The Trooper in Rhodesia Rhodesian Army Home Page

The Rhodesian Light Infantry
1961 - 1980

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History of The 1st Battalion, The Rhodesian Light Infantry

The RLI was originally formed on the 1st February, 1961.

The organisation and roles of the Battalion were changed in 1965 and the Unit became a Commando Battalion, earning members the right to wear the coveted Green Beret.

Colours were presented to the Battalion on 19th June 1965 by Sir Humphrey Gibbs on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Troopie The Unit was granted the Freedom of the City of Salisbury on 25th July 1975. On that day the Unit exercised the right to march through the City with bayonets fixed and Colours flying.

For many years, the Battalion played a major part in anti-terrorist operations. Towards the end of 1976 the Unit began training for an airborne role and as far as can be ascertained, carried out more operational parachute descents than any other unit in the world. It was the Battalion's success in operations which led the then Prime Minister, The Hon. I. D. Smith M.P., at the Annual Regimental Sundowner in 1968 to propose a toast to "The Incredible RLI".

Five officers and seventy-nine men have been killed in action. Six officers and forty men have died of other causes whilst serving in the Battalion.

The Regimental War Memorial The Trooper" pictured here, was unveiled in their memory on the 1st February 1979. Picture from the book THE SAINTS published 2006.

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