Author Archives: David Kiley

  • -

The New Zealanders` Farewell to the South Africans

Category : Articles , Newsletter , WW1

This was written after the South Africans held their positions at Deville Wood on the Western Front, for a loss of 2536 of their men during World War I.
This poem, written by 2nd Lt. Thomas A. Clark Snr. of the Royal New Zealand Expeditionary Forces,  typifies the South African soldier at that time:

” The New Zealanders’ Farewell to the South Africans.

Tis to bid farewell to you, Springbok boys,
That we gather here to-night,
For we leave you soon in the homes you
left to join the Empire’s fight.

You did your share in German West when
the Kaiser cast the die,
And we are sorry now to leave you, but war
is all “goodbye”
And we envy those rows of ribbons that
some of your veterans wear,
and their faces brown from the lands they’ve
seen and their smile so devil-may-care.

We met you first twelve months ago when we
chased the Sennussi gang.
And you proved you were true Colonials then,
and your name thro the Empire rang.

Then with us again you came to France, and
were put to the shell-fire test,
and the word went round, “Springboks on our left”
And old Fritz got no rest,
for you worried the Huns the whole day long,
you strafed him day and night,
and the Crown Prince found to his Army’s cost
that the Springbok boys could fight.

And you did the job at Delville Wood, and
you made it a living hell:
Twas the first tough job you were sent to do,
and you did it, and did it well,
with a Glorious rush that frightened Fritz,
you were one of the Germans ten
and when Fritz attacked you drove him off
with a handful of your men,
and you beat us once in the Rugby field
tho’ we thought we knew the game,
but you showed us you could play it too,
and played it like gentlemen.

But when sports meet sports in the playing field,
defeat is no disgrace,
and the Springbok now with the Fern Leaf
on the Black Flag take it’s place,
then here’s good luck to your fighting men,
for we know you will see it through,
when the bloody sword shall clash no more
we’ll play rugby again with you.
But we hope this peace will do away
with all War and War’s alarms
but if the Empire calls, may our children meet
and like us the brother in arms. “


  • -

First World War : Order of Battle and Operational History Timeline of the 9th Scottish Dvision ( incorporating 1st South African Infantry Brigade ).

Category : Articles , Newsletter , WW1

The 9th ( Scottish ) Division came into existence as a result of Army Order No. 324, issued on 21 August 1914, which authorised the formation of the six new Divisions of Kitchener`s K1. Plan.
It was formed of volunteers, under the administration of Scottish Command. The division had been in training at home since late August 1914, although sufficient arms and equipment were only later obtained. The recruits were judged to be ready for war by May 1915.The 9th Division served on the Western Front throughout the war, and was regarded by many as one of the best fighting formations of the 1914-18 war.

Following the arrival of the 1st SA Brigade, the colloquial nickname coined for the 9th Division became ” The Jocks and Springboks “.
Training locations:
August 1914:       Salisbury Training Centre.
September 1914: Bordon Camp.The units of the Division crossed to France  between the 9-12th May 1915 and then took part in the following actions:

 
1915
The Battle of Loos1916
The Battle of Albert*
The Battle of Bazentin* in which the Division captured Longueval
The Battle of Delville Wood*
The Battle of Le Transloy*
( The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916 ).

1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe**
The Second Battle of the Scarpe**
( The battles marked ** are phases of the Arras Offensive 1917 ).
The First Battle of Passchendaele+
( The battle marked + is a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres ).
The action of Welsh Ridge (the last phase of the Cambrai operations 1917).

1918
The Battle of St Quentin***
The First Battle of Bapaume**
( The battles marked ** are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918 ).
The Battle of Messines+
The Battle of Bailleul+
The First Battle of Kemmel+
The Second Battle of Kemmel+
( The battles marked + are phases of the Battles of the Lys ).
The Advance in Flanders, in which the Division captured the Outtersteene Ridge.
The Final Advance in Flanders, in which the Division fought in the Battle of Courtrai and the action of Ooteghem.
The Division was withdrawn for rest on 26-27 October 1918 and was still in billets at the Armistice. It was seleected to advance to the Rhine as part of the occupation force and crossed into Germany on 4 December 1918, taking up a position in the Cologne bridgehead.In late February 1919, the original units left and were demobilised, being replaced by others. The Division was renamed as the Lowland Division and the fine history of the 9th (Scottish) Division was at an end.

52 055 officers and men of the Division were killed, wounded or captured during the war.The order of battle of the 9th (Scottish) Division:

 

26th Brigade (Highland):

8th Bn, the Black Watch
7th Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders
8th Bn, the Gordon Highlanders ( left May 1916 )
5th Bn, the Cameron Highlanders
1/5th Bn, the Loyal North Lancashire Regt. ( joined December 1915, left January 1916 ).
10th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders ( joined from 27th Bde May 1916, left February 1918 ).
26th Machine Gun Company ( formed 29 January 1916, left to move into 9th MG Battalion 1 March 1918 ).
26th Trench Mortar Battery ( joined 15 June 1916 ).

27th Brigade (Lowland):

11th Bn, the Royal Scots
12th Bn, the Royal Scots
6th Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers ( left May 1916 )
10th Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders( left for 26th Bde May 1916 )
6th Bn, the King’s Own Scottish Borderers ( joined from 28th Brigade 6 May 1916 )
9th Bn, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) ( joined May 1916, left February 1918 ).
27th Machine Gun Company ( formed 23 December 1915,left to move into 9th MG Battalion 1 March 1918 ).
27th Trench Mortar Battery ( joined July 1916 ).

28th Brigade:

This Brigade was broken up on 16 May 1916 and replaced by the South African Brigade. Reformed as a three-battalion brigade in September 1918.
6th Bn, the King’s Own Scottish Borderers ( left for 27th Brigade 6 May 1916 ).
9th Bn, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) ( returned September 1918 ).
10th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry ( see South African Brigade ).
11th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry ( see South African Brigade )
28th Machine Gun Company ( formed 3 January 1916 )
2nd Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers ( joined September 1918 )
1st Bn, the Royal Newfoundland Regt. ( joined September 1918 )
28th Trench Mortar Battery ( joined 11 September 1918 ).

South African Brigade:

1st. SA Brigade joined Division on 22 April ,1916 and left on 13 September 1918.

1st Regt, the South African Infantry
2nd Regt, the South African Infantry
3rd Regt, the South African Infantry ( disbanded 18 February 1918 )
4th Regt, the South African Infantry ( South African Scottish )

On 24 April 1918, after suffering very heavy casualties, the 1st, 2nd and 4th SA Regiments were amalgamated, temporarily becoming the SA (Composite) Regiment. They were re-formed by 1 September 1918.

10th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry ( under command of Brigade for 8 days in May 1916 )
11th Bn, the Highland Light Infantry ( under command of Brigade for 8 days in May 1916 )
28th Machine Gun Company ( joined 6 May 1916,left to move into 9th MG Battalion 1 March 1918 )
South African Trench Mortar Battery ( joined 13 June 1916 )
3/4th Bn, the Royal West Kent Regt. ( joined 6 June 1917, left 15 June 1917 )
3/10th Bn, the Middlesex Regt. ( joined 6 June 1917, left 23 July 1917 )
2nd Bn, the Royal Scots Fusiliers ( joined 26 April 1918, left 13 September 1918 )
9th Bn, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) ( joined 21 April 1918, left 12 September 1918 )

Divisional Troops:

6th Bn, the Bedfordshire Regt. ( left March 1915 )
6th Bn, the Leicestershire Regt. ( left April 1915 )
9th Bn, the Seaforth Highlanders ( joined December 1914, became Divisional Pioneer Battalion early 1915 )
10th Motor Machine Gun Battery ( joined 30 April 1915, left 11 June 1916 )
197th Company, the Machine Gun Corps ( joined 19 December 1916, left to move into 9th MG Battalion 1 March 1918 )
No 9 Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps ( formed 1 March 1918 )
11th Motor Machine Gun Battery ( joined 7 October 1918, left 7 November 1918 )

Divisional Mounted Troops:

B Sqn, the 1/1st Glasgow Yeomanry ( joined 15 May 1915, left 10 May 1916 )
9th Divisional Cyclist Company, Army Cyclist Corps ( formed 1 December 1914, left 26 June 1916 )

Divisional Artillery:

L Brigade, RFA
LI Brigade, RFA
LII Brigade, RFA ( left 8 January 1917 )
LIII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA ( broken up 11 September 1916 )
9th Divisional Ammunition Column RFA
9th Heavy Battery RGA ( left 16 May 1915 )
V.9 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA( joined May 1916, left February 1918 )
X.9, Y.9 and Z.9 Medium Mortar Batteries RFA ( joined April 1916; on 13 February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each )

Royal Engineers:

63rd Field Company
64th Field Company
90th Field Company ( joined January 1915 )

9th Divisional Signals Company:

Royal Army Medical Corps:

27th Field Ambulance
28th Field Ambulance
29th Field Ambulance ( left May 1916 )
South African Field Ambulance ( joined May 1916, left 13 September 1918 )
2/1st (East Lancashire) Field Ambulance ( joined 26 September 1918 )
20th Sanitary Section ( left 29 March 1917 )

Other Divisional Troops:

9th Divisional Train
ASC 104, 105, 106 and 107 Companies
21st Mobile Veterinary Section AVC
212th Divisional Employment Company ( formed by 23 June 1917 )
9th Divisional Motor Ambulance Workshop ( transferred to Divisional Train 9 April 1916 ).

Source :

http://www.1914-1918.net/9div.htm 


  • -

Tunisian Campaign 1943

Category : Articles , Newsletter , WW2

 

 

WW2 – Tunisian campaign 1943 – original colour photograph of two clipped-wing Supermarine Spitfire V’s of No 40 Squadron, South African Air Force serving in a reconnaissance role.

ER622/`WR-D’ accompanied by `WR-C’ patrols over the Tunisian battle-front.

Note the orange centre on the rondel and orange strip on the tail flash. The rondel and tail fin flash where in the national flag colours – the Union flag of South Africa, the oranje blanje blou (Orange, White, Blue).

Of the British and Commonwealth forces serving in Tunisia the South African Air Force was the only to carry a different colour in the rondel centre, the British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand air forces all had the RAF red centred rondel modelled on the United Kingdom’s ‘Union Jack’ colours of Red, White and Blue.

Image copyright : Imperial War Museum


Search this Site

Next Event

Sep
23
Sat
2017
10:00 Battle of Square Hill Parade @ East Sheen Cemetery
Battle of Square Hill Parade @ East Sheen Cemetery
Sep 23 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Battle of Square Hill Parade @ East Sheen Cemetery | Richmond | England | United Kingdom
Inaugural Battle of Square Hill Parade Purpose: We remember the contribution of the South African Cape Corps battalion which helped the Allies – lead by General Allenby – break through to Damascus and knock the
Nov
11
Sat
2017
10:00 Armistice Day 2017 @ Richmond Cenotaph
Armistice Day 2017 @ Richmond Cenotaph
Nov 11 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Armistice Day 2017 @ Richmond Cenotaph | England | United Kingdom
Purpose: Each year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we observe a Two Minute Silence. Armistice Day on 11 November marks the end of the First World War and

SA Legion Formal Ball

The Big DaySeptember 16th, 2017
The big day is here.