REMEMBRANCE DAY 11th November
Flame lilies grow in the ‘Hondo’ valley, where brave soldiers fought and fell,
They witnessed courageous young men fight to the very gates of Hell.
Like the crimson poppies of Flanders field, let Rhodesians always recall,
We too have a flower of great beauty that witnessed brave Rhodesians fall.
The flame is our flower, saluting those who died bravely for our cause.
A poppy is reminiscent of our forefathers in the two great world wars.
So proudly pin a flame lily on your chest, for those who are now at rest,
Our soldiers, police force and nurses too; knowing that they were the best.
Rhodesia Day, eleventh of November, to honour the dead and the living;
casting to the altar of life our accolades and prayers of thanksgiving.
Written by Alf Hutchison…artwork by Doug Wesson
- Wiki: “Though it was one of the few combatant territories not to raise fighting men through conscription, proportional to white population, Southern Rhodesia contributed more manpower to the British war effort than any other dominion or colony, and more than Britain itself. White troops numbered 5,716, about 40% of white men in the colony, with 1,720 of these serving as commissioned officers. The Rhodesia Native Regiment enlisted 2,507 black soldiers, about 30 black recruits scouted for the Rhodesia Regiment, and around 350 served in British and South African units. Over 800 Southern Rhodesians of all races lost their lives on operational service during the war, with many more seriously wounded.The territory’s contributions during the First World War became a major entry in many histories of the colony, and a great source of pride for the white community, as well as for some black Rhodesians. It played a part in the UK government’s decision to grant self-government in 1923, and remained prominent in the national consciousness for decades. When the colonial government unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1965, it deliberately did so on Armistice Day, 11 November, and signed the proclamation at 11:00 local time. Since the territory’s reconstitution and recognised independence as Zimbabwe in 1980, the modern government has removed many references to the war, such as memorial monuments and plaques, from public view, regarding them as unwelcome vestiges of white minority rule and colonialism. The Zimbabwean cultural memory has largely forgotten the First World War; the country’s war dead today have no official commemoration, either there or overseas.
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