A rare and wonderful original colour WW2 photo of a proud South African soldier, during World War 2, Great Britain used the Commonwealth to train pilots from all over the world, under a scheme called the Commonwealth Joint Training Plan. A key part of this plan included Waterkloof in Pretoria, and here a South African african soldier from the ‘Native Military Corps’ (NMC) is seen on guard duty at No. 23 Air School at Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa, January 1943.
The NMC where attached to the South African Union Defence Force units in ‘non-combat’ roles both at home and in combat theatres around the world. Due to the politics of the day, when (and if) weapons where issued to the NMC they where these ‘traditional’ spears and assagais for conducting security work (as is the case here – where this member is securing a airfield during wartime South Africa). Do note the red epaulettes on his shoulders – this signified that this man was a volunteer to fight in the war. This picture is an excellent example of this corps, it’s weapon, uniform, dress and bearing.
Image copyright – Imperial War Museum