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The Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association of Australasia


The late 1950's and early 60's saw the emergence throughout Africa of a number of wars of independence against the Colonial powers of the time.The advent of Communist Chinese and Russian sponsorship of Guerilla movements heralded a new sophistication in both weaponry, training and methodology for insurgents. This new capability effected mainly Rhodesia, the South African protectorates and the Portuguese colonies of Southern Africa. While other colonial countries maintained substantial conventional standing Armies in Africa, it was in fact the Rhodesians that developed a small mobile, extremely efficient and diverse fighting machine to combat this new level of threat both internally and externally. Their methods were to benchmark Anti Guerilla Warfare worldwide for some time to come and at the forefront of this effort stood the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Nicknamed 'The Saints' or 'The Incredibles', The 1st Battalion The Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) was formed on 1 February 1961, and in its short 19-year existence, this commando airborne unit carved for itself a reputation as one of the world's foremost proponents of counter-insurgency warfare, through internal 'Fireforce' operations and daring pre-emptive strikes against the overwhelming tide of the communist-backed guerrillas of Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo based in Mozambique and Zambia.
For these reasons, Charles D. Melson of the USMC has described the RLI as "The Killing Machine". 
The Rhodesian "bush war" reached its bloody climax in 1980 and the country became Zimbabwe. The men of the RLI had won all their battles, but had lost the war ... and their country ... and the weary veterans drifted away. An 'international' regiment in the true sense, with foreign volunteers from North America, UK, Europe, Australasia and South Africa, RLI veterans can today, through the newly formed RLI Regimental Association, stand up with pride and say

"I served in the RLI."

ANZAC Day 2021

Gents, as you are aware it is the Regiments' 60th Anniversary this year.
As such we are in discussions with our benefactors at the Coolum RSL to celebrate this auspicious occassion within the framework of our normal participation without overshadowing the event of the day.
Of course this is all dependant upon our political encumbents, we hope that any decisions that are made are not quite as hysterical as on previous occassions.

Please keep an eye on this space for any developements.


For several years ex members have attended the dawn ceremony at Coolum RSL. The Regimental colours are retained within the RSL and very generously the unit is given the honour of leading the parade each year. It is a short march to the venue and the emphasis is on rememberance and Cameraderie.
Local Schools, Dignitaries, Associations and Bands attend and always a humbling experience to see the level of reverence and respect accorded all Veterans by members of the Coolum community.
All serving members and relatives from Rhodesian units are most welcome.



D.E.W. (Dennis) Croukamp BCR

Condolences from all memebers RLIRA

Dear Member / Friend 

It is with regret and sense of loss that we advise you that Dennis Croukamp BCR died in the early hours of this morning ,9 January 2021 in Capetown,South Africa. Dennis had been struggling with the ravages of cancer for awhile but recently fell victim to the Covid 19 virus from which he did not recover Dennis served in the Regiment from 1965. Later he served with the Selous Scouts and then at the School of Infantry. I believe that Dennis was not only the most junior ranking recipient but also the youngest to be awarded the Bronze Cross of Rhodesia (BCR) in 1970. We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dennis and our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of grief. 

Billy Wiggill 

As my next heart beat grows further from my first and closer to my last. I look back into the years and to those friends left in my past. Old soldiers whose years now pass. Each day our faces wrinkle our hands callous our hair turns a shade of gray. Our dearest friends grow old no more Their hair will never gray They age no more Not a hour nor a day They feel no pain since the day they fell. Their brows will never crease with worry or some horrid pain. Our memories of them will never cease. a promise made years ago as we stood in the rain. I visited my friends and yes I stood tall But no matter how much I tried I broke and cried As I knew those names upon the Wall. 

SFC Thomas E. Ward


Email: John Costopoulos
0431 649 889