Three SANDF reserve officers attend Remembrance Day at their alma mater

Article and Photos by Lt (SAN) Glenn von Zeil, SA Naval Reserve

Three Rondebosch Boys’ High School (RBHS) Old Boys and active SANDF Reserve Officers returned to their Alma Mater in uniform to attend the Annual Remembrance Day Memorial Service on 11 November 2010.

The RBHS Memorial School Hall was built after World War II (WWII) with funds donated to honour those Old Boys who had paid the supreme sacrifice during World War I (WWI) and WWII. As an annual tradition the school honours their memory and sacrifices and reminds young men of the futility of war.

Active serving SANDF Reserve officers and Rondebosch Boys’ High School Old Boy’s market the Reserves at Alma Mater Remembrance Day service.
From left to right: Capt Ian Long (Cape Town Highlanders), Mr Steve Duffett (RBHS Old Boys’ Union), Mr Martin Barker (Headmaster), Capt Joe Dorrington (Cape Town Rifles (Dukes)) and Lt (SAN) Glenn von Zeil, SA Naval Reserve.

RBHS had, two days prior to the service, opened a permanent exhibition at the entrance of the hall indicating the history of the building as well as a tribute with a photograph of each Old Boy and teacher who had died in WWI and WWII. Amongst them were those who had served in the Cape Town Highlanders, Cape Town Rifles (Dukes) and the SA Navy represented by the Old Boys in uniform.

To add colour to the service and to ensure that all who attended had a memento, Maj Gen (Ret) John Del Monte, kindly provided traditional red poppies from the SA Legion offices. Each boy, every teacher and all guests attending received one when they entered the Memorial Hall.


Rondebosch Boys’ High School memorial display commemorating the building of the Memorial School Hall as well as a tribute to each Old Boy and teacher who was killed on service during World War 1 and 2.

Rondebosch Boys’ High School Memorial Hall honours board containing the names of all Old Boys and teachers who were died during World War 1 and 2.

The headmaster, Mr Martin Barker, remarked that he was “pleased that the three Old Boys had participated in uniform, added colour to the service and expressed an interest in arranging a more formal role in assisting with wreath-laying during the 2011 service.”

The school’s awareness of the opportunities offered by the SANDF Reserve was highlighted and the opportunities provided to young men and women by the Young Lions (SA Army), Young Falcons (SA Airforce) and Sea Cadets (SA Navy) were indicated to the Headmaster and staff.

It was suggested that these organisations market themselves to local schools and expose the youth to the possibilities available. This would assist in ensuring that a continuous supply of potential leaders was maintained to fill the ranks of the SANDF Reserve.

Bravo Zulu to Capt Ian Long, Cape Town Highlanders, for spotting the opportunity and for laying the ground work to ensure that the SANDF Reserves received this positive exposure!