”, which is quite fitting an occasion such as this. The lesson and homily was then addressed by Monsignor Paul Nadal who read through relevant scriptures from the Gospel of John, to give peace of mind to those who have lost loved ones. This year, the names of 280 Durban High School Old Boys were read out from the Roll of Honour by Col Patrick Acutt, before 11 wreaths were laid at the memorial wall by Mr Pinheiro (Durban High School Head Master), Mr Louis Ardé (CEO of the Durban High School Foundation), and Zakariya Adam (2018 Head Prefect) on behalf of Durban High School, Lt Col Greg de Ricquebourg on behalf of Durban Light Infantry, Major Mark Levin, Major T Bolton on behalf of Umvoti Mounted Rifles, Mr Mark Linley on behalf of Paratrooper Veterans, Graeme Fuller on behalf of The South African Military History Society, Lt Col retd Bryan Dore’ on behalf of South African Legion of Military Veterans, Corporal Sergio Campos on behalf of Natal Mounted Rifles, Col Patrick Acutt, as well as Major Nick Lithgow on behalf of the SA Air Force Association (SAAFA) . The Last Post was then performed by Trumpeter Sergeant-Major Gabriel Joseph followed by a two-minute silence, reveille and then prayer and benediction by Monsignor Paul Nadal, before the memorable ceremony came to a close. DHS thanks all who attended as well as Pipe Major Stacy Grundy, who played the bagpipes, and the Durban Light Infantry (affiliated to Durban High School) for the four sentries. Glenwood High School Glenwood High School held its annual Remembrance Day & wreath laying Service on the School Fields on Friday 10 November 2017. A big thank you to the Natal Mounted Rifles for supplying the sentries for the ceremony. Grey College Bloemfontein.

– Learners from Grey College in Bloemfontein ready to lay their wreaths during the Remembrance Day service.

The Pre-Primary, Junior and Senior Schools gathered on Friday 10 November 2017 for the Annual Remembrance Day Service. 47


At this years’ service Grey College remembered those pupils and teachers that fell during the eight wars in which past pupils and teachers died. Wreaths were laid by three members from the senior school, two from the junior and one from the pre-primary. A member of the pre-primary carried the college’s Book of Remembrance. A request from the school is that Poppies be made available to every learner in the school. (by Ed: Will liaise with Bloemfontein branch to assist in 2018) Grey High School – Port Elizabeth. Due to exam commitments the annual Remembrance Day Service took place on Tuesday 07 November 2017 at the school. Legionnaire Ian Shaw, Vice Chairman of the Port Elizabeth branch, laid a wreath on behalf of the South African Legion of Military Veterans. Merchiston Preparatory School Pietermaritzburg At a special assembly at Merchiston Prep School in Maritzburg today, a collage honouring the 11 boys educated at both Merchiston and Maritzburg College killed in World War I was presented to the Handing over of the collage at the Merchiston Preparatory School. headmaster, Mr Dave Beetar by Matthew Matwick (Chairman of the MC Archives Committee), Head Prefect Nthuthuko Mchunu and Deputy Head Prefect Reece Zeelie. Two of the 11 were killed at Delville Wood, including 2Lt Robert Miller who had played rugby for Natal before the war and uniquely had attended Merchiston, Maritzburg College and the Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh. Mount Edmund Christian Brothers College – Pretoria. This year the Annual Remembrance Day Service took place in the form a Mass in the Chapel on Saturday 11 November 2017. The Pretoria branch provided Poppies and a collection tin for the service.



Maritzburg College – Pietermaritzburg. Members of the Pietermaritzburg branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans attended the Annual Remembrance Day Service at the College during which a wreath was laid on behalf of the Legion. Pretoria Boys Pretoria.



The Annual Remembrance Day Service took place at the school on Veterans that attended the Remembrance Day service at Friday 10 November 2017 during Maritzburg College. which wreaths were laid by learners and old boys. Abiding with the tradition teachers and staff members wore Poppies from the week prior to the service. The Pretoria branch provided Poppies and two collection tins to the school for the service. St Andrews School – Bloemfontein. Learners, teachers and friends of the school gathered at the school on Friday 10 November 2017 for the Annual Remembrance Day Service. A tradition at the school is that a Grade 1 learner adopts the name of one of the past learners who died and at the service plants a cross.

Veterans that attended the Remembrance Day service at St Charles College with the Head Boy, Dean Arnold.






St Charles College – Pietermaritzburg. Members of the Pietermaritzburg branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans attended the Remembrance Day Service at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg. The Head Boy of St Charles College is the grandson of Dean Arnold. The Legion also provided catering at the St Charles College Old Boys Day. Legion Poppy Concert Over the last few years the Legion has put on an annual Poppy Entire cast on stage at the end. Concert. This year it was staged at Jeppe High School for Boys at 3pm in the afternoon. The lineup consisted of the Jeppe High School Pipes and Drums, Welsh Male Choir, Samantha Hough (solo singer), Coro Guiseppe Verdi Choir (Italian), Rhona Watts (classical guitarist), Liedertafel Choir (German), Jeppe High School Choir and the South African Irish Regimental Pipes and Drums. At the end all the entertainers came on stage, just over 100 of them. The guest of honour was the Speaker of the City of Johannesburg, Clr Vaso da Gama and various diplomates also attended.

Remembrance Day at Jeppe High School.

We honoured four World War II veterans who attended the concert, their ages were 108, 97, 94 and 92 years old. As it was held on the 11th November, the MOTH Shadow March was held directly after the concert. This was a fitting finish to the day.



Jeppe Boys High School – Poppy Day Concert by Commander S. Chapman. At Jeppe Boys High School on the 11th November a special concert was held to commemorate the fallen heroes of WW1 & WW2, and, recent conflicts involving Commonwealth soldiers. The stunning show, compared by Michael McGovern, included the Jeppe Boys Pipes & Drums; National President with World War 2 veterans honoured. SA Irish Pipes & Drums; The Welsh Male Choir; The Caro Guiseppe Verdi Choir; The Liedertafel Choir; The Jeppe Boys Choir, and with a special appearance by Samantha Hough singing songs by Vera Lynn popularized by her during WW2. The Poppy Concert was hosted by the South African Legion. The National President, Lgr Godfrey Giles, had the opportunity to present certificates of appreciation to four WW2 veterans from Soweto during the proceedings. Amongst those present was WW2 Royal Navy veteran, 93 year old Commander Stanley William Chapman, who was a member of the ARP during the Blitz and joined the Royal Navy afterwards, joining HMS Sweetbriar (K-209). Chapman served with distinction upon the Sweetbriar which was the companion corvette of HMS Campanula, the author of The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Montserrat’s ship. Commander Chapman’s father, Ernest Chapman, was in the Horse Artillery during WW1. In one heavy bombardment he was blown off his horse, Dolly. Badly injured and under fire he dragged three members of his gun crew into a gulley then turned his attention to the surviving horses, and with his half severed hand hanging on by sinew he unhitched them and, with Dolly, led them to the relative safety from the gulley. After this Ernest collapsed, only regaining consciousness briefly when medics found them. Albert Chapman, Ernest’s brother, wasn’t so lucky he died during the Battle of the Somme in a charge to the German lines. During the Blitz Commander Chapman witnessed the death of his uncle, Percy O’Sullivan, who was blown from a four story tenement block into the road, leaving him legless and torn asunder. During that same bombing his Aunt Mary was trapped under ca concrete slab and suffered many broken bones and his cousin Marie had her nose blown off, which was later replaced by surgeons using the breast cartilage of a bird. . . .



While serving in the ARP Stanley witnessed two barrel shaped bombs lit up by searchlights and suspended by parachutes, floating down from German bombers. When they were about 50 feet above the house they exploded. The pressure blast blew Stanley 70 feet into the entrance of a bomb shelter and down three flights of stairs. Commander Chapman remembers vividly the first German raid on London Remembrance Day at Jeppe High School. whilst sitting in a cinema as bombs exploded in the streets outside and shrapnel fell by the bucket load on the roof above their heads. During convoy work Stanley and the Sweetbriar faced heavy seas and Perfect Storm type waves, torpedoes, straffing & bombing by aircraft, and heavy shellfire during D-Day. He braved the worst storms the Atlantic could muster. During one convoy he went to check on a seaman who had been sent to fetch potatoes and never returned. He found him floating in the waist of the ship about to float over the gunnels into wild mountainous seas. Gabbing hold of a rope he waded into the icy cold water and grabbed hold of the sailor just before a massive wave broke over them. . . . Returning to harbor after one very hazardous trip across the Atlantic where a third of the ships were sunk the Sweetbriar and her men received a rapturous welcome by all the dockies, who had been informed she had been sunk by a torpedo. . . . “Samantha’s rendition of the White cliffs of Dover was very moving to me,” Commander Chapman said, “it brought back memories of D-Day landings and our ship heading across the English Channel escorting troop ships. The radio played Vera Lynn’s The White Cliffs of Dover all the time . . . I witnessed so many brave men die that day, it still brings tears to my eyes. . . .” The Sweetbriar was among the first to arrive on station at the beaches of Normandy and among the last to leave. The Sweetbriar fought hard to save the lives of all those under her protection on that day and the days thereafter facing shellfire and German two-man submarines. Another corvette in the escort group was destroyed by shellfire. . . .



OTHER COMMEMORATIONS Armed Forces Day 24 June 2017 The Woking Armed Forces and Veterans Annual Parade was held on June 24th. Led by the Woking Branch of The Royal Naval Association and this year’s event commemorated, in particular the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (known by sailors as the Legionnaires participating in the Armed Forces Day parade in Woking. Jenny Wrens). The parade marched through the town to Jubilee Square, where there was a short service, wreath-laying at the Woking War Memorial, and a march past taken by the Woking Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Graham and Mrs Sarah Cundy. The South African Legion England Branch & the RBL South African Branch have a long standing relationship with the Woking Branch Royal Naval Association, and it’s one of the highlights of our calendar to take part in the parade. This year the SA Legion was represented by Lgr Cameron Kirk Kinnear (Regional Chair), Lgr Claudio Chistè (England Legionnaire Fernandes paying a compliment during the Armed Forces Branch Chair), Lgr Theo Day parade in Woking. Fernandes (who laid the wreath on behalf of the branch), Lgr Justin Bosanquet and Lgr Lesley Ferrando. After the parade, refreshments were served at the Woking Railway Club; this provided an opportunity to for fellow veterans to catch up and mingle, many of whom served in WWII.



Amongst others; interestingly, one of the oldest veterans in attendance, Woking resident Bill Moore (93), had a strong southern African connection! Bill was born in Dunoon, Scotland and served during WWII in 138 (Special Duties) Squadron of the Royal Air Force, which was later assigned to Bomber Command operating under No. 3 Group. He was based at RAF Stradishall and RAF Tempsford. He flew Westland Lysander planes into occupied territories to place or recovery agents and equipment. The Lysander was favoured because of its exceptional short-field performance which enabled clandestine missions using small, unprepared airstrips. Bill tells some interesting stories about some of the agents and resistance members they dropped off and pick up – among them four young men who went on to become prime ministers of France! Bill’s squadron was also the first to begin dropping food to the Dutch to alleviate the terrible famine in the occupied country during the winter of 1944 – 1945. By the end of the war 138 Squadron were stationed at RAF Tuddenham in Suffolk, and from there flew to pick up prisoners of war and return them home. Throughout the service during the war Bill earned an impressive array of medals – including the French National Order of the Legion of Honour and the RAF Air Crew Europe Star (“France and Germany”). Other medals include the RAF 1939-1945 Star (“Bomber Command”); RAF Defence Medal; and RAF War Medal. Bill has a long connection with Africa, which draws him to the SA Legionnaires – he went out to Rhodesia after the war and spent 50 years there, at times involved in building infrastructure. He tells an amusing story of turning an airfield into a racecourse in only a few days for a Royal Visit by the late Queen Mother – although as he remembered with a smile the wind sock had to stay up! Bill returned to the UK some 14 years ago. The most important thing to him is his family, and he’s fortunate to have a number of them reasonably nearby. His oldest great-grandchild is in his midtwenties, and the youngest is just 15 months old. It was a real privilege to have the opportunity to talk to Bill and hear a little more of his life story, an unexpected benefit of taking part in the parade. Alpine 44 Memorial Service

National President, Legionnaire Godfrey Giles, at the Zonderwater memorial service.

The South African Legion of Military Veterans were represented at the Annual Alpine 44 Memorial Service at the South African Air Force Memorial on Sunday 15 October 2017 by the National President, Lgr Godfrey Giles, and the 55


Gauteng Regional Chairman, Brian Smith. Legionnaire Giles laid a wreath on behalf of the World Veterans Federation and Legionnaire Smith on behalf of the Legion. Zonderwater Italian Prisoners of War Association Memorial Service The annual memorial service took place on Sunday 05 November 2017 at the Zonderwater Prisoner of War Cemetery at Zonderwater. National President, Legionnaire Godfrey Giles laid a wreath on behalf of the World Veterans Federation and Gauteng Regional Chairman, Legionnaire Brian Smith laid a wreath on behalf of the Legion. Battle of Sidi Rezegh The Legion was represented at the annual commemoration of the Battle of Sidi Rezegh held at the MOTH’s Dickie Fritz Shellhole during November 2017 by the National President, Legionnaire Godfrey Giles and the Chairman of the Gauteng Region, Legionnaire National President, Legionnaire Godfrey Giles, paying a Brian Smith. Legionnaire Giles laid a compliment having a laid a wreath at the Sidi Rezegh service. wreath on behalf of the World Veterans Federation while Legionnaire Smith laid a wreath on behalf of the Legion. National President, Legionnaire Godfrey Giles, at the Zonderwater memorial service.

OTHER STORIES 24 JAAR SE BETROKKENHEID BY MILITERE VETERANE – JURIE VAN DER MERWE Al die jare se berokkenheid by die S.A. legioen van Militere Veterane Bloemfontein Tak en die Basotho Legioen in Maseru het my ewe skielik vervul met nostalgie en laat besluit om, al is dit net vir my eie satisfaksie en moonlik die geskiedenis van die tak en of Nasionale Hoofkantoor my betrokkenheid op skrif te stel. Nadat ek in 1985 as Bevelvoerder van Regiment Vrystaat afgetree het, het die Bevelvoerder wat by my oorgeneem het my in 1986 gevra om namens hom die Legioen se Vrystaatse/Noord Kaapse Provinsiale Konferensie in Bloemfontein by te woon. Omdat ek toe vir die eerste keer van die bestaan van die Legioen bewus geword het , het dit so ‘n indruk op my gemaak dat ek aangesluit het. Ek het met ‘n donderslag besef dat ek ook nou ‘n veteraan is,dat ek by ander veterane kan inskakel en in die organiesasie n tuiste kon vind waar ek vir veterane wat nie so goed daaraan toe is soos ek nie tot hulp kan wees.’n Offisier se verantwoordelikheid teenoor sy kollegas en sy minderes hou nooit op nie. 56


Ek het my gewig ingegooi en het oor die periode die volgende poste beklee: Voorsitter van die tak se Finansiele Komitee, Vise Voorsitter van die tak, Voorsitter van die tak, Provinsiale Voorsitter, Tweede Nasionale Vise President, Eerste Nasionale Vise President en Nasionale President Heellaas en om die kroon op alles te plaas is ek tydens die Nasionale Kongres gedurende 2010 te Scottburgh vereer deur my aan te wys as ‘n “Past President for Life” (“Die cherry op die koek”) Gedurende die periode het ek behalwe die normale jare diens sertifikate die volgende toekennings ontvang: vanaf Nasionale Hoof Kantoor na goedkeuring deur die onderskeie Nasionale Kongresse: “Meritorious Life Membership” 1994 en “Honorary Life Vice Legionnaire Jurie van der Merwe at the dinner of the 2014 Legion conference. President” 2002. Vanaf die Tak: “Certificate of Merit” 2005, “Branch President for Life” 2008, “Sertificate of Appreciation” 2008. (S.A. Legioen Social Club Bloemfontein.) As Nasionale President het ek die Legioen verteenwoordig by die “30th Triennial Conference RCEL in Accra Ghana”. As verteenwoordiger van die “Basotho Legion” het ek die Trienniel Konferensies in London,Ottawa en Accra bygewoon. Ek het ook die voorreg gehad om ‘n vergadering en ‘n funksie in Buckingham Paleis by te woon. Ek vermoed dat ek ook die persoon is wat huidiglik die langste op die Nasionale Uitvoerende Komitee dien en het ek van dat ek by die Legioen Speaker of Johannesburg amongst the walkers. aangesluit het nog nie een Nasionale Kongres mis geloop nie. Ek het agt Nasionale Presidente en sewe Nasionale Sekretarisse(esses) sien kom en onderskeidelik sewe en ses sien gaan. 57


Miskien het dit tyd geword dat ek my betrokkenheid ook drasties afskaal en aandag aan my eie sake gee. 702 “WALK THE TALK” JOHANNESBURG Annually the City of Johannesburg hosts the “Walk the Talk” with 702 Radio that has a cut off is 50,000 people. It was held on 23 July 2017. The walk is dog friendly, so it was an opportunity to show off the Purple Poppy which raised a lot of interest. There were many interviews and newspaper articles which did mention the Some of the walkers with their medals Legion as our piper really did attract attention. Our T-shirts especially done for the walk were admired to the extent that people requested Poppy pins and flyers that we were handing out during the walk. This might be the sort of event that the Legion should look at doing worldwide so that families can be involved as well. There are various walks on the same day for 5 to 21 Kms. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE CHURCH SERVICE For the third year running the Pretoria Branch of the South African Legion of Military Veterans joined the Dutch Reform (NG) Church Raslouw to commemorate the International Day of Peace with a bilingual church service on Sunday 17 September 2017. The service was supported by the Council of Military Veterans Organisations and the Pretoria Memorial Services Council.

Banner bearers ready to carry the banners into the church at the International Day of Peace service.



The United Nations is responsible for the promoting of global peace and in 1981 the General Assembly decided that the third Monday of September every year would be known as the International Day of Peace. In 2001 the General Assembly adopted Resolution 55/282 in which 21 September would annually be acknowledged as the International Day of Peace. Declares that the International Day of Peace shall henceforth Legionnaire Charles Ross, Chairman Pretoria Branch, welcoming be observed as a day of global guests at the International Day of Peace service. ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day; A/RES/55/282 2 3. Invites all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, regional and non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate, in an appropriate manner, the International Day of Peace, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of the global ceasefire. This year the service was attended by more than 100 veterans and serving members of the SANDF, SAPS and Correctional Services and their families. 8 banners of veteran organisations were place in the church at the start of the service. The bilingual church service was conducted by the former Chaplain General of the SANDF, Marius Cornelissen. The scripture reading was from Matthew 14: 22 to 32. The service Lgr Pauline Mohale-Buyeye, Mrs Sexwale (with her was concluded with the sounding of the blanket) and her sister during the visit to her home. last post, lament and reveille. Everyone enjoyed tea, coffee and “koeksisters” after the service. 59


Nedbank Foundation – blankets Nedbank Foundation encourages anyone that works there to be involved in community projects. The foundation can award R15 000 to selected projects which the Legion received so that blankets could be given to our veterans.

Soweto veterans and dependants with their blankets.

It was decided to get small fleece blankets that can be used all year round for the elderly. These were procured and distributed. It was an opportunity for the Legion to visit some of the older veterans and their dependents. A special visit was done to Late Lgr Frank Sexwale’s widow. He was Chairman of Soweto Branch 1982 – 1992.

The National President, Lgr Godfrey Giles, was given a Local Hero Award by the Chairman of Nedbank at a Gala Dinner event as well. These blankets are now a stock item for anyone to purchase from NHQ if interested. SOUTH AFRICAN LEGION 100 YEAR COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE PLACED ON SS MENDI AFRICAN LEGION 100 YEAR COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE PLACED ON SS MENDI. Amidst the South African Nation celebrating the success of Wayde van Niekerk’s gold in the 400m 2017 athletics World Championship in London, another milestone slipped by almost unnoticed – the laying of the commemoration plaque on the wreck of the ship which has captured the national spirit. On February 21st 1917, a cold foggy morning at around 05:00 in the English Channel in freezing weather conditions, there loomed a recipe for a shipping disaster which was to cause barely a blip amid the chaos and carnage of World War I. However no one could anticipate the consequential impact down the years in South Africa; a moment that Legionnaire Claudio Christe with diver Derek.



would embody the national spirit. Crossing the English Channel, having sailed from South Africa to provide support for the Battle of the Somme, the troopship SS Mendi was accidentally rammed by an allied ship, Darro, causing her to sink near Southampton. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of her sinking, the South African Legion represented by the England Branch Chairman, Lgr Claudio Chiste, arranged a plaque to be placed on the wreck in memory of the 616 Southern Africans and 30 crew members who lost their lives. Claudio Chiste told the South African Legion Public Relations Officer: “ “Credit to the skipper Dave Wendes for his hospitality and for getting us there smoothly in the choppy conditions of the day, as well as to all the fellow divers who all enthusiastically contributed to the success of this initiative”. While many in South Africa may still view the two world wars as “white man’s wars”, nothing can be further from the truth. Of all South Africans involved in World War I, almost 85,000 were of colour (almost 40%). A similar ratio stands for WWII. The contribution from SA of all races towards the world war efforts on a global stage is undeniable. Some may view these as pressed men, forced in to the war effort; some may view them as servicemen who volunteered, but one thing is certain is that they were men. They left us with their boots on, singing the death dance, unified in their peril. The sea does not discriminate. This South African Legion initiative to honour these men with the laying of this plaque concludes the final centenary memorial service. The South African Legion played a critical role in the buildup to the centenary having initiated memorial services at Hollybrook five years ago. The plaque was not bolted onto the wreck, but placed there gently and will not interfere with the vessel in any way. It was placed in an appropriate position on the wreck, where it will stay and act as a lasting memorial, some 40m under water. BRITISH WOMEN IN WW1 During the First World War, 100 Participants in the Ramcat Fishing Competition. 000 women served in the uniformed services, with around 50% connected with nursing and very few (officially) anywhere



near combat. In 1917 the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp (WAAC) was formed, offering jobs as chauffeurs, clerks, telephonists, waitresses, cooks and instructors. Also formed in 1917 was the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS), initially only allowing women to do ‘suitable’ (i.e. domestic) work to release male sailors to take on combat duties. On 1 April 1918, the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) was created, with women working as clerks, fitters, drivers, cooks and storekeepers. RAMCAT FISHING COMPETITION Legionnaire Gerard Smal, a member of the Pretoria Branch was once again the driving force behind the 2017 Ramcat Fishing Competition which was held at the Irene Country Lodge on Saturday 09 September 2017. Only people in wheelchairs are allowed to participate in the fishing competition. A large number of veteran organisations was in attendance with Legionnaire Jaco Lötter representing the South African Legion of Military Veterans. Legionnaire Lötter presented all present with a Poppy. The local area newspaper covered the event on their sports page which included an interview with Legionnaire Lötter. NEWCASTLE - GIVING CHRISTMAS JOY THROUGH THE FLOWER OF REMEMBRANCE During the month November, members of the South African Legion hand out poppies in the guise of guise of monetary donations to old soldiers. These red poppies were first immortalised by a Canadian doctor, who wrote the poem ‘In Flanders Field’ after they had just buried his dead friend, who was Legionnaire Gerard Smal (in wheelchair) with veterans during killed in the line of duty. The poppy then became known as the flower of the Ramcat Fishing Competition. remembrance and the money collected was used to support old soldiers.



Eight years ago Lgr. Vince Nixon said he had re-introduced the poppy collection in Newcastle. At that time, there were 24 old soldiers, who each received a monetary gift in December to make their Christmas a little more special. “Over the years, a number of these soldiers have answered the sunset call, and this year we were able to give 12 soldiers a gift of R400 each.” Lgr. Nixon wished to thank Johan Proudfoot, Marco van der Ryst, Arno van Veterans that participated in the Christmas joy in Schalkwyk, Daniel Benade and Simon Newcastle, Kwazulu-Natal. Douglas for their assistance in distributing poppies, and for making it possible to brighten the old veteran’s Christmas. MY GRANDFATHER WILLIAM LOFFSTADT BY LEGIONNAIRE LES LOFFSTADT. My grandfather Bill was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne on the 6th of July 1897, to a Geordie shipyard blacksmith and a Scottish Lassie from the Border areas. He was one of 6 Children. At the Outbreak of World War 1 he volunteered for service with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. On 1 July 1917 he was mobilized and drafted the 63rd Royal Naval Division, Hood Battalion. This Unit or “Winston’s Little Army” as they were fondly referred to, was made up of surplus members of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves, who could not be accommodated on warships, and were utilized as Infantry in the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front. He joined his Unit on the front, end October 1917. Hood Battalion was at that stage stationed in the Ypres area, and involved in Second Battle of Passchendaele which ended 10 November. Out of what I can determine from my Grandfather’s service record, he was wounded between 10 and 12 December 1917. This must have happened somewhere in the Cambrai\Welsh Ridge area where the Royal Naval Division were located at the time. He was discharged from the RN Hospital in Le Treporte at the end of February 1918, and served the remainder of the war at the RN Depot in Portsmouth. After the war he was an instructor at a Ballroom Dancing school in Wallsend, Newcastle. He immigrated to South Africa in 1921 and worked in the Hotel Business in Durban and then Clocolan and Ladybrand in the Free State where he met and married my Grandmother. With the outbreak of WW2 he again volunteered to serve. Too old for active service abroad, he served for the 63


duration of the war as a Sergeant in the Quartermasters office at the Tempe Military Base in Bloemfontein. I remember my grandfather as a softly spoken man with a witty sense of humour, and always impeccably dressed. He passed away in December 1975 when I was 15 years old and I never really had the opportunity to ask him about his wartime experiences. According to my father, he rarely spoke about the war and they got the impression that it had been a very traumatizing experience for him as it was for so many of the young men who served in that terrible war. MOTH GENERAL SECRETARY Legionnaire Brain Porter has just been appointed as MOTH General Secretary at the last MOTH AGM. He like so many of us are Lgr/Moth. Lgr/Moth Robert Pegram has retired and Brian has taken over. This can once again only assist our two organisations to work even closer together in ensuring we serve our veterans well!

SOUTH AFRICAN AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS DURING THE BATTLE OF CAMBRAI – THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES. Acting Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sherwood Kelly VC CMG DSO. Officer Commanding 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 87th Infantry Brigade, 29th Division. The twin sons John Sherwood Kelly and Hubert Henry Kelly was born on 13 January 1880 in Lady Frere in the Cape Colony in South Africa as the son of James Kelly of Irish decent. James Kelly was at one time mayor of Lady Frere and believed in justice for all and was himself a hero. On 08 December 1876 James Kelly saved the lives of 25 people when the Italian ship, SS Nova Bella, ran into trouble at the St John’s river mouth.

Legionnaire Brain Porter.

John attended the Queenstown Grammar School, Dale College in King William’s Town and St Andrew’s College in Grahamstown. At school John was keener on the outdoor activities such as horse riding and boxing, in which he excelled, than school work. During this period 64


John first lost his mother, with whom he had a very close relationship, when he was only 12 and a year later in 1893 his twin brother Hubert. In 1896, age 16, John enlisted in the British South Africa Police and saw action in the Matabele revolt in the then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). With the outbreak of the South African War (Anglo Boer War) 1899 – 1902 he enlisted in the Southern Rhodesia Volunteers and saw action as a Trooper in the Relief of Mafeking as a Private in Colonel Plumer’s Column. On 08 January 1901 John was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Imperial Light Horse (ILH) and later joined Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts as a Lieutenant and saw action in Rhodesia, Orange Free State and Transvaal. He was twice mentioned in dispatches during this. After the South African War (Anglo Boer War) 1899 – 1902 he worked in his father’s store, but this was not what John had in mind. Having resigned his commission he volunteered to serve as a Trooper with the Somaliland Burgher Corps in the 3rd Lieutenant Colonel Jack “Sherwood” Kelly VC Expedition against Haji Muhammad CMG DSO

Abdullah Hassan (known to the British as Mad Mullah) over the period November 1902 to July 1903. During the period he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In 1904 he was reduced to Trooper and returned to South Africa where he worked first a trader and later as a recruiter of native labour in the Transkei. In 1905/6 he saw action during the Zululand Bambatha Rebellion. Over the period 1906 to 1912 Jack was involved in the family business in Butterworth which was involved in the recruiting labour for the mines. In 1912 Jack married Emily Sarah (nee Snodgrass) and widow of John Edward Lawlor. Finding a lasting solution for the Irish crisis remained a challenge for the British and in 1910 another attempt failed. The situation deteriorated and by 1912/13 the call went out for “all unionist” to return to Ireland. Being from Irish descent Jack and his brother Edward answered the call and travelled to Ireland where they both joined the Ulster Volunteer Force. With war clouds gathering over Europe late 1913 and early 1914 the Irish crisis dropped on the list of priorities and by July 1914 Jack and Edward travelled to London. Jack being a man that liked adventure saw the gathering of war clouds as an opportunity for him to become involved. Jack 65


soon joined the 2nd Battalion King Edward’s Horse as a Private. With a chest full of medals it was not long before Jack was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. During this time Jack met Nellie Green and soon Jack and Nellie were active in the London social life The Gallipoli landings during April 1915 did not go according to plan and casualties on the side of the Allied forces was very high. A call went out for replacements and Jack soon requested to be transferred to Gallipoli for service. Jack’s request was granted and during July 1915 Major Jack Kelly joined the Kings’ Own Scottish Borderers (KSOB) in Gallipoli. The official history reflects the following: “A new Major has joined us. The new Major was a Herculean of Irish-South African origin with a quite remarkable disregard for danger”. As always Jack led his men for the front which a little different to what the KSOB’s was used to, however his men followed him throughout the merciless and dreadful fighting during August and September 1915.

In the trenches in Turkey.

On 15 October 1915 tragedy struck the KSOB. The Officer Commanding and the Orderly Officer of the Day were killed. Captain Cookson assumed command of the Battalion during the rest of October and early part of November 1915.

On 21 October 1915 Jack’s lungs got badly burned by gas from the Turks and he was evacuated to the hospital, but returned to the frontline on 28 October. After his return Jack led his men to in a frontal attack to capture a Turkish trench that was threatening his own forces. Only 6 men returned and Jack was wounded three times. For this Jack was awarded the Distinguish Service Order (DSO). The first South African to be awarded the DSO during World War One. Mid November 1915 saw Jack being promoted to Acting Lieutenant Colonel and appointed as Officer Commanding Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Being a “team man” Jack remained close to his men. Not having come through Sandhurst he had little knowledge of “mess etiquette, stiff upper lip and the old school tie”. However Jack was unconventional and he knew how to fight, and that is what he was there to do. He soon got the name “Bomber Kelly” and was pulled out of the front line to command the Bombing School.



During November and December Jack kept up the catapult bombardment of the Turkish Army. During September 1915 the Norfolk and Suffolk Yeomanry were mobilised and deployed to Gallipoli where they arrived on 10 October 1915. By this time the decision had been taken to withdraw from Gallipoli and deception actions executed. Jack returned to the Yeomanry as an Acting Major for the withdrawal during December 2015 and January 1916. Both the Yeomanry and the Kings Own Scottish Borderers were sent to Egypt to recover with the Yeomanry returning to England soon. Jack was sent on 2 months leave. During his leave Jack married Nellie Elizabeth Crawford on 22 April 1916. Early May 1916 saw Jack recalled to the front once again in command of a battalion, this time the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as part of the 29th Division preparing for the upcoming Battle of the Somme. Leading his Battalion from the front during fighting in the Beaumont Hamel sector Jack was shot through the lung and saved by Jack Johnson until he could be evacuated back to London. During a political rally by Jack in November 1923 a woman came up to Nellie and introduced herself as the mother of Stretcher Bearer Jack Johnson. A meeting was arranged between Jack Kelly and Jack Johnson. In an interview with the Derbyshire Times Jack Kelly said “good deal of handshakes and some tears”.

Jack and his brother Edward having joined the British Army.

During July 1916 Jack and Nellie embarked on a recruiting tour to South Africa where Jack was received as hero. On his return to England in September 1916 Jack immediately reported for duty. Jack remained in England and on 29 November 1916 received his Distinguish Service Order (DSO) from King George V. During November 1916 Jack was posted to the 3rd Battalion Kings Own Scottish Borderers as a Major. Very soon after arrival requested to be transferred to the 10th Norfolk Reserve Battalion. On 01 January 1917 Jack Sherwood Kelly was awarded the Distinguished Order of St Micheal and St George, Third Class or Companion, post nominal CMG. It is awarded for service to the Empire, probably for Jack’s recruiting drive in South Africa during 1916.






In February 1917 Jack was again posted to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as Officer Commanding. Early part of 1917 saw a new British offensive in Vimmy and Arras which was followed by offensives in Ypres and Passchendaele. A smaller offensive was planned for November 1917 in the Cambrai sector, using the new weapon “the Mark 1 Tank”. On 20 November 1917, the opening day of the first Battle of Cambrai, 87th Brigade advanced on Marcoing, three miles south-west of Cambrai. 1st Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, crossed the Canal de St Quentin by the lock east of Marcoing copse. For his gallantry during the crossing of the canal and in leading the attack against the enemy defences on the far side, Acting Lieutenant Colonel J Sherwood-Kelly was awarded the VC. Meanwhile, two companies of 1st Battalion, The Border Regiment, crossed the canal by the railway bridge at Marcoing and one at the lock by the railway station at the north-eastern outskirts of the town. Sergeant C E Spackman was awarded the VC for attacking a machine-gun which threatened this advance. For this action Jack was awarded the Victoria Cross. The citation reads as follows: “For most conspicuous bravery and fearless leading when a party of men of another unit detailed to cover the passage of the canal by his battalion were held up on the near side of the canal by heavy rifle fire directed on the bridge. Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood-Kelly at once ordered covering fire, personally led the leading company of his battalion across the canal and, after crossing, reconnoitred under heavy rifle fire and machine gun fire the high ground held by the enemy. The left flank of his battalion advancing to the assault of this objective was held up by a thick belt of wire, where upon he crossed to that flank, and with a Lewis gun team, forced his way under heavy fire through obstacles, got the gun into position on the far side, and covered the advance of his battalion through the wire, thereby enabling them to capture the position. Later, he personally led a charge against some pits from which a heavy fire was being directed on his men, captured the pits, together with five machine guns and forty six prisoners, and killed a large number of the enemy. The great gallantry displayed by this officer throughout the day inspired the greatest confidence in his men, and it was mainly due to his example and devotion to duty that his battalion was enabled to capture and hold their objective”. The Germans launched a counter attack which was successfully repelled by the 29th Division during which time Acting Captain A. M. Lascelles, another South African hero, of the 14th Durham Light Infantry was awarded a Victoria Cross. Jack returned to a hospital in London having been gassed again.



. On 11 January 1918 the London Gazette reported that Jack had been awarded the Victoria Cross which he received from King George on 23 January 1918 at Buckingham Palace. During February 1918 Jack once again returned to South Africa on a recruiting drive. Following a speech in east London in the Eastern Cape Jack was reported and recalled back to England where he was reprimanded and remained with the Norfolk Yeomanry. In August 1918 Jack was put in charge of the troop ship HMS CITY OF KARACHI carrying South African troops. During the trip the Officers revolted sighting his bullying tactics and derogatory statements about South African troops. Jack apologised and narrowly escaped being court martialed. Jack served the rest of the war as Officer Commanding the Norfolk Yeomanry. During the war a number of Allied personnel were deployed in Northern Russia. In January 1917 the first signs of the Russian revolution became visible as a number of cities and towns in Russia fell to the Bolsheviks. The revolution soon gained momentum raising concern back in the United Kingdom with specific reference to the British forces still deployed in Northern Russia. Outside Buckingham Palace after receiving his Victoria Cross.

Early 1919 saw the demobilisation of the British Forces with only a small number of each Regiment retained for training purposes. But with the situation if Russia deteriorating a call went out calling for volunteers for a “Rescue Force” to facilitate the withdrawal of all British Forces from Northern Russia. This “Rescue Force’ had a twist in the tail. Jack Kelly immediately volunteered for service and was appointed as Officer Commanding of the 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment. The strength of the “Rescue Force” was 8 000. The various Battalions mobilised and on 13 May 1919 the SS Stephen sailed from England arriving off the shore of Archangel, Northern Russia on 21 May 1919 with a sense of excitement. What is interesting, and could it be a record of some sorts, is that there were 6 winners of the Victoria Cross on board. 70


They included Brigadier General G. W. St George Grogan VC CMG DSO and Bar – The Worcestershire Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel D. C. Johnson VC DSO MC – The South Wales’ Borderers, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sherwood Kelly VC CMG DSO – Hampshire Regiment, Captain A. C. T. White VC MC – The Yorkshire Regiment, Lieutenant M. Moore VC – The Hampshire Regiment and Lieutenant A. M. Toye VC MC – The Middlesex Regiment. Soon after arrival The Hampshire Regiment deployed to its area of responsibility which necessitated travelling up the Dwina River by barge. Aware of the possible threats Jack had all the Machine Guns pointing outward resulting in the convoy labelled “Kelly’s Mystery Ships”. On arrival in their area of responsibility Jack again led from the front with him leading patrols to get to know the area. Brigadier General Grogan praised Jack for this. Very soon Jack realised that what they were sent for was not what they were expected to do and as such he openly criticised the plan of General Ironside resulting in Jack being a “marked” man. This came to a head during an operation during which the Hampshire’s were to be supported by “White Russian Forces”. Having spent more than 6 hours waiting for the “White Russian Force” Jack realised that the Hampshire’s are being surrounded by Bolsheviks and he withdrew the Hampshire’s to save his men. This did not go down well at General Headquarters. General Grogan accepted Jack’s decision, but not General Ironside. Jack took this further in June 1919 when ordered to attack a Bolshevik block house Jack wrote to the General in Command of the Area. This once again did not go down well with General Headquarters. When the Intelligence Officer attached to the Hampshire’s reported to General Ironside about Jack’s open criticism of his plan Ironside wrote a very negative report on Jack in his diary. Soon after this, on 08 August 1919 Jack was released of his Command of the 2nd Battalion The Hampshire Regiment and sent home. General Ironside made the statement “if he (Jack) was a regular officer he would have court martial him”. As Jack Kelly never waived the opportunity for a fight he now took his fight to the media and on 06 September 1919 he wrote to the Daily Express stating “that it was war on the Bolshevik and not a rescue or withdrawal operation”. This was not well received by Winston Churchill who began to feel the heat. Jack was always used to facing his enemy “face to face’ so he was not prepared for the ‘war of words” that was unleashed by Winston Churchill. This was followed up with a second letter that was published on 13 September 1919. Jack insisted that he be court martial and he be given the opportunity to tell his side to the story,



His court martial took place on 28 October 1919 where Jack was subjected to an attack on his person. In his defence Jack stated “he volunteered because he believed it was a rescue mission”, the men that volunteered “had served King and Country during 5 years of war” and “that he did his duty to the Throne and to the best of his ability and that he had a duty to protect his men”. Jack received a severe reprimand. Jack’s action did however ensure that all British forces were rapidly withdrawn from North Russia. Years later when Soldiers and Sailors from the United Kingdom received awards and medals from the “White Russians” Jack’s name was not on the list of recipients. After retirement from the military in 1919 Jack battled to settle down to civilian life with Nellie and frequently applied to be taken back into the military, without success. His life with his wife Nellie was never easy and while there were times when all seem to be well, it remained difficult. Having been accepted by the Conservative Party Jack once again found himself “on the war path” preparing for the elections on 06 December 1923 in the Clay Cross constituency, a Labour stronghold. During On his way to his Court Martial. the campaign trail Jack once again had Nellie at his side. Unfortunately Jack lost the election, but was able to cut the Labour majority considerably. In preparation of the 1924 elections Jack addressed a rally in Langwith on 24 October 1924. During the rally a heckler called Jack a liar. Jack walked up to the person and requested that he withdraw his statement. When the person refused Jack flattened him. Once again Jack was not successful in the elections on 29 October 1924, but once again was able to reduce the Labour majority considerable. Jack then left the political area. On 26 October 1926 Jack, dressed in full dress uniform with a chest full of medals which included the Victoria Cross, was asked to lay a wreath at Horse Guards’ Parade on behalf of the Ypres League as part of the then annual commemoration of the sacrifices made at Ypres during the Great War. 72


Jack spent the rest of 1926 and much of 1927 working for Bolivia Concessions Limited, building a road across Bolivia. It is here that he contracted malaria. On his return to England his health deteriorated after a lifetime of hurt and punishment. During this period Jack as discovered by Sir Arthur Du Cross who owned Craigwell House near Bognor. This is where King George V had been resident whilst recovering from illness. Jack was appointed as agent of the house and spent 1928 and 1929 marketing the house to the public. Jack was admitted to Kensington Nursing Home with malaria during July 1931. Interesting that he was admitted here and not in Bognor where he lived. Could it be that Nellie had a hand in this? Jack passed away on 18 August 1931 and he was given a full military funeral. His coffin was draped with the Union Jack on a gun carriage of the Royal Field Artillery accompanied by a guard of honour from the Grenadier Guards and was buried in the Brookwood Cemetery in Surry. Members of the Royal British Legion attended the funeral. Notably was the absence of Nellie. During his military career Jack was awarded the following medals and decorations: Victoria Cross 1917, The Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George – Third Class or Companion (CMG) 1917, Distinguish Service Order (DSO) 1916, British South Africa Company Medal 1890 – 97 with Clasp Matabeleland, Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899 – 1902 with Clasps Rhodesia, Relief of Mafeking, Orange Free State and Transvaal, King’s South Africa Medal 1901 – 1902 with Clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902, Africa General Service Medal 1902 – 56 with Clasp Somaliland 1902 – 04, 1914 – 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 – 20 and the Victory Medal 1914 – 19 with mention in Despatches. He is commemorated on his headstone, a plaque in the St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland, South African Memorial, Delville Wood in France The grave of Lieutenant Colonel and a plaqu e honouring South Africans who were “Sherwood” Kelly VC CMG DSO awarded the Victoria Cross in the Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town South Africa. Also at the Imperial War Museum in the United Kingdom.


I first learnt about Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sherwood Kelly VC CMG DSO when I was asked by the High Commission of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in 2013 for a list of South Africans who were awarded the Victoria Cross during World War One. At the time I was the Secretary of 73


the South African Agency of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. My immediate reaction was to approach a friend who a year earlier was given the task of proof reading the 2013 Victoria Cross and George Cross Journal. The 14 names were given to the High Commission. I retired from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission early in 2014. During October 2014 I received an invitation to the unveiling of the commemorative plaque in the Castle of Good Hope on 11 November 2014. Soon after this I started writing a series of articles on the 14 men whose names appear on the plaque for the Facebook Page of the South African Legion of Military Veterans. It was when I had to do the story on Jack that I became more interested in his career. After I had written the third part of Jack’s story that I received a call from David Holmes, proud eldest grandson of “Skipper” Edward Charles Kelly MC who offered me the loan of the book “Undefeated: The Extraordinary Life and Death of Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sherwood Kelly VC, CMG, DSO by Philip Bujak. I am in debt to David Quotes because I was now able to fill the missing gaps in my story on one of South Africa’s great heroes of World War One. Captain Arthur Moore Lascelles VC MC 3rd Battalion The Durham Light Infantry, Attached 14th Battalion, 18th Brigade, 6th Division. Arthur Moore Lascelles, the son of John Lascelles and Mary Elizabeth Lascelles (nee Cotton) was born on 12 October 1880 in Wilby Lodge, Nightingale Lane, Streatham, London. Brother to Reginald George Lascelles. Arthur grew up in Wales where he attended Hillside School in Malvern, Uppingham School, University College of North Wales in Bangor and Edinburgh University where he studied medicine. In 1902, age 22, he emigrated to South Africa where he enlisted as a Trooper in the Cape Mounted Rifles on 11 August 1902 and by 1910 was promoted to Corporal. On the 1 April 1913 he was transferred to the 1st South African Mounted Riflemen with whom he saw service during the rebellion and the German South West African Campaign during 1914. Following the victory in the German South West African Campaign he was discharged on 10 October 1915 as a Quartermaster Sergeant. Captain Arthur Lascelles VC MC

In November 1915 Arthur returned to the United Kingdom where on 28 December 1915 he is commissioned as a Lieutenant in 3rd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. Over the period 01 January 74


to 03 February 1916 he attended the Officer Training Course in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. Following his officers training course he is attached to the 14th Durham Light Infantry on 16 July 1916 in France and Flanders. On 18 September 1916 he is wounded by shrapnel during the Battle of the Somme in France and is evacuated to the United Kingdom. Arthur returns to Flanders in Belgium in early 1917 and served with the 11th Durham Light Infantry from 06 February to 13 May 1917 before been transferred to the 14th Durham Light Infantry on 09 June 1917 as a Company Commander. During this period he is severely wounded in the head and arm. For his action on 15 June 1917 near Loos in France Arthur is awarded the Military Cross. On 20 July 1917 Arthur is promoted to Acting Captain. During the Battle of Cambrai, the German counter-attack which had begun on 30 November 1917 forced the British to withdraw from Masnieres on 1 December. The British then held a line across the Canal de St Quentin between Marcoing and Masnieres. There was heavy fighting here on 3 December in the course of which Acting Captain A. M. Lascelles distinguished himself. That night the British withdrew to the outskirts of Marcoing, which was itself to be abandoned in the following days as the Germans pushed west. Citation: For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty when in command of his company in a very exposed position. After a very heavy bombardment during which Captain Lascelles was wounded, the enemy attacked in strong force but was driven off, success being due to a great degree to the fine example set by this officer, who, refusing to allow his wound to be dressed, continued to encourage his men and organise the defence. Shortly afterwards the enemy The plaque in the Castle of Good Hope commemorating the 14 again attacked and captured the South Africans that were awarded the Victoria Cross during World trench, taking several of his men War One. prisoners. Captain Lascelles at once jumped on to the parapet and followed by the remainder of his company, 12 men only,



rushed across under very heavy machine-gun fire and drove over 60 of the enemy back, thereby saving a most critical situation. He was untiring in reorganising the position, but shortly afterwards the enemy again attacked and captured the trench and Captain Lascelles, who escaped later. The remarkable determination and gallantry of this officer in the course of operations, during which he received two further wounds, afforded an inspiring example to all. Following his act of bravery Arthur was evacuated back to the United Kingdom. Having lost the use of his right arm, Arthur once again volunteer for further active service during August 1918 and is attached to 3rd Battalion Durham Light Infantry and sent to the front. On 27 October 1918 Arthur is attached to the 15th Durham Light Infantry at Inchy France. On 07 November 1918, only 4 days before the end of the war, Arthur is killed during the attack on Limont-Fontaine, between Maubeuge in France and Charleroi in Belgium. Captain Arthur Moore Lascelles VC MC is buried in the Dourlers Communal Cemetery Extension in France. Apart from his headstone that reflects his VC, Captain Lascelles VC MC is also commemorated on a plaque at the Pennal Parish Church, on the family grave, on the Pennal War Memorial, on the University College of North Wales War Memorial, North Wales Heroes Memorial, Bangor, Carnarvon, Wales; on the University of Edinburgh War Memorial, Edinburgh, Scotland; VC memorial stone Durham Light Infantry Museum, the Book of Remembrance, Durham Cathedral, County Durham and on the plaque, presented by the British to honour the South Africans that were awarded the Victoria Cross during World War One, in the World War One corner of the Castle in Cape Town. His Victoria Cross investiture was by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 23 March 1918. His Victoria Cross is held at the Durham Light Infantry Museum in Durham City. On 07 December 1907 he marries Sophia (nee Hardiman) at Idutywa in the Transkei, South Africa. From this marriage a son is born who served in the Royal Artillery. His brother Second Lieutenant Reginald George Lascelles DSO Durham Light Infantry, served in the South African War (Anglo Boer War 1899 -1902), drowned Cannanore, Madras (now Chennai), India, 15 August 1904. Extract published with the kind permission of The VC and the GC, The Complete History, published by Methuen and The VC and GC Association in 2013. Photos of the Dourlers Communal Cemetery Extension from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.



OBITUARIES Father Mike (as he was generally known) would have been 95 on 15 November 2017. He was a Legionnaire and a MOTH for many years. He was Chairman of the Brakpan Branch for a number of years and is also a Life President of the branch. He was also the Old Bill of the Cosy Corner Shellhole for many years. Father Mike was a mentor to many Legionnaires and was a true gentleman who loved the annual Poppy Days. He was on ordained minister in the Anglican Church. Father Mike is survived by two children, Paul and Mary, and numerous grandchildren. Lgr A. Green – Brakpan Branch. Lgr M. Pearson – Brakpan. Lgr F. Lilford – Cape Town Branch. The late Father Mike

Lgr T. Vincer – Durban Branch.

Lgr F. Potgieter – East London. Lgr P. Waddington – Kimberley. Lgr B Sim – Pietermaritzburg Branch Lgr E. Grenfell – Pietermaritzburg Branch. Lgr D. Taylor – Pietermaritzburg Branch. Lgr F. Van Wyk – Pietermaritzburg Branch. Lgr I. Reid – Pietermaritzburg Branch. Lgr N. Laurie – Port Elizabeth Branch.



SA LEGION STRUCTURE Patron in Chief: President, Hon. Jacob C Zuma Springbok, the Journal of the South African Legion

Past Presidents for Life: Lgr Rodney W. Monthe Lgr Lawrie F. Poorter Lgr Jurie Van der Merwe Lgr Chris P.C. de B Venter

of Military Veterans, ISSN 2221-9854, is the responsibility of the Public Relations Portfolio. Edited by Lgr Charles Ross. Layout and typesetting by Lgr Godfrey Giles. Body text was set in Calibri 11 and headers in Calibri 12 bold. Printed using

Honorary Life Vice Presidents: Lgr Arthur Blake Lgr Lourens Human Lgr C. J. J. Jooste Lgr Basil Kriel

Nashua Printer, thanks to Nashua Central.

National Executive: National President: Lgr Godfrey Giles National Vice President: Lgr Brian Klopper National Secretary: Lgr Riana Van Zyl Venter National Treasurer: Lgr Steve Heiberg National Membership: Lgr Shadrack Sealome National Transformation: Lgr S. Nosenga National Gender: Lgr Mary-Ann Manetjie National Relief and Welfare: Lgr Brian Smith National Public Relations: Lgr Charles Ross Regional Chairmen: Central: Lgr Deon Bester Eastern Cape: Lgr Brian Klopper Kwa-Zulu Natal: Lgr Rick Andries Branches Adelaide Alexandria Atteridgeville Brakpan Bedford

East London Ennerdale-Orange Farm Graaff-Reinet Grahamstown Hermanus

Pietermaritzburg Port Alfred Port Elizabeth Pretoria Sedibeng


Bloemfontein Kimberley Botshabelo Cape Town Central Wits Durban

Kagiso Southern Cape King Williams Town Klerksdorp Kroonstad Lower South Coast

Soweto Strand Stuttereim UK & Europe Virtual

Springbok december 2017  
Springbok december 2017  

Half yearly newsletter of the South African Legion of Military Vetrans