Author Archives: David Mannall

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SA Legion Medal Parade – Military Museum JHB

I recently had the good fortune to happen upon the Military Museum in Johannesburg. 
I’d been eager to see the 61 Mech memorial needle and of course the Lomba bell, centrepiece of what is known as the Hind memorial, so named because of the one significant loss by Charlie Squadron during the destruction of FAPLA’s 49th Brigade on 3 October 1987.

During my visit to the museum I noticed a bunch of oaks turning up in jackets and ties. 
Turned out I just happened to be there during an SA Legion medal parade. There were at least 100 medals being awarded by Godfrey Giles and Demetri Friend, among other Legion heavyweights.

What a privilege to sit in on this remarkable event in which families of national servicemen from three decades ago got a tiny sense of the commitment their men made for our nation.

The opening speeches left me in no doubt as to the immense value that such events mean to families and veterans alike. The pride of a grand daughter or the reflected honour of a veterans son cannot be overstated. And, of course, the state sponsored jewellery will be passed down the generations, a tangible connection to a lost era of significant sacrifice.

Another valuable lesson from the experience was the restatement by the Legion’s president of the value for every one of us to get involved at some level, to support fellow brothers in arms, to break bread (or braai) occasionally with guys who did what you did. 
This does not necessarily mean monetary involvement but rather emotional support or even more valuable… Just a bit of your time. 
We were apparently three quarters of a million boys conscripted, just a fraction of that number coming together have the power to make a huge difference as a collective force. 
The dominee at 32 Battalion Savate day parade at Voortrekker monument recommended we look out for our brothers and encouraged us to “give them a hug”. Sometimes that’s a literal hug, but sometimes that’s just a bit of support to see them address some uphill challenge (not tomorrow’s comrades marathon – I mean uphill challenges that last more than a day).

I feel richer for giving some of my time to these things. Encourage your veteran pals to get a little more involved. 
We only have each other.

Salute and respect. 
Dave Mannall
“Not for ourselves …”


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SA Veterans to march in Cenotaph Parade

Category : Articles , News

 

Remembrance Day Special: SA Veterans to march past Cenotaph in main parade!

 

On 10 November 2013 we will pause once more to remember the countless brave men and women who over so many generations have sacrificed everything for country and comrade.

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In addition to the traditional Remembrance Day marches organised by SA Legion UK in Glasgow and London, this year, for the very first time, a contingent of South African veterans will participate in the Whitehall parade. 

 

Chairman Peter Dickens said, “It goes without saying that this invitation is a massive honour for SA veterans, I also recognise that by inviting us in, British authorities have afforded a unique opportunity to showcase the intertwined, sometimes complex, military histories of two proud nations.”

 

SALUK President Norman Sander was keen to extend a warm invitation to South Africans of all stripes to come out and support SALUK’s main London event at Commonwealth Gates, Constitutional Hill. He said, “Some vets will be televised marching past the Cenotaph which will be an incredibly proud moment for the South African diaspora, but should not deter friends and family from wrapping up warm and showing their support our veterans at numerous other parades. We had great support last year and hope to see even more folks this time, whatever the weather!” Sander also added, “SA Legion Scotland Branch has been given the great honour of leading Glasgow’s main parade this year, so even if you only make it as far as the sofa on 10 November, make sure to look out for our vets who’ll be marching just behind the Colour party.”

 

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Lest we forget.

 


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Jul
31
Mon
2017
all-day Ypres Passchendaele Centenary @ Tyne Cot Cemetery
Ypres Passchendaele Centenary @ Tyne Cot Cemetery
Jul 31 all-day
Ypres  Passchendaele Centenary @ Tyne Cot Cemetery
    Descendants of those who fought at the Third Battle of Ypres will be invited to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium to mark the centenary of the Battle
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12
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2017
11:00 England Branch Legion Committee ... @ Shipwrights Arms
England Branch Legion Committee ... @ Shipwrights Arms
Aug 12 @ 11:00 – 13:30
England Branch Legion Committee Meeting Q3 @ Shipwrights Arms | England | United Kingdom
Purpose: All Branch members are invited to contribute in providing suggestions/feedback, or just listen to the quarterly update.
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16
Sat
2017
18:00 SA Legion Formal Ball @ The Hall
SA Legion Formal Ball @ The Hall
Sep 16 @ 18:00 – 23:45
SA Legion Formal Ball @ The Hall | England | United Kingdom
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