BSAP memorial Service, National Memorial Arboretum

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BSAP memorial Service, National Memorial Arboretum

On Sunday 22 July 2018, in bright sunshine reminiscent of its African heritage, the British South Africa Police Regimental Association, UK branch, held a Memorial Service at the National Memorial Arboretum in memory of those members of the BSAP who gave their lives during the 84 years of its existence.

Formed in 1889 as the British South Africa Company Police, the force became known as the British South Africa Police (BSAP) in 1896 and developed as a light cavalry regiment. Participating in the Matabele War (1893), the Jameson Raid (1895) and the Matabele and Mashona Rebellions (1896 – 1897). They also played an active role in the Boer War and during WW1 in campaigns in German East Africa and South West Africa. After being at the forefront throughout the Rhodesian Bush War (1964 – 1979) during which 403 members gave their lives, the BSAP ceased to exist in name in August 1980 with the final lowering of the Rhodesian National flag and the formation of Zimbabwe.

Members of the SA Legion England Branch who attended the parade were Lgrs Russel Mattushek, Brian Parry, Tony Povey, Jose Lopes and Dave Wiseman. The SA Legion Banner was paraded by Lgr Brian Parry and a wreath was laid by Lgr Tony Povey, who served with the BSAP during the Rhodesian Bush War.

The service was followed by lunch and then a stroll through part of the 150-acre NMA grounds, home to over 350 memorials, to pay our respects to those who gave their lives for their country. Over 400 members of the BSAP made the ultimate sacrifice during the Rhodesian Bush War. We Will Remember Them.

BZ to Lgr Jose Lopes for organising the SA Legion participation and Jessica Lopes and Karen Parry for the photos.

© South African Legion (UK & Europe Branch) 2018

Text: Lgr Tony Povey

Photography: Karen Parry, Jessica Lopes


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Rhodesian African Rifles Memorial unveiling 19 Jul 2015.

Some time back SAL-UK was invited to attend the unveiling of the RNR/RAR memorial at the NMA. This was held on the 19 July, but we have held back releasing the photo’s & story for a while as some of the original “masodjas” African soldiers were flown over to UK from Zim to attend the function and for their safety we have waited until they are back in Zim safely. We have also made none of the photo’s containing them public for their safety. Whilst the invite was open to all members of the SA Legion-UK by way of event invite, only Peter Dickens & I attended what was a very special day. 
The presence of these old “masodjas” along with members of the Rhodesian Armed Forces, many of whom had fought alongside each other made this a very poignant affair. Of the key attendees were the grandchildren of the first RSM of the Rhodesian African Rifles (RSM Stephen Macho Banda) 
Attendance by the ex-Rhodesian’s was awesome with over 300 people present many of whom had traveled from SA, Zim & even as far as Australia to take part. 
Following the unveiling & dignitaries speeches, incl by the Marquess of Salisbury, the RAR committee had arranged a fly past by 2 Alouette helicopters from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. 
Bearing in mind the close relationship between many of the SA Veterans & the ex- Rhodesian forces, we hope to increase our involvement with the Rhodesian/ Zim community and these really are events for you all to take part in.

This is what your SA Legion-UK membership gives you access to.

Article by Peter Gillatt


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