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

No 4/2010 -  29 April

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Some thoughts for you:

"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...
They can't get away this time"
- Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC

A note from the editor:
It is worth reading a biography on Lt. Gen. Puller - He is the most highly decorated member of the United States Marine Corps and was awarded the Navy Cross 5 times

"In a man to man fight the winner is the one who puts an extra round in his magazine"
- Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

"A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future."
- General George Patton Jr

Events in The Regiment

27th March 2010 - Regimental Ball

The Annual Regimental Ball was held on the 27th March at the Bergvallei Country Estate, in the presence of Lieutenant, the Marquis of Tullibardine.

The event was a huge success, and once again the displays by our champion Pipe Band were a highlight of the evening.

Lt. The Marquis of Tullibardine Lord Bruce Murray and the Marchioness.
Lt. Col. Don Smythe JCD Officer Commanding The Transvaal Scottish and Mrs Jill Smythe. Lieutenant Terry King, Adjudant Transvaal Scottish.

The venue before the evening started

The piping in of the Haggis, carried on a silver platter by Sgt. Sean Hutchinson and piped in by Piper Jonathan Visser of The Transvaal Scottish Regimental Pipes and Drums.

The Pipes and Drums

Lt.Col. Don Smythe JCD killing the Haggis

A good party

A few of the comments received from those who attended;

“Just a brief note to extend our thanks for having us as guests to the ball.  You and your organising staff must be complimented on an exceptionally executed function...Charmaine and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening...The warm hospitality is always special and we were particularly touched by the gifts.”
"Lieutenant The Marquis of Tullibardine

"I would like to express my appreciation for the ball this last Saturday.  It was one of the best my wife and I have ever attended, and had a truly lovely evening”  J.H.

“Many thanks for a wonderful evening on Saturday. We enjoyed it and had a great time!”  S.C.

"The Pipe Band was amazingly good as always.  The detail of all the arrangements was particularly good.”  I.C.

“Thank you for a most memorable ball. I thought the …ball was good, but you guys know how to really entertain.  The pipers did it once again and the food was out of this world. Hope to be invited next year again.”  C & T C 

Karen Agenbag from Kay Photography attended our Regimental Ball and offered her services free of charge to photograph the evening’s events.  Please support her by ordering your prints at:   info@kayphotography.co.za


See some of the prints by clicking here

27th April 2010 - Children's Home

The WO's and Sgt's mess have "adopted" a Children's Home in Johannesburg. The home is a shelter and place of safety for 18 children in total, aged between 6 and 16.

On the 27th the children were treated to an outing at Maj. Ferguson's house. A jumping castle was arranged, lots of sweets and cold-drinks were available and the day ended off with a braai for the children. They all went home with a small selection of gifts and sweets, as well as two new soccer balls.

If there is anyone who feels they can help with donations - money - or anything in the line of clothes, linen, beds, mattresses - please contact our RSM, WO1 Deon Schoeman - 083-297-8301 or dschoeman@citypower.co.za

The Refurbishment of "The View" - an update from The Regimental Council - by Lt.Col. J. Findlay

The Transvaal Scottish Regimental Council received a grant from the Lotto in August 2008 which enabled us to completely refurbish the roof, the entire balcony (a major architectural attraction) was completely rebuilt to the original design and the entire electrical installation was upgraded and replaced. Other works that took place with this initial funding was the replacement of the kitchen floor and the installation of kitchen equipment designed to cater for 40 meals at a time. Finishing touches are still required in the kitchen as well as finalising crockery and kitchenware. Another project completed was the replacement of the aging sewerage system. The courtyard on the south side of the building was repaved and will be developed as an outdoor eating area with trees and shrubs to screen the neighbouring building.


In March this year the Transvaal Scottish Regimental Council was successful in getting an additional National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund grant that will enable us to completely refurbish the entire building. Some of the changes that will be coming to The View are the demolition of the southern conservatory (the Corporal's Mess) which will be replaced by a similar structure but more user friendly; a conservatory will be added to the downstairs balcony as in the 1910 and 1920's period; additional toilets will be built adjacent to those off the Officer's Mess; the entrance gates will be redesigned and electrified; the parade ground and the parking area will be excavated and rebuilt with a gravel surface and drainage; the garden will retain the present design but will be replanted; the field guns will be refurbished and have weather-proof housing in the garden.


The ViewWhat is also very exciting is that the interior of the building will be renovated to reflect the period of when it was first built. The wall paper that was badly damaged by the previous occupants is being restored, genuine period-style chandeliers will replace existing lighting, every room will be completely refurnished but will maintain the character for which it is used and all interior woodwork is being restored, including the replacement of the WOs and Sgts Mess floor. The fantastic murals in the entrance hall will be restored to their original glory.  The renovation of all the rooms is a good opportunity for the rearrangement of many of the museum displays and there will be an upgrading of many of these items as well.


We are taking this opportunity to install wiring so that TV and audio-visual presentations can be made in the Officer's Mess, the study, both rooms of the WOs and Sgts Mess, the board room and the Corporal's Mess. This will also enable viewing of Saturday afternoon sports.


At present the urgency is to get the ground floor restored and functional by the end of May - this is a very tight timeline. It is for this reason that the decision was taken to close The View. Once the ground floor is finished, work will then start on the first floor. All work being done is according to a conservation management plan that has been approved by the Provincial Heritage Authority of Gauteng.


Mobilizations, Shooting & Parades

Internationally in Africa
The Company is presently on standby in Bloemfontein. Issues of an international nature have delayed the departure of the company, and they are now scheduled to leave towards the middle of May.

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 as well as our Eastern Border. For many of the "older" members, this will be a return to many familiar haunts along the Limpopo River, and for those interested - we will be deploying in the Kruger National Park as well for the first time.

Evaluation Camp

The evaluation camp scheduled for the 23rd, 24th and 25th of April went ahead as planned. We unfortunately ran into some very bad weather which meant that the shooting evaluation had to be cancelled. We had torrential rain for most of the weekend which forced the activities indoors. We did manage to get a small amount of shooting done - but we by no means achieved our objectives. We did however do very valuable skills evaluations, as well as getting up to date with a lot of the outstanding personnel administration.


Pipe Band - please support them!

The band will next be competing on:
Saturday 1st May at the Amanzimtoti Gathering

The Regimental Pipes and Drums Competition Results: 24th April 2010, Jeppe Gathering

Grade 2 Overall

1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Drum Corps
1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Bass Section
1st MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue, 2nd Transvaal Scottish A, 3rd African Skye A

Grade 2 March, Strathspey & Reel

1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Ensemble Judge : Chris Macaulay
1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Piping Judge 1 : Andy Dippenaar
1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Piping Judge 2 : Robert du Toit
1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Drum Corps Judge : Gary Potter
1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Bass Section Judge : Peter Davidson
1st MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue, 2nd Transvaal Scottish A, 3rd African Skye A

Grade 2 Selection

1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue, 3rd African Skye A
Ensemble Judge : Ewen Gilchrist
1st MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue, 2nd Transvaal Scottish A, 3rd African Skye A
Piping Judge 1 : Robert du Toit
1st African Skye A, 2nd Transvaal Scottish A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Piping Judge 2 : David Harris
1st MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue, 2nd Transvaal Scottish A, 3rd African Skye A
Drum Corps Judge : Dave Jeffrey
1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue
Bass Section Judge : Lynne van den Berg
1st MacChamberlain's Richmond Avenue, 2nd African Skye A, 3rd Transvaal Scottish A

Drill, Dress & Discipline
1st Transvaal Scottish A, 2nd SA Irish, 3rd Lyttelton Manor

The venue of the gathering was changed from Jeppe Boys to Jeppe Girls school grounds at the last minute due to conflict with other activities at Jeppe Boys. The rain from the night before made the fields very wet and eventually the competition was held on the tarmac at the front of the Jeppe Girls school building. Being a typical day in Scotland (rain, overcast and cold), the competition went ahead with a smaller than normal spectator crowd, however, the gathering was very cosy. Hip flasks and excellent camaraderie within the Jocks pipe bands saw us take the lead at the beginning of the season with outstanding performances from the Transvaal Scottish Pipe Bands.

“Well done guys. This is the first step to even tighter and stronger performances from the Jocks this season. Stay focused and keep it up” said Pipe Major Craig Whitley 

Delville Wood Parade

The 18th July 2010 has the following provisional format:

12H00 - SA Legion and MOTHS Memorial Parade

13H15 - Lunch & 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 "medals" theme started in February, we now feature the ribbons awarded to
South African Defence Force members for the period 1975 to 2003, as well as some background to the
SADF gallantry award - The Honoris Crux.

The Honoris Crux

The Honoris Crux was instituted in 1952 as an award for gallantry. It was an award for all ranks of the UDF (later SADF) who "without thought of own safety and through personal courage and determination performed a gallant act or deed against the enemy in the field".

The original decoration was only awarded 5 times. In 1975 the award was upgraded and awarded in 4 classes namely the Honoris Crux Gold, The Honoris Crux Diamond, the Honoris Crux Silver, and the Honoris Crux.

The Honoris Crux Diamond
This medal was never awarded and the only one in existence is displayed in the
National Museum of Military History in Saxonwold, Johannesburg.

Footnote: The Castle of Good Hope Decoration was also never awarded


HC - First Issue

Honoris Crux Gold

Honoris Crux Silver

Honoris Crux

Number of awards made

Honoris Crux - First Issue - 5
Honoris Crux Diamond - 0
Honoris Crux Gold - with Bar - 1
Honoris Crux Gold - 6
Honoris Crux Silver - 27
Honoris Crux - 187
Posthumous Awards - 13

Capt. Arthur Walker (SAAF) - Honoris Crux Gold with Bar

Social Events

The Officer's Mess Dinner has now been finalised.
Date:   21st May 2010

Time:   19H00 for 19H30
Venue:   Inanda Country Club, Forrest Avenue, Inanda, Sandton
Dress:   Mess Dress or Black Tie with miniatures
Cost:   R260.00 per person
RSVP:   Maj. Sean Culhane
e-mail: sculhane@wbs.co.za
Cellular Phone: 082-453-1741

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

We have the 1st Honeydew Scouts on board again - they are promising an even bigger, better and more exciting Scouting display than last year.


It's Lekker to Live
in South Africa!

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!

The Transvaal Horse Artillery

On the 4th May 2010 the THA is hosting an open mess evening - everyone is welcome but please remember your dress code!

The annual SA Artillery Formation Open Day is to be held on the 28th August 2010 at 4 Artillery Regiment. This always a worthwhile event. Accommodation packages are being arranged - please contact Major Albert Pestana at albertp@sarimcorp.co.za for further information.

Military Trivia

NO ONE GOT IT! - Last months' question:

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 2 SAI based in Walvis Bay, South West Africa - now Namibia.

2 SAI was the only Battalion Group in the SADF - meaning that it had an Armour capability, as well as an Artillery capability. That is why on the Unit Flash you see three "Corps colours" - the Green and Black of the Infantry, the Red and Blue of the Artillery, and the Orange, White and Blue of Armour. To my knowledge - the only SADF/SANDF Unit Insignia incorporating 3 different Corps's.

This month's trivia:
Bell's Whisky has sponsored a bottle of Special Reserve as a prize:

Who wins? The answers sent in by 23H00 on the 10th May will be evaluated by myself and Lt. Col. Don Smythe  -and the most comprehensive complete answer will be awarded the prize. You can e-mail the answers to jhb.jocks@gmail.com - or you can enter online via this link.

Bell's Whisky asks that you do go to their home page  - http://www.bellswhisky.co.za - and sign up for free to their Fraternity of Connoisseurs club - special offers, weekends away, fly-fishing getaways and lots more!

It will also give you the answer to Question 5!



Question 1 - The SADF awarded the John Chard Medal as well as the John Chard Decoration. Who was John Chard?

Question 2 - This is the cap badge of a unit based in Mtubatuba. They are affiliated to a unit in the UK. Which unit and why?

Question 3 - Who is this famous Boer War leader?

Question 4 - What was this proficiency badge?

Question 5 - What Unit was this?

Question 6 - What do these two flashes have in common?

Question 7 - When speaking of Whisky - what does the word "Mash" refer to?
Question 8 - These are the Company Flashes of which unit?
Question 9 - This is the Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct issued by?
(Hint - they amalgamated with the SADF in 1994)

Question 10 - This is the ribbon for which South African medal? (No you won't find it on the display of SADF Medal Ribbons 1975 - 2003) No longer awarded.


A Bit of Interesting History: One of our Historical Connections
Some of the Heraldry Pertaining to Clan Murray
For interest - This page has Murray of Atholl tartan background,
The Quiz page has Murray of Tullibardine background

On The International Front

Some events that would be of interest of anyone travelling to Scotland in the near future.

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

18th July 2010 - Ashbourne Highland Gathering
7th and 8th August 2010 - Pipefest Global Challenge in Edinburgh

And a last thought:
"Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier."
-Samuel Johnson


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


Diederik van ‘t Hof





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


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