Author Archives: Godfrey Giles

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Lgr Frank Sexwale

Category : Articles , News , South Africa

 

It is with a very heavy heart this morning that we announce the passing the Past Chairman of the South African Legion’s Soweto Branch. Lgr Frank Sexwale.

Frank Sexwale was one of our last remaining World War 2 heroes, having served with the South African Native Military Corps during the war and was very fondly regarded. To Colonel Tokyo Sexwale, Colonel Johnny Sexwale and General Mokoape we offer our deepest personal condolences.

On behalf of all the Legionnaires of the South African Legion of Military Veterans, we offer our sincere condolences to his family. Our words cannot take away the sorrow they must all be feeling at this time.

We hope our thoughts and prayers give comfort to his family that we as an organisation recognise and salute the work and efforts of Lgr Frank Sexwale.

Frank Sexwale as Chairman of the SA Legion Soweto branch steered the branch through the turbulent 1980’s. In 1986 he received a letter of commendation from the Legion for “transcending political pressure to keep the branch operational” in difficult and dangerous days. The branch facilities were actually expanded and sponsorship secured.

During the late 1980’s he also played a pivot role in securing Legion sponsored housing for Black veterans in Dube and Moroka districts on 99 year leases, when property ownership became legal for Black South Africans, arranging special meetings to explain the legalities of the lease and filing 140 applications.

In 1989, he became the first Black member of the Legion to address a Royal Commonwealth Ex Services League Conference (then the BCEL) conference in London, England.

On this trip in 1989 he also travelled to Hollybrook cemetery in Southampton, England to visit the SS Mendi memorial there and laid a wreath. He then went on to see artefacts from the Mendi kept at the Bembridge Museum on the Isle of Wight. He has been central to championing the memory of the men lost on the SS Mendi and remained so all his life.

We know how important the Soweto Branch was to him and we will try to ensure that it remains strong in his memory.

We will especially remember him at the SS Mendi Commemoration Service on Sunday 22nd February 2015 at 13h00 at the Avalon Cemetery.

We will also remember him at the SS Mendi Service in Atteridgeville on Sunday 22 February 2015 and at the Southampton SS Mendi service on the 20th February and at the Noortwjk SS Mendi service in Holland on the 21 February.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him!

Lgr Godfrey Giles
National President: South African Legion


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Grand President – The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL)

Category : Articles , News , Newsletter

 

South African Legion of Military Veterans press announcement, as of yesterday 9th February 2015 His Royal Highness The Duke of York, Prince Andrew will take up the position of Grand President to our founding organisation – The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL).

The South African Legion of Military Veterans is delighted with General The Lord Richards announcement that His Royal Highness The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, has agreed to take over the role of Grand President from His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip.

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It is with sadness yet full understanding that HRH, Prince Phillip, will be standing down after 41 years of loyal service to our veterans at the helm of the League. The Legion will be sending our heartfelt thanks to HRH Prince Phillip in due course as well as welcoming and congratulating HRH Prince Andrew.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO CD ADC, is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He has an excellent military service record, including operational flying during the Falklands War and he already has strong connections with the Commonwealth. His Royal Highness also supports many charitable and not-for-profit organisations and maintains close links with the Armed Forces.

In February 1921, Field Marshal Earl Haig, Field Marshal Jan Smuts and General Lukin addressed veteran organisations from around the world to form what is now known as RCEL in the Cape Town city hall. The South African Legion has agreed to host the RCEL 100th Anniversary in Cape Town in 2021.

The South African Legion will also be participating in the “Flying of the Flag” on Commonwealth Day, 7th March 2015.

Lgr Godfrey J Giles
National President
South African Legion of Military Veterans
**Prince Philip photograph by Allan Warren, 1992, and Prince Andrew by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons. Source is Wikipedia.


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