Canadian Volunteers in the Rhodesian Army

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Canadian Volunteers in the Rhodesian Army

Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 11th, 2010, 4:02 am #1

About a month ago, I was speaking to a young lad who immigrated to Canada from Zimbabwe and while we were discussing the history of the War in Rhodesia, he mentioned to me about Canadians serving in the RLI (Rhodesian Light Infantry) 1961-1979.

I've read previous articles about foreigners serving in the Rhodesia but nothing substantial until very recently! The RLI nicknamed "The Saints" served with distinction throughout the history of Rhodesia and it's UDI from Great Britain.

Some links on this relatively little known war.

http://www.therli.com/default.asp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL4TDTmeRAo

http://www.rhodesianmilitaria.com/?page_id=17

http://selousscouts.tripod.com/rhodesia ... _mercs.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodesia


Chris
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Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

August 16th, 2010, 2:14 pm #2

Chris -
Know one of them personally - a Newfie who went there for adventure, but as he will tell you, he quickly discovered reality when the head on the guy next to him suddenly exploded in the first burst of rebel gunfire.
Alex
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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 16th, 2010, 2:44 pm #3

Alex,
When I was a young lad, I too had wanted to join up in a foreign army for adventure and see the world etc. But from talking to vets from various armies the world over, it is indeed a hard life, and not meant for the faint hearted!



Chris
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Clive
Clive

August 16th, 2010, 4:15 pm #4

I knew a guy years ago who, as a Canadian, joined the Australian Army and went to Vietnam, came home for unversity and joined the Militia. After graduation he went to Rhodesia and stayed through the transistion to Zimbabwe. He came back after a couple of years, rejoined the Militia, then got a short-service commission as a regular and immediately went to Bosnia. Five medals and not one was issued by Canada!
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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 16th, 2010, 5:57 pm #5

Clive,
Thanks for the info-regarding this Canadian who served in the Australian Army! Yep, that's the life I had previously had in hopes of aspired too.

If it is too much to ask? Can you tell me a bit more of this chap, and what unit he saw active serve with?


Please contact me offline.


Regards..

Chris
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Jon Skagfeld
Jon Skagfeld

August 16th, 2010, 10:47 pm #6

Knew a guy in the R Regt C c.1983, name of Bailey who served in the RLI.

He eventually found militia training too boring and got released.

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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 16th, 2010, 11:49 pm #7

Funny how I remember as a kid in school on how we were told about Canadians are a peace loving people and how we are the worlds most professional peace keepers etc.

We were never taught or told in school about Canada's other type of soldiers, the ones who craved excitement and adventure in foreign armies and in times of war!



Chris
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

August 17th, 2010, 1:52 am #8

Why teach students about Canadians who went off to war for other countries. What would be the reason(s) for teaching the subject?

The number has ben insignificant and had no effect on the Canadian picture of itself, other than the number of First Nations people who traditionally served in the US Marines and which has been reported on. One could also mention the Canadians who went off to fight in the Spanish civil war but the Canadian government has tried to surpress this for many years.

Recently, there was a story in the Ottawa Citizen about a Canadian who went to England to join the army and fight against Napolian. But so what; what did it show about Canadian character? how relevant is it?

There is far more that should be taught to Canadian students and those immigrating to Canada that is important for them to know about our country.

DT.
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A.J. Lockard
A.J. Lockard

August 17th, 2010, 12:32 pm #9

Exactly. Did any of these restless souls declare their foreign income and pay taxes on it? That might have been doing something useful for Canada. Otherwise, hard to see the relevance to a Canadian history lesson. People get antsy and rob convenience stores too.
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Joined: February 5th, 2005, 4:07 pm

August 17th, 2010, 1:15 pm #10

My personal opinion is that the subject of Canadians serving overseas in foreign armies IS relevant to our discussions here. After all, isn't it about the Canadian soldier and Canadian Army of the 20th Century?

Many, if not most young men join the army because of the offer of adventure. They still do so today when volunteering to serve overseas in A'stan. Wind down A'stan and I guarantee that the recruiting levels will surely drop.

So what's my point? Precisely that during the post war years the Canadian Army did not offer the extreme level of excitement that many adventuresome souls seek, so they went off to the US, UK, Australia and Rhodesia.

The post war Canadian Army in the latter part of the 20th Century offered little to those seeking extreme adventure, or those who wanted to really soldier, the gung-ho guy who was the type who'd yearn to go "Ranger, Airborne, or Special Forces". There was even a time when skydiving was highly frowned upon by the authorities. Those were the chickenshit years, so why not go south to the USA, or across the Pond where there was opportunity?
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