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  #1  
Old 22-08-21, 08:56 AM
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Default Rhodesia Defence Force

Hi
Hope someone could share more information and any history on a Rhodesian Unit called "Rhodesia Defence Force" as I am unable to find very little via google searches. Were they volunteers or PF? When did they officially start and when were they disbanded, etc?

Here is a link to a picture on this forum showing a Machine gun section of the Unit post WW1 - https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...1&d=1413304618

I have seen picture of there Cap (Rhodesia coat-of-arms with scroll beneath reading "RHODESIA DEFENCE FORCE") and collar badges(facing lions with same scroll below), but what shoulder titles did they wear... was it RDF or just the plain curved RHODESIA. Looking at the linked picture, it appears the s/t is possibly just RHODESIA.

Any assistance appreciated

Steven
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Old 19-09-23, 07:02 PM
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Hi Steven,
Following on from your post, I believe the men in picture are wearing the puggaree badge attached.

Like you i would be interested in the history of the unit and an explanation of the various features of the coat of arms badge.

Regards,
John
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RhodesiaDefenceForce.jpg (91.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg RhodesiaDefenceForce_Screen_cap_panel.jpg (100.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg RhodesianDFMG Section.jpg (79.7 KB, 20 views)
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Old 21-09-23, 06:53 AM
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From what I have managed to ascertain, the Rhodesia Defence Force (RDF) was formed as an "umbrella" formation, existing alonside the Southern Rhodesia Volunteers (SRV) and responsible for the defence of Rhodesia.

It was formed c.1914 and consisted of a Training unit based in Salisbury with detachments in Bulawayo, Umtali and Gwelo. It was responsible for training and supplying soldiers for the Rhodesia Regiment, Murrays Column and the Rhodesia Native Regiment.

In 1920 the Rhodesian Forces was reorganised and the RDF and SRV were replaced with a new force called the Southern Rhodesia Defence Force (SRDF)

The SRDF system failed and was disbanded in 1927 with the creation of Rhodesian Permanent Force and the Territorial Force. On 1st April 1927, the old SRV became part of the Territorial Force.

Insignia:

RDF
- Cap/Helmet badge consiting of the Coat-of-arms of the BSAP except the motto Rhodesia Defence Force replaced the BSAC motto Justice, Commerce, Freedom.
- Facing collar badges of Rhodesia lion and tusk on a scroll 'Rhodesia Defence Force'
- Buttons depicting the Rhodesia lion and tusk

SRDF
- Cap badge replaced with Rt facing collar badge of the RDF
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Old 21-09-23, 07:31 AM
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Hi Steven,
That's useful information, thanks.

An image with collar badges appears in "British Colonial Badges" by Barry Renfrew, Margaret Renfrew and Bill Cranston, page 107, Figs. 585, 587, 588.
Text on page 75 reads:
"Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia developed a much larger military structure than most of the British possessions in Africa. Volunteer units were raised in the 1890s, however, most of the early formations had a fleeting existence. The British South Africa Police was the territory's main security force for many years. A volunteer force was established in 1899 as the Southern Rhodesia Volunteers. It fought in the Boer War and the First World War. The Rhodesia Defence Force was formed in 1914 to oversee the volunteer forces. Post-war developments saw the establishment of the Southern Rhodesia Defence Force in 1920 with a nominal strength of some 2,000 volunteers. This was replaced in 1926 by a new two-part structure. A Permanent Force consisted of the British South Africa Police and a full-time military staff and training echelon. The other wing was made up of a Territorial Force of part-time units, which was overseen by the military and training staff of the Permanent Force."

Regards, John
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Old 21-09-23, 07:51 AM
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Steven,
Further to your post, I traced the coat of arms as being for the British South Africa Company, see attached.
John
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File Type: jpg BSAPCoatofArms.jpg (46.1 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Coat_of_arms_of_the_British_South_Africa_Company.svg.jpg (79.4 KB, 4 views)
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