Transvaal Scottish

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

No 10/2011 -  6th December 2011

Red Hackle - The Transvaal Scottish, South Africa

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2012 is the year to Celebrate the Red Hackle
Click through for the full 2012 Programme

The Transvaal Scottish is being presented new
Colours and Battle Honours in addition to
Celebrating 110 Years of Service to South Africa


"The Army is the most outstanding institution in every country, for it alone makes possible the existence of all civic institutions"
Field Marshal Helmut Graf von Moltke (1800-1891)

From the Editor:
November seems to be the month of anniversaries and remembrances - particularly the date 11/11 which has such a significance for all of us still in uniform, and those veterans now out of uniform. The symbol of the Poppy is to be seen everywhere - on lapel badges, on the television and on the electronic media as people change their Facebook profiles to the poppy. But why the Poppy?

Flanders is the name for almost the whole Western part of Belgium. It saw some of the most concentrated and bloodiest fighting of the terrible 1914 - 1918 conflict. There was complete devastation as whole towns, roads, farms and all natural life simply disappeared into a sea of mud. This sea of mud became a graveyard of literally millions of men, but also still a hell on earth where the living still fought each other.

Only one other living thing survived - the poppy. Poppies only geminate and flower in disturbed soil, and the colourful flowering of the poppies with the advent of the warm spring weather would bring some small joy to those still fighting. The poem - "In Flanders Fields" originates from this.
(See The Friendly Red Hackle No 7 for the story and the poem)


The Hell of Delville Wood

Some interesting stuff:
Men usually wear the Poppy on their left side - as this is where the medals are worn.
Ladies usually wear it on the right side - as this is where their husbands' medals would go.

The Scottish Poppy has four petals and no leaf. The English Poppy (Botanically incorrect by the way! - Ed) has a leaf attached. Officially the reason is that the Scots feel the cost of the leaf is better saved and used for the welfare of the veterans!

The first Poppy Day was held on the 21st November 1921 and raised £106.000.

Here are some more interesting facts:
The flower symbolism associated with poppies is beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life. The Egyptians included poppies at funerals and in burial tombs. The Greeks used poppies in the shrines of Demeter, goddess of fertility, and Diana, goddess of the hunt. Poppies denote sleep, rest and repose.
In Chinese Art Poppies represent the loyalty and faith between lovers. According to Chinese legend, a beautiful and courageous woman, Lady Yee, was married to Hsiang Yu, a warrior with Herculean strength. When Hsiang led his troops into battle, Lady Yee chose to follow him and stood by his side in every battle.

During a long and arduous war, Hsiang's army was surrounded and defeat is imminent. Lady Yee tried to boost his spirits by dancing with his sword. The petals of the poppy flower reflect her spirit as she dances in the wind with the sword. When this attempt failed, Lady Yee committed suicide. A cluster of poppies sprang in full bloom from her grave site.

Poppies have been used for centuries in seasonings, medicine and health tonics. Tea from poppies has been used for its calming effect. The oriental poppy is the only poppy that contains opium, but other poppies do have mildly sedative effects, too. Water made from poppies is said to remove wrinkles and freshen the skin. Poppies can also be used for dye and for adding flavor and texture to breads and pastries.
Poppies are the state flower of California. (Hey Dude! This could possibly explain the birthplace of the Hippy movement! - Ed)
Poppies have been used for centuries in seasonings, medicine and health tonics. Tea from poppies has been used for its calming effect. The oriental poppy is the only poppy that contains opium, but other poppies do have mildly sedative effects, too. Water made from poppies is said to remove wrinkles and freshen the skin. Poppies can also be used for dye and for adding flavor and texture to breads and pastries.
"We will remember them"


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
- Winston Churchill

On a side-note: The Facebook presence of the Transvaal Scottish has changed - please "Like" our new page.

The Transvaal Scottish Regiment on Facebook

No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation
- General Douglas MacArthur

Events in The Regiment

OC's Report by Lt Col D. Smythe


Welcome to you one and all. We have all survived the Parade Silly season and are now preparing to take some well-deserved time off to spend in the company of our sacrificing, patient and supportive families, to whom we are extremely grateful.

With all the trials and tribulations of 2011, I must share with you that 2011 was actually a pretty good year for the Regiment in a variety of ways:

The Regiments border deployment concluded successfully in March with excellent successes attributed to the units work in the field.

Guarding Duties:
Home unit guarding was completed without incident over the two month sessions at the Home unit.

The unit also received tasks to augment the guarding of other units such as PSC and 1Signals regiment. These taskings are continuing.

The regiment also participated in the following training related activities, which build on the knowledge and capacity of the unit. This was a successful camp with a NCOs being identified for future development. The team received a lot of refresher training and new concepts in terms of navigational skills were brought into the unit.

The NCO Training in Potchefstroom was followed by a Company camp also held in Potchefstroom.

At the company camp we pitted Red team against Blue, armed them with paintball markers and off they went on patrol the border of “Mongrel”. Administration and logistical support drills in the field complemented the patrolling drills. This was an opportunity for the unit training to look deeper into the psyche of the troops under difficult natural circumstances. During the exercise a gale force wind and driving rain and hail ripped through the training ground, flattening the tent camp in the process. The men performed well under the circumstances.

The observers that were placed in the teams came back with very important information about the performance, behavior and discipline of the members in the teams. This information was taken into account when building the future training plans for the new budget.

One of the important notes is that infantry soldier can operate in extreme weather.

Skills and development of the unemployed leader group and troops proceeded where the opportunity existed.

Members successfully attended Junior Infantry Instructors, Senior Infantry Instructors, Drivers, Chefs Company 2IC.

1. Infantry Memorial Parade (January)
2. Delville Wood (July)
3. The Regimental Church Parade (November)
4. Armistice Day Parade (November)
5. Freedom Regiments combined parades (November)
6. The Battle of Sidi Rezegh Parade (November)

This is an area of growth that is being worked on. The process at a school level is more about leader building.

The Cadet competition at Parktown went very well. It was an magical, to see the spirit and the quality of the competition as the various house drill squads were put through the paces. Constantly improving and evolving and striving for discipline and structure.

The end of year Cadet parades at KES and at Parktown both went very well indeed. This proves that these schools have managed to stick to their agenda of building leaders. We are proud to support these initiatives at creating future leaders.

Both schools Cadet Officers Mr Etienne Marx (KES) and Mr Andrew Van Zyl (Parktown Boys High School) are now part of the Regimental team. We wish them strength with their endeavors with the Class of 2012.

Pipes and Drums:
The Pipes and drums played well throughout the year and this is a tribute to their commitment and dedication. Regrettably the band participation in the Las Vegas Tattoo was cancelled as a result of circumstances beyond the control of the Regiment. This would have been an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Africa’s Best Pipe Band in an international venue.

The Pipes and drums also participated in:

1. The Chief of Army Gala Evening.
2. The Regimental Ball,
3. Officers and the WOs and Sgts Mess Dinners
4. Regimental Open Day
5. The inauguration of the Duke of Athol as a Knight of the Order of St Johns.
6. Teddy Bears Picnic
7. Military Associations of Gauteng at the National Military History Museum in Saxonwold.
8. The Monte Casino Tattoo
9. The Reserve Force Division function
10. Variety of civilian functions and regimental funerals.

Musketry Branch:
The regiments participation at the SA Army Combat Rifles Shooting Competition during March, took the regiment from 27th in the Reserves to 3rd in the SA Army. This is a reflection of the quality of the members of the shooting team, equipped with new barrels and many more dedicated practices.

The Regiment also participated at the SA Nationals and at the Combat Rifle Service leagues and acquitted themselves well.

The Musketry branch also spent time building and coaching prospective shots in the Development league and in preparation of members ahead of their Military Skills competition participation.

The regiment hosted one of the Gauteng South Combat Rifle competitions, which was a great success in spite of the 37C temperatures that cooked the shottists on the day.

We recognize the awarding of Lt David Chambers, iPhrothyia Yesilva (Protea Silver – previously MMM or Military Meritorious Medal) for the work he put into the University Reserve Training Unit Program. Congratulations to you for the long overdue recognition.

Two medals will be awarded to members for 30 years’ service.

Of the 20 years’ service medals that are scheduled to be awarded, seven will be John Chard Decorations for 20 years’ service are also scheduled to be awarded, being medals earned during the medal service period.

Twenty two medals are scheduled to be awarded for members having completed 10 years’ service.

As a result of the Regiments participation in recent operations, there are a large number of medals outstanding. These will be presented at parades during 2012, the most important, being the long service medals which will be held over to the "110 Years of Service Celebrations". The regiment will be acknowledging WO1 Tino Palos for 50 years of service and Lt. Col TL Hutchinson and S/Sgt Willie Powel for their span of 40 years’ service.

Among these medals, two posthumous medals will be awarded, being those to Honorary Colonels that served at the time of National Unity (27 April 1994). Hon Col Ian Mackenzie DSO (1TS) and Hon Col Eric Thompson, ED (2TS) will both receive their UNITAS medals.

Seventy two Badges of Voluntary Reserve Service will also be awarded.

New Colours:
During the 2010 Freedom Day Parade, the 1TS Colour, presented to the Battalion in 1967, was damaged as a result of the high winds that gusted during the parade. The Regiment has requested that the Colour be retired and a new one be presented to the Regiment as a part of the regiments "110 Years of Service Celebrations" planned for 2012.

New Uniforms:
This year saw the regiment receiving replacement uniform for the uniform that has served the regiment so well over the past 50+ years. At the November parades, the selected drill platoon all wore brand new Murray of Athol kilts made by a local supplier. After some minor improvements, more Kilts are expected to be brought into service in time for the 2012 Celebrations. The Regiments gratitude for this, goes to the Transvaal Scottish Regimental Council and the National Lottery distribution fund.

Formal Mess Dinners:
The WOs and Sgts Mess held their Formal Mess Dinner. The tradition is getting stronger, and the team under the RSM's guidance is continuing to building on the past experiences.

The Officers Mess Dinner was held at the Inanda Country Club on 26th August. Out Guest speaker, Col Jerry Heale of the British Military was a hit and the dinner was excellent for a change. The resolve of the mess was tested and we acquired a new piece for the Officers mess cabinet at The View. Fines were levied and these contributions were donated to the Guild Cottage.

Social Responsibility:
For the Mandela Day recognition, the Band participated in a Gathering and dedicated their performance to the memory of one of Africa’s best known contemporary the statesmen

A well-kept tradition of the WO's and Sgt's mess for more than 40 years has been to identify and support a worthy cause. In the past, the Strathyre Girls Home received support. Over the past three years, the mess has given support to the Guild Cottage. This year’s events were firstly the Easter Egg Hunt and finally the Annual Christmas Tree which were both well supported and more importantly the young girls and ladies had an opportunity to let their hair down and have an enjoyable event.

NATO/CIOR/Reserve Force Council:
It must be noted that during 2010, the regiment had an opportunity to place an enthusiastic and energetic pair of NCOs onto the Military Skills Competition run by the Reserve Force Council. Cpl Leon Daniels and L/Cpl Alex Maclean did well. By the time the team was selected to represent South Africa in Poland at the NATO / CIOR military Skills Competition, the now Sgt LD Daniels had managed to get himself selected in the top team. Remarkably this was the Regiments first attempt and it bore fruit. Well done to you Sgt. Daniels. You make us proud as you lead the way for more of the unit members to participate in this prestigious competition. During November the National competition was hosted and from the looks of it, there are at least two jocks on the starting line.

The Regiment re dedicated the SA Scottish Memorial in Brixton.

The Regiment has been pivotal in the restoration of the Scottish horse Memorial on Caledonia Hill near Jeppe Boys high School.

The Friendly Red Hackle pages are doing their job well and serve to inform a slightly more distant community via the web. This is paying dividends as we receive excellent coverage and interest from past serving / old soldiers and interested parties from around the world. Thanks for the dedication go to the C/Comm, Major Diederik van’t Hof.

After 34 years’ service, we bid farewell to Mr. John Mogape who retired gracefully to his retirement house in Polokwane. A retirement party was hosted by the regiment at The View on 29 July 2011.

Lest we forget:
The Regiment sadly saw a few of our friends being called to higher service. To this list we add past serving soldiers, Maj Dave Burnett (2TS) and WO2 Cyril Stonefield (Pipe Band). Sadly we also add S/Sgt Marcus Basson, Private John K Modupe (1TS).

In Conclusion:
Next year, 2012, is a landmark year for the regiment and the plans are already underway to confirm the regiments place in the future of our nation.

We have now made excellent strides in recruiting an Honorary Colonel. The regiment is very excited and are expecting to be able to make proper announcements in the New Year on this matter.

From the Officers, Warrant Officers, NCOs, men and women of the Regiment, we wish you a blessed, peaceful and enjoyable festive season. We trust that you will have health, wealth happiness and the time to enjoy these blessings.

Alba nam Buadh

"Nothing concentrates the military mind so much as the discovery that you have walked into an ambush." 
- Thomas Packenham, British historian

Mobilizations, Shooting & Parades

Potchefstroom Training Camp  September/October 2011
The training camp held in Potchefstroom from the 27th September to the 5th October went off well. There were the usual logistical challenges with supply of rations and ammunition, but all of these were eventually solved.

The weather did not co-operate at all and the camp had to literally "weather the storm" - severe winds, hail and rain caught the troops in the field during a night exercise. The Assault Course was utilized, and the entire company was evaluated on the shooting range as well as on a 2,4km run.


Things have gone a bit quiet on the shooting front. The shoot that was to have taken place in Port Elizabeth in early September was cancelled due to the fact that the regiments in the Eastern Cape had training budget cuts, and the Transvaal Scottish-hosted Gauteng South League shoot on the 15th October 2011 was cancelled due to the Heidelberg Range suddenly being inexplicably closed, and access being denied to some of the competitors.

The League Shoot was now held on the 3rd December at the General Piet Joubert Shooting Range close to Pretoria.

The day proved to be a challenging shoot with temperatures on the range reaching 36°C. Cloud cover coming and going and intermittent wind changing direction several times during the day also resulted in a serious mirage effect.

Congratulations to:
1st Place: S. Gouws who shot a 41.00 average for the day
2nd Place: G. Harmse who shot a 39.50 average for the day
3rd Place: M. da Silva who shot a 39.00 average for the day

Team event:
1st Place: Transvaal Scottish A Team

Left to Right: Getting ready, Working in the Butts, Lt. Col D. Smythe presenting the Winners Medal to Lt. Col Gouws, The Prizegiving

A collection of photos from the Annual Remembrance Day Parade/s
Top Row: The Parade through Johannesburg and Laying Wreaths at The Cenotaph. (Sentry from the SA Irish Regiment)
Right: Lt. Ralph Thompson (As an "old-boy") laying a wreath at the annual King Edwards' School for Boys Remembrance Parade - Note the Cadet Sentries wearing Murray of Atholl kilts!
Bottom Row: Rededication of the Memorial in Brixton
Bottom: Detail of the Inscription

The Annual Transvaal Scottish "Open Day" - 24th September 2011

The annual open day was again a great success. One of the highlights being the Cargokilts Raffle which raised over R1500.00 for the Regimental Association.
The winners of the two kilts were: Mr Iain Wilson & Mr Colin Fletcher

Left: Some of the Shooting team relaxing at the end of the day.
Bottom: The usual spectacular display by the South African Champion Band! Aerial shot of the gardens at "The View".
Pipes and Drums Pipes and Drums The View

The Annual Christmas Tree Party at "The View"

Sunday 4th December saw the WO's and NCO's mess hosting 13 children from a children's Home in Johannesburg for the annual "Christmas Tree". The home is a shelter and place of safety for 18 children in total, aged between 6 and 16. The NCO's Mess has "adopted" the home as a special project. The NCO's try to host the children several times throughout the year at various parties etc. (See Friendly Red Hackle No 4)

The children played games, used the jumping castle, were treated to a "braai lunch", had more sweets than they could finish, and then had a visit from "Father Christmas" himself!

Top: The Jumping Castle, The OC (Lt. Col. D. Smythe) & RSM (WO D. Schoeman) in the kitchen preparing the food, Father Christmas arrives - no Reindeer in South Africa!
Right: Sgt Leon Daniels and Grania van 't Hof practicing to be Nando's chefs!
Bottom: Father Christmas welcomed by the children, Treasure Hunt in the Garden, All those present

Our compliments to S/Sgt Zikhali - you were a great Father Christmas!

Upcoming Social & Fun Events



The Transvaal Scottish is being presented new Colours and Battle Honours in addition to celebrating 110 Years of Service to South Africa. The big events on the calendar for 2012 to celebrate this are the following:

The Colours of the Transvaal Scottish

  Saturday 2nd June 2012 Transvaal Scottish-hosted League Shoot
  Friday 8th June 2012 The Transvaal Scottish lay up their Regimental Colours
  Gala Dinner at "The Wanderers" Club
  Saturday 9th June 2012 Medal Parade
  Presentation of new Colours
  Official Opening of "The View"

We are hoping to host visitors from our affiliated regiments around the world - Scotland, England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - so in anticipation we have arranged a tour and "holiday" programme in South Africa from the 27th May to the 15th June 2012. There is an incredible variety of tours and itineraries from which to choose, and dates are also very flexible - and which then include the parades, dinners, shoot and other events.

Battlefield tour South Africa

Wildlife - South Africa

Wildlife - South Africa

Victoria Falls

From the Archives: 75th Anniversary Parade in 1977 at the Rand Show Grounds
Acknowledgements to Chris Fourie-Lipman who posted these on our Facebook Page

29th September 2012 - The Regimental "Spring Ball"


  25/02/2012   Sandy Mallen (Solo Piping Competition)
  31/03/2012   100 Guineas (Solo Piping Competition)
  14/04/2012   Lyttelton Manor (Regional)
  28/04/2012   South Coast (Championship)
  12/05/2012   Celtic Fest (Regional)
  26/05/2012   De La Salle (Regional)
  16/06/2012   Pretoria Boys (Championship)
  23/06/2012   Natal Scottish Gathering
  30/06/2012   Gathering to be advised
  14/07/2012   St Benedict’s (Regional Final)
  28/07/2012   Benoni (Championship Final and S A Champs)
  06/10/2012   George Ackroyd (Solo Piping Competition)

Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to manoeuvre. Situation excellent. I am attacking. 
- Ferdinand Foch - at the Battle of the Marne 


"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

I normally feature a South African medal, but I could not resist featuring this one instead. It follows on from the Victoria Cross feature in the Friendly Red Hackle No 8, and on researching other possible candidates for the "Valour Section" I came across a rather special and unique medal from New Zealand. A unique feature is that is was discontinued in favour of the original British valour award, and then re-comissioned as a Civilian Award - only with a different coloured ribbon!


This cross is considered to be the rarest military decoration in the British Empire. Only twenty-three awards were ever made in the period between 1869 and 1881, and only twenty-five medals were ever struck. In order of merit it is equal to the Victoria Cross and next in precedence. The New Zealand Cross was instituted in 1868 as a special decoration for the Colonial Forces (Militia, Volunteers, and Armed Constabulary) for deeds or exceptional valour, and it was officially discontinued in 1919 when Colonial recipients were made eligible for the Victoria Cross.

“When serving in the presence of the enemy, shall have performed some signal act of valour or devotion to duty, or who have performed any very intrepid action in the public service, and neither rank, nor long service, nor wounds, nor any other circumstances or condition whatsoever, save merit of conspicuous bravery, shall be held to establish a sufficient claim to the honour”.

Unlike the Victoria Cross it is of silver and gold. It is a silver cross with the name of the colony and the name of the recipient engraved thereon, and be suspended from the left breast by a crimson riband. The ribbon, which is 1½ in. wide, is deep crimson, and identical with that of the Victoria Cross. The order also provided for a silver bar to be attached to the riband in the event of a second award, but no such award was ever made.

  New Zealand Cross

New Zealand CrossThe New Zealand Cross, a decoration peculiar to New Zealand and the Second Maori War of 1860–72, was instituted by the Governor of New Zealand by an Order in Council, dated 10 March 1869. It met an urgent need for some decoration equivalent to the Victoria Cross, for which the locally raised forces had been considered ineligible. The Governor, Sir George Bowen, conferred five of the crosses before notifying the Secretary of State for the Colonies of the unprecedented action he had taken. In his dispatch, the Governor pleaded the low morale of the local troops and the need for some tangible form of recognition for bravery in action, which could be awarded immediately and without the inevitable delays should each case be referred to the Home Government for royal approval. The Governor was officially rebuked by the Secretary of State for the Colonies for overstepping the limits of the authority confided to him by the Queen, who was the fountain of all honour. As a number of crosses had already been conferred, Queen Victoria had little option under the circumstances but to ratify the Order in Council, which merely referred to the new award as a “Decorative Distinction” without giving it a name. The title, “New Zealand Cross”, was not adopted for some considerable time. In the intervening period it was vicariously referred to as the New Zealand Cross of Valour, Order of Valour, Order of Merit, Colonial Order of Merit, Order of the Southern Cross, Cross of New Zealand, Colonial Cross, Southern Cross, and Silver Cross. Even after its title had been settled, it was sometimes referred to as the New Zealand Cross or Order of Valour, the latter part of the name no doubt being added to justify the letter “V” used to form a link between the ribbon suspender clasp and the cross.

  Thomas Adamson wearing his New Zealand Cross

Private Thomas Adamson. Corps of Guides.
Awarded The New Zealand Cross in 1876 for actions on the 7 May 1869. Took part in 25 engagements against the Maoris.
Died at Wanganui on 29 December 1913, aged 67 years.

The First Maori Award and Recipient - Ahururu, Henare Kepa Te

The first of four Maori awarded the New Zealand Cross for helping the settlers during the New Zealand Wars. The award was for conspicuous bravery at Moturoa on 7 November 1868. He later deserted and was living at Ruatoki in 1878. Even though the Order-in-Council setting up the decoration provided for the name of any recipient to be struck from the roll of honour in the event of any 'infamous or disgraceful act', Ahururu's name was left on after his desertion.

The current New Zealand Cross is similar in design to the original award of the same name instituted by the New Zealand Government in 1869. The new award was instituted by New Zealand in 1999 to replace the George Cross. The New Zealand Cross is the premier New Zealand award for bravery. It is intended primarily for civilians, but may also be awarded to military personnel in some circumstances. The New Zealand Cross is awarded for ‘acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger'.

The New Zealand Cross is a silver cross paty or formy (with straight edges) with a six-pointed gold star on each arm. On a central disc within a wreath of gold New Zealand fern fronds are the words "NEW ZEALAND", and on the reverse the inscription "FOR BRAVERY – MO TE MAIA". The cross is surmounted by a gold Royal Crown and attached by the letter "V" to a straight silver suspender bar bearing gold fern fronds.

Recipients of this award are entitled to use the postnominal letters N.Z.C. after their names.

To date, the New Zealand Cross has only been awarded twice (once posthumously).

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
- Dale Carnegie

A message from the Chairman of our Regimental Council - Lt.Col. A. Becker

The only constant in life is change and this leaves us with a choice: to embrace the change or to resist it. Resistance places one in a conflict position and very seldom achieves the result we want. To engage and actively manage the change into the future often bares more fruit and ensures that the changes or more palatable when they occur as they inevitably will.

The Regiment and thus by definition also the Council, are faced with making some important decisions regarding the future of the Transvaal Scottish. In making these decisions we also need to solicit the input from the broader Regimental family.

What is in a name? What is the Transvaal Scottish? Would our current band of soldiers under another name still be the “Jocks”? Would our history and our uniform still be relevant in a newly named unit?

There are more questions than answers at the moment, but it is important that we begin, as a family; to ponder these issues and decide what we want the future to be. Then we must strategize and engage to ensure that we realise the future we want. There is lots to think about while you relax during the holidays. We wish you all a blessed Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

From the TSRC

The View
18 Ridge Road, Parktown

The View - Headquarters Transvaal Scottish
Right: In the Boardroom - Coat of Arms of the ZAR
This used to hang in the Raadzaal in Pretoria!
Bottom Left: The Officers' Mess dressed for dinner
Bottom Right: The Restored Exterior
The View
Message from the Chairman of the Transvaal Scottish Regimental Association - WO T. Wright
The 2011, year has come and gone, faster than Greased lightning. All in all it has been a good year for the association but I do have a few concerns.

The View is not being utilised to its full potential. We are now open at lunch time Tuesday to Friday. Unfortunately we are not seeing too many customers. Why not try our facilities for small business meetings and conferences? We are able to accommodate 40 to 50 people and our prices are more than reasonable.

Another disturbing trend is the poor attendance at our memorial parades and functions. I would really like to see more members paying homage to our fallen predecessors. They gave their lives so that we are able to live as we do today. Even more distressing than the shortage of association members is the apathy shown by some of our serving members. Come on chaps be there for the Jocks!

The first Monday night gatherings are slowly improving in attendance but we long for the days of seeing up to a hundred of our mates. So get out of your rut and join us on the first Monday of every month.

In order to increase the attendance at our monthly gathering I have revived the 300 club and intend to have the first draw on the first Monday in February 2012. For a measly R240 you stand a one in three hundred chance of winning R1200. Please enquire from the association, the bar or any of the messes for a ticket. Sales are going quite well but we still a few tickets left.

On a brighter note I would like to wish each and every one of you a blessed Festive season and a prosperous New Year

Every First Thursday of the month - Eisbein Club
(Please note that the venue has moved)

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:


131 Holkham Road, Paulshof


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!


‘Hold the haggis… pass the currywurst!’ That was the style back some fifteen or twenty years ago after Tuesday night Order Groups at ‘The View’, when those participating relaxed over a few drinks and then headed up into Hillbrow for something to soak up the alcohol before heading home.

‘Wurstsbtude’ – calling itself ‘the home of Currywurst’ – had been operating in the area since the mid-1970’s, first out of a van and then from a small shop. The veal and beef sausage served with the chef’s home-made tomato sauce and curry went down a treat… so much so that I never tried the Bratwurst or Debreceners or indeed any of the other offerings.

But everything changes, and by the late 1990’s there were too many open-air shootings to make late-night street-side dining much fun. So currywurst became a memory, along with all the other changes to Hillbrow… Exclusive Books (one of the first in the country) and the superb new and second-hand record store. (For the infants among us, a ‘record’ is a sort of ‘big CD’, only with better sound. ‘strue!) Likewise there was Fontana’s, the all-night supermarket, and Café Wien. All gone.

But imagine my delight at finding the original Wurststbude, relocated to Sandton but still serving Currywurst. In charge, the no-longer-young gent who’d once served us in Hillbrow. As always, his nosh went down a treat.

If you want to treat your tastebuds to a walk down Memory Lane, head north from Sandton City along Rivonia Road, cross Grayston, then turn left into the tiny Sandton Court centre by the Shell garage. Enjoy! – James Mitchell

Some arbitrary stuff!
The word "camouflage"
Military camouflage, an application of camouflage used on fatigues and military equipment, became an essential part of modern military tactics after the increase in accuracy and rate of fire of weapons during the 19th century. Until the 19th century armies tended to use bright colors and bold, impressive designs. These were considered to daunt the enemy, foster unit cohesion, allow easier identification of units in the fog of war, and attract recruits. In addition bright uniforms, such as the red coats formerly used by the British, tended to deter desertion.

The intent of camouflage is to disrupt an outline by merging it with the surroundings, making a target harder to spot or hit, or to confuse an observer as to its nature. Some modern camouflage, e.g. CADPAT, addresses visibility in the near infrared as well as visible light, for concealment from image intensification devices (night vision). Different countries have taken different paths towards the development of military camouflage.

In England, irregular units of gamekeepers in the 17th century were the first to adopt drab colours (common in the 16th century Irish units), following examples from the continent. A later example of camouflaged units would be the 95th Rifle Regiment and 60th Rifle Regiment, created during the Napoleonic Wars to strengthen the British skirmish line. As they carried more accurate Baker Rifles and engaged at a longer range, they were dressed in a rifle green jacket, in contrast to the Line regiments' scarlet tunics.

British forces during the mutiny of 1857 in India were dyeing their white drill uniforms to inconspicuous tone (following the practice started by the Corps of Guides in 1846), called khaki (from the Hindi-Urdu word for "dusty", itself a borrowed form of the Persian word "khak", initially sometimes spelled "khakee" in English), by immersion in mud, tea, coffee or coloured inks. The resulting hue varied from dark or slate grey through light brown to off-white, or sometimes even lavender. This improvised measure gradually became widespread among the troops stationed in India and North-West Frontier, and sometimes among the troops campaigning on the African continent. Khaki-coloured uniform became standard service dress for both British and British Indian Army troops stationed in British India in 1885, and in 1896 khaki drill uniform was adopted by British Army for the service outside of Europe in general, but not until the Second Boer War, in 1902, did the entire British Army standardise on khaki (officially known as "drab") for Service Dress.


US Marine Sniper in a Ghillie suit

The Lovat Scouts were formed from Scottish gamekeepers for service in the Boer war. They introduced the Ghillie suit for concealment for sniping in World War I.

A bit if useless information: take a very close look at this cammo - it is the only one that I can source where the logo of the Formation / Corps / Unit is included in the design! The badge and the initials USMC is incorporated in the design - The United States Marine Corps.

File:CSA-2006-01-12-095303 M249SAW.jpg

This Months' Military Trivia - Just for Fun

What Badge is this and who wore it?

e-Mail your answers here

Last Editions' Question:

It is called the Efficiency Medal.

This medal was instituted in terms of Royal Warrant dated 29 December 1939 (Government Gazette No 2779, dated June 21 1940). It was awarded to Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks of the Coast Garrison and Active Citizen Forces of the Union of South Africa for 12 years meritorious service. It replaced the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal and was in turn rendered obsolete by the John Chard Medal.


Bar: A bar, bearing in the centre a Crown, was awarded for every six years additional service, and a second bar, denoting a further six years service beyond the 18 year period, was also authorized

September 1985 - Cuito Cuanavale, Southern Angola - some photos that came my way - SAAF Impalas shot down two Russian made Mi-25's. These are the photos from the on-board cameras. This was a rather unusual role for these planes!

Tartan on the Veld - History of The Transvaal Scottish

Tartan on the Veld

This is the third in a series of books on the history of the Transvaal Scottish.

It is written by J.H. Mitchell

Copies are available for order through our Adjutant Lt Terry King - e-Mail


For those of you who do not understand the word "Veld" - Click!

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on."
Thomas Jefferson

For Fun! My obligatory politically-incorrect post!
In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."
The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day. Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a “smartypants” young person.

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


Diederik van ‘t Hof





Transvaal Scottish

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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