Regiment Westelike Provinsie

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Regiment Westelike Provincie
Regiment Western Cape Insignia.jpg
Active 1 April 1934 to present
Country South Africa
Allegiance
Branch
Type Infantry
Role Mechanised infantry
Size One battalion
Part of South African Infantry Corps
Army Conventional Reserve
Garrison/HQ Cape Town
Motto "NON SIBI SED PATRIAE" – "Not for ourselves, but for our Country"
Anniversaries 1 April (Regimental Day)
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt Col. H.H. Gertse
Honourary Colonel Capt. G.S. van Niekerk (Col)
Insignia
Company level Insignia SA Army Company Insignia.png
SA Mechanised Infantry beret bar circa 1992
SA mechanised infantry beret bar circa 1992

Regiment Westelike Provincie is a mechanised infantry regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Army Reserve or United States Army National Guard unit.

History[edit]

Regiment Westelike Provincie (R.W.P)[1] (originally called Regiment Westelike Provinsie), is one of eight Afrikaner-oriented Traditional Citizen Force infantry units raised by the Union Defence Force on 1 April 1934,[2] as part of a programme to rebuild the UDF after the Great Depression. It was based in the country town of Stellenbosch, 45 kilometres (28 mi) outside Cape Town, and recruited its members from the surrounding districts of the western part of the Cape Province. At that time, Citizen Force service was voluntary.

The new Regiment lost no time in ensuring that the inner man was cared for and in 1936 the first specially bottled R.W.P brandy was produced.[3]:60 The much honoured tradition of toasting the Regiment and dignitaries in pure, undiluted R.W.P brandy is still in use today.

The National Party-voting Western Cape districts generally did not support South Africa's involvement in World War II. In spite of this R.W.P was able to muster enough men who were willing to go on active service. The Regiment mobilised on 1 September 1940[4] and became No. 12 Armoured Car Company, South African Tank Corps.[5] After months of training in this new role, No12 Armoured Car Company was amalgamated with No. 11 Armoured Car Company (RSWD) Regiment Suid Westelike Distrikte, to form 5th Armoured Fighting Vehicle Regiment, South African Tank Corps.[6] The Regiment moved to Egypt in September 1941 but was disbanded on 13 October 1941 after arrival. The personnel were used as reinforcements for depleted armoured car regiments already operating in the Western Desert with whom they participated in many of the well known battles in North Africa like Sidi Rezegh, Bir Hakeim, Gazala, and El Alamein.

On the disbandment of the South African Tank Corps early in 1943, former R.W.P personnel were absorbed into the Royal Natal Carbineers and Imperial Light Horse and soon adapted themselves to tank warfare, serving with distinction in their new units with the 6th South African Armoured Division in Italy.

The Regiment was presented with a Regimental Colour by his Majesty King George V1 during the visit of the Royal Family to South Africa on 31 March 1947. The wartime Prime Minister Gen Jan Smuts accepted the appointment as Colonel-In-Chief of the Regiment from 17 September 1948.[7] In 1949, R.W.P itself was converted to Armour, and it was renamed Regiment Onze Jan, after 19th-century Afrikaner political leader Jan Hofmeyr, in 1951. From 1952, Citizen Force recruits were chosen by ballot rather than volunteering.

During the 1950s and 1960s the Regiment was part of the part-time component of Western Province Command.

When the Army was re-organised for internal security duties in 1960, ROJ was converted back to infantry and was renamed Regiment Boland. R. Bol later moved to Paarl and, after the introduction of National Service conscription (in 1968), it formed a second battalion in Worcester on 1 September 1970. In 1975 the regiment became part of the conventional force structures under the command of 71 Motorised Brigade (South Africa).[8] The Regiment took part in annual training camps since 1948, was part of the national mobilisation in 1960 and since the late seventies did training at the Army Battle School as part of 71 Mot Bde, 9 Division and 75 Bde.

The two battalions were separated in April 1974. 1 R. Bol resumed the original title Regiment Westelike Provinsie and moved to Cape Town, while 2 R. Bol remained in Worcester as Regiment Boland. The only remnant of their association is the similar cap-badges of the two Regiments.

In 1983, R.W.P adopted the Dutch spelling of "Provincie" because it regards itself as the successor to several short-lived volunteer units which existed in the Stellenbosch and Paarl and neighbouring districts in the 19th century, when Dutch, rather than Afrikaans, was the prevailing language in those areas. (See below for a list of those units.)

R.W.P served in the Angola campaign in 1976, and carried out several tours of duty in the Border War in South West Africa. It was also deployed on internal security duties in the Townships during the 1985–90 State of Emergency.

Military service has been voluntary again since 1994.[3] 71 Motorised Brigade was dissolved in the late nineties and the regiment presently forms part of the South African Army Infantry Formation.

Predecessors[edit]

While R.W.P has been in existence only since 1934, it regards itself as the successor to several small and short-lived units which were formed in the Western Cape country districts in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. They were:

First Volunteer Movement[edit]

  • Stellenbosch Volunteers – formed 1856, disbanded c. 1865
  • Worcester volunteers – formed 1856, disbanded c. 1863
  • Paarl Rifle Corps – formed 1856, disbanded 1859
  • Malmesbury Volunteer Cavalry – formed 1856, disbanded c. 1866
  • Paarl Cavalry – formed 1857, disbanded 1859
  • Paarl United Volunteers – formed 1859, disbanded c. 1862
  • Robertson & Montague Rifle Corps – formed 1860, disbanded c. 1864

No volunteer units in these districts between 1866 and 1878.

Second Volunteer Movement[edit]

  • Worcester Volunteer Rifles – formed 1878, disbanded c. 1879
  • Worcester Volunteer Rifles – formed 1885, disbanded 1901
  • Paarl Volunteer Rifles – formed 1885, disbanded 1897
  • Wellington Volunteer Rifles – formed 1885, disbanded 1901
  • Victoria College Volunteer Rifles – formed 1888, disbanded 1899
  • Robertson Volunteer Rifles – formed 1890, disbanded
  • Malmesbury Volunteer Rifles – formed 1892, disbanded 1896.
  • Western Rifles – an administrative grouping, which existed from 1893 to 1908, of the Worcester, Paarl, Wellington, Stellenbosch, Robertson, and Malmesbury units
  • Western Light Horse – formed at Worcester 1903, disbanded 1908
  • Paarl Volunteers – formed 1906, disbanded 1909.

No volunteer units in these districts between 1909 and 1913.

Citizen Force[edit]

No CF units in these districts between 1929 and 1934.[9][10][11]

Regimental Symbols[edit]

  • Badge : The Unit's Badge consists of a wreath of leaves of the Silver Leaf tree encompassing a kernel of the same tree with the inscription R.W.P Due to an error in the original artwork, the full stop after the "P"was omitted, hence creating a tradition that remains part of the Regimental history.
  • Flash : The beret flash (originally a helmet flash) has horizontal stripes of red over white over black, with a blue diamond on the white stripe: blue and white are the traditional colours of the Western Cape.[12][3]:60
  • Credo : "LOYALTY, COMMITMENT, EXCELLENCE"
  • March : De Trouwe Kameraad, a Dutch translation of the German Der Guten Kamerad.
  • Anniversaries : Regimental Day (1 April) Gen. JC Smuts Parade (24 May)[3]:61
  • Brandy : R.W.P Brandewyn[3]:60
  • Motto : Non Sibi Sed Patriae – Not for ourselves, but for our country.[3]:68

Regimental Freedoms[edit]

R.W.P has been granted the Freedom of the following Cities:[3]:65

These honours mean that the Regiment may march on foot or mechanised with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed through the streets of Cape Town or any of the Overstrand towns, namely Hermanus, Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay, Kleinmond, Fisherhaven, Hawston, Onrus, Sandbaai, Stanford, Gansbaai, Uilenskraal Mond, Franskraal, Pearly Beach and Baardskeerdersbos.

Leadership[edit]

Regiment Westelike Provinsie Leadership
From Colonel-In-Chief To
1948 Field Marshal the Right Hon. J.C. Smuts, PC OM CH  ED KC FRS 1950
From Honorary Colonels To
1934-07-10 Major P.J.Roos Paul Roos_(rugby_player) (Col) 1948-09-22
1960-09-26 Capt. W.N. Naude (Col) 1969-02-24
1982-10-30 Councillor M.J. van Zyl (Col) 1997-11-30
1997-12-01 Capt. G.S. van Niekerk (Col) Present
From Commanding Officers To
1934-05-31 Lt Col. J.H.Wicht CM 1939-09-31
1939-09-01 Lt Col. G.C.G. Werdmuller 1939-09-06
1939-09-07 Lt Col. C.J. Lemmer 1939-12-08
1939-12-09 Major. M. Versveld 1940-01-13
1940-01-14 Lt Col. C.J. Lemmer 1940-08-31
1940-09-01 Lt Col. H.S.G. Taylor 1941-12-31
1946-02-01 Lt Col. L. Verwoerd 1947-06-30
1947-07-01 Major. G.W. Krige MC 1947-09-30
1947-10-01 Lt Col. L. Verwoerd 1948-04-21
1948-04-22 Major. G.W. Krige MC 1951-02-11
1951-02-12 Cmdt. W.S. Malan 1956-01-06
1956-01-07 Cmdt. F.C. de Goede 1961-02-06
1961-02-07 Cmdt. D.I. Moodie SM JCD 1968-02-29
1968-07-22 Cmdt. J. Kruger 1971-07-31
1971-08-01 Cmdt. E.J.J. Nel 1972-06-06
1972-06-07 Cmdt. A.A. Rossouw JCD 1976-03-25
1976-03-26 Cmdt. A.W. Bester SD SM MMM JCD n.d.[a]
1982-01-01 Cmdt. G.W. Boshoff SD SM MMM JCD 1987-03-31
1987-04-01 Cmdt. D.J. Holtzhausen SM MMM JCD 1992-04-02
1992-04-03 Lt Col. A.A. Duminy MMM JCD 1999-04-01
1999-04-02 Lt Col. D.H. Saayman MMM JCD 2000-04-01
2000-04-02 Lt Col. J.J. Visser MMM JCD 2005-04-01
2005-04-02 Lt Col. S.E. Pierce 2012-08-18
2012-08-19 Lt Col. H.H. Gertse Present
From Regimental Sergeants Major To
1934 WO1 SH Joubert 1938
1939 WO1 SW Burger 1945
1946 WO1 F Ferreira 1952
1952 WO1 R du Toit 1955
1955 WO1 M Louw 1956
1957 WO1 IM van Rooyen 1964
1965 WO1 L Liebenberg 1968
1969 WO1 H du Toit 1972
1972 WO1 PF de Bruyn 1983
1983 WO1 MP Eagar 1985
1985 WO1 WP van Rhyn 1992
1992 WO1 DR Oosthuizen 1992
1992 WO1 ND van der Walt 2001
2001 WO1 JM Cupido 2005
2005 WO1 T Jordaan 2005
2006 WO1 A Wakies Present

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Later Col. A.W. Bester SD SM MMM JCD

References[edit]

  1. ^ South African Army C Army/D/PLAN/406/11/2 22 July 1980
  2. ^ "Prestigious Western Cape Unit Described" (PDF). PARATUS (Pretoria): 10–11. July 1987. Retrieved 19 January 2015.  reproduced in "JPRS Report: Africa (Sub Sahara)" (PDF). Foreign Broadcast Information Service. 16 September 1987. p. 93. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Crook, Lionel, Col (Rtd) (1994). Greenbank, Michele, ed. 71 Motorised Brigade: a history of the headquarters 71 Motorised Brigade and of the citizen force units under its command. Brackenfell, South Africa: L. Crook in conjunction with the South African Legion. ISBN 9780620165242. OCLC 35814757. 
  4. ^ Union Defence Force Special Command Order No. 21 (M) 154/51/325/29 25 August 1940
  5. ^ Union of South Africa Prime Minister's Office154/51/325/29 1 September 1940
  6. ^ Union of South Africa Prime Minister's Office 154/51/325/11 17 March 1941
  7. ^ Union of South Africa, Defence Forces Order No. 4144, 5 July 1949.
  8. ^ South African Military History Society - Cape Town Branch Newsletter, No. 328, January 1996, accessed December 2014.
  9. ^ Hulme, J.J., Major JCD (June 1969). "Cape Colony Volunteer Units 1877-79". Military History Journal (The South African Military History Society) 1 (4). ISSN 0026-4016. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Hulme, J.J., Major JCD (December 1972). "Cape Colonial Volunteer Corps (Part I)". Military History Journal (The South African Military History Society) 2 (4). ISSN 0026-4016. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Hulme, J.J., Major JCD (June 1973). "Cape Colonial Volunteer Corps (Part II)". Military History Journal (The South African Military History Society) 2 (5). ISSN 0026-4016. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Regiment Westelike Provincie Dress Code R.W.P/R406/11/

External Websites[edit]