Art Gallery - September 1998
As promised, here is our second selection of art works, photographs and sketches that have been contributed by Rhodesians around the world. The previous art gallery selection is still accessible on this web site; you need look no further than the archive.
Thanks to the efforts of a few of our readers, the mystery that we reported as surrounding this picture has been solved. The painting was created by a former RAR officer, John Hopkins. It is known as "Fireforce External 1979". John Hopkins lives in Wales, apparently, and efforts are being made to secure his permission to use this picture in Echoes of an African War.
This photograph from the Ian Dixon collection is of a soldier in the famed Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR). The RAR had a long and worthy battle history. RAR soldiers fought in World War 2, and the Malayan emergency prior to the Rhodesian war. Black soldiers fought with distinction in the Rhodesian war, and they made up nearly 70% of the Rhodesian army at any one time - a fact often lost in the aftermath of the political process. All black Rhodesian soldiers were volunteers.
Des Sharp sent in this photo which, he says, was taken very early in the war at the first forward air field (FAF) which was situated at Wankie. The weapons held by the airmen pictured here are FN-FAL assault rifles, whilst the serviceman on the right is holding a STEN gun - a 9mm sub machine gun of World War 2 vintage.
The consummate professional. This superb shot of an RAR soldier sums up the attitude and reputation of the Rhodesian African Rifles soldier. Photo courtesy of the Ian Dixon collection.
Another early air force shot - this one was taken out the door of a Rhodesian Air Force Dakota (C -47). Photo is courtesy of the Ian Dixon collection.
The airman pictured here, Henry Jarvie, was a chopper technician with 7 Squadron, Rhodesian Air Force. The T shirt caption was something of a squadron joke initiated by the technicians who felt that their pilots were not beyond meddling in the technical set up and maintenance of the helicopters! Henry Jarvie featured in an altogether unique firefight - he was a crew member on a helicopter that came into contact with a group of insurgents. The chopper crew expended all their ammunition and resorted to hurling coke bottles down upon their foes! Sadly, Henry Jarvie was killed in action on 12 January 1978. Thanks to Nick Tselentis for these details. Photograph is courtesy of the Ian Dixon collection.
The armour depicted here is an example of a Rhodesian manned T55-L. The South African authorities seized ten of these Polish manufactured machines from a freighter in Durban harbour where they were en route to Uganda. The Rhodesian army were given 8 of them, but they arrived in Rhodesia too late to see much action. Photograph is courtesy of Craig Fourie. Info courtesy of Adam Geibel.
This photograph from the Ian Dixon collection well illustrates the devastating effect of a landmine. Mines were sown with impunity on Rhodesian roads by insurgents throughout the war years. The victims, very often, were civilians...
Men of the Grey's Scouts - a mounted unit, at full gallop...Mounted troops fought effectively in the Rhodesian war, proving again, that horses still have a part to play in modern conflicts. Photo courtesy of Bill Fraser-Kirk.
This photo from Basil Preston neatly underpins a salient fact about the Rhodesian war. The Rhodesian army was more integrated than its detractors will admit and Rhodesia relied heavily on the volunteer services of black Rhodesian soldiers. The photo was taken on a survival course that was run on Island 189 on Lake Kariba.
The soldier depicted in this photograph (L/Cpl Marais )was the inspiration for the Africa's Child painting. His photo was originally put to good effect by the Rhodesian Army. He featured in a recruitment poster! The attire depicted here - camouflage shirt, web belt, PT shorts is authentic troopie battle dress. The weapon is the belt - fed Belgian MAG. Photo courtesy of Chris Cocks and Tom Argylle.
This photo from Chris Cocks shows the cordon sanitare - the mine field that Rhodesian Army engineers laid along the border and around certain garrison towns. The fence was patrolled as regularly as possible, the cleared strip adjacent to the fence is the mine field proper. Many animals fell victim to the mines and the question of whether or not the minefields were effective still has to be answered. In some parts of Zimbabwe, mines are still a danger to people and animals.
Dining in night! The subaltern (2Lt.) pictured here is "Boere" Hume of the Rhodesian Light Infantry. The lady, unfortunately, is unidentifed. Lt Hume is wearing the miniature version of the Rhodesia General Service Medal (RGSM). Photo courtesy of Mike Orlyski and Chris Cocks.
The Rhodesian Army made effective use of the vast stores of weapons that were captured during the war. Here a recoilless rifle is being put through its paces. The soldiers in the picture are armed with Heckler & Koch G3 rifles. Small quantities of this weapon were available to some units of the Rhodesian Security Forces. Photo courtesy of Craig Fourie.
An Alouette III of the Rhodesian Air Force. This robust aircraft served ably as gunship, troop carrier, observation platform and in the casualty evacuation role.Photo courtesy of the Ian Dixon collection.
A Rhodesian patrol takes time out alongside a river bank. Crocodiles as well as insurgents would occupy the minds of the guards...Photo courtesy of Tom Argylle.
Suddenly, it was all over. English policeman, PC Alan Prett, stands guard at a rural polling booth as the 1980 election decides the fate of a country. Photo courtesy of Chick van Moerkerken.
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