Asst Cmdt. Malcolm Robertson  and Asst Cmdt. Von Der Trenck
Comdt Colin Fisher the first OC of Gp 2 and his 2iC Asst Comdt
Frederick von der Trenck established Guard Force Group 2 Chipinga

Jnr Comdt  JAMES  CLULOW  remembers  how   it  all  started :

His story is an extract from the book  “ ALEXANDRE  BINDA,  THE  RHODESIA  REGIMENT -  From  Boer  War  to  Bush  War  1899 – 1980  “, published at Galago Press in 2012.

Formation  of  the  Guard  Force :

The Guard Force was formed in 1976 to take over command of the PVs [ protected villages ] from Intaf [ Ministry of Internal Affairs ] personnel who had been manning the keeps until then. Basic Training for recruits  took place at the Chikurubi Training Centre, but the initial intake came from Llewellin Barracks. James Clulow was a member of this original intake, which became known as the Pioneer Squad .

And  this  is  HIS  story:

   We were guinea pigs because the concept was new. We were trained as Keep Commanders  and were deployed country wide. The war was hotting up, particularly in the Chipinga area [ Operation Thrasher  ]. There was an urgent requirement for the protected villages to be occupied and kept operating.

I was one of the first Keep Commanders to be posted. There were three of us and we were posted to Chipinga   [ GUARD  FORCE  GROUP  2, CHIPINGA ]  We were still busy organising our passing out party at Llewellin when we were called in and told we were being deployed urgently in three days time. We said farewell to our loved ones and with our all-volunteer African Guards/Vedettes boarded the train from Salisbury to Umtali. From Umtali we were bussed to Chipinga and then on to Chikore Mission. We remained there for some time as these were the first three Guard Force Keeps to be built. Guard Force HQ was established at the old Chipinga showgrounds. The Chipinga people were wonderful, especially the coffee-farming community.

Each Keep Commander had 23 guards, which included a Sergeant.. Few people were aware how under-equipped we were. The Keep Commander and his Sergeant were armed with FNs. The African Guards were initially armed with bolt action .303 rifles, later with 7.62 G – 3s Our radio sets were not the best either.

I became a Jnr Comdt and did my Service call-ups at GP 5 MREWA. I retain very found memories of the Guard Force guys I served with and Chipinga will always live in my heart. “

Following contribution made by Colin Huffer, from one of the early GF intakes.....thank you Colin!


First time back for a long time. Sorry guys , I have had other issues and not been on Facebook a lot .

 I will try and keep up now . Love this site .

Great but sad , memories come flooding back . Seems though that most of you are post my intake . I cannot recognise your areas . I was in PVs 5,7,20, 21, GFR3 under Colin Fisher Chipinga .  Finished up in 78 at base camp doing convoys to Umtali.

I see a few old faces on pics . George Posthumus was lovely lad . Was gutted when he died , good friend . Same with Dennis Phillips, same intake GFR3. Hope you all well Cheers Col .

PS initially I was in Pax House , due to injury in training at Chikurubi. Went into bush on Keep reconnaisance with Commandant Pusey for two weeks and toured all Pvs in Chipinga area . Then got out of Pax House when I proved A1 fit . Hated being based in Pax House .