6th June 1974.

The above date and the month (6/6) are probably quite well-known to most people, especially the sad bastards like me who read military history.

The year however will not mean too much at this time…….but read on and all will be revealed.

30 years to the day a combination of the date, month and year was extremely significant to a few hundred young men who were  part of Rhodesian Army Intake 139, destined for their National Service with the Rhodesia Regiment at Llewelyn Barracks near Heaney Junction outside Bulawayo.

I was part of Intake 139, and I don’t think my fear was any different to any of those brave men who were going to land on the beaches of  Normandy……..the ones with the unforgettable names….Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.  On a different level I was just as shit scared as those brave men must have been……..and Llewelyn Barracks was also to become an unforgettable name.

There is no argument that the scale of the threat in 1944 was different, but the knowledge that certain death from an enemy bullet could be around the corner must have been very much the same.

There was the sound of a car horn from downstairs……the taxi had arrived to take me to the pick-up point.  I was on my way……it was a cold and gloomy day outside.  And it was raining again……”guti“…..a soft mist of refreshing happiness from the sky.

My first Cap-Badge-The Rhodesia Regiment

My first Cap-Badge: The Rhodesia Regiment