"The Friendly Red Hackle"
A Reasonably Irregular Communication from
The Transvaal Scottish Regiment

No 3/2010 -  12 March

To send us an e-Mail - Click Here

To view all the online editions of "The Friendly Red Hackle" - Click Here

Please join the "Transvaal Scottish Regiment" Facebook Group
Thought for the day:

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. "
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

And two more that I couldn't resist because General George Patton did have a way with words!

"Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way."
- General George Patton

“It is absurd to believe that soldiers who cannot be made to wear the proper uniform can be induced to move forward in battle. Officers who fail to perform their duty by correcting small violations and in enforcing proper conduct are incapable of leading.”
- General George Patton, April 1943

Events in The Regiment

Lecture - Please refer to General George Patton above!

Tuesday the 26th February saw senior members of The Regiment attending a lecture presented by Lt. Col F. Basson on the intricacies of the Military Law System. This was a real eye-opener for a lot of us and really put into perspective what really happens when you sign those volunteer papers. The lecture firstly focused on how to fill in a charge sheet, and then explored aspects of the most common transgressions. A real wake-up is that certain aspects of your constitutional rights fall away and are subservient to the Military Disciplinary System.

The Chief of the SANDF has given his full support to a much stricter interpretation of the law and a general upgrading of discipline.

Mobilizations, Shooting & Parades

Internationally in Africa
The Company has completed training in Bloemfontein and is currently on leave. They re-assemble later this month and will then deploy as part of the UN Peace Keeping effort in Africa. We wish them every success and a safe return.
Within South Africa
The Battalion has been tasked with providing personnel to do internal duties as well. The SANDF is taking over the role of Border Security from the South African Police Service later this year. The Transvaal Scottish will be deploying for a six-month period from October 2010 to March 2011 along our Northern Border. For many of the "older" members, this will be a return to many familiar haunts along the Limpopo River!
Evaluation Camp
All personnel to note: An evaluation camp has been scheduled for the 9th, 10th and 11th April 2010.

Report to: Bn HQ, 128 Langerman Drive, Kensington, Johannesburg
Time: 06H00

ALL MEMBERS currently on strength with the Battalion are to report for duty. This includes the band, shooting team and HQ personnel. Only those members on active service outside of the country are not required to report. The objective of this exercise is to get all personnel records up to date, check what kit is required (and what has been lost), as well as to do an evaluation of the standard of shooting in the Battalion.
Please make sure to bring all your banking details, personal details (e.g. Identity Document etc), as well as whatever military documents you may have.

Gold Cup
The Battalion sent a team to Bloemfontein for the annual Gold Cup Competition. While the team did not really feature too well in the shooting scores, it did give a real boost to those members who had before this date never shot a competition! There is a new motivation in the Battalion to resurrect the "Shooting Team" and come home with some medals next year.

The Reserve Force shoot was attended by over 500 participants.

We are looking for old members to re-join on a competitive basis or to help with instruction on the range.
Please contact:
Maj. D. van 't Hof - Phone 082-412-1830 or e-Mail
L/Cpl Alex McLean - Phone 082-440-9934

The evaluation camp  on the 9th, 10th and 11th April will also be used to identify a nucleus of 35 persons to form a new "shooting platoon". The intention is to train this squad in the art of marksmanship, and hopefully to start shooting competitively in the annual provincial league. This squad will then be used as instructors for the rest of the Battalion.


Pipe Band - please support them!

The Regimental Pipes and Drums are competing on the following dates:    
April 10th   100 Guineas Solo Piping Competition – Jocks pipers may be invited to compete
April 24th   Jeppe Gathering

Delville Wood Parade

The 18th July 2010 has the following provisional format:

12H00 - SA Legion and MOTHS Memorial Parade

13H15 - Lunch and Drinks available in the mess - Please pre-order at the bar in the Sgt's Mess - light menu available

15H00 - Transvaal Scottish Regimental Honours Day Medal Parade


Remembrance Day Parades (Provisional Dates)
7th November - Parktown Boys High School

14th November - Transvaal Scottish Regimental Remembrance Day Parade

14th November - KES (King Edwards School) Remembrance Day Parade


Sidi Rezegh Parade

21st November - Sidi Rezegh Parade


Continuing the theme stated last month, we now feature the medals and ribbons awarded to the Non-Statutory forces.

We feature here the medals awarded to members of
Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK)


We feature here the medals awarded to the members of
The Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (APLA)


..... and the associated Medal Ribbons

I would appreciate any information (or reference) as to the actual award criteria for these medals. In spite of extensive research I have been unable to find anything - please e-mail me here

Social Events

27th March 2010 - Regimental Ball - Click Here for details

The Annual Regimental Ball is being held on the 27th March at the Bergvallei Country Estate.

The event has almost sold out - there are 10 seats left - so those of you who have not paid for your tickets yet - no complaints if you are turned around at the door!

Bergvallei Country Lodge has some very reasonably priced accommodation available for those of you who may not want to drive home after the event.

Please contact the event co-ordinator Naomi Lewis at
e-Mail: naomi.fromthismoment@gmail.com or on cell phone: 084-811-3412

Or you can contact the Adjutant Lt. Terry King at
e-Mail: thehighlandmoon@gmail.com or on cell phone: 082-908-8184

2nd October 2010 - Regimental Open Day - SA IS LEKKER!

Those interested in having some exhibition space or wanting to take a tent please contact yours truly!

Please join us for a day of lekker Pap and Boerewors, lekker South African Music and Lekker Fun

For those of you in far-flung parts of the world and don't understand what LEKKER means, or what Boerewors is - click HERE


It's Lekker to Live
in South Africa!

Every Friday - Lunch at "The View"
The kitchen at "The View" has been refurbished and is completely operational. Fridays are rapidly becoming a weekly get-together again. There is a light menu available (not only on Fridays) - from Prego Rolls, Boerewors Rolls etc.

I tested the Prego Roll - and it's good! Please let's support "The View".

Every First Thursday of the month - Eisbein Club

On an informal note - the "Eisbein Club" has has now been in existence for over 20 years! An absolutely informal, unofficial and relaxed get-together every First Thursday of the month. It is for people who enjoy good food, good beer, good Jagermeister and good company, and who somewhere had a military connection (however vague that may be or have been!) The get together happens at:





Douglasdale Village, corner of Leslie Road and Douglas Drive, Douglasdale

From about 12H30. Wear a tie - or you get fined!
Every so often we even get a Piper to play - the expressions on the faces of the other clientele is something to see!

Last Months' Question: This medal was issued for the Boer War 1899 - 1902. Note the similarities in the colours on this ribbon and those on the current Medalje vir Troue Diens. Who knows who issued it, what it was called, why it was issued, and who was eligible?"


"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon"
Napoleon Bonaparte - 15 July 1815. To the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

Rhys Fitter gave the following very good and comprehensive answer:


The medal is called the Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst, and was instituted in 1920 by the Union of South Africa.  it was awarded to officers of the two former Boer Republics for distinguished service during the second Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902).


The medal has the arms of the Transvaal on one side and the arms of the Orange Free State on the other.  Recipients wore the medal with the appropriate arms showing. The medal is the Boer equivalent of the British DSO, and a total of 662 medals were issued. The post nominal letters DTD could also be used to indicate the recipients award. 


The Anglo-Boere Oorlog Medal was also issued with this medal.  The initiative of the medal was to recognise meritorious service of the former Boer officers serving in the United Defence Force, whose chests bore no ribbons, whilst those who had served on the side of the British had been given their rightful recognition. 



 13,751 medals were issued.

And now for this month:
What was it about this Unit of the SADF that made this badge (shoulder flash) unique amongst the Infantry Battalions? This was the flash worn by 2SAI based in Walvis Bay, South West Africa - now Namibia.

A Bit of Interesting History: One of our Historical Connections

Red Hackle DayThe origin of the wearing of the Red Hackle is uncertain. There is evidence that it was worn by the 42nd in North America in the 1770s, however a 19th Century tradition ascribes the award of the Red Hackle to an action at the battle of Geldermalsen in 1795 when the 11th Light Dragoons retreated, leaving two field guns for the French. The Black Watch promptly mounted an attack and recovered the guns.

It was for this action that the Red Hackle was allegedly awarded and on the King’s birthday on 4 June 1795, there was a parade at Royston in Hertfordshire, when a Red Hackle was given to every man on parade. It was not until 1822 that the Adjutant General issued an order, confirming that only The Black Watch would have the privilege of wearing the red “vulture feather” in their bonnets.

In 1919 the Central Committee of The Black Watch Association formalised the date on which the Regiment should celebrate “Red Hackle Day”.

The tradition remains and when ever the opportunity arises The Black Watch celebrate Red Hackle Day on 5 January or the nearest day to it.

On The International Front



The battalion returned from its demanding 7 month operational tour of Afghanistan in November 2009 having operated as the Regional Battlegroup (South), acting as the Divisional Commander’s strategic reserve.  The Commanding Officer said “The tour has been everything we expected it to be; challenging in every aspect, exhilarating  at times and professionally most rewarding. There have been many highs and the lowest of lows. Battlegroup air assaults, combined operations with Special Forces and leading and completing Op PANCHAI PARANG (PANTHER’S CLAW) are some of the highs but the loss of six NCOs and soldiers of the battlegroup cast a painful shadow over the tour”. 


On their return to Scotland and after a short break for leave the battalion carried out a series of Homecoming Parades in Aberfeldy, Forfar, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Dundee and Perth.  In each town and city the genuine show of warmth and pride shown by the local population demonstrated that The Black Watch is still an organisation that is respected and cared for.


The Battalion have a short period of rest and then begin the build up to another tour of Afghanistan in the autumn of 2011.


These stunning photos kindly supplied by the Headquarters, The Black Watch

Pte Wood - Op SARAK Dust!
An Appeal from the Black Watch Association - Stoke-on-Trent (Midlands) Branch

"Piper Ted"

We would like to introduce you to ‘PIPER TED’, which is our latest project. ‘Piper Ted’s’ ambition is to raise money, to purchase a Commemorative Bench, dedicated to past members of the Association.

Piper Ted’ is 25mm high (Approx 1”) and is made of enamel, with a Clutch fastener on the back. The colours are as you see them on the drawing. Each badge will cost £2.00. All the proceeds will initially go the purchasing of the bench which will be placed at the Longton Cricket Club, Stoke-on-Trent. The remaining money will be divided equally between the Branch’s Pipes & Drums Band, so that they can purchase new equipment for the band and to the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, at Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent.

You can order your ‘Piper Ted’ by e-mail to Alex Lackie:  sotbwa@virginmedia.com
We have calculated that orders of up to 12 badges, to be posted within the U.K. will cost £1.00, for the postage & packing. Orders over 12 badges, or orders from overseas, will have to be calculated on the destination.

29th May 2010 - The Annual Atholl Highlander's Parade at Blair Castle. Parade at 14H30.
30th May 2010 - The Annual Highland Gathering at Blair Castle

Heraldic Shield returns to Blair Castle

Blair Castle is delighted to announce a new acquisition which will join the many items in its collection relating to the Atholl Highlanders. A heraldic shield, which dates from 1839 and was used in a medieval-style tournament organised by the Earl of Eglinton at Eglinton Castle in Ayrshire, has now returned to Blair Castle. Lord Glenlyon (later the 6th Duke), attended the tournament as Knight of the Gael and took a group of over 60 Atholl men as his bodyguard. This brightly coloured shield was probably employed as a crest or motif mounted on a pole or tent to represent the presence of the Duke of Atholl. It depicts the Atholl coat of arms, with the stars representing "The Murrays", the checks on argent representing "The Stewarts" and the three legs representing the Isle of Man.

The shield will join other items from the Eglinton Tournament in the front hall and will form part of the castle's permanent exhibition. The shield came up for sale in 2009 as part of a collection of items relating to the Eglinton Tournament, including the knight's shields and a series of watercolours. James Knox organised the securing of the collection for the nation and the Blair Charitable Trust were delighted to have the chance to buy the original Atholl shield. Sarah Troughton, Trustee of the Blair Charitable Trust said “it is wonderful when there is a chance to reunite pieces of an historic collection. The Atholl shield is an exciting addition to the display of Eglinton Tournament armour at Blair Castle.”

The Eglington Tournament is a significant moment in Blair Castle's history as it marks the genesis of the Atholl Highlanders. Enjoying the extraordinary distinction of being the last remaining private army in Europe, the Atholl Highlanders have a long historic association with Blair Castle, from mounting guard for Queen Victoria's visit in 1844 to parading annually on the castle forecourt in the presence of its present colonel, the 11th Duke of Atholl.

This year's Atholl Highlanders Parade takes place on Saturday 29 May with the Atholl Gathering and Highland Games taking place on Sunday 30 May. For further information log on to www.blair-castle.co.uk.


Blair Castle is delighted to announce BBC ONE’s ever popular Sunday evening programme ANTIQUES ROADSHOW will be filming for its 33rd series at Blair Castle, on Thursday, 9th September, 2010. The doors open at 9.30 am and close at 4.30pm.  Entry is free.

Series Editor Simon Shaw says: “The team are all looking forward to visiting such a splendid venue as Blair Castle. It’s always exciting to see what will come to light on the day. We regularly see between 1500 and 2000 visitors on the day. Despite the high turnout everyone will get to see an expert.”

Some of Britain’s leading antiques and fine arts specialists will be on hand to offer free advice and valuations to visitors, who are invited to raid their attics and bring along their family heirlooms, household treasures and car boot bargains for inspection by the experts.

Sarah Troughton, Head Trustee of the Blair Charitable Trust said “The great variety of objects that appear on the Antiques Roadshow make this programme absolutely fascinating, I am delighted they have chosen to hold a show here.”

People with large pieces of furniture or other big items can send details and photographs of their objects to: ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, BBC, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR or e-mail them to: antiques.roadshow@bbc.co.uk.  It may be possible to arrange to look at the item in advance and organise transportation to the venue.

Blair Castle is also delighted to announce that it will feature in a programme about Duchess Kitty, the 8th Duchess of Atholl and Scotland’s first MP, soon to be aired on BBC2 Scotland.

The programme, due to be aired on 2 March at 7PM on BBC2 Scotland, is the about the remarkable life story of Duchess Kitty. The Duchess is the subject of a half hour programme by Elizabeth Quigley for BBC Scotland which illustrates her as one of the most forward-thinking and outspoken politicians of her day, her relentless campaign for political freedom against the backdrop of an increasingly totalitarian pre-war Europe caused widespread controversy. The programme shows a fascinating insight into a turbulent life lived through turbulent times.

Group Tours explaining the life story of Duchess Kitty are available at Blair Castle from £11 per person. The minimum fee payable for this tour is £132 for up to 12 people. The maximum number for this tour is 25 people.

The Blair Castle Tullibardine Restaurant provides refreshments for group visits. The restaurant seats up to 125 people and is open during the summer season from 10am until 5pm daily. The restaurant serves a range of meals and refreshments including hot meals, sandwiches, soups, salads and cakes. Breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon tea options are available. Picnic Lunches can also be supplied.

For further information log on to www.blair-castle.co.uk

And a last thought:
"An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy."
- Chairman Mao Zedong (Tse-tung)


Alba Nam Buadh - And wishing you all the best until next time


Diederik van ‘t Hof




The Transvaal Scottish Regimental Ball will be held on the 27th March 2010   For Information
19H00 for 19H30 at Bergvallei Country Estate   Click Here




Transvaal Scottish Regiment

Battalion Headquarters


Postal Address


Regimental Headquarters

The Garrison


P. O. Box 66283


The View

128 Langerman Drive




18 Ridge Road











(011) 417-6116




(011) 643-2961


The Electronic Version of
"The Friendly Red Hackle" is hosted with compliments by:
The Safari Guys and Touch Africa Safaris