Purpose: In celebrating Freedom Day in South Africa, the South African Legion – England Branch gives tribute to three statesmen whose nation building vision and deeds shaped modern South Africa – Nelson Mandela, Jan Smuts and Mahatma Gandhi, whose statues are all represented on Parliament Square in London as great visionaries of not only South Africa, but also Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations.
Commemoration is to take place in Parliament Square, central London for 11:00am on Saturday 28th April 2018.
Address: Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3JX
We request all standard bearers and veterans on parade to muster at 10:30.
Britain’s Largest and Longest Running Anzac Ceremony, Cannock Chase.
Some interesting links on the Parade:
Every few years, on the second Sunday in May, the city of Ypres in Belgium hosts ‘The Festival of Cats’ (Kattenstoet) – a spectacular carnival parade that harks-back to the Middle Ages when cats were associated with witches.
Every evening at 20:00 sharp, ever since 1928, the solemn and stirringly beautiful Last Post ceremony has been performed under the The Menin Gate, Ypres.
Johanna and I plan to arrive in Ypres on Saturday 12 May, visit some WW1 sites during the day, and attend the Last Post Ceremony in the evening, and then watch the fireworks display that kicks-off the Kattenstoet celebrations.
In the afternoon of Sunday 13 May, we’ll attend the Kattenstoet itself. Then, at 20:00 on Sunday, we will attend the Last Post Ceremony and lay a wreath on behalf of the South African Legion.
I have just received a confirmation email from the Last Post Association welcoming us to participate. As this particular evening coincides with the Kattenstoet (which attracts thousands of people), it’s a relatively high-visibility opportunity.
Should any Legionnaires and their families wish to join us, please let me know. We’ve attended a previous Kattenstoet and it is really a fun day out for the whole family.
• There are many affordable hotels and B&Bs around Ypres, but they tend to sell-out quite quickly on the Kattenstoet weekend, so book early (recommend www.booking.com).
• The nearest Channel port to Ypres is Dunkirk, but Calais is also nearby.
• There is no entrance fee for the Kattenstoet but the streets can be quite crowded. Tickets can be bought for several grandstands dotted along the route of the procession. www.kattenstoet.be/en/
• We can all meet-up for dinner afterwards.
We have been allocated up to three reserved places at the Menin Gate. Other Legionnaires will be asked to take their place with the general public. We could possibly (will find out on the day) be asked to recite the Exhortation (They shall grow not old…) or the Kohima Epitaph (When you go home, tell them of us and say…
Legionnaires are requested to attend in SA Legion Parade Order (SA Legion green or black blazer, SA Legion beret, SA Legion tie, white shirt, dark trousers (or Murray of Atholl tartan trews) and black shoes).
If you would like to join us, please mark yourself as attending? We can also organise a ‘battlefield driveabout’ on Saturday if enough people are interested.
Please have a look at the programme below and indicate your attendance?
Saturday 12 May:
- 10:30 – meet-up at Tyne Cot Cemetery
- 11:30 Drive (10 min) to Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 in Zonnebeke
- 12:30 Drive (10 min) to Hooge Crater Museum – Lunch at café adjacent to museum.
- 14:00 Visit Hooge Krater Museum and Hooge Krater cemetery
Info: Drive (10 min) to Hooge Crater Museum
- 15:30 Drive (10 Min) to Ypres.
Free parking available here: https://goo.gl/maps/iiPmmfFiAg52
Pay parking inside city. Possible restrictions due to Kattenstoet.
- 16:00 Meet-up at In Flanders Fields Museum, Grote Markt, Ypres
- 19:00 Meet-up for ‘dry run’ of Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate
Dress: Parade Order with medals https://salegion.org.uk/membership/dress-and-bearing/
- 20:30 Cat’s Dance and Firework Display
Full itinerary map: https://goo.gl/maps/LaMakK7k5Uk
Sunday 13 May:
- 15:00 Cat Parade – Ypres centre
- 19:00 Meet-up for Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate
The SA Legion Europe Branch will lay a wreath, and possibly participate in the ceremony itself (depending on the Order of the Day)
Dress: Parade Order with medals https://salegion.org.uk/membership/dress-and-bearing/
- 20:30 Dinner at Brasserie Kazematten
NB! Please indicate your attendance numbers for reservation purposes.
For further information, please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Purpose: Informal South African Gathering
- This will be an informal event hosted by the South African Legion – United Kingdom and Europe
- Southern Africa Traditional Style / Makitie / Potjie Kos Competition / Braai / Skookie / Skouerskuur.
- A great atmosphere for the whole family and friends for those that are not inclined to attend a formal event.
- An ideal opportunity for everyone to meet up and have an enjoyable afternoon and evening with a many events , food, drinks, fun and dance.
- This event will also present itself as an opportunity to recruit
Purpose: Founder’s Day (also known as Oak Apple Day) is the highlight of the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s calendar, an event attended by all our brethren, the Chelsea Pensioners, celebrating the founding of the Royal Hospital by King Charles II. The event has taken place almost every year since the founding of the Royal Hospital in 1681.
(Note: Tickets are limited. Please express interest early)
Purpose: A chance to show our support for the armed forces of our host nation. This event is under the auspices of the Royal Naval Association.
Purpose: We remember the 229,000 South Africans who volunteered for World War 1, paying tribute to 2,500 who perished in the Battle of Delville Wood, the single biggest SA military loss on the battle field.
Delville Wood was sometimes known as “Devil’s Wood”, the fighting there – was a series of engagements in the 1916 Battle of the Somme – was particularly ferocious. The majority of the wood was eventually taken by South African soldiers on the 15th of July 1916, and they held on grimly during numerous German counterattacks for six days, until they were relieved. Haig in his diary recorded on the 15th of July 1916 “(The) Enemy counterattacked (the) wood in force from north and northeast at 14.45 and was repulsed”.
After the War, South Africa purchased the site in 1920, and it serves as a memorial to those of that nation who fell, not just here but elsewhere.
Purpose (of committee meeting): All Branch members are invited to contribute in providing suggestions/feedback, or just listen to the quarterly update. Final event planning will also take place for one of our upcoming flagship events – scheduled three weeks after (Nation-building Tribute to three great South African statesmen, coinciding on Freedom Day).
Note: The committee meeting will start at 10:00. Once this formal part of the day is complete, the fun part of the day begins…
Following the committee meeting, our fun QUARTERLY SOCIAL will commence at 13:30.
We would like to invite all legionnaires to join us for the afternoon at our next quarterly SA Legion Social.
This is an opportunity for fellow legionnaires to catch up with old friends, connect & forge bonds with new friends… also a chance to direct any questions or suggestions to Committee Members over a nice relaxing beer!
- Reserve your tickets now!
- This will be the second formal black tie event hosted by the South African Legion – United Kingdom and Europe since its inception.
- It is time for you to get out your Mess Dress or Black-Tie evening wear for this superb occasion.
- The event will be full of pleasant surprises, a few twists and a great atmosphere, especially for our partners and families that normally do not participate in our events during the year.
- An ideal opportunity for everyone to meet up and have an enjoyable evening with a great three course meal, drinks, fun and dance.
- This event will also present itself with new annual awards, and over £2,000.00 worth of prizes and items to raffle. This means that everyone should leave with something to remember the evening by.
- All this for tickets price of only £60 per person.
Battle of Square Hill **Centenary** 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 Ottoman Empire out of World War One.
This year marks the milestone centenary… for a historic battle which is not yet at the forefront of general consciousness in the United Kingdom. The legion playing its part to raise general awareness.
There will be a brief special ceremony preceding the official parade where we invite guests to attend (in the chapel near our Richmond cenotaph).
11 November 2018 will mark 100 years since end of the First World War.
On Saturday 10 November 2018, at 10h30, members of the South African Legion UK & Europe as well as representatives of other South African veterans’ organisations will gather at the South African Memorial Cenotaph at Richmond Cemetery. We will observe two minutes’ silence at 11h00 and then lay wreaths in honour of all South Africans who gave their lives in two World Wars.
Note: This parade will occur on the day preceding the London Whitehall Cenotaph march-past (on 11 Nov 2018). It follows a successful event last year and presents an extra opportunity for those travelling to London that weekend to
All veterans, family, and friends are welcome, and we would like to have as many members of the wider South African community there as we can, so please feel free to share this event far and wide.
Afterwards, we’ll move to a suitable nearby pub raise a glass to Absent Friends and Good Comrades.
Dress code: SA Legion ‘parade order’ (SAL Beret, SAL or dark blazer, medals, poppy). Civilian guests requested to dress in a manner fitting the solemnity of the occasion.
If you would like to lay a wreath or flowers on behalf of an organisation, please register with the parade convenor email@example.com
Purpose: This parade is held annually as a day “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts”.
NOTE: Current 2018 Members of the South African Legion are invited to participate in the RBL Cenotaph Parade.
You MUST be a paid up member to wear the SA Legion Insignia.
You will need a ticket in advance to attend this parade.
The mustering details are as follows:
Horse Guards Parade Ground – 12 November 2017 (enter at the Horse Guards gate).
All from the branch who applied for tickets have been allocated to COLUMN D this year.
Members of SA Legion who are also members of The Royal British Legion South African Branch have been issued tickets are as follows:
Diamantino de Freitas
Daniel Scott Mcardle
Peter and Karen Dickens have all the tickets, they are ‘named’ as they were last year. As we have done in previous years we ask that everybody meets at ‘Inn the Park’ and collects their ticket.
Please be there by 09:00am as we have done in the past. We will then make our way to the Horse Guards parade ground from around 09:30am.
General Information as provided by the RBL
· Horse Guards will be open from 08:00 am
· All contingents must be FORMED Up by 10:00 am
· There is no parking in the area
· Do not bring unnecessary bags, unattended bags cannot be left in the area at any time.
· You must bring a photo ID with you (drivers licence or passport are the only two types accepted).
· If you DO NOT have a photo ID – you are required to bring TWO utility bills to show proof of address (any address carrying Bank Statement, Utility bill, Council bill or HM Revenue bill will be acceptable).
· Those members under 18 years of age can have proof of ID in the form of a Birth certificate or medical certificate.
I have not seen anything regarding the usual ‘free veterans’ taxi service from black cabs carrying the Poppy notice, but that does not mean the service is not available. So, if you arrive at a train station look out for these cabs to take you to Horse Guards (they may be in service this year as is usual).
The post parade function and AGM will be at the same place and time as we have done in the past years. Details of Post Parade venue as follows:
The Kings Arms – 2 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1J 7QA
Purpose: We pay tribute to the Jewish servicemen.
There is a deep-rooted history of Jewish servicemen contributing to South African military history, with heroic acts scattered from the time of the Boer war – where they served on both sides – to the modern day.
Purpose: We remember the sacrifices made by all during both Anglo Boer Wars
As always The Royal Scots Dragoons Regiment association look forward to some “Saffa” participation at the Carabineers/Boer War remembrance day that is held at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, London.
The day consists of a short remembrance service on the embankment (opposite Chelsea Bridge), followed by an optional attendance of the service in the prestigious chapel, and then a curry lunch (well recommended for a tenner), a small raffle, and socialising with the Chelsea pensioners, the Royal Scots Dragoon guards and fellow legionnaires.