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Painting by Derrick Dickens, artwork by Theo Fernandes

On the 24th February the SA Legion UK will pay tribute at two ceremonies to the SS Mendi and the SAS President Kruger.

If you are able to attend you are very welcome.

24/02/2013 SS Mendi and SAS President Kruger Parades


Parade Order – Milton Cemetery:


Weather permitting the parade will be held outside, weather not permitting the sermon and messages will be done in the Chapel and the wreaths laid in a shortened outside service.

11:00 Parade Muster and drill Practice

  • Colours take position  behind Parade OC
  • Medal Parade for new recipients – march up, salute, step forward.  Step back, Salute – left turn, rejoin.
  • Colours join the squad
  • Dismiss

11:30 Parade Muster at the chapel and march to ceremonial site (lower path)

  • Halt  on the path below the row – colours take up position in the centre of the row
  • Message fromParade Commander on the SS Mendi
  • Sermon – reading, message and prayer appropriate to the men of the Mendi and the SA Labour Corps
  • Message from Lgr Peter Gillatt
  • Colours dipped
  • SA Legion Wreath placed
  • Roll call to the 9 SS Mendi casualties buried at Milton and individual wreaths are laid to each man by a member appointed in the squad – each man will exit the quad individually, march up – halt salute, step forward and lay wreath, bow, step back salute left turn and rejoin the squad
  • The Last Post played and Two minutes Silence
  • Act of Remembrance
  • Colours raised and rejoined
  • Squad march to the chapel
  • Dismiss

Parade Order – Portsmouth Memorial

13:00  Muster

  • Parade March to memorial and halt. Eyes front, Parade Commanders salute the memorial
  • Colours take up position
  • Introduction and call to worship – we come together Legion script
  • Message from Parade Commander – All serving men lost at sea
  • Bible Reading, Message and Prayer appropriate to all military disasters at sea in the modern era
  • Personal Message from Lgr Cameron Kinnear – SAS PK Survivor,
  • Colours Dipped
  • SAS PK Roll Call – Read by Lgr Cameron Kinnear
  • Wreath party to lay wreaths (SA Legion, SS Mendi and SAS President Kruger)
  • Act of Remembrance
  • Commitment and Dedication
  • The last post and 2 minutes silence
  • Colours raised and rejoin the squad
  • National Anthems (South African followed by God Save the Queen)
  • Eyes front memorial salute by parade commanders
  • Squad marched off and dismiss.







The 1st Annual South African Naval Fraternity Social is gathering steam.

At 3pm on Saturday 23rd of February (THIS MONTH!) shipmates from various walks of life in the SA Navy will start gathering at HUB in Simonstown.

Some will avail themselves of the ship tours laid on by the Base PR Office, while others will start the banter and renewing of acquaintences and memories.

Havev you booked for the social?

If not, head over the the fraternituy website to do so now!

A video of the last remaining type 12M (Rothesay) class Frigate, almost identical to the President Class.

Engine Room and lower decks.

These images are provided courtesy of Cmdr Leon Steyn, SAN Museum.

UK Remembrance Day: South Africa’s 1st opportunity to remember fallen

This year on 11 November for the very first time, the South African Legion UK will formally march in London and Glasgow to remember the fallen.

Read more here.


PO Brian Ackers, one of the survivors of the PK on that night passed away on 16/8/2012 after a short illness.

He is a member of my extended family and his funeral is on Sat. 25/8/2012 from St Faiths Anglican Church, Milford Rd, Plumstead, Cape Town.

Brian will be buried on Sat. 25th Aug, details as follows:

St Faith’s Anglican Church

Milford Road (off Dick Burton Road)

Plumstead (Cape Peninsula)

Viewing (08:00)

Service  (09:00)

Thence to Plumstead Cemetery (Victoria Rd)

Brian always spoke passionately about the PK and the aftermath to me.

It would be a privilege to have his Navy buddies @ the funeral. Thx. Colin Arends

SAS Pietermaritzburg at the Knysna Heads in 1953

Please assist us to justify an provisional protection order by adding your voice to the petition.

Sign the Petition!


It has been brought to the attention of the Society and the Civic Association that a salvor has been cutting and recovering steel from the wreck of the SAS Pietermaritzburg.
This ship was scuttled off Miller’s Point to act as an artificial reef. Apart from serving the South African Navy for many years the Pietermaritzburg, originally named HMS Pelorus, led the D-Day Invasion fleet on the 6th June 1944. Many feel that in the light of this ship’s history it should be left as is.

In order for a provisional protection order to be placed on the wreck it requires a meeting to be held at which the public must express their desire in this respect, a meeting will therefore be held at the Simon’s Town Museum and to which all interested parties are invited to attend.

Venue: Simon’s Town Museum
Date: Monday 30th July 2012
Time: 17h30

Eric Mawhinney
Simon’s Town Historical Society

HMS Pelorus (J291) was an Algerine-class minesweeper, built by Lobnitz of Renfrew, Scotland and launched on 19 June 1943. While equipped with minesweeping gear, she was primarily assigned to convoy escort duty in the Atlantic. In 1944, she led the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

In 1947 the ship was sold to the South African Navy and renamed HMSAS Pietermaritzburg (and later SAS Pietermaritzburg). Still afloat well into the 1990s, many people wished to turn the ship into a maritime museum, but instead she was scuttled on 12 November 1994 to make an artificial reef atMiller’s Point near Simon’s Town, South Africa.

The wreck settled upright on the sand and remained fully intact for a number of years. During storms in 2006, the wreck was badly damaged and broke into three parts. However there are still a few places for divers to penetrate, therefore still making it a good wreck to dive. It houses abundant marine life and is a safe haven for a many species of fish. Maximum depth is 22 metres (72 ft) on the sand.

The Pelorus displaced 850 tons and had a crew complement of 85 men. Her armament consisted of a single 4″ antiaircraft gun, and four 20 mm guns. She was powered by reciprocating engines generating 2000 shp driving two shafts.

A sad farewell to HMS Plymouth

Falklands frigate on which Argentinians surrendered lies rusting as it awaits final voyage to scrapyard on 30th anniversary of the war.

HMS Plymouth has been moored at Vittoria Dock in Birkenhead for the past decade

  • 53-year-old vessel was decommissioned in 1988
  • Argentinian navy lieutenant Alfredo Astiz – the ‘Blond Angel of Death’ – surrendered 30 years ago to British forces in South Georgia
  • Current owners have agreed to sell 2,150-ton frigate to a Turkish recycling firm
The Bush War Research Journal is part of my current dissertation research for my Masters in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

I am currently looking for any UK-based veterans, who fought in the Southern African Bush War, who would like to be interviewed on camera by me for the purpose of this research.

If you or anyone else you know is interested, please contact me on:


See below for more details.

Current Research Proposal:
“With reference specifically to veterans of the South African Border War (aka Southern African Bush War); how does the act of talking to the camera, for example in an interview situation, codify or simplify the way people talk about or represent their histories? Or does it allow them to create more complicated and detailed narratives?”

About me:
I am a South African history/politics student and my focus is the Southern African Bush War and the soldiers who fought in it, on all sides, and their experiences and stories.

It is my intention to provide a platform for the unheard tales and to explore their significance and meanings and make them accessible to anyone willing to hear them, especially for the newer generations who have yet to hear of or understand this conflict and those who fought in it.

Previous work:


Documentary – Part 01:

Part 02:

Part 03:

29 March 2012


The South African Navy notes the recent tragic passing of Admiral Hugo Biermann SSA SD (OBE) with deep regret.

His contribution to supporting the collective endeavours of the international maritime community will be long remembered, and his tragic death mourned by navies throughout the world.

Admiral Biermann will long be remembered in the annals of our Naval History. He presided over the creation of our Country’s first fleet, and commanded as the first Chief of the South African Navy from 1958 – 1972, and office which he held with distinction. He also held office as Commander Maritime Defence, and served as the Chief of the South African Defence Force from 1972-1976.

His is a legacy which is known and respected by so very many of us. His professionalism, keen sense of duty, and pride in matters maritime served as an example to all who knew him, and he has come to epitomise much that we seek to be as naval professionals.

The legacy created by Admiral Biermann will serve as an inspiration to navies universally for many years to come.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.


ISSUED BY: South African Navy Headquarters