Colours Presented to the Rhodesian African Rifles · July 12, 1953

Presentation of Colours to the Rhodesian African Rifles, July 12, 1953, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother handing the Queen's Colour to Lieutenant M. E. Pillar. On the right is Major (J. A. Bain who handed the Colour to Her Majesty.

Presentation of Colours to the Rhodesian African Rifles, July 12, 1953, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother handing the Queen’s Colour to Lieutenant M. E. Pillar. On the right is Major (J. A. Bain who handed the Colour to Her Majesty.

Presentation of colours

Presentation of colours

Before presenting the Colours to the RAR on July 12, 1953, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother inspected the Regiment accompanied by the Commanding Officer, the late Lt. Col. G. E. L. Rule.

Before presenting the Colours to the RAR on July 12, 1953, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother inspected the Regiment accompanied by the Commanding Officer, the late Lt. Col. G. E. L. Rule.

12 july 1953, a Sunday, Lieutenant-Colonel Kim Rule OBE (CO of 1RAR) reported that ‘15 officers, 14 British warrant officers and non-commissioned officers and 535 African ranks’ were present. During the Colour presentation ceremony, HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, delivered these words on behalf of her daughter and Regent, Queen Elizabeth II:

The Queen Mother arriving.

“I should like to say something to you of the significance of these colours. At all times and in all countries, soldiers have served under some emblem in whose defence they fought and, if necessary died. In Europe for many centuries it has been a flag. Your own forefathers carried a shield in battle. By the colour of the flag or shield, all knew friend from foe and recognized comrades of their own regiment or impi. In the impi, I am told, it was a disgrace to let the shield fall. So in a regiment it was a disgrace to let the colours be captured while there was a man standing to defend them. Today, although the colours are no longer carried in battle, they have become a symbol that the soldier puts his allegiance to the queen and Commonwealth before everything, including himself. Upon their colours regiments have served under some emblem in whose defence they fought and, if necessary died. In Europe for many centuries it has been a flag. Your own forefathers carried a shield in battle. By the colour of the flag or shield, all knew friend from foe and recognized comrades of their own regiment or impi. In the impi, I am told, it was a disgrace to let the shield fall. So in a regiment it was a disgrace to let the colours be captured while there was a man standing to defend them. Today, although the colours are no longer carried in battle, they have become a symbol that the soldier puts his allegiance to the queen and Commonwealth before everything, including himself. Upon their colours regiments have served under some emblem in whose defence they fought and, if necessary died. In Europe for many centuries it has been a flag. Your own forefathers carried a shield in battle. By the colour of the flag or shield, all knew friend from foe and recognized comrades of their own regiment or impi. In the impi, I am told, it was a disgrace to let the shield fall. So in a regiment it was a disgrace to let the colours be captured while there was a man standing to defend them. Today, although the colours are no longer carried in battle, they have become a symbol that the soldier puts his allegiance to the queen and Commonwealth before everything, including himself. Upon their colours regiments have emblazoned names of great battles and campaigns. And not only victories— they include all those battles where honour and glory have been added to the history of the regiment by heroic deeds of valour and endurance. In peacetime too, by your bearing you may add further lustre to your traditions. In the short history of the Rhodesian African Rifles you have proved by your service in Burma that you can hold your own in battle. By your service since the war you have shown that you carry out your duties to the queen, the colony and its people with smartness and efficiency. I know how many of you volunteered to serve in the Middle East when help was needed. By this you have shown that you are ready to take your share in the welfare of the Commonwealth. By all these things you have won the honour of carrying your colours. I present them to you in recognition of your loyalty in the past and in the faith that you, and those who follow you in the regiment, will always guard its tradition and strive to bring new honour to its name.”

Judy Maree Being encouraged to go forward for the presentation of the bouquet

Judy Maree Being encouraged to go forward for the presentation of the bouquet

The Colours were presented to the following Ensigns: Lieutenant M. Pillar, the Royal (Queen’s) before presenting the Regimental Colour to Lieutenant O. M. Atkinson.

Artwork of both Colours: John Wynne Hopkins

Artwork of both Colours: John Wynne Hopkins

Text: Courtesy of Masodja. (Messrs DG Heppenstall and A Binda)
Artwork of both Colours: John Wynne Hopkins

Leave a Reply