Saturday, 12 May 2012

Cheetah Magazine October 1978

Cover1, Cover of Cheetah Magazine 1978 10

Chairman s Report
Pg1-1, RLI emblem

The RLI Association was formed in 1968 and since then it has achieved most of its aims and objectives. In principal these have been to establish a liaison between the Regiment ERE and ex-members, through the quarterly production of the "Newsletter and social functions.

"THE CHEETAH", the revised edition of the Report Newsletter maintaining contact with members of the Association, and displaying a new format, will now be in circulation throughout the Army, as in nearly every unit, there are ex-members of the Battalion, who are passing on their expertise gained during their tour with the Regiment.

A programme covering cocktail functions, social events and the popular "Bavarian Festival" has been planned for the year. It is our intention this year, to re-establish contact between ex-members of the Regiment.

It is at this point that we need your assistance to recruit those ex-members of the RLI, who may not be aware of the Association's function, increase membership and through the magazine, keep in contact with present and ex-members of the Battalion.

Please do not hesitate to contact us and all ERE members. We will need reports from the Commandos. Suggestions and other items of interest would be most welcome.


President: Col J. Salt
Chairman: Mr. R. VV. Watson
Vice Chairman: Mr. H. J. Springer
Secretary: Capt J. P. Bayley
Membership Secretary : Mr. B. Rushforth
Treasurer : Lt N. R. Neville
Members : Maj J. C. W. Aust - Capt A. C. Dace _ Capt D. P. Hobson - RSM K. Reid


October 1978 - Cheetah
Pg3-1, Header to Pg3
From the ex-CO.

Lt. Col. P. S. Rich DMM

Now that the axe has finally fallen and I have received my marching orders from the Battalion, Wally Watson asked me to produce a few lines as the outgoing Commanding Officer.

This is a task I find rather difficult. What does one write about on the eve of being posted out of the Green and Silver for the last time. There is little point in mouthing the obvious, one's pride in serving, the Battalion's record etc. etc. Anyone who wasn't proud to have served in the Regiment, particularly as its Commanding Officer, would be a complete idiot. Similarly the key position the RLI have won in the Army's order of battle needs no elaboration.

Four tours with the Regiment is a long time and has covered a fascinating period in our Country's history and seen many changes to the Army. From peaked hats, square bashing and Saturday morning parades and inspections to blue jeans, PT shorts and tackies. From weekly CO's conferences' to daily Order Groups. From the sound of drums and fifes to the din of transistor radios.

Having been kicked upstairs, it would have been nice to be able to look back and know that one had left some sort of mark on the Battalion. In my case alas, no new project will mark my going. The one innovation that I tried to produce was sabotaged from the outset by my disloyal and short
sighted sub unit commanders lead by that arch anarchist Spike Powell.

Having been a soldier since nineteen-footsack, I love the sound of bugle calls. Next to a well filled brandy glass, bliss to me are the sweet notes of retreat floating over a barracks and the sight of all inmates halted in their tracks and facing towards Headquarters as the Battalion flag is slowly lowered. This in fact is the only time that you can get the bolshie devils who make up the average Trooper to even look in that direction.

In a fit of nostalgia, I discussed the idea of forming a squad of buglers with the RSM. Being a highly disciplined, mature Warrant Officer and a man of considerable discernment, he wholeheartedly approved of the idea. A circular was therefore sent round the sub units, asking for volunteers.

Having gone through my military career, lurching from clanger to clanger and with an eye to possible repercussions from the corridors, I made it clear that these aspiring Frank Suttons should be volunteers in the true sense of the word and should be confined to Troopers who were not suitable for the rough and tumble of operations. Mental pictures of letters to the Editor in the daily papers signed "Troopie's Mum" and moaning that Willy who had joined up to fight the enemy was being forced to fray his lips on a bugle, haunted me.

With shouts of incredulous glee, by Commando Commanders scrabbled to off-load their worst problem children in the direction of Battalion Headquarters. Dads Army had nothing in it as the four lined up for inspection — one of whom showed all the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. To avoid bursting into uncontrollable tears, I will refrain from giving a blow by blow description of the sage of trying to produce buglers out of these reluctant volunteers. Suffice to say that the final outcome was that two went AWOL, one had a nervous breakdown and was subsequently discharged from the Army and the sole survivor was returned to his Commando as unsuitable, due to continually trying to blow through the wide end of his bugle.

Most of my time as Commanding Officer has been spent at JOC. As a result, although I have a good working knowledge of various Policemen, Intaf and Guard Force personnel, I am not too well known in the Battalion. Thus I am usually mistaken for the PWD rep if I am in plain clothes, or a visiting member of "Dads Army" if I am in uniform.

Two examples of this spring to mind. On one R & R, I was sitting in my office dressed in my immaculate Hatfield civvies, when one of our chefs, a gentleman of Iberian ex- traction, wondered in and abrubtly asked me if I had seen Bill. This flagrant trespass of what should be the holy of holies in the Battalion rather threw me, not to mention the sharp way the question was posed and coupled with the ommission of any form of Sir. In icy' tones, I intimated that not only was Bill completely unknown to me, even if he came from South of the Railway line I would be unlikely to let him lurk in my office. The chef gave me a long look, bent slightly to peer under my desk, presumably in case Bill was curled round my feet, and strolled out. I had a mental picture of how the scene might have been played if Brigadier Edwards had still been the CO!

The last example in the confessions of an incognito CO was the time I came in the back gate. On this occasion I was in uniform and in my staff car. Halting at the boom, the soldier on duty strolled out of the hut and after laboriously writing down the car number, sauntered round to my window and in a bored voice asked for my name. Somewhat nettled, I barked "the CO". Not. one whit put out, the guard said
"How do you spell it?", reducing me to a whimpering mass on the car floor.

The past two and a half years have been a rewarding if somewhat wearing time. Without a doubt, the Battalion is the finest I have served in and I count myself lucky to have been a part of it. I wish it and my successor Tufty Bate every good fortune in the times that lie ahead.

Report by MR. JOHN MOORE, 
Chairman of the RLI Regimental Association to the Annual General Meeting of the Association held at the RLI Barracks, Salisbury, on Friday, 6th May, 1978.

It is customary in the Chairman's report to annually review the Association's progress.

The past twelve months, whilst possibly the most traumatic in Rhodesia's history to date, proved to be the most successful for our Association.

Having served on the Executive Committee continuously since the Association's formation in 1968, I believe I am in a position to compare progress over the years and the steady improvement in membership and general activities over the past year have been quite remarkable.

The year under review saw the emergence of a regular  newsletter, for the first time in our short history. Here due credit must be paid to our President, Colonel Salt, who has always shared my belief that a regular newsletter to members is not only desirable but essential. It was Colonel Salt who readily accepted the unenviable task of obtaining news to make the publication successful.

With the emergence of Commando news in the most recent edition, there can be no doubt that the newsletter will now gain wider acceptance; it is perhaps significant that "Assegai" took its entire RLI contributions one month from our newsletter.

But if the newsletter proved to be important in maintaining our steady progress throughout the year, it was by no means the solo achievement.

The staging of functions and events is never an easy task, and so often the trials and tribulations accompanying the effort sour the enthusiasm of those keen, hard-working people who take on the responsibility. RSM Springer not only accepted my "invitation" to take on this responsibility but produced by far the best function ever staged by our Association. The "Bavarian Evening", with some five hundred people in attendance, was only one of the many examples. To Harry, I know his "reward" is to see a successful event, attended and enjoyed by members. It need hardly be pointed out that a well organised function, with hard work put into it but poorly supported, does us an enormous amount of harm.

I would continue to praise my Committee members in turn, for, whilst we have seen good Committees in the past, it is my opinion that the one elected at the last Annual General Meeting, has proved to be the most successful to date.

The Treasurer will report on the financial state of our Association. Here again, it will be seen that we have made quite major improvements in both membership and friends.

On the subject of finance, it should be mentioned that the suggestions of the then Battalion Second-in-Command, (now) Lt Col Brian Barret-Hamilton, helped to improve our income in several different ways. Firstly it was dec:ded to discontinue the practice of regarding all serving members of the Battalion automatically to be members of the Association: now everyone has to apply, and pay his annual subscription. Secondly, he diverted the "commission" on Insurance Policies taken out by members of the Battalion to the Association's coffers. Now he has suggested, and I support that a new "grade" of membership be offered — that of Affiliate Member. Such membership, he feels, would be available to good "friends" of the Battalion, for example, Liaison Officers. This suggestion will be discussed.

At the outset, I made mention of the fact that I have been closely conducted with the Association since its inception. Through this connection I have naturally maintained close links — links which I value — with the RLI itself. I have followed the careers of many through the years, and I am sure the meeting will join with me in extending my sincerest congratulations to the numerous new promotions and appointments recently made and which involve Vice Presidents and members of our Association. These are many and varied, but particular tribute should perhaps be afforded to the new Commander of Combined Operations, General Walls, the new Army Commander, Lt Genl Hickman, and the new Chief of Staff, Major-General Maclntyre.

The Prime Minister has spoken of the "incredible RLI". He was speaking of the Unit's famous fighting ability. A lesser realised factor, I believe, is the very important role the Battalion is playing to calm a potentially-jittery civilian population — simply by being here. The territorial Army has long looked up to the RLI as a shining example of what a fighting Unit is all about; the civilian population is comforted by the steadfastness and loyalty to our country, of the "Incredible

And so the Regimental Association moves into its tenth year; there can be no doubt in anyone's mind that the next twelve months will be the most trying in our history. I believe a stronger Association, in its own small way, has an important role to play. By your nominations and votes tonight the Association which we all value can only forge ahead.



C/Sgt Edwards A. F. S. from Sch of Inf, 1 February 1978.
W02 Wohlters A. R. to HQ 3 Bde, 31 March 1978.
C/Sgt Budd A. S., to 2 RAR, 10 May 1978.
Sgt Beeby S., to HQ 2 Bde, 1 June 1978.
Sgt Austen M. J., to Sch of Inf, 1 June 1978.
Sgt Jansen van Vuuren H. P., to Sch of Inf, 1 May 1978.
Sgt Peters P. W., to Selous Scouts, 1 June 1978.
C/Sgt Tayloe D. B., to Selous Scouts, 1 April 1978.
W02 De La Rue G., to DRR, 1 July 1978.

Lt B. E. Carton-Barber, fiom 1 RAR, 1 September 1978.
Capt M. K. Hardy, from Sch of Inf, 31 August 1978.
Maj B. Snelgar, from Sch of Inf, 1 May 1978.
Lt R. I. Stent, Attesting into Reg. Army from T.A.
Lt R. Carloni, Attesting into Reg. Army from T.A.
2 Lts R. Q. Graves; J. A. Scheepers; A. J. O. Macinteye; D. C. Greenhalgh; W. Furphy; G. Wehlberg; D. Rosenfels and D. Gifford — new Subalterns from Officer Cadet Course.

Lt J. R. Cronin, HQ Mid Dist, Tem Att posting, 1 September, 1978.
Lt J. Duploy, to 1 SAS Regt, 1 July 1978.
Capt I. Buttenshaw, to DRR, 1 May 1978.
Lt N St J. Jackson, to 1 (Indep) Coy RAR, 26 June 1978.
Lt I. Scott, to HQ 4 Bde, 1 September 1978.
Lt G. D. B. Murdoch, to Sch of Inf, 1 August 1978.
Lt J. M. Adams, to Sch of Inf, 1 April 1978.

Record of Service
19 December 1958 to 6 September 1959-
Assessment Course at Central African Command Training School.

7 September 1959 to 18 February 1960
Instructor DPR.

19 February 1960 to 1 May 1960
Parachute Evaluation Course.

2 May 1960 to 23 July 1964
Instructor DPR.

24 July 1964 to 20 December 1964
Drill Course, Guards Depot (All Arms Drill Wing), Pirbright. Platoon Wpns Course, Small Arms
School, Hythe. 

21 December 1964 to 3 January 1965
Instructor, DPR.

4 January 1965 to 30 June 1967
Instructor, S Inf.

1 July 1967 to 30 January 1969
CSM, 2 (Indep) Coy RR.

31 January 1969 to 30 June 1970

1 July 1970 to 1 August 1971

2 August to date of leave pending retirement—RSM, 1 RLI.

Continuous deployment of the Battalion since December 1972 has tended to have an adverse effect on Regimental spirit and tradition. Despite 4he obvious difficulties arising from such a situation, RSM Springer spared no effort to maintain and foster the spirit and high standards of professionalism so necessary in a regular battalion. He is now general manager of the Rhoguard Security Group.


726869 L Cpl Garnctt P. M. — 4 October 1977.

100055 Tpr Betts M. D. — 13 December 1977.

725838 Cpl Travers R. J. — 18 December 1977.

Lt P. M. Courtney (781130) — 24 December 1977.

727999 Tpr Quin G. D. — 30 December 1977.

728333 Tpr Le Vieux S. — 7 February 1978.

729674 Tpr Ellis M. D. — 3 March 1978.

728515 Tpr Battaglia F. P. — 6 March 1978.

111392 Tpr Zietsman A. I. — 11 May 1978.

2 Lt F. G. Falzoi (781236) — 12 June. 1978.

729601 Tpr Botes A. J. — 22 June 1978.


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There have been numerous changes in the Commando since the last newsletter. Major Henton- Jaaback D. M. M. has left for the dreaded "corridors" and the Commando welcomes Capt Fred "CAN'T SEE A PROBLEM" Watts the ex-adjutant as the new O.C. who was firmly blooded on his first night with the Commando by the occasional mortar bomb and rocket at Grand Reef. The Commando welcomes a new "subbie", Bob Graves. Congratulations on being awarded the sword of honour Bob. He has created a frightening precedent within the commando in that he has a University degree! — though at one stage the 1 Cdo subalterns had 12 years at varsity between them and not one degree.

Capt Pete Codyre has left for England and Lt 'Tall, blond and mature beyond his years" Mick Walters has taken over as 2I/C. Mick has become firmly ensconced in his "A" and "Q" job with large piles of empty files surrounding him at all times. The odd remark such as "what a beautiful filing cabinet" is heard to emanate from his desk.

Colour Sergeant Alan Gerrish has left to join the training team at Depot and the new CQ is an old 1 Commando member, C/Sgt Tony Edwards, who has wasted no time in getting onto a Para course. Welcome back Tony and hope this stay will be as long as the last one. Sgt Hennie Van Vuuren has been posted to Hooters, hopefully on a temp attachment.

On a domestic note congratulations to Cpl "Bludnutt" Vice on his marriage to Jane Wilson

The Commando has enjoyed a fair amount of success over the last couple of months. Last bush-trip we were just short of our record kill rate for one bush-trip. This bush-trip we are once again getting close. This sub-unit is curious as to how much the "LOVERS" paid a certain defence reporter to publish that they held the record kill for a bush-trip.

The Commando has seen a fair amount of good old Rhodesia recently. The convoy had an unscheduled stop for a couple of days when the 2I/C did not consult the rain goddess or take heed of flood warnings before taking a short cut. However, we are all together again and any reference to the Big Red Travelling Circus is not appreciated.

We were honoured by a visit from the Battalion 2I/C and the QM. No doubt to check whether their HQ is still being ruined by the Commandos.

Your comments BN HQ!

On a sadder note than usual we say cheers to 2/Lt "Fabeo" Falzoi who was killed in June. Fabeo was educated at St. George's College and went on to attain a degree in Entomology at Natal University in Pietermaritzburg. This completed he then joined the Regular Army, was commissioned at the beginning of this year, and commanded 4 Troop during his short stay in the Commando. Our condolences to his family and fiance.

Talking now of WO's and Senior NCO's, we bid farewell to CSM John De la Rue, recently posted to 3 Indep and Sgt Hennie van Vuuren to the School of Infantry.

The present shortage of sergeants in the Commando has, however, been somewhat alleviated by the arrival back, after a spell in the Selous Scouts, of Sgt Sty Taylor, and the making up of "Red" Kerr and Coenie Marneweck to that rank. Our congratulations to them both.

Our thanks must go to the good ladies of Gatooina who took it upon themselves to treat the whole of the "Big Red" to a luncheon at the Terraskane Hotel during last R & R. An excellent time was had by all and the hotel was also left intact.

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As is normally the case with a well run, efficient and organised Commando, nothing untoward has occured since the last Newsletter, except:

Major Haarhoff has decided to overcome the Army recruiting problem single-handed and has produced (with a little help from Mrs. Haarhoff) a son.

Tpr Du Plooy has also contributed to the future strength of 2 Commando with a son.

Congratulations and best wishes from the Commando.

Lt Bob Halkett has got engaged and we are told he does also intend to get married sometime.

Sgt Trevor Hodgson also decided that the time had come and is getting married in March. In an unprecedented show of generosity, Sgt Hodgson invited the entire Commando to his wedding. It was only after consulting the flow chart that we realised that he has cunningly decided to get married the day after we go back to the bush!

Firstly 2Lt Hamish Mclntyre fresh from the latest Cadet Course from S Inf. Welcome.  2Lt Mclntyre is taking over 6 Troop. Not only do we wish him luck but hope he is able to establish direct comms with God and C of S (Adm) to sort out his troop store!

Secondly, the latest bunch of five recruits from Training Troop. Good luck and enjoy yourselves.

2Lt Vernon Prinsloo, having qualified as a hot shot lover, drinker and man, has been posted to the "Heavies" — Support Commando. Thanks Vernon and good luck. Remember don't walk below Henry or you'll be in the what by you know who. To Support we say "watch out this man is
smooth" and Dawson trained to boot.

A number of the "Old Soldiers" have or are about to leave us. Among these are Cpl "Colonel" Godley, Tpr Mike Shipton, L/Cpl Jerry Doyle, L/Cpl Tommy Deetliffs. Many thanks for the good service. Good luck in civvy street and we'll see you back when you get tired of it.

Three of the five new recruits obviously had not got tired of civvy street and decided upon an unauthorised return to it. We should be seeing them again shortly, slightly thinner and with less hair!!

Last Newsletter's 2 Commando Notes. Apologies to Editor and Staff.

ACHIEVEMENTS (or non achievements)
Cpl Jimmy Swan, L Cpl Beep van Wyk (twice) and L Cpl Budgie Nicholson for reducing our standing with the CO and MTO and the number of serviceable vehicles.

The CSM and big Watson for qualifying as dispatchers.

The OC amongst others for becoming qualified parachutists.

Apart from the aforementioned, we continue.

"Life is meaningless" is rapidly developing into the new Commando motto after recent developments.

Besides trying to create a new — if not one sided — relationship with our counterparts the Fuzz, our last R and; R was not a happy time for the rugged assassins of the baby blue. Even our fantastic new Commando Bar (second only to the Hilton International) has had to be closed due to heavy flak created by a vicious bombardment from above.

Again it is time to say cheers to our National Servicemen — this time from intakes 156 and 157. They proved themselves a great asset "At the going down of the sun and in the morning we shall remember . . ." How can you forget a bunch like that!! Thank you all and good luck.

Lt Greave Murdoch leaves the Commando for Hooters where he will impart knowledge, wisdom and tall stories to new and impressionable cadets. And the best of British luck!

We welcome 2 Lt Wayne Furphy to the flock — and trust that he won't judge us from first impressions.

Lt Bob Hallet wishes it to be known that he is still in the Commando. (Mrs. Vascard take note re mess bills.) Bob has recently tied the knot — and to quote his own phrase "Good luck, mate"!!!

Sgt Fraser Brown has also lied the knot and got married in July. It was a wedding with a difference — his three brothers came from England for the occasion and were all dressed in their best Scots Guardsman uniforms, bearskins et al. We hope that the local newspaper will publish a picture of three Guardsmen all carrying handbags!!

2Lt Mike Rich has become a national TV star who finds life such a great challenge that he cannot wait to meet face on. Any officer we get as a result of this advert will be viewed with a fair degree of suspicion. Mike is going on the SAS Selection in the near future. Good luck. He assures us that his recently achieved fame and subsequent ribbing has nothing to do with his decision to join the SAS, only the fact that he will get paid more and be able to grow his hair longer.

The only bright spot of our last R & R was Mike Rich's 21st birthday party. This was held at the Officers' Mess and turned out to be a great party. Let's hope that the damage to his father's financial situation is not too great.

Finally, the Commando would like to bid farewell and welcome to COs and RSMs. To Col Rich congratulations on promotion and we hope we will see you in your new post. To the new CO, Lt Col Bate, congratulations and welcome. Cheers and good luck to RSM Springer and congratulations to RSM Reed.

Pg10-1, Header

In I960 it was derided for the first time to include a Regular European Battalion in the Army order of battle and as a result No. I Training Unit was established at Brady Barracks, Bulawayo. No. I Training Unit not only provided personnel for the Battalion, which was formed later, but also provided personnel for C Squadron, The Special Air Service, and the Selous Scouts a reconnaissance squadron

The 1st Battalion, The Rhodesian Light Infantry officially formed on 1st February, 1961. This day is now recognised as the Regimental Birthday.

In the latter part of 1961, the Battalion from Bulawayo to the new barracks in Salisbury, Cranborne Barracks, having just returned from operations on the Northern Rhodesia - Congo  border.

In 1964, the organisation and role of the Battalion was changed from the conventional infantry unit to a Commando Battalion. The wearing of the Green Beret was also introduced.

Colours were presented to the Battalion on 19th June, 1963, by the then Governor, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, K.G.M.C., O.B.E., on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

On 27th June, 1970, the Regimental Colour was trooped before the Prime Minister, The Honourable I. D. Smith, I.D.

Regimental traditions which form an important part of Battalion life, are gradually being built up. Two are noteworthy, namely the Regimental Quick March, "The Saints", and the mascot — the Cheetah.

For the past few years the Battalion has borne the brunt of border control operations in Mashonaland and has been engaged in numerous, most successful operations against terrorist gangs that have infiltrated into Rhodesia.

(a): To establish liaison between the Regiment, E.R.E. and ex-members.
(b): To nurture the traditions of the Regiment.
(c): To organise social functions for the re-union of all ex-RLI of all ex-RLI ERE, members
(d): To rehabilitate wounded ex-soldiers.
(e): To render guidance to members leaving the Regiment.
(f): To offer welfare assistance to widows.
(g): To assist with the Public Relations of the Regiment.
(h): To raise funds.
(i): To implement any projects which may, from time to time, be approved by the National Executive Committee.

Branches at;
Head Office:
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Pg13-1, Header 3 Commando

The Commando is now 100 percent para-trained including a "flying" doctor and a "flying" cook who incidently, has one operational descent to his credit.

Approximately twenty-five percent of the Commando are presently on various courses which will once again make "*The Lovers" the most highly qualified Commando in the Battalion; thank you, thank you.

Our good wishes accompany Cpl McCall who has entered into wedlock, and we console him with the admission of many a man before him that "A man can't always be happy — he has to get married sometime."

During the last month we have welcomed to the Commando Lt Carloni, Lt Dodgam and 2 Lts Scheepers and Greenhalgh. At the same time we bade farewell to Lt Adams who has been posted to "Hooters".

We congratulate Cpl Abbott on his promotion to Sgt, which now qualifies him, if for nothing else, to be the scapegoat of the Officers' and Senior NCOs' mess.

Towards the end of the last bush trip, after wandering aimlessly through the bush for about four days, Lt (Jug) Thornton contracted some ghastly disease which has rendered him absolutely useless to the Commando for the next two bush trips. We all, however, wish him a speedy recovery.

Due to an unfortunate reshuffle in the Bnt Lt J. R. Cranin has been appointed 2 I/C of the Commando, and although thirteen troop is undoubtedly relieved, this move has placed the Commando, as a whole, into a state of apprehensive shock, for reasons not published in these notes.

During our last R & R we held a Commando party, very ably organised by Cpl (Pudding) Hudson, at which we bade farewell to Maj Jerry Strong and welcomed our incoming OC Capt Ian Buttenshaw.

OC — Maj Bruce Snelgar recently arrived from Hooterville flushed with theory but now learning what real soldiering is all about. At present attending Len Mommson daily "grounch" pending attendance on the next para course; so standing all prospective OC Threes for the next NOTICAS and posting order. Capt Ian Buttershaw who held the reins for a short while, had the misfortune of breaking- a leg on his para course and is now serving with DRR whilst recovering from his injury.

2 I/C — Lt Jug Thornton, who not only holds the appointments of OC 14 In and acting 2 I/C 3 Cdo, but for the month of July he also commanded the Cdo whilst the CO learnt how to break a leg on para course. Who knows what this power crazy subbie will get command of next? To add insult to injury Jug has just completed his PPL and is often seen swotting up on a FAF commander's duties as well.

CSM/EQMS — Sgt. "Shrapnel" John Norman is standing in as chief whip as well as running the quartermaster mustard to custard echelons. Now fully recovered from his war wounds, although he has been seen to break out in a cold sweat when- ever in the close proximity of a "K" lav.

OC 11 Tp — 2 Lt Fabian Forbes is now a fully qualified "Mangwanani specialist" having attended the local language course and is at present getting up to date on all current Malayian and Korean training techniques on a "Snoogle Boogie" course under Maj Daines (Chief Snoogle Boogie).

OC 12 Tp — 2 Lt Dave Greenhalgh still recovering from his cadetship at Hootervillc is now beginning to realise that there are a few basic differences between the Infantry Platoon in battle and our current modus operandi.

OC 13 Tp — 2 Lt Andre Scheepers also new from cadet course is presently baffling all doctors with his rapid recovery from battle wounds and having now experienced his umpteenth skin graft, is looking for skin donors — prospective female donors please apply direct to OC 13 Tp. With luck Andre will be operational again in the very near future.

OC 14 Tp — That power crazy Subbie Thornton who has temporarily relinquished this appointment to 2 Lt Gavin Wehlburg — a national service officer who was fortunate enough to be posted to the Lovers. Gavin is presently learning how to exit from moving aircraft in flight.

OC 15 Tp — Lt Roger Carloni BCR, now a regular officer having served with 3 (Indep) Coy RAR as a national serviceman. Roger had the task of knocking the newly formed troop into shape and their nickname "F Troop" bares no resemblence on their performance in the field. Roger has introduced rum, spaghetti and Gwedos to the Cdo, not to mention his rare ability to tell jokes without providing a punch line.

Tp Sgts — 2 I/C 11 Tp is that reject from Andrew Fleming (Sgt John Coleman), now fully recovered from his war wounds, but still getting personal attention on R & R from the hospital staff who have voluntarily offered to work all hours of the night. 2 I/C 12 Tp is the newlv promoted Sgt "The Fonz" Coon, well renowned for his Queens English, exemplary manners and diplomacy with the WVS at Mtoko. Sgt Coon will soon be engracing Hooterville with his presence on a long tactics course. 2 I/C 13 Tp is Sgt "Lightie'' Taylor who is shortly to attempt the Selous Scouts selection and of late has been seen rubbing concoctions onto his chin in order to introduce some hair growth. 2 I/C 14 Tp, Sgt Paul Abbot ex Green Jackets, The Legion, Gwedo's and Tramps, is now swopping mercenary stones/brandy on a Snoogle Boogie Course. 2 I/C 15 Tp, Sgt "Hook'' de Boux, who is dependent about everything including his own despondency is still unquotable on RWS Attributes and race relations.

Our ex-CSM Ken Reed has now been promoted to WO1 and appointed RSM 1 RLI and it was pleasing to note that even the battle hardened strike force knew where to look for true talent. Naturally we are sorry to lose him but are proud that a lover was chosen for that esteemed position. Good luck RSM and remember where your loyalties lie on the parade square.

Capt John "The Yank" Cronin who served and fought with the lovers has now been posted to the staff of JOC Grapple. We wish him luck in his new appointment.

The members of National Service Intake 156 are leaving after long and creditable service with the Cdo. Civvie Street will not hear of all the good deeds and hard fought battles, but certainly the Lovers will remember and we wish you all well in your chosen careers. When the dust has settled and you have sampled that boring, humdrum life of a civilian, then don't hesitate to come back and attempt our selection course for reintroduction to the Cdo.

Congratulations go to Cpl Gibson and L Cpl Cocks on their forthcoming marriages and for trading in bachelorhood for In-laws and hire-purchase firms. It must have taken some appreciation to settle on that course of action!

Welcomes to the following new members of 3 Cdo. Cpl Wandel, Tprs Serfontein, Clarke, Benz, Bezuidenhout and Weaver. Hope they are able to live up to the traditions of the Lovers.

Cpl Harris is now back with us having volunteered for every available course. L Cpl Condon is about to set a record by completing one full bush trip and L Cpl Warren is still trying to live down the scandel of his outing in town when he earned the alias of "Spud". Cpl Bob Smith's taxi beating routine narrowly avoided him from receiving a third tape. L Cpl McCall is now a proud father and having just qualified as a dispatcher is no doubt teaching his babe siderights of the cat. Good-byes go to Tprs Schellevant and Bertolin who have gone AWOL — up theirs! Cpl Hughes is mentioned for his viscious attack on an innocent, unsuspecting goal keeper with his glass jaw. Tpr "Flex" Nicholls, who flexed his muscles once too often and ripped the tendons from his heel to his knee whilst attempting to stop the 14 Tp thug Budgie Holmes from gaining possession of a soccer ball. L Cpl Kidd, giving demonstrations of pugilism to members of a civilian establishment and being interrupted by an overkeen participant planting his size 12 on L Cpl Kidd's jaw. Tpi Bolton Smith on attempting to prove that a 34-year-old is just as capable on a PTI course as the rest.

Since our last newsletter, a lot of water has passed under the bridge with few highlights of any significance.

In November the Commando bid farewell to Capt Ian Ruttenshaw on his posting to 3 Commando, and Lt Mike Webb who wai posted to HQ 1 Brigade. We however mentioned an old support Commando stalwart, Alan Shaw, as the new 2 I/C. Also joining us was Lt Dick Stent, who finally dropped out from university and signed on as a regular.

The Commando office block and new Armoury are almost complete and numerous improvements to the pub are well in hand, which will considerably enhance the appearance of the lines.

Captain Pete Farridell has presented a magnificent shooting trophy in memory of Tpr Dave Barclay which will be competed for on the 17th March. This is to be followed by a "beerfest" and presentation in true Support Commando style.

They say winter makes people stay in bed. Sgt's Kruger and van Vuuren are now waiting for their new arrivals which should be with us shortly.

Although we hate to say it we are sorry to see Intake 156 and 157 leaving us. We hope to see them back in the Commando pub soon.

The shortage of men in the Commando has led to our slightly overweight 2 IC joining the sticks. He was a member of the para sticks for a couple of days and then made the excuse that he had some important admin to do. (He was last seen lying on his bed reading porn.)

Speaking about parachuting, the Commando has had some hair-raising jumps recently. Lt Prinsloo's stick was dropped at the all time low of 200 ft. The moral was about the same! Lt Prinsloo has the tremendous luck of being dropped low 'every time he goes out. Recently when asked where his bush pay goes he mumbled something about paying his stick to work under him!

Our Grand Reef bush trip turned into a fiasco in the last two weeks. (Night life that is.) OC Support Commando found a Land Rover inside his tent, didn't see the funny side of it (which Lts Prinsloo and Willar did), and drove a staff car over their tent. The CSM returned home one night to find Menvy the Eagle snuggled warmly into his bed along with a motor bike. He, too, didn't see the funny side of it and C/Sgt Enslin and Lt Willar didn't really sleep all that well that night! (We do some operational work out there as well, funnily enough.) The young ladies of Umtali are sorry to see "Log" and the "Grand Reef Grappler" leave.

Recce-Troop have just completed their tracking course. The QM will be happy to know they don't eat normal rations anymore. Such delicacies as snake on toast and eyeball a la kudu are now on their menu.

Lt "Action" Jackson was posted from the Commando recently and has gone to the place where the "trees are green and the mountains are not high" (Victoria Falls).

Well, to finish off, we will say congratulations to the faT men of "Bunter Troop" on winning the Inter Troop Tug ol War.


Pg17-1, Header

EARLY January of this year saw the inception of what has become one of tne most dreadful fighting units in the Rhodesian Army. Leda by Major George Walsh, an intrepid band of steely-eyed QM soldiers was briefed to engage with the enemy under the nom de plume of STRIKE FORCE.

WITH the initial briefing over, things moved with lightning speed, the whole of RLI (Rear) being mobilised to assist in the protection and clandestine role of the new unit. Previously unheard of characters emerged from gloomy places or were dug up from under rocks, ration boxes and old radios to swell the numbers. People like the RQMS and RSO were seen furtively cleaning and sharpening rusty bayonets and practising holding them tightly between teeth; the doctors became adept at the quick draw, using low-slung revolvers of dubious calibre (doctor Webster, the man with no name, has even been clenching cigars in his teeth); the MTO, apart from his daily truck-breaking session, could be found on the range desperately trying to improve his woefully low standard of marksmanship; in short, the cogs began to turn.

BEFORE the unit was deployed, whole days were spent in training the men to peak of battle perfection. Time and time again rations were loaded and unloaded, until it became automatic. Stores were left unattended so that the art of "borrowing" could be developed. Tyres were inflated and de- flated until wheel repair was second nature. The call "99 this is 0" could be heard morning, noon and night just so that there would be no mistake. Tempers and garments frayed readily in the process but were accepted as inevitable casualties . . . God it was hard.

Eventually all was ready, vehicles packed, men and equipment packed aboard, the tension as palpable as ice until the CO, standing erect in his staff car with binoculars glued to his eyes, signalled to the column to depart with his historic and emotion-charged, never-to-be-forgotten quote "Send it", now immortalised in the Latin phrase Mittat id.

THIS inspired call to arms did not go unheeded — every vehicle embarked upon the journey which ended when the first destination was reached. Here was trouble!

WITH little delay Maj Walsh embarked upon a recce in a helicopter to stir up trouble and was rewarded when, by exposing parts of himself as bait, he drew enemy fire. So quick was his reply, so effective his training that he was able to hurl back four toilet rolls, two H-packs and a packet of partly eaten dog biscuits before the aircraft landed. By the time the reaction stick of Commandos (the only weak link in an otherwise solid chain) had arrived it was virtually all over, the CTs having fled in the face of such a furious attack.

THIS initial success boded well for the future and this was amply borne out when the IO arrived, just one week after everyone else. He claimed to have been indisposed with family trouble but reliable intelligence indicates that he had forgotten where to go. However, things were moving quickly, particularly the CTs, and the QM strike force was hard pressed to keep up. It was now that the training came into its own. Smooth ration resupply, lots of toilet paper, plenty of signals, all these things played their part in the slog against the enemy.

THE clandestine disguise adopted by strike force was never better demonstrated than one evening when various members sidled into a local club for an evening and one elderly lady was heard to remark, "Oh, those must be the HQ wankers!" Hearing that, Maj Walsh knew that all was well — the cover was. effective.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of strike force has been seriously impaired by the necessary
inclusion of field soldiers for odd tasks in the bush such as patrolling, sweeping, fire force work and other mundane work. This has, however, provided moments of light relief. For instance, an RAR callsign was contacted at extreme range by a group of Intaf details who had been in the process of recovering a bogged-down vehicle. They enthusiastically fired off one round before bomb-shelling and such is their skill that they have not been heard of since.

SINCE the initial deployment there has been much moving around and this has not been without its hardships. At one stage the main body was separated from the tac HQ for three days because of a swollen river. This meant that there was not a single cold drink to be had at tac HQ that whole time. Again training played its part, enabling the whole horrifying ordeal to be shrugged off with a light laugh. Even deployments were only marginally affected by it, a mere platoon of men being kept on standby to supply the necessary muscle power to keep the hand-driven cooler in operation.

THIS then is the ongoing saga of Strike Force, a force in the great tradition and not one to be trifled with. Remember this when next there is a problem in your area and sleep soundly in your bed, knowing you are safe.

(C.N. Naude) 2Lt

The IRA airforce was having teething troubles with its parachutes. "Don't pull the cord till you're ten feet off the ground," said the instructor. "What if it doesn't open?" asked a nervous O'Leary. "You can jump ten feet can't you?"
Shamus appeared before the court accused of stealing a shirt from a large store. The magistrates were not completely convinced of his guilt and told him that he was acquitted. "Acquitted?" repeated Shamus. "Does that mean I can keep the shirt?"
Cohen and Fynn, both shoemakers of note, were forever in competition. One day, much to his amazement, Fynn had the local rabbi come in to have his shoes repaired. Flaunting his success, he put a large sign in his window reading. "Cobblers to the rabbi." Not to be outdone, Cohen replied with a sign of his own ". . . to the Pope."
Sean's given up water skiing — he can't find a sloping lake.
Paddy finally won a fortune on the pools and began spending money frantically in all directions. One of hisgreatest joys was inviting cronies around to view his sumptuous estate. "Come and see the grounds he boasted to one of them, "I'll show you my three swimming pools."
"Three pools!" .said Sean. "Isn't that a bit unnecessary?"
It is not! One is for people who like hot water and another for people who like cold water."
"I can understand that," said Scan, "but what about the third one? That's empty."
"Ah", said Paddy, 'Ive got a lot of friends that can't swim."
The ventriloquist was deep into his act and included a few anti-Irish jokes. Shamus got upset. "If yez say one more thing about the Irish being stupid oi'll kill yez," he announced.
"I'm terribly sorry . . ." started the ventriloquist, but Shamus interrupted. "I'im not talking to ye, I'im talkin' to the little fellow on yer knee."
* * *
Michael wanted to blow up the BE2 but he couldn't get his mouth round the funnel.
* * *
Connolly, suspected of rape, was lined up in the identification parade. As the victim was brought in he leapt excitedly out of the line. "Dat's her, dat's the woman."
Murphy and Kelly were bitter rivals, so an angel was sent to pacify Murphy, and decided on the psychological approach.
"To cure you," he said, "the good Lord has promised you one of anything in the world if you'll let Kelly have two of them."
"So if I win the lottery, Kelly wins twice?"
"That's right."
"And if I have a bottle of whisky, Kelly has two?"
"That's right."
"Mmm, I'll have a glass eye."
Michael walked into the bank, .confident that no-one would know he was Irish after his elocution lessons. "Hand over the money," he intoned faultlessly. The clerk grinned.
"You're Irish aren't you?" "And what makes you think that?"
"You've sawn the wrong end off your shotgun."
Which probably goes to explain why Guiness bottles have "open other end", stamped on the bottom.
Rumour has it that they didn't have the Nativity in Ireland because they couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.
Paddy passed the police station and his attention was drawn to a large poster outside, "Englishman wanted for rope". He promptly went inside to find out why the English got all the best jobs.
** *
How many Irishmen does it take to change a light bulb?
Just three. One to hold the bulb and two to turn the table.
The Lord of the manor was ecstatic when he brought down two grouse with his first shot. 
"Did you see that! " he shouted to his Irish beater.
Paddy was not impressed.
"Sure and it was the waste of a shot. The fall would have killed them anyway."
"Look at that dead seagull, Shamus."
"Where?" said Shamus, looking up.
The Irish National water polo team has cancelled all engagements for the rest of the season. Twelve horses have drowned already.
Sean was discovered kicking the lions at the foot of Nelson's column because they wouldn't go into the water to fetch his stick.
Shamus and Paddy were ambling down the road, halfheartedly looking for work. It was Shamus who noticcd the sign first; "Three fellers wanted" and turned to Paddy. "Now isn't that just our luck that there's only the two of us."
Flynn O'Flynn, the IRA's latest recruit, had been told to wait ten seconds after extracting the pin, then throw the grenade. Not having a watch he was told to count to ten, slowly. On his first live run he carefully removed the pin, counted the lingers on his left hand, then put the grenade between his legs , so he could get to his other fingers more easily . . .
** *
Then there was Sean, who hijacked a submarine and asked for $10000 and a parachute.
Nonetheless the Irish are an inventive race; they've just produced a parachute that opens on impact.
* **
Flannagan walked into the bar with a granade in each ear and Mick was justifiably curious. "For why have you got grenades in yez ears Flannagan?" "You know Murphy keeps belting me round the head?" "1 do." "Well, the next time he tries it I'll blow his hands off."

(Please complete and return soonest)

I would be interested in the following events. Please count me in!

Pg19-1, Questio




Tel. No. ..................................

30, Saturday 6-8 pjm. Cocktail Part , Jameson Hotel.
11, Wednesday, 12.30 p.m. Business Luncheon Details to follow.
28, Saturday, Bavarian Evening. Details to follow.
25, Saturday, Braai Social. Details to follow
Please diarise these events and give them your full support — this is your Association, Help us keep it that way.

Pg19-2, Jokes

Cover Back 1, Back COver

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Extracted, OCR and recompile completed by Eddy Norris for use on the "Our Rhodesian Heritage" blog.

Comments are welcome - contact Eddy Norris on


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