Rhodesia - Intaf

Callsign - Lighthouse

IANS 2 - Rob Picton's Story

 INTAF Memories

I’m British by birth, but my family moved to Nyasaland/Malawi in 1960 when I was four years old, and I went to Rhodesia for boarding school at Falcon College outside Bulawayo in 1969. We immigrated to Rhodesia in 1973, living near Melsetter in the Eastern Highlands, and I then became a boarder at Umtali Boy’s High School.

 

After finishing ‘A’ levels I received my call-up papers, when National Service was for a period of 12-months. I’d already been accepted into the University College of Rhodesia to take a B.A., and applied to the University Entrants Defence Exemption Board for a deferment, but was refused. Given the choice of doing my ‘stint’ in the Army, British South Africa Police (BSAP) or Ministry of Internal Affairs, I chose Intaf.

 

I had to report for duty in February 1975. Driving from Melsetter with my folks to Umtali railway station for the night sleeper to Salisbury to start basic training at Chikurubi Barracks, had been somewhat stressed and mainly taken in silence. ‘Look after the family jewels’ my father said, as I got on the train. He’d already advised me, after my call-up papers arrived, not to volunteer – a throwback to his time in the RAF in World War II when asked, as a ground mechanic, if he’d have a go as a rear gunner on the Halifax bombers that he maintained. Having seen the turrets being hosed out of ‘blood and guts’ after raids, he’d sensibly declined.

 

There were a few others in the train carriage also reporting for duty, and when we arrived in Salisbury the next morning we were met by a uniformed Intaf member with a slouch hat, who rounded us up, performed a roll-call, and loaded us on the back of an open truck. We traveled through the suburbs of Salisbury filled with trepidation.

 

On arrival at Chikurubi, the truck pulled up by a flagpole next to the barracks, where a Training Officer was waiting. Jumping off the truck seemed a practical thing to do, but when the last one landed on the ground, the officer screamed; “who the %&$#* told you to get off the truck? Get back on!”. We all clambered back on, only to be yelled at again “now get off!” Then “get back on again!” This went on a few times, until we were told to “double down to the barracks”. Not knowing what ‘double’ meant, we started walking towards the indicated entrance, only to be yelled at again “I said double! Double! You !@**! better learn to f$$&ing run! RUN!” Welcome to the military……

 

We were joined up with all the other recruits, and the group of 50 or so was split into two units – ‘A’ Squad under Bill Chalmers and ‘B’ Squad under Terry Wilde, both ex Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) instructors. I was in ‘B’ Squad. Captain Tarr who had been trained at Sandhurst, was the commanding officer. There was also a Canadian trainer, whose name escapes me, with Vietnam experience, who was very laid back. He used to march us out at Chalmers/Wilde ‘normal’ rapid pace, but once we were out of sight, slow us down to a more chilled Canadian amble.

 

Organised into an alphabetical line, we headed down to the Quartermasters, where uniform, boots and equipment, such as webbing, ammo pouches, mess tray, tins and mug were issued, along with a dark green kitbag into which everything went. We were marched off to the barbers to have our hair shorn in a universal military style that remained that way until the end of our basic training.

 

A domineering part of barracks life was the inspections. Initially, in order to reach the demanding standard required, we would get up as a unit at 03.00hrs for th 06:00hrs inspection. To get everyone’s equipment symmetrical, a string was held from one end of the barracks to the other, in order to ensure that beds, lockers, mess trays and bedpacks were lined up. The making of bed-packs, a boxed bundle of pillow wrapped with sheets and blanket to a specific size, was art in itself. This had to be ‘built’ to a specific dimension and consistency, and hours were spent perfecting it. If it was in any way not exactly as the TO’s demanded, it was extremely demoralizing to have a swagger stick inserted into a corner and the whole pack flung over the floor or even worse, out of a window. The instructors invariable found something wrong, a piece of fluff, or some dust that we’d missed, which meant further inspections. By the time we passed out our routine had become proficient enough to get up at 05:00hrs and still pass.

 

Boot polishing became an obsession. The polish in the greatest demand was Kiwi, and because of sanctions, this wasn’t readily available – there was a black market in it, and we would pay over the odds in order to reach the level of perfection aspired to achieve the ‘perfect shine’. It was not unknown for the more dishonest suppliers to fill a used empty Kiwi tin with melted locally made shoe polish and try to sell it to the more gullible. Innovation was prevalent, with tricks of the trade such as melting polish in a teaspoon over a candle, pouring it onto toe caps, then buffing up with spit and polish, or rubbing the caps with the heated spoon until it gleamed. We even found that kitchen floor wax on top of polish made the boot sheen last longer, as long as it didn’t crack before inspection.

 

The entire intake was taken to the Andrew Fleming hospital in Salisbury to have our blood group identified, donate a pint of blood, and get a batch of vaccinations.  The blood group was subsequently inscribed onto our dogtags when they were issued, along with our name and number – mine was 101231.

 

Another visit was to the BSAP headquarters to be shown a presentation on the atrocities committed by ZANU/ZAPU/ZANLA terrorists, both on the white and indigenous population of Rhodesia.

MILITARY SKILLS

 

The first weapons that we fired live were elderly vintage World War Two bolt action Lee Enfield .303’s, which were standard issue to the District Assistants or ‘DA’s” We were also shown the Soviet and Chinese made. AK 47’s and SKS’s, that used the smaller 7.62mm intermediate round. A lucky few were able to fire off a few rounds from these, with their distinctive ‘crack’, and lighter kick than the .303’s. We were also shown the RPG, landmines and grenades that the terrorists used, and the Claymore mines and Icarus parachute flares that were issued to the regular army.

 

The weapon we were issued with was based on the NATO FN (Fabrique Nationale) rifle, taking a standard 7,62mm x 51 NATO round, and had a 20 round magazine. Rather than a wooden stock like the original FN, it was composite plastic based, manufactured in South African and correctly termed the R1 (Rhodesian Army 1) rifle, although we always referred to it as an FN or ‘gat’. The term ‘gun’ was never used. We had to memorise the number to ensure that we always had our own weapon when withdrawing it from the armoury, and learnt to clean, oil, strip and reassemble it in timed sessions that ensured we could do it with growing efficiency and speed.

 

Our first visit to the firing range with our issued rifle had the T.O’.s zeroing in our rifle sights on order to customize each weapon to the recruit. Each of us took a series of initial shots, and the T.O. would adjust the sights to compensate for any inaccuracy. I’d always been a good shot at home with the family Gevarm semi-automatic .22 rifle, so was extremely disappointed after my initial 3 rounds were fired into the cardboard cutout, only to have T.O. Wilde yell at me: “How the $&** am I supposed to zero in your rifle when you haven’t even hit the bloody target?” I can only blame my nerves and short sightedness, although I wore glasses to adjust my eyesight.

 

The FN could be fired on full automatic, but to show how ineffective this was we were allowed to do so only once, from a standing position, with a full magazine and the Instructor behind us, ready to deal with any emergency as the recoil invariably made one lose balance if one did not stand properly balanced. From then on we only fired it on semi automatic. On one occasion when we went to the armoury to collect our weapons, we were shown a brand new crate of British made SLR’s for the (DA’s), complete with greased wrappings. I always wondered how these managed to make it through international sanctions.

 

Included in our training were vehicle anti-ambush drills. We had to exercise over and again, debussing and forming into different defensive patterns once on the ground to effectively react to an attack. Once we had mastered doing this on the ground, we spent a day at New Sarum airbase next to Salisbury airport for chopper training.

 

Each squad was divided into sticks of 4, and climbed into the back of a Rhodesian Air Force Alouette helicopter for it to make a circuit around the airfield before landing again. As the doors were kept open to enable one to fire out if necessary, it was somewhat alarming, initially, to be sitting next to open space, but we were reassured that centrifugal force would keep us in place – as it did. We practiced defensive pattern deployment once the chopper had landed, bent over with our weapons to avoid the rotor blades until clear of their range. Once we were proficient in doing this, we went up for a final circuit which ended with the chopper hovering some 2m above the ground, necessitating a jump out of the aircraft before deployment. This was a tense experience, and I gripped my rifle too tightly between the trigger guard and magazine release catch, accidentally releasing the magazine itself, which landed before I did. I grabbed the magazine as soon as my feet touched the ground and hurriedly reattached it, fortunately before any of the instructors noticed! I didn’t repeat the mistake.

 

We also practiced patrol formations, spreading ourselves out to avoid multiple injuries in case of an attack, and learnt basic silent hand signals, in order to communicate without alerting the enemy.Our Fieldcraft skills were taught very thoroughly, and we had a full manual by the end of training, mine now unfortunately lost. The 3 ‘S’s’ particularly stick in my mind: Shape, Shadow and Silhouette, pointers to avoid when in the bush for one’s own protection, and clues to look out for, to help spot an opponent. We were trained in classic infantry effective patrol formations, spreading ourselves out to avoid multiple injuries in case of an attack, and learnt basic silent hand signals, in order to communicate when out in the bust, without alerting the enemy. We learnt radio procedure, and the international radio alphabet (A-Alpha, B-Bravo, C-Charlie etc), which I still use to this day. We had a big build up to a Night march: the stick that I was with were caught out by the T.O. when we hesitated at a stream crossing to discuss which of the routes to follow, and as this was a potential live exercise, we were subsequently reprimanded for breaking silence.

 

Towards the end of basic training, we each took an individual live exercise down ‘Jungle Lane’. This took place in the bush within the training area, where one had to negotiate ones way through a pre prepared route where the cardboard human outline targets used on the firing range placed strategically off the path, accompanied by the TO’s following a short distance behind. Upon spotting a target, the idea was to fire off a few shots, then roll and take cover, I thought that I’d done reasonably well when I finished at the far end, only to be yelled at by TO Wilde “I don’t know what you’re looking so pleased about – you’ve missed half of them!”

 

We did receive a basic salary during National Service; I recall an incident on one payday, which routinely took place outside near the armoury, with some trestle tables set up, and the Pay Officer sitting on one side, with Captain Tarr next to him, the Training Officers standing to the side, and the National Servicemen queuing on the other. When it was our turn, we had to come to attention smartly, raising our leg parallel to the ground and then bringing the foot firmly down to the ground, saluting and then shouting out our force number and name. One of the squad members misjudged his proximity to the edge of the table, and as he came to attention, hit it with his kneecap, lifting it off the trestles and scattering the carefully stacked piles of coins, notes, cashboxes and ledgers, much to the outrage of the officers, and the amusement of the rest of us.

 

A particularly sad event occurred for me personally during initial training. On a ‘smoke break’ between exercises, when we were sitting out on the grass, one of the members of ‘A’ squad who lived in the same district as me came across to relay the news that someone we both knew, a forester on Charter Forest Estate in the Melsetter area where I lived, had been shot. Colin Young used to let me accompany him in his Land Rover around the more remote spots of the 60,000 acre estate to look out for game, as a reward for the snares that I used to bring him, collected when out in the bush with the family dog. He was a Police Reservist, and had been killed manning check point at a night-time road block, when he challenged a few blacks walking towards the group of Reservists and was answered with a full burst in the chest with an AK47. He left a wife, Anne and two young boys behind.

 

I can only remember having one home pass during basic training, and went back to Melsetter. Other than seeing Colin’s freshly dug grave, red earth against the brown grass in the graveyard, I can’t recall much. My folks said that all I did was eat, sleep and polish my boots.

 

When we had achieved the required level of proficiency in the basic drills and training, and functioned as an individual squad, we underwent a period of repetition and practice for our Passing out Parade, for which we would receive our red beret. The TO’s were under pressure to outperform each other in smoothness, and I can remember T.O. Wilde once getting particularly frustrated at my being out of step on one routine, and beating time on my head with his rifle barrel in anger.

 

At the Passing Out parade itself we had Internal Affairs Minister Jack Mussett take the parade. He stood on the podium and then as per military custom inspected the troops on parade accompanied by Captain Tarr. Later that evening the parade was featured on the RTV news. After the Passing Out parade we had a few weeks of lectures involving customary law, local languages, in my case Shona as I was to be deployed in an area that spoke Shona. We were also taught about the administrative structure of the Districts and our duties to be conducted within them.

 

ACTIVE SERVICE

My bush posting was to Mudzi district, east of Mtoko, under District Commissioner Charlie Collett, with Andy Parkinson as his Assistant DC. The field assistant who covered our part of Mudzi was Marcel Du Plessis. I was to be in joint charge, initially, of a Keep north of the Nyamapanda road. The Dictionary of Military Architecture describes a Keep as ‘the inner tower of a castle, usually the strongest, used by the besieged as the last refuge tower’. The Intaf version, built to oversee the local consolidated village, consisted of a square of bulldozed earth walls, approximately 5 metres high with, at the entrance, a double walled approach into the Keep itself that was off-set, to prevent a direct attack. The whole structure was surrounded by high barbed-wire fencing, with the entrance having a section that was swung aside, and had a drop barrier with a guard post. My predecessors had attached tin cans with stones in at intervals along the wire, a simple but effective alarm system that would give a warning at night time if the fence was touched. There was also a waist-high fence between the outer once and the Keep walls, also with cans attached, for extra security in case of a breach.

 

The earth walls stood some five meters high, and on the inner side included a walkway that allowed those on guard to patrol around, but be almost fully concealed from sight from anyone on the other side of the fence. There were in addition sandbagged gun emplacements on each corner, and midway along the length of each wall, that allowed three or four occupants to occupy them and cover a wide arc of fire.

 

Internally was the DA’s barrack room, a helicopter landing pad, and an ‘L’ shaped building that was our quarters, with kitchen/dining area, sitting room and shared bedroom, shower/toilet and an admin/operations office with the radio and maps. Built into the floor was a heavy-duty steel trunk which contained our supply of ammunition, spare rifle magazines, a Very Pistol and Icarus parachute flares. Just outside the entrance to the building was a sunken sandbagged bunker, which had been named ‘Dupont’s Retreat’, for shelter in the event of a mortar attack, and slightly further away were water tanks on raised wooden platforms, and a generator shed with corrugated iron roof.

 

Our Keep Callsign was 572, and the HQ at Mudzi was ‘Control’. Half way through my 9 month posting we were issued with a walkie-talkie’ type radio, which allowed us to stay in contact with the Keep whilst out on patrol, but the range was pretty limited, so in practice it wasn’t that effective. I went out with an army patrol in one of their RL Bedfords soon after we got them to reconnoiter the area around one of the dams about 7 K’s to the north, and despite climbing a small kopje was unable to raise the Keep radio. On our return, my colleague reported that he had been able to hear me and had replied, but I had not been able to receive his message.

 

We didn’t always have our own vehicle, and sometimes shared the Short Wheel Base Land Rover based at the neighbouring Keep. This was liveried in matt olive green, with ½” steel plate under the wheel arches and driver’s compartment, rally-style four point safety harnesses, brackets on the dashboard that held our rifles securely, and thick roll-bars over the cab that rear standing passengers could hold on to. We invariably road, if in the back, with one hand on the roll-bar and the other on the pistol grip of our rifle, with the stock balanced on the roll-bar ready for action. We were taught by the experienced national servicemen that the safest way to travel on the dirt roads was to match the route of the previous vehicle by driving in its tire tracks, to reduce the chances of setting off a landmine, in the hope that if someone had made the route before you intact, then you were likely to do the same.

 

We were charged with building the airstrip close to the Keep, to allow the single engined Intaf planes access to the area. The instructions included details on the approach to the airstrip, and supplied dimensions. A bulldozer came out to us for clearing the ground, and we employed some local labour to assist us in the chopping down the of the trees. I saved a section of a Mopani trunk and took it home where my father treated and lathed it smooth, using it as a base for a carved figurine brought in Salisbury, still in my mothers possession.

 

In June 1975 Mozambique gained independence from Portugal, and being close to the border crossing point of Nyamapanda, we had been warned to expect an increase in terrorist activity as a result. Andy Parkinson, the assistant DC, unbeknown to us, arranged with the Sergeant to check the keep, without our knowledge, in the early hours of the morning. We’d mounted an extra guard on patrol, but hadn’t included ourselves in the rota, and were sleeping in our quarters as normal. The first we knew about his presence was the metal door being kicked open, and a voice yelling ‘you’d all be dead!’ The silhouette of Andy with an automatic shotgun instead of his usual Uzi, in the door frame is still clear in my memory, and as we both slept with our ‘gats’ beside us in easy reach, he was lucky not to have been shot himself!

 

The closest that I knowingly came to being killed during my time in the bush was what came to almost be what would today be called a “friendly fire” incident. I was in one of the Land Rovers with the guys from the neighbouring keep, heading up to a deserted game rangers house beside the river north of the keep, that was next to what I think was the Mazoe river, for some unofficial R&R, with a coolie bin containing food,water and some beers.  In the front were my two colleagues, and I was on the back of Land Rover with a couple of DA’s, in the standard position of preparedness. Down a gulley, as we slowed down at the bottom, a stick of RR troopies stepped out of the bushes with weapons raised. Having the advantage of a higher viewing position by standing on the back, I saw them before the driver and banged on the roof, the signal to stop. The troopies had no idea who we were, as they didn’t recognize the Intaf uniforms, still relatively new at that stage, and said that they may well have opened fire had they not seen white faces. It turned out that we’d ventured into a No-Go Area and blown an ambush.  The squad had spotted us coming from the OP Point on a nearby kopje, and the radio operator called up the CO there to tell us who we were, and he, extremely pissed off, demanded our names, ranks and numbers. These were reported to the DC, and a few days later we had to all report to HQ in Mudzi for a dressing-down, although there was an admission that there had been something of a communication cock-up, as we hadn’t been informed of the No-Go area in our district – they hadn’t expected us to be venturing so far from our respective keeps.

One night at the keep, asleep in the early hours, the sound of gunfire startled us out of sleep, and grabbing rifles we ran for the walls, realizing it was coming from the guards patrolling the walls. Going to the ones on duty, with the rest of the DA’s filling the positions as I did so, they’d told me that there had been a disturbance at the fence and they’d heard the cans rattling and fired in the direction of the sound. We had a Very Pistol and parachute flares for such night time incidents, and I fired off a shot from the Very Pistol. Not having done this ‘live’ before, I used a single hand to do so, not expecting as strong a recoil from the cartridge, and in retrospect should have used a double grip, as the ball of my thumb was sharply jarred and ached for a few days afterwards.  In the light of the flare, we weren’t able to see anything, but doubled the guards on duty for the rest of the night. Investigating in daylight in the morning, we guessed that a cow had wandered into the fence and set the primitive but effective alarm system off. It somewhat of a concern that such a large target hadn’t been hit, even in the dark, and I think we had a firing practice session shortly afterwards!

 

On one of the patrols that I led, we spotted movement ahead, and raised our weapons, and the next thing I knew there was a Kudu in my sights. It was such a beautiful beast, that despite the DA’s egging me on, I couldn’t pull the trigger.

 

There was an imposed dawn to dusk curfew. We used a siren on a car battery to alert the villagers that the curfew was imposed. One evening, one of the DA’s patrolling the wall alerted me to a figure in the distance, after the siren had been sounded. He was walking casually, dressed in light trousers and a white shirt and heading in the direction of the village, so I was sure that he was from the local Protected Village. However, I thought it best to use him as an example that the curfew should be adhered to, and decided to fire a round over his head. In our magazines we loaded tracer the first every 5th round, and I fired a shot. The parabola of the bullet could be clearly seen against the granite of kopje he was walking in front of, and for a heart stopping moment it looked like it was going to continue it’s downward trajectory and hit him. Fortunately for both of us, it went where I’d placed it, well above him, and he took off like the proverbial scalded cat.

 

I took a couple of DA’s with me into the village the next morning to find out who he was, and it turned out to have been an genuine error, that he’s underestimated the length of time to walk from one village to the other. He was apologetic, chagrined, and relieved, and to my knowledge that was the only incident of curfew breaking that we had.

 

We always made groups of RLI/RR welcome when they were deployed in the area, and they always seemed grateful for the opportunity of a shower and decent meals at the Keep on the way past to or from recees. We were fortunate not to have to survive on RatPacks, and had a decent cook by the name of Tickey, who we paid monthly. 

 

It was not infrequent that a little trading went on between ourselves and the troops. The Intaf regulation issue boots were exactly the same as those issued to the Rhodesian SAS, with a crepe sole, unlike the regular army issue, which had a thicker sole and deeper tread, and were much in demand. A few exchanges took place and I ended up with a pair of each type. At that time Intaf issue uniform was all khaki and we managed to make some swaps to get camouflage uniforms. (Later Intaf was issued with the same camouflaged uniform as all of the other services).

 

Firing practice was an activity that we regularly performed, to improve the DA’s and our skill up to scratch, performed against the earth bank of the keep. This once coincided with a contingent visit, and gave me the opportunity to become familiar, and get practice with, the use of an MAG and Bren, adapted from its original .303 calibre to take 7.62mm rounds with a standard FN magazine, as opposed to a curved one.

 

There was an occasion where I undertook a joint patrol with a stick of RR and carried an MAG myself, for the experience. In retrospect, this was probably a bad decision, not only because it gave a blurring of the lines that distinguished Intaf from the regular RSF’s, but had we come under attack my skill with an MAG compared the issue FN/R1, particularly had it developed a jam, might have jeopardised all of us on the patrol. Later in the war Intaf were kitted out with MAGs as standard issue.

 

We had a dilemma in the rainy season when one of the DC’s cows became ill – the farm was in the area covered by the neighbouring Keep, and they radioed us to come over and have a look as they couldn’t decide what to do. We did go, but amongst the 4 of us we had a limited knowledge of animal husbandry, and the cattleman said simply ‘it will surely die’. We were unable to raise the DC on the radio, so agreed that the kindest thing to do would be to put it down.  None of us wanted to be the one to take responsibility, and it eventually fell to the senior member of the closest Keep, who put the beast out of it’s misery with a single shot to the head from his FN.

 

There was a gruesome incident when one of the DA’s had one of his hands caught between the tow bar and trailer. He messed the palm of his hand up badly, right down to the bone so that the tendons were visible. He was taken to Mudzi for treatment and then evacuated to the hospital in Salisbury.

 

Travelling between Keeps in the land-rover, we found, had additional hazards to the normal potential one of land-mined. Once when our vehicle was heading down an incline to a low bridge, a bus traveling from the opposite direction, at speed, came down the other side of the dip. Both unable to stop on our respective sides, we only just made it across without a collision, but came off the dirt road on the other sides, with the Africans on the bus screaming in alarm. There were no injuries to anyone, or damage to the vehicles, but a fair amount of shouting and bruised ego’s of both parties!

 

After our infrequent leave from the bush, we had a pick-up point in the lobby of the New Ambassador hotel in Salisbury. On one of my trips back I brought with me an Alsation/Rhodesian ridgeback puppy intending to have it as a guard-dog at the Keep and out on patrol, as wasn’t uncommon. Unfortunately on the train from Umtali it developed an acute illness, possibly canine distemper, and died shortly after we arrived at the hotel. All I could think of doing, in that environment, was putting its body in one of the big rubbish containers around the back entrance of the hotel before departure. I had some ribbing from the guys, who couldn’t believe it when I climbed onto the back of the truck without the dog, having to tell them that it had died. I was offered another one on my next pass to Melsetter, but didn’t have the heart, in case there was a repeat experience.

 

Close to the end of my National Service period with Intaf, I received an official letter from the Ministry, offering me a permanent position on the staff. Whilst the salary looked very appealing, the start of the University term was imminent, and I declined in order to obtain a degree. As it was, I passed my first year exams but never finished my degree; I returned to the UK before attending a subsequent call up.

 

Retrospectively, I never felt that I was performing my duties to suppress the indigenous population, it was to protect them from the terrorists atrocities, perhaps that was naive as a 18/19 year old National Serviceman, but having lived in independent Malawi before becoming a Rhodesian resident, I saw that the locals had a better life in Rhodesia. From the perspective of 2010, is Mugabe's Zimbabwe a better place for the residents of the country now than 35 years ago? I suspect that for the majority, it is not, but it would be good to think that such a beautiful country will one day become a free democratic and prosperous one.

 

 

 

 

This video clip is of IANS 2 Pass Out parade at Chikurubi Training Depot and has been kindly provided by Rob Picton.

IANS 2 Song

IANS 2 developed a course song to enhance esprit de corps. The tune is based on the American Green Berets song sung by Barry Saddler. It was thought to be appropriate in view of the red berets and the fact that the cadets had to earn the right to wear them by passing out successfully from basic training. The words are as follows:

Fighting soldiers for the Keeps

Fearless men who won’t retreat

Men who fight by night and day

Men who wear the Red Beret.

Chorus:

We’ll fight for peace in all our land

Rhodesia’s pride has willing hands

Out of all, we are the cream

The Red Berets, we are a team.

Our kit is clean, our boots we shine

Our turnout smart, our bed packs fine

They work us hard without a rest

The Red Berets accept no less.

We work as one, through smooth and rough

And even then it’s not enough

Our shine parades are on the square

The best of men inspect us there.

The staff are good; they train us well

We know our lives, they will not sell

We’ll do our best in every way

So we can wear the Red Beret.

Our training school is very tough

Very clean and free from fluff

And if we fail then they will say

We cannot wear the Red Beret.

And now dear friends, the time has come

We will stand firm and be as one

We are the best that there can be

And we will keep our country free.

This song was sung by IA2

We had the runs as well as flu

It was composed up in the bar

Approved and signed by Mr Tarr.

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