Memorials and Camp Badges

Prepared by James H Mitchell

Not all the memorials and camp badges of the Transvaal Scottish have survived. The battlefield memorial designed and built at Fort Capuzzo, south of Bardia, by Sergeant C Schwabe after Sollum, was later demolished and the bodies removed to the cemetery at Sollum itself. Others, as described below, have been transferred to more suitable sites.

Scottish Horse memorial
Sunset on the monument

On Caledonia Hill, one of the the kopjies along Kensington Ridge in Johannesburg, is the site of the Scottish Horse Memorial. In times of need, as when vandals damaged the name plaques in 1961, the Transvaal Scottish provided assistance in keeping with their links to the now-defunct Scottish Horse.

This granite memorial, just to the east of Jeppe Boys' High School, is reached by a flight of stone steps leading up from Highland Road, Kensington. The site offers magnificent views towards the city and of the surrounding kopjies. In the shape of an Iona Cross with a superimposed sword (a 16th Century two-handed true claymore or claidheamhmor), the memorial proudly bears the Scottish shield of lion rampant and royal treasure. The panels (first bronze, now stone) record the names of twelve officers, nine sergeants, five corporals, three lance corporals, forty-three troopers and four Zulu scouts who were "killed in action and died of wounds in the South African War 1901-2". These included two officers commanding the 2nd Scottish Horse, and the adjutants of 1st and 2nd Scottish Horse. Also commemorated are the one officer, fourteen NCOs and 33 troopers who died "from disease or accident". (In view of the dates noted above it is curious that the memorial also bears the inscription "Nemo me impune lacessit 1900".)

This Boer War memorial is dedicated as follows:

In memory of Officers non commissioned officers and men killed in action and died of wounds in the South African War 1901 - 2.
Troopers killed in action and died of wounds
Officers non commissioned officers and men who died from disease or accident.


German South West Africa
Namibian 'Lion match box' memorial.
Photograph, International Consulting Architects, Namibia 1998

A plastered concrete monument stands in Luderitz bearing the date September 19 1914. This was the day on which the town was surrendered to South African forces including 8th Infantry (Transvaal Scottish). It takes the form of a recumbent lion atop a rectangular plinth on one end of which is the Transvaal Scottish badge with the words "Transvaal Scottish Regiment" flanked by two flags. One is the Union Flag, the other appears to be a dove in flight. It was constructed by Bugler E Paterson who used the cover of a match-box as his model for the lion. In 1999 the Luderitz firm, International Consulting Architects, Namibia,  indicated their intention to restore this monument.

The battle of Trekkoppies, which took place 100 km inland from Walvis Bay on April 26 1915, is marked today by a well-maintained cemetery. It has been visited a number of times by representatives of the Transvaal Scottish, most notably in 1975, when Commandant Peter Middleton, 2TS, and his adjutant took part in the Trekkoppies Remembrance Service there, and again in 1987. On each occasion members of the German Alte Kameraden took part in the commemorative services.

The 1987 visit was led by Commandant "Spike" Becker of 2TS, accompanied by Commandant Louis Alexander and the chairman of the TS Regimental Association, Major Barry Tame, among others. Major Grant Stevens led a contingent from 1TS. A mini-band of four pipers and three drummers under Drum Major Bernie de Bernier was present. The regimental padre, the Rev Bill Marshall, gave a sermon and wreaths were laid.  Between April and   June of 1915 members of 2TS who were guarding the railway line inland from Swakopmund constructed two badges of stones.  Although showing many signs of weathering over the decades, both are recognisable as showing the Scottish thistle which forms part of the TS badge. The one badge is round and lies on the upper slope of a ridge next to a sangar a few hundred metres north of the railway line 43 km east of Swakopmund, between the Rossing and Aradis stations. The uncompleted second badge is 5 km further inland on a ridge 50 m from the railway.

International Consulting Architects, Namibia.
17 Luderitz Street, PO Box 22111, Windhoek, Namibia (061) 23 7162 / 09 2 646 122 8805
Mr. U.M. Prinsloo

World War I

The Memorial Chapel in St Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg, contains panels carrying the names of those who died with the 4th SAI (SA Scottish) in Egypt in 1915 and later on in France and Flanders.

For those who returned there is another memorial in the city, in the Brixton Cemetery. In the form of a plaque carried on a granite tripod, it bears the inscription:

South African Scottish Regiment
1915 - 1918

To Commemorate the Men From the Witwatersrand
Of the South African Scottish Regiment
Who After Surviving the Perils of the Great War
Died on the Return Form Active Service Overseas.
This Stone is Erected by Their Comrades
Who Fought Side by Side with Them
Who Shared Their Trials and the Triumphs
And Remembering with Pride and Affection
Their Stirling Qualities As Soldiers and Men
Render this Tribute to Their Memory.

Above the inscription is carved the badge of the 4th SAI (South African Scottish).
Precious little "pride and affection", unfortunately, is shown by those present-day vandals who in recent years have shattered the massive stone plaque into several pieces.

A project has been established to repair the memorial.


Sir William Dalrymple

The ornate grave of the first Officer Commanding the re-formed Scottish Horse, and first Honorary Colonel of the Transvaal Scottish Volunteers and Transvaal Scottish Regiment, lies just inside the main south east entrance to Brixton Cemetery, Johannesburg. Colonel Sir William Dalrymple served as honorary colonel from 1908 until 1941.


1922 Rand Revolt

The TS was one of the units called out to quell the Rand Revolt in 1922, and in so doing lost five officers and twelve other ranks killed.  In all except three cases their graves are marked with regimental headstones, placed in 1971 when the gravesites were renovated.  The graves are located as follows:

Brixton: Major G A F Adam MC TD; Captain H W Backeberg MC; Lieutenant E Guy; Corporal A Macleod; Privates L Froneman, E S Goddard, R P Machan, F B Marshall, G F Ireland, R B Ovens and J L Freeman.
Roodepoort: Lieutenant G Ross.
Primrose: Privates G Brown and A V Higham.
Benoni: Sergeant H H Roux.
Voortrekkerhoogte: Lieutenant L F Gregorowski.
Braamfontein: Private F V A Ross.

Privates Freeman and Ross were buried in family plots and their graves were adequately marked without regimental headstones. Lieutenant Gregorowski's grave was already marked with a regimental headstone.  The biggest single loss to the TS during the revolt - the train ambush of March 10 when twelve were killed and twenty-six wounded - was commemorated by a memorial at Dunswart which unveiled on May 26 1984. It was donated by Lions International and carries a plaque to the TS which was donated by 7 Med. Regt. (3TS) SAA.

A plaque to those who died in the revolt (and also in memory of those who died in the preservation of law and order in 1914) was placed in St George's Presbyterian Church in June 1956. It has since been transferred to "The View" in Parktown.

SA Scottish Memorial

This monuments stands in front the RHQ : 'The View'

This memorial was formerly exclusively in memory of the SA Scottish who died in World War I. In the early 1950s the Transvaal Scottish (from whom, of course, membership of the 4th SAI (SA Scottish) had largely been drawn) were invited to join with the SA Scottish Association in responsibility for the memorial which would also commemorate their war dead. In 1952, after deliberation, the Transvaal Scottish Regimental Council approved the addition of a plaque bearing the words, "Also in grateful memory of the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment who gave their lives in the two world wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945."

Pro Patria

grateful memory
of the
officers, non commissioned
officers and men of the
South African Scottish
who fell in the Great War.
Ye honoured mighty dead
who nobly perished in the glorious cause.

Also in grateful memory of the
officers, non commissioned officers and men of
The Transvaal Scottish Regiment, who gave
their lived in the two world wars of
1914 - 1918 and 1940 - 1945

1914 -1918

It was originally intended to include the inscription,

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us
But unto Thy name be the glory"

but on further consideration this proposal was dropped.  Over the years, following demographic changes in the City of Johannesburg, the ambience of the Joubert Park area changed, so that there were annual references in The Jock Column after every Remembrance Day parade to the vagrants and litter surrounding the memorial. Letters to the press on this subject were noticed and the idea of moving the statue to a more suitable location - perhaps inside Joubert Park itself or close to the Art Gallery - was first raised at a meeting of the TS Regimental Council in 1986.  Discussions were entered into with the City Council which by 1988 had agreed in principle to the moving of the statue ... but exactly where, or who was to pay, was not clear.

It had been suggested at one time that the Cenotaph in the Johannesburg Library Gardens, commemorating the dead of both World Wars, might be moved to the new Civic Centre in Braamfontein. This, it was thought, would give impetus to the transfer of the SA Scottish Memorial. But in the end the Cenotaph stayed where it was. Then there were suggestions that railings be put up. The two battalions made efforts to regularly clean the area.   By 1989 there were suggestions that if a hoped-for move by the TS into the Old Johannesburg Fort came to fruition, then the memorial would most appropriately be moved there. But negotiations over the Fort came to nothing.

Finally, however, when it was desired to build a new bus station in the Joubert Park area in the early 1990s, the City Council accepted responsibility the memorial's removal. Land on the road frontage immediately outside "The View", in Parktown, was acquired and the transfers expeditiously arranged, and the solid stone memorial - together with its much larger and heavier concrete base - were finally moved.


Kirby memorial plaque

In St Augustine's Church, Orange Grove, Johannesburg, a brass memorial plaque is inscribed with these words:

In memory of Lieut. Col. Walter Kirby M.C.
Officer Commanding 3rd Battalion, Transvaal Scottish Regiment.
Killed in Action at Sidi Rezegh November 23rd 1941. Aged 53 years.

Underneath are the words,

"The faithful shall abide in Love, the care of
them is with the Most High."


Jack Gartly relics

A glass case of relics of Major Jack Gartly, the 2i/c of 3TS who was killed at Sidi Rezegh along with his Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Kirby, was for years displayed at the MOTH Memorial Centre in Noord Street, Johannesburg, as the focal point of the Jack Gartly Shellhole. Now that this Shellhole holds its meetings at "The View", these relics are displayed upstairs there. They include his kilt, sporran, Balmoral and hosetops.


Memorial to Jock Chalmers

The late Sergeant Major T Chalmers DCM MSM was described by Major Juta, author of the first volume of the regiment's history, as "that genius" with reference to his training of a guard of honour for the 1925 visit to Johannesburg of the Prince of Wales.

He is commemorated in the War Memorial Library of King Edward VII School in Johannesburg by an "Atmos" clock, installed in 1956, and to which the TS Regimental Council contributed.

Sergeant Major Chalmers, a Permanent Force member formerly with the Scottish Rifles, assisted the TS in 1920 as a musketry instructor. Until 1944 he served as an instructor, finally with the rank of captain, for the cadets of King Edward VII School. (The cadet corps has been associated with the TS since pre-World War I days.)


Addis Ababa memorial

Whether it still remains is unknown, but the Transvaal Scottish were once honoured with other South African and Commonwealth units on a memorial in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was erected in the little stone St Matthew's Anglican Church in the Ethiopian capital which was dedicated on April 7 1955 by the Bishop in Sudan. The Transvaal Scottish Regimental Council had earlier, in 1953, donated the sum of 25 pounds to the church building fund.   The memorial itself carries the inscription in English and Amharic,

"This memorial was set up by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, in gratitude to the forces of all arms who fought in the campaign for the liberation of Ethiopia 1940-1941."

It was unveiled on June 25 1956, and bears the Arms of the Union of South Africa above a listing of all the units concerned. The names "1 Transvaal Scottish" and "3 Transvaal Scottish" were included.


Barberton badge

The original Barberton badge was designed by Lt Robin Smithers and constructed out of the materials to hand - rocks and gravel - when the re-formed TS was converted to armour in the closing stages of World War II.
That plaque, on a sloped plinth, carried the regimental badge with the words "3rd Bn Transvaal Scottish".
In post-war years Barberton became a place of annual pilgrimage for members of the regiment and the TS Regimental Association, for in fact all three battalions had passed through the camp in their time - 3TS for four months in 1940, 2TS briefly in 1941, and 1TS for twelve months in 1943-44. When the original fifteen badges constructed by the various units that had passed through the old camp were threatened by redevelopment, a garden of remembrance was built incorporating remodelled, concrete badges.


St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Fairview

This attractive little brick-built, iron-roofed church has long been associated with 2TS. The foundation stone was laid in 1903 by "His Excellency the Lieut. Governor Sir Arthur Lawley KCMG" ... the same official who in 1902 ratified the appointment of Gordon Sandilands as first Officer Commanding the Transvaal Scottish Volunteers. Members of the St Andrew's congregation fought in the 4th SAI (SA Scottish) during World War I. Their names are listed on the congregation's own memorial rather than on a special Transvaal Scottish or SA Scottish plaque.  Since 1950 2TS has held an annual service at the church, on the corner of Commissioner and Mordaunt streets, Fairview. These services were started when in that year the Rev Ian Macdonald came from Scotland to take over the church. In World War I he served in the Highland Division, being severely wounded at Delville Wood, where he lay for three days before being found.  He was later cared for by a sixteen-year-old nurse, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, now Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

One of the church elders, Captain W E J Goldsbrough (ex-3TS) approached Col W E (Bill) Dalrymple who brought his 2TS to the first service, thus starting a tradition which has continued until the present day.The congregation amalgamated to become the Kensington United Church in 1990 and the old St Andrew's is now no longer used and has been sold. The service is now held at another Kensington church.


St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Benoni

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Bunyan Street, Benoni, was for many years the church of 7 Med. Regt. (3TS) SAA and subsequently of the revived 7 Med. Regt SAA. It is now in use as part of a pre-school institution run by the St Dunstan's parish of the Church of the Province of South Africa. In the lych gate of the old church there remains the embossed bronze tablet in memory of members of 3TS who died during World War II, while in the porch is the Scottish Standard that was flown by the battalion in the desert of North Africa, and also the regimental flag that was flown in the immediate post-war years.

On the 25th anniversary of the battle of Sidi Rezegh (November 20 1966) a stained glass memorial window representing St Andrew was unveiled by the widow of Lieutenant Colonel W H Kirby MC. The window was paid for by the TS Regimental Council.

The 3TS brass memorial plaque which was formerly a feature of this church, and which was replaced a number of years ago by the bronze tablet, is now in the Benoni Museum where it forms part of the Webster Collection.

The plaque, which reads,

"In memory of the Officers NCOs and men who gave their lives whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion Transvaal Scottish during the years 1939-1942",

carries a total of seventy-one names, headed by those of the Officer Commanding, Lieutenant Colonel Kirby, and the 2i/c, Major J  D E Gartly, who died at Sidi Rezegh.


St Columba's Presbyterian Church

A Transvaal Scottish crest was incorporated in 1957 in the memorial stained glass window of St Columba's Presbyterian Church, Lurgan Road in Parkview, in memory of members of that congregation who lost their lives in the two World Wars.


St George's Presbyterian Church, Johannesburg

The Transvaal Scottish have worshipped at St George's Presbyterian Church in Johannesburg - first the old one, then the two later ones - from the regiment's foundation in 1902. Until the last decade of this century the association was a happy one, valued on both sides. In 1961 the following words were spoken by the Minister of St George's, the Rev R H R Liddell MC DD MA:

"We, in St George's Church, are proud to be entrusted with the custodianship of the Queen's Colours of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment.We already hold for you your former King's Colours, and one day, if our plans are blessed by God, we hope that all the colours of the Regiment entrusted to us, together with your memorials to fallen comrades, will be placed in the new St George's, in an aisle which will be dedicated to the Scottish."

Certainly both the Colours and the memorials the Rev Liddell spoke of were transferred with honour and respect to the new St George's, but unfortunately in subsequent years the welcome had dimmed so much that by 1989 it was time to leave and the regiment held its annual commemorative services elsewhere. Finally, in July 1993, the Colours and memorials which recorded the sacrifices of the past and people's aspirations for a better future were themselves removed to a site where they would be better respected - the TS Regimental Headquarters at "The View", Parktown.  There were a number of Colours at St George's. The Colours of 2TS were left in the church for safe keeping on March 20 1921 in the presence of Field Marshal Earl Haig. When the battalion was resuscitated in 1936 the Colours were formally reclaimed, then handed back for safe keeping. When new King's and Regimental Colours (the latter given by the Hon F C Sturrock) were presented to 2TS in 1947 by King George VI, the old Colours were again handed in for safe-keeping in St George's on Sunday August 31 1947.

The King's Colour of 1TS, which had been presented in 1921, was also handed over for safe-keeping - this time on Sunday June 15 1947 - after new Colours were presented by the king. The King's Colours that King George VI presented in 1947 to 1 and 2TS were publicly handed over to the church on May 28 1961 just prior to the declaration of the Republic in that year, while the Regimental Colours of the two battalions were unceremoniously brought to the church in an unpleasantly clandestine manner on the orders of the National Party Government. Their crime of course was that they bore a symbol of the monarchy in the form of the embroidered crowns. Where the King's Colours had been laid up with all due public ceremony, including a march through the City of Johannesburg, the Regimental Colours, one of which had been presented at the same parade in 1947, the other in 1931 by the Governor General, the Earl of Clarendon, were almost smuggled into the church at night with officers forbidden to wear uniform and any display of the normal courtesies totally forbidden. The Guidon of the Scottish Horse, disbanded in 1907, was laid up in St George's on June 21 1908. A wooden memorial plaque was first erected during World War I bearing the names of six soldiers who died in the German South West African campaign ...

"In memory & in honour of our comrades who fell in action & died of disease ..."

A bronze memorial plaque honouring the two hundred fallen of all three battalions in World War II was unveiled in the old St George's on November 8 1953. In 1924 the Delville Wood Cross was installed by the survivors of the SA Scottish. The church authorities recorded at the time: "We are gathered today around a weathered and wounded Cross of wood, removed from a far famed battlefield. As you will have gathered from what Colonel [D M] Macleod has said, the silver birch out of which the cross is made, was cut within a few miles of the awful conflict. It was made by the men themselves and was set up by them on the battlefield. It has been sent to us across the sea that we in South Africa may preserve and treasure it, as a touching monument of the sacrifice of those we have loved, and lost awhile." Not everyone in the South Africa of the 1990s now shares these feelings and accordingly, together with the Colours, these memorials have been removed to "The View" for safe-keeping and display. Remaining only is the stained-glass memorial window on the west wall of the church by Armando Baldinelli. This was presented in 1965 to honour the memory of members of the TS who gave their lives in two world wars and bears the inscription, "To the glory of God and in memory of members of the Transvaal Scottish who died in the course of duty". Plans are underway to transfer that window as well to a more suitable site.

(Items that were laid up here for safe keeping have been repatriated to the Regiment and are now available for all to see at the RHQ "The View". The Stained glass windows have been restored and have been installed at the St James Church, Bedford View)

Regimental Memorial Plaque

Designed originally to stand in St George's Presbyterian Church, where
it was unveiled on November 8 1953, this carried the inscription,

"To the glory of God and in proud memory of the officers, non-commissioned
officers and men of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment who gave their lives
in the 1939-1945 War."

Under the Roll of Honour it was originally intended that there should follow the inscription, "They did what their hands found to do and did it well." However it was later decided not to include this.  There was protracted discussion over exactly what names should be included on the Roll of Honour. Finally in January 1952 the TS Regimental Council decided on the following criteria: Those who were on the strength of a TS battalion at the time of their decease; who died in hospital or camp, having been sent there sick or wounded from their TS battalion; who died while prisoner of war from their TS battalion; who died while seconded or in transit to secondment with a non-South African unit direct from a TS battalion; or who, being from a TS battalion, died while on staff duties.  The plaque is now mounted at "The View".


Scottish National War Memorial

A copy of the regiment's Roll of Honour, as it appears on the Regimental Memorial Plaque, has been lodged at the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh since 1953. A further illuminated Roll of Honour was framed and handed over to the SA War Museum on Saturday 14 1953 as a gift. This Roll of Honour is now to be seen displayed at "The View".


Other badges, apart from the two constructed during the German South West Africa campaign and described above, have been constructed with more or less permanence in various centres. These include Potchefstroom, where the South Africans trained before going overseas to Egypt and France in World War I, and the Infantry School at Oudtshoorn. The Oudtshoorn badge was constructed in 1966 when the TS was doing its annual camp there and restored in 1974 by members attending a weapons course. The most recent such construction was at the Klein Rustenburg base in the northern Transvaal, where in 1989 members of 2TS built a miniature of the Barberton plaque.

Photographs, DD Smythe © 1999,
except Namibian 'Lion match box' image submitted by International Consulting Architects, Namibia 1998.