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

No 7/2010 -  11 November 2010

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Don't forget the  11th June 2011 - The Regimental Ball

"Give me 20 divisions American soldiers and I will breach Europe. Give me 15 consisting of Englishmen, and I will advance to the borders of Berlin. Give me two divisions of those marvellous fighting Boers and I will remove Germany from the face of the earth."
Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, Commander of the Allied forces during WWII.

From the Editor:

This day is especially poignant to those of us still in uniform, as well as to legions of veterans who have gone before us - some of whom never came back. It is not about who you fought for, or in what uniform - we remember all who served - and give thanks to those who gave their lives and tomorrows for the freedoms that we enjoy today.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Poem by John McRae

"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae is popularly believed to have written it on 3 May 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.

From the Editor - Can Anyone Help?

As a small project I am trying to get the cap badges of all the regiments who wore/wear the Red Hackle. At this point I have naturally the badges of the Transvaal Scottish, a very poor copy of one from The Black Watch (RHR), and one from The 51st Highlanders (3BW).

Bill Carlisle from the Toronto Black Watch Association has very kindly sent me a badge from the Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (beautiful piece of work!), and Siegfried Mehlitz sent me the shoulder flashes of the regiment - both pre and post WW2. Rest assured - they will be displayed with pride!

I am struggling to get into contact with the relevant people/associations in Australia and New Zealand - even e-mails to the relevant government departments have not worked - can anyone help? A collection badges of all 6 regiments would truly be a good piece for any museum or mess.

I will be happy to swap out badges with anyone who can help.

The collection will be mounted, framed and presented to our Museum.

Please reply to transvaal-scottish@mantisweb.co.za

Events in The Regiment

Regimental Council:

“War is not glorious. It is not glamorous. It is not noble. It is in fact vicious, destructive and debilitating. However, it calls on committed, honourable, upright young men and women to stand up and be counted. Men that are prepared to make sacrifices of family, work, leisure and many, far too many, even make the ultimate sacrifice in offering their lives to serve.

It is that time of year that we remember all those who have served - irrespective of where, when and for whom. They have made the commitment and the sacrifices and deserve our extreme gratitude and an immovable place in our memories. We will remember them….”

From Lt.Col. A.J. Becker - Chairman of the Transvaal Scottish Regimental Council

The Restoration of "The View" and the Regimental Open Day

The work at The View is nearing completion on the ground floor, and was opened for the first time for our Regimental Open Day on the 10th October. Attendance was a bit disappointing, but overall the objectives of the day were achieved. The unit recruited new members, the URTP got some more bodies and several people joined or re-joined our Regimental Association. For the Scouts - again some new recruits and the fund-raising went well.

The bar at The View was well used, the band had some great performances - so overall it was a great day.


Phase 2 of the project - the upstairs and Regimental Museum will now commence, and the planning is that this will be completed by April 2011.


Mobilizations, Shooting & Parades

Internationally in Africa - Alpha Company
The company has returned from the Sudan and has been demobilised.
Within South Africa - Bravo Company
B Company is still on active duty patrolling our eastern border.

Within the Urban Environment - Charlie Company
C Company successfully recruited some new members at the Open Day - we now wait for the paperwork to be completed

Well done to the Pipes and Drums of The Transvaal Scottish
Winners Overall for 2010
Winners Best Drum Corps
Winner Best Drum Major

Remembrance Day Parades
14th November - Transvaal Scottish Remembrance Day Church Service - 08H30 for 09H00 - St. James's Church, Bedfordview

14th November - Transvaal Scottish Regimental Remembrance Day Parade - 11H00 at The View

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

  • 10H00 Form up, inspection, March on the Colour

  • 11H00 Parade

Sidi Rezegh Parade

21st November - Sidi Rezegh Parade


"The number of medals on an officer's breast varies in inverse proportion to the square of the distance of his duties from the front line."
 -Charles Edward Montague

In keeping with the theme for November we feature the "Inter-Allied Victory Medal" for WW1.

An interesting medal - not only in the numbers that were issued - in total across 15 nations, 14,675,000+ medals were awarded. All the medal ribbons were the same, and in principle the actual medals were the same design:

Description; - Bronze, 36mm diameter with a gilt finish. Suspension by means of a 14mm free ring and olive.
Obverse: The standing figure of Victory holding a palm.
Reverse:  Within a wreath the Inscription 'THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914 - 1919'.
South Africa Produced an English / Afrikaans bi-lingual version with the Additional inscription 'DE GROTE OORLOG VOOR DE BESCHAVING 1914 - 1919'

To qualify for the Victory medal one had to be mobilised in any service and have entered a theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Women qualified for this and the earlier two medals, for service in nursing homes and other auxiliary forces.

1914 - 1919 on the medal but the the eventual award period was 1914 -1920 (4th Aug 1914 - 1st July 1920 - to include members of the British Naval mission to Russia 1919 - 1920 and for mine clearance in the North Sea between 11 November 1918 and 30 November 1919.)
The New Zealanders in true antipodean style named theirs the reverse way.


Upcoming Social Events

Transvaal Scottish Annual Officers Mess Dinner - Friday April 15, 2011
The date has been set - the venue still to be advised.

Transvaal Scottish Annual Regimental Ball - Saturday June 11, 2011
The annual Transvaal Scottish Regimental Ball is to be held:  
Place: The Wanderers Club
Address: 21 North Street

Time: 18H30 for 19H00
Cost: R260.00 per person
If booked and paid by 31/01/2011

R285.00 per person
If booked and paid by 30/04/2011

R360.00 per person for late bookings

Bookings: transvaal-scottish-ball@mantisweb.co.za
Accommodation: Spend the night of 11th June 2011 at the
for only R475.00 per person sharing B&B
That is over R200.00 per person discount!

The Draw for our combined Open Day / Regimental Ball sponsored prize will be held at this event.  
Two nights' stay for 8 people at Serolo Luxury Tent Camp in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana - valued at over R10,000.00. Accommodation, game drives and walks included.
(Prize is on self-catering basis)

Tickets cost R50.00 per entry - or three for R100.00 - e-Mail to buy

Transvaal Scottish Gathering - Saturday June 25, 2011

The Transvaal Scottish is hosting one of the "graded" Pipe Band competitions in 2011. The arrangements are still in the planning stage - so the venue has not yet been finalised. But put it into your diaries NOW! It is going to be a great day.

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 Club has (eventually) produced a new tie - Jagermeister features on it! - probably because the production needs to increase for every 1st Thursday!

Click Here - to e-mail an order if you are interested.


Last Months' Military Trivia

This was the unit flash for the School of Engineers based in Kroonstad.

Isaak Stins of the Wits Rifles correctly identified it,
Mark Algar got Engineers in Kroonstad,
and Yvette Thompson got as far as Engineers

This Months' Military Trivia - Just for Fun

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - 1918

At this time the armistice, signed several hours before in French Marshall Ferdinand Foch's railway carriage, took effect between the Allies and the Central Powers bringing the First World War to an end.

The costs of the war were staggering:
An estimated 65 million people were mobilised during the war
8,5 million of these died
21 million had been wounded
8 million were being held prisoner when the war ended
6 million civilians also died

Now for the question: In addition to the individuals who died in the war - 4 imperial dynasties also perished during or in the aftermath of the chaos thereby changing forever the face of European politics - who were they?

e-Mail your answers here

Some odds and sods sent in to me:
With thanks to Atholie Cumming:

There are going to be quite a few of us seeing these over the next month, so some very relevant input. Atholie - I really enjoy your communications - keep them coming, as I'm sure that other readers also enjoy your knowledge and interest.

Hello Diederik,


Here are pictures of the two stained glass windows that are mounted on the wall in St James in Bedford View and a little background how they got there.


Picture Left: has a history of narrow escape from permanent destruction and loss. The window was housed in the original St George's Church close to the Railway line off Twist Street in Johannesburg. When St George's was relocated to Wolmarans Street, this window was moved and housed in the new Church Building in the middle 1960's. In the late 1990's there were to be changes to the structure to the Church. This window had to go and be destroyed. This window was not wanted as it was from the Apartheid...is not true as it commemorated the Jocks who never came back in 1914-1918 (in South West Africa, in East Africa and Cyrenica and France), 1922 on the Rand, and in 1939 to 1945 (East Africa, North Africa and Italy).


The Reverend Gregg from Fairview advised Ian Cumming an TS Association member and a member of the St James Congregation of the impending disaster of the destruction of Jock History, who took the problem to the Reverend David Jones. St James at Bedfordview has a long association with the Transvaal Scottish: Reverend Bill Marshall, whose painted portrait hangs in The View, and the Reverend David Jones were chaplains to The Regiment.

The Chaplain to the Jocks at that time, The Reverend David Jones agreed with TSRA Chairman Patrick Clarence to give the window a home in St James in Bedford View.


Neither the TS Council or the Association had the necessary R10, 000.00 needed to move and reassemble the window. David Jones recognized the possible historical loss and the cost was was borne by St James church.


The next huge obstacle was to get the window out of St Georges as the builders were to take down a wall to create a soup kitchen in the next 2 days. Ian Cumming had a huge colour reference print made. The TSRA secretary at that time Dave Gould arranged for one of his work colleagues to take 2 days unpaid leave to dismantle the window. Each pieced of glass was numbered and put into plastic crates. This huge numbered puzzle was laid out piece by piece at St James by the Secretary. The window was mounted and backlit and hung on the wall where it is today. 


Picture Right: came form a church in Benoni and was mounted in St James under the direction or The Reverend David Jones the then Chaplain of the Transvaal Scottish.

My Scotland - Only In Scotland (You could easily substitute for South Africa)

Being Scottish is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV. 

And the most Scottish thing of all? Suspicion of all things foreign! 

Only in My Scotland can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance. Only in Scotland do supermarkets make sick people walk all the way to the back of the shop to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front. 

Only in My Sotland do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a DIET coke. Only in Scotland do banks leave both doors open and chain the pens to the counters. 

Only in My Scotland do we leave cars worth thousands of pounds on the drive and lock our junk and cheap lawn mower in the garage. 

Only in My Scotland do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place. 

Only in My Scotland are there disabled parking places in front of a skating rink. 


3 Scots die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue. 142 Scots were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts. 

58 Scots are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers. 31 Scots have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in. 

19 Scots have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas decorations were chocolate. Scottish Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after Xmas cracker-pulling accidents. 

18 Scots had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth. A massive 543 Scots were admitted to A&E in the last two years after trying to open bottles of beer with their teeth. 

5 Scots were injured last year in accidents involving out-of-control Scalextric cars. 

and finally... 

In 2000 eight Scots were admitted to hospital with fractured skulls incurred whilst throwing up into the toilet. 

MY SCOTLAND - Love it, or Leave it!

With thanks to Mr. Trevor Wright - I'm sure a lot of us share this sentiment!


This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in 

You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement. 
However, we are a society which holds Freedom of Speech as perhaps our greatest liberty. 
After all, it is ONLY A SIGN.


You may say 'What kind of business would dare to post such a sign?' 




= God Bless  Scotland =

For Fun
Have you ever wondered why foreigners have trouble with the English Language?
 Let's face it
 English is a stupid language.
 There is no egg in the eggplant
 No ham in the hamburger
 And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
 English muffins were not invented in England
 French fries were not invented in France.
 We sometimes take English for granted
 But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
 Quicksand takes you down slowly
 Boxing rings are square
 And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
 If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
 If the plural of tooth is teeth
 Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
 If the teacher taught,
 Why didn't the preacher praught.
 If a vegetarian eats vegetables
 What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
 Why do people recite at a play
 Yet play at a recital?
 Park on driveways and
 Drive on parkways
 You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
 Of a language where a house can burn up as
 It burns down
 And in which you fill in a form
 By filling it out
 And a bell is only heard once it goes!
 English was invented by people, not computers
 And it reflects the creativity of the human race
 (Which of course isn't a race at all)
 That is why
 When the stars are out they are visible
 But when the lights are out they are invisible
 And why it is that when I wind up my watch
 It starts
 But when I wind up this observation,
 It ends.

And a last thought: (And yet again the editor reserves the right to be politically incorrect!)
This was passed on to me by a senior Sergeant Major, who got it from ???? It has been circulating for a while on the internet and has gone "viral" on e-mail.  With apologies to those left out in the last 7! I have found the true story of who wrote it and why - interesting how the story gets all twisted in the telling!

Although the article quoted has come to be attributed to a Pam Foster, it is actually the work of Doug Patton, a freelance columnist and political speechwriter. The e-mail-circulated version leaves off his two opening paragraphs and adds a closing statement that wasn't in his original, but it is otherwise a faithful copy of his article, which was first published on the www.gopusa.com web site on 6 June 2005 under the title "Ask Me if I Care About 'Mishandling' of Koran" and which has since been reproduced on a number of other web sites.
Pamela Foster said this of how her name came to be associated with Doug Patton's article:
Hey everyone,

Just wanted to let those of you that haven't contact me that I forwarded the "I Don't Care" to my nephew serving in Baghdad after someone forwarded it to me. I don't remember who that was, nor did I think much about it until I received long distance phone calls and lots of e-mail. Everyone has been nice except for some whacko who thinks this government planned and executed 9/11. I responded that we would take up a fund for him and we would send him to any country to live that wasn’t here! In any case, someone else let me know last week that a columnist named Doug Patton (Google him) wrote the article and I notified him of the response and what had happened when I forwarded the e-mail. I still don’t know how it got on the "NET", but I am glad. Lots of people have sent me "thank yous" and some have said they would send to their government representatives and more than one has told me they sent it to the President! WOW! Had no clue what I was getting started. Anyway, God Bless everyone and the USA!

'Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores in July 2002, and in New York Sept 11 2001 and have continually threatened to do so since?

Were people from all over the world, not brutally murdered that day in London, and in downtown Manhattan , and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they? And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were claiming to be tortured by a justice system of the nation they come from and are fighting against in a brutal insurgency.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11 and 7/7. I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere belief of which is a crime punishable by beheading in Afghanistan.

I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat. I'll care when the cowardly so-called 'insurgents' in Afghanistan come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques and behind women and children.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of Nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs. I'll care when the media stops pretending that their freedom of speech on stories is more important than the lives of the soldiers on the ground or their families waiting at home to hear about them when something happens.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a soldier roughing up an Insurgent terrorist to obtain information, know this:

I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take this to the bank:

I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner - who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and 'fed special food' that is paid for by my taxes - is complaining that his holy book is being 'mishandled,' you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts:

I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled 'Koran' and other times 'Quran.' Well, believe me!! you guessed it ......

I don't care!!

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your E-mail friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behaviour!

If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities committed by radicals happen here in our great country! And may I add:

'Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. Our soldiers don't have that problem.'

I have another quote that I would like to add, AND.......I hope you forward all this.

Only seven defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ.

2. The British Soldier.

3. The Canadian Soldier.

4. The US Soldier.

5. The South African Soldier.

6. The Ghurka Soldier.

7. The Australian Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other 6 for your freedom.



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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