Cameronian Day 2017

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 June 2017 4:05 pm

Sunday May 14th was Cameronian Sunday, a Day of Remembrance for the Regiment.
The Remembrance Service and Conventicle was held in the village of Douglas in South Lanarkshire. The Regimental flag was raised at the village bowling green followed by the Church Service in St Brides Church and refreshments. At 2pm the Conventicle took place by the Regimental Cairn in the Grounds of the Douglas & Angus Estates.


Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 June 2017 3:59 pm

June 9th 2017. Lanimer Day Parade in Lanark.
1. Meet at the corner of St Leonard Road and St Leonard Street.
2. Congregrate 09.30 hrs for a prompt move of at 10.00 hrs.

June 10th 2017 Armed Forces Day South Lanarkshire Council.
1. Council’s banqueting hall opens from 09.00 hrs for tea and coffee before
Veterans form up.

June 24th 2017. Armed Forces Day Glasgow. (Admission is by ticket only.)
1. The Armed Forces flag will be raised on the 19.06.2017 to start the week’s activities.
2. There will be no parade or march pass and no event in George Square Glasgow.
3. There will be a civic reception on Saturday the 24th starting at 12.30 hrs

July 8th 2017. Covenanters Prison Edinburgh.
Service will be held in the grounds of Greyfriars Church Edinburgh
Members meet 12.30 hrs for 13.00 hrs service.

August 20th 2017. 328th Anniversary of The Battle of Dunkeld.
1. 10.30 hrs Members congregate before service.
2. 10.45 hrs Form up parade into church.
3. 11.00 hrs Church service.

All the above parades and events will be updated if there are any change of date, time, and more information when known.

‘The Black Hackle’ Newsletter - May 2017

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 June 2017 3:54 pm


Greetings to our members, their families and the friends of the Association.

An appeal is made to our members who receive copies of the newsletter by “snail mail” to please let us have an e-mail address to which we can send future issues. Not only is the SA Post Office very slow but cost of mail has become very expensive. Please send your e mail address to

The year started off with our monthly meetings and lunches being well attended. It was not long and we were into the planning of the year’s activities. Amazing how time flies! On Saturday 6th May a function was held in the ODJ Room for a joint celebration of the Regimental Birthday (1st May) and Cameronian Day (14th May). This took the form of a supper for 20 guests and needless to say the celebration was most enjoyable with good food, good wine, good company and good entertainment.

Membership continues to grow and family members are welcome to join. Membership is not restricted to WR types but is open to anyone who has the interest of the Regiment and the Association at heart. Annual subs are R50-00 per annum. Please make your cheques payable to Witwatersrand Rifles Regimental Association and forward them to our postal address which is reflected above or EFT into the Association Account, details which are reflected under “Fund Raising”.

Extracted from “A Bugle Calls”
Mid 1915 the 1 South African Infantry Brigade was formed and recruits were sent to the training camp at Potchefstroom where they were equipped, drilled and inspected. In the last week of September the first infantry detachments were embarked for England and by 17 October the final draft of the 160 Officers and 5,648 men of the Brigade were en route to England. Early in October 1915 the South African Brigade began to re-assemble at Borden Camp in Hampshire, where the troops were to spend two-and-a -half months drilling and training in cold, rain and wind.

Best wishes to all,

Kevin Townsend (Lt Col ret)

Sergeant Eddie Wallace / 23 April 1933 – 16 May 2017

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 10 June 2017 3:50 pm

In memory of Sergeant Eddie Wallace (April 1933 – May 2017)

It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Sergeant Eddie Wallace. Before he joined the army he (worked in the Merchant navy from age 14, then joined the Cameronians as soon as he legally could. He married his wife Barbara (Babs) whilst stationed at Lanark in 1960 where he had been posted as a training NCO.

At the time the Regiment disbanded, he chose to transfer to the RHF, but left them soon after to go back to the Merchant Navy.
His cremation took place at Daldowie on 23 May 2017 and representatives from the Regiment were in attendance.
Brian A S Leishman MBE

Lieutenant Colonel David Murray died on 8 January 2017: born on 14 September 1921, he was a veteran of the Battle of Kohima

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 22 April 2017 9:12 am

Though a Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander since 1941 he was a life-long admirer of, student of, and writer on The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).  As such he was a good friend of the regiment.  He, like many Cameronians, became wearily used to the all-too-often confusion between the two regiments which, although both Scottish in origin, could hardly have been less alike.  He commanded the (3inch) mortar platoon at Kohima in April 1944 and later, in the recapture of Burma, he was mentioned in dispatches.

His obituary in The Times said: …’He stayed in the army until 1967 rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel but he also had a passion for the bagpipes. … From about 1952 on he was a prime mover in the establishment of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as part of the city’s annual festival, and in 1955 won the contest of the Royal Scottish Pipers Society.’ (more…)

Colonel AR (Reggie) Kettles OBE MC died on 30 October 2016 : the last surviving Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 22 April 2017 9:08 am

Having served first in the Territorials he joined the 2nd Battalion in 1939 and was soon commissioned, just before his twenty first birthday.  They were in France and, during the retreat to Dunkirk on 21 May 1940, the battalion was involved in heavy action.  As a result of his leadership of a patrol which captured a German soldier he was recommended for a Military Cross, receiving instead a Mention in Dispatches.

The 2nd Battalion were then sent in 1943 to the invasion first of Sicily and later to reinforce the invasion at Anzio.  In the first, as a 24 year old Captain commanding A Company, he was seriously wounded and evacuated for recovery to North Africa.  On 21 March 1944, at the Anzio beachhead, he again showed great courage and leadership which resulted in his award of the Military Cross.  (more…)

William George Beardsmore - An Obituary

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Monday 6 February 2017 2:03 pm

As requested, and with great honour I am writing to you with the details of my Late Father in Laws service during the war and especially his time with the 6th Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) - William was born in 1926. His father, also William, had served throughout the 1st World War, with The Royal Scots. The humorous tales of these arduous times led William to follow in his father’s footsteps, once of age in 1944, when he enlisted for regular service (7 colours, 5 reserve).

On completion of his basic training  he was posted overseas to a holding unit in North Western Europe and then to 6th Battalion of The Cameronians with which he saw action from then on until the end of the war.

During his time in Belgium Bill met a local girl named Simone. She was quite stunning and they struck up quite a mutual admiration for each other. He the tall handsome soldier and she the Petite, beautiful member of the Belgian resistance.  Bill served out four years in Germany after the war and in due course they married and remained together for 66 years until she passed away in 2015.

William George Beardmore S/N 14447711 was laid to rest on the 27th of January 2017. His coffin was draped in the tartan of the Cameronians, his Medals sat on top

The members of the regiment that attended the funeral, brought and laid  a regimental wreath, one of the attendees, Kenn Robinson, spoke in front of us all as to the meaning of being a Cameronian.  His comments reflected and fortified what we had always understood from Bill. 

We thank those present, some we deeply regret not being able to thank personally.

But with the same honour in which they served , they simply came, performed their duty and slipped quietly away.

Glen Tizard

Re: Westminster Garden of Remembrance 2016

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Thursday 5 January 2017 12:10 pm

This year I had the privilege standing on the red carpet and fronting the regimental plot, having taken over from Eddie Clark who has done this duty for the past 16 years (what an act to follow). I was well supported by the stalwarts Ex Majors Philip Grant & Mike Sixsmith, Eddie Crawford (PORTSMOUTH) Joe & Mary Goven and Davie McColl (Scotland) Eddie Clark and family members a total of 14 (A GOOD TURNOUT) to pay tribute.

Once again the regimental plot was much admired and well photographed by visitors, thanks should go to Alex Maxwell for the Plaques and crosses he sent down for me to install. This year’s centrepiece was a cross to represent the Cameronian Chindits in Burma made by Alex.

We were honoured this year with great interest in the Cameronians and the Regimental plot by HRH Prince Philip and HRH Prince Harry It was a great delight to inform and explain to them and was very proud to represent the regiment. I received (a thankyou) from HRH Philip Regarding the Burma connection and a (good one) from HRH Harry for the display and lay out.

It was a great day meeting everyone and escorting Eddie in his wheel chair I attach his letter of thanks.

On the Sunday  I attended  the Cenotaph Parade as guest of the  KOSB`s met many old friends who sent their greetings to you Brian and hope you are keeping well, I presented a Cameronian poppy wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the association. The weekend was clouded with news of Col Reggie Kettles and Tom Gore of the 9th Bn (Long time London Representative). Poppies were laid for them in the plot.

Yours aye / Ian Bilboe


“On Thurs Nov 10th I attended the annual Field of Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey. As usual it was a memorable occasion, especially for me. I wish to thank all the Cameronians who attended for the fantastic reception they afforded me….I was touched very much.’’


Cameronians (SR) Travel Club Somme Trip 2016

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Friday 29 July 2016 10:51 am

Seventeen members of the Travel Club decided to make a relaxed five day trip for the Battle of the Somme Commemoration in Peterborough Cathedral together with a few visits en route.

We set off from Glasgow by coach and spent our first night in Atherstone, where we stayed in a very interesting 1600’s Inn , the Red Lion, where we met up with two members who had made their own way. On our way we had called in to the town of Litchfield where we visited the Historical Cathedral.

The following day we set off for the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas where we laid a wreath to passed comrades and continued our journey to Peterborough .

At 10.30am the next day we formed up with members of the Royal British Legion and the Lord Mayor, for the service of remembrance in Peterborough Cathedral in the All Services Regimental Chapel. Again a wreath to old comrades was laid and some members took part in the service, reading from the Bible and selected Poems.

After the service we traveled to Central Park to meet up with the children from Southfields school who look after Jimmy the Donkey’s grave. The parade to Jimmy’s grave set off at 1315 with two pipers leading and followed by a ‘stand in’ Jimmy the Donkey wearing a replica Dickin Medal (Animals Victoria Cross) around his neck. The Lord Mayor together with other dignitaries formed part of the 200 group of participants who took part in the memorial service at the graveside where once again wreaths were laid.

That evening I organised a Regimental Dinner - The Lord Mayor of Peterborough, the President of The British Legion, the Class Teacher of Southfields School were our Guests, together with a special guest the Grandson of David Wright who looked after Jimmy till his death in 1943 . Many a dram was consumed.

The following day a very interesting visit was made to The Imperial War Museum at Duxford where we laid a Cameronian Poppy Cross at the memorial to conflicts since 1942.

And so to Day 5, when packed, we set off homewards stopping en route for lunch at Eden Camp an old Italian POW Camp now set up as a Military and War Time Museum. Both museum visits warranted more time to do each justice.

To end the trip 22 members met up in Glasgow Cathedral at 10.15am on the 3rd July to take part in the Combined Services Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme

Ian Bilboe

Beverijings Museum Nieuwdorp Holland

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Friday 15 July 2016 11:49 am

The rededication service of the rebuilt Nissen hut church at the Beverijings Museum Nieuwdorp in Holland was held on the 22 April this year. Davie McColl and I and members of The Cameronian Friends and Families Organisation were invited to participate.

A large museum has been constructed at Nieuwdorp depicting the battle of the Scheldt crossing to take Walcheren Island from the Germans (Operation Mallard). In this operation Canadian forces and the Cameronians played a leading part. During the battle the local church in Nieuwdorp was destroyed and the allied forces provided a Nissen hut to serve as a church for the local populace.

However when a new church was built the Nissen one was abandoned and fell into disrepair. The abandoned remains of this Nissen hut church were offered to the Museum. With generous support and hard work the original frame work was restored, new corrugated cladding fitted and the Nissen hut church was rebuilt in the Museum grounds.

Installed in the church as a permanent fixture is a show case with personal effects of Maj C Sixsmith Cameronians Scottish rifles. During the ceremony a Regimental Poppy Wreath was laid in memory of Major Sixsmith and all Cameronians who fell in that action, Davie McColl was asked to give a eulogy on the Cameronians in the Scheldt action (one of our Battle Honours) which was well received.

The service was well attended some 300 guests including the Canadian Ambassador and the Governor of Zeeland (to whom we were introduced). There was a fly past and wing salute by a vintage Avro trainer and a Piper was also in attendance, it was a very emotional service. We were treated like royalty, everyone was pleased we came to support them and for our part we were proud to represent the Regiment.

On any of my visits to this part of the Country I am amazed and humbled by the respect that is felt for the Cameronian Regiment.

You may care to note, we have been given an area in the new museum to display artefacts depicting Cameronian action in WWII

Ian Bilboe

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