Amazing Grace in 1RAR, the Rhodesian African Rifles

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2 Responses

  1. /// Response by Capt. Joe C. Smith, 1RAR, Ret. to author Sally-Ann Lowe’s wonderful telling of a fascinating patrol of trial and error that culminated in a near miracle…or perhaps a real one. “After my initially botched patrol ,so accurately exposed by author Lowe, we ended up with the discovery of an innocent old man buried under rocks and left to die by Chinese armed & trained Communist Terrorists( CT’s) trying then( and now ) to dominate ALL of Africa.
    Author Lowe, like no other reviewer, exposed the odds of the old man ever being found Without God’s Hand. Had I NOT bungled the mission he would have died an agonizing death under five feet of rock. Author Lowe captures the strange serendipitous ( OR God guided ) nature of counterinsurgency warfare when a “miss” can turn into “hit”… with a Happy Ending. I particularly appreciate the bigger picture aim of Sally-Ann Lowe to hi-lite the many wonderful military and civilian achievements of Rhodesia. She is beautifully RECLAIMING all of that and I for one couldn’t be more pleased. The experience of mine she recounts was first published in NHOHO, Regimental Magazine of The Rhodesian African Rifles, after selection by Brigadier David Heppenstall,Ret, Rhodesian Army, in about 2009, under the title( I think ) “Voices From The Grave.” Only this morning, thanks to reading Sally-Ann Lowe’s article, did I learn my story of discovery and redemption( mine) was re-published on Page 186, of CHIBAYA MOYO 2, marvelously assembled by Captains Andrew Telfer( Silver Cross of Rhodesia ) and Captain Russell Fulton. In their tome my story( just one of hundreds ) is titled “A Voice From The Grave.” So thanks Sally-Ann Lowe for telling me. You deserve praise from us all for your “illumination” of Rhodesia’s greatness.
    /// Contextual notes. The astounding memories of African Soldiers were the ‘secret weapon’ to many RAR successes in the field..like this one. While officers came and went African soldiers stayed, patrolled all of the Tribal Trust Lands, year after year and remembered…everything. Every curve on the the path, every dimple in the terrain, every borehole, and in this case, every old terrorist camp. Credit all to that sensational African memory. Remember also that from 1977 onward The Rhodesian African Rifles also had black officers commanding platoons as competently as white one. One, a pal of mine, Lt. Percy Chiyanike had the Bronze Cross of Rhodesia. Rhodesia made this happen. )

    • Editor says:

      Thank you Joseph, your wonderful comment was very much appreciated by myself and Sally-Ann Lowe.
      I hope one day you write the story of your pal Lt. Percy Chiyanike. We’d very much like to include it on Reclaiming Rhodesia, and any other stories you wish to share. I am very proud of my country and my people who fought so hard and for so long side by side. In so many ways the RAR and your service with them, points to the Rhodesian Spirit – and why, Rhodesians Never Die.

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