East London District Dugout


For more information contact Andre Swartz – [email protected]



Planned Events

Remembrance Day 11th November 2018 – 3 parades in East Londaon

First: 06:00

On Sunday 11 November, bagpipers around the world will play a retreat march at 06:00 local time.  East London Caledonian Society Pipe Band will be at the Cenotaph in Oxford Street.  It was at this time, one hundred years ago, that the Armistice of Compiegne was signed to end the Great War of 1914 – 1918.  The Armistice came into effect at 11:00 and another 11000 soldiers were killed or wounded during those five hours.

2 000 pipers are among the millions of soldiers who lost their lives in the course of the war.  In memory of their sacrifice, the Piobaireachd Society and the College of Piping in Scotland have asked that the retreat march “When the Battle’s O’er” be played.  (http://www.collegeofpiping.org/sign-up-for-battles-oer-tribute/) A retreat march is played at the end of the day to lead soldiers back to their barracks.  By extension it may also signal the cessation of hostilities.

After 1918 pipers were restricted to the rear areas of wars.  The exception is Private Bill Millin who, on 6 June 1944,  defied regulations and led the commandos of 1 Special Services Brigade onto the D-Day beaches. Millin later learned that he survived because the German soldiers couldn’t bring themselves to shoot a madman.

East London Caledonian Society Pipe Band was formed in 1920 as a replacement for the Kaffrarian Rifles (now Buffalo Volunteer Rifles) Pipe Band which was disbanded shortly before World War 1.  The band members were allowed to use the uniforms and instruments of their predecessor band and the regimental tartan (McKenzie) is still worn by the band.

WHEN THE BATTLE’S O’ER.  (Tune: Pipe Major William Robb (1863-1909). Lyrics: Andy Stewart (1933-1993).

I return to the fields of glory,

Where the green grass and flowers grow,

And the wind softly sings the story

Of the brave lads of long ago.


March no more my soldier laddie,

There is peace where there once was war.

Sleep in peace my soldier laddie,

Sleep in peace now, the battle’s o’er.


In the great glen they lie a-sleeping,

Where the cool waters gently flow,

And the grey mist is sadly weeping

For the brave lads of long ago.


See the tall grass is there a-waving,

As their banners of long ago.

With their heads high they’re forward braving,

Stepping lightly to meet the foe.


Some returned from the fields of glory,

To their loved ones, who held them dear.

But some fell in their hour of glory

And were left to their resting here.



Second: 10:30

Civic Parade at East London Cenotaph, top of Oxford Street.

Meet 10:00

March off 10:30


Third: 13:30

MOTH Parade at MOTH Complex, 20 Strathmore Avenue.

Fall in 13:00

Parade 13:30.

This parade will be followed by a bring & braai.  Salads & rolls will be provided.  For catering purposes please contact MOTH Brent Davis 083 307 7605.



When the Battle’s O’er – 11 November 2018

A tribute to the Battles O’er

There were 4 MOTH present: Rev. Denis de Lange (Port Rex) who did a short service and Old Bill Claude Hundermark, Jonno Neethling and Dave Rankin (Buffalo-Dixie)

East London Caledonian Society Pipe Band joined in the worldwide tribute to the 2000 pipers who lost their lives during World War 1. In each country, the retreat march “Battle’s O’er” was played at 0600 local time. The Armistice was signed at 0600 (GMT + 1) effective 1100. After the band marched into position, Rev. Denis de Lange gave a short service reminding all of the purpose of the parade. The retreat march was played at 0600, followed by the lament “Flowers of the Forest” for all the fallen of all wars

11th  November Parade

A large contingent of ex-Servicemen and a platoon from Buffalo Volunteer Rifles paraded at the Remembrance Service held at the Cenotaph in East
London. A special tribute was the flypast of 11 aircraft at 11:00.

We will remember them.


On Sunday 6 October, East London District hosted a recruitment drive at a Family Fun Day hosted by church group LIA (Love In Action).  The stall was set up and manned by members Buffalo-Dixie, Gonubie & Port Rex Shellholes and MOTHWA.  While there were many lulls in activity, the stall proclaimed MOTH activity in East London District, dispelled the myth that the Order is a relic of the Great War and attracted the interest of potential 3rd Generation recruits

East London District Annual Potjie Competition

East London District hosted its annual potjie competition at the MOTH complex. Contestants from Buffalo-Dixie, Gonubie and Port Rex Shellholes as well as Cambridge Lions and De La Salle Old Boys Association.

The Lions, who entered 7 pots, had a mini-competition between themselves.

1st place: Beverley Miles of Lions

Battle of Britain Commemoration Service 9 Sept 2018

East London District joined members of the Royal Air Force Association and
the S. A. Legion for the Battle of Britain Commemoration Service held on
Sunday 9 September 2018.The Reverend Barry Wittstock conducted the service.  East London Caledonian
Society Pipe Band led the parade and played the lament “Flowers of the
Forest”.  Selborne College supplied the trumpeter for Last Post and
Reveille.  The Fly Past was courtesy of Border Aviation Club.DEDICATION: In friendship and in service, one to another, we are pledged to
keep alive the memory of those of all nations who died in the Royal Air
Force and the Air Forces of the Commonwealth.  In their name we give
ourselves to this noble cause.  Proudly and thankfully, we will remember

Remembrance – 12th November 2017

Remembrance Day was observed at a service held at the Cenotaph in East London on Sunday 12 November 2017.  Special tribute was given to the 607 men  of the S.A. Native Labour Contingent who died when their ship, SS Mendis, sank after a collision in 1917.

Potjie Time  Saturday 21 October 2017

East London District held its annual potjie competition in aid of MESCA on  Saturday 21 October 2017. Gonubie Shellhole emerged as the champions.


East London District repulsed a surprise attack on 7 July 2017.

The dashing Falschirmjager leader (a) had recently returned from invading
Crete and, apart from being a German, is also a cretin.

His fellow Falschirmjager (b) came Russian from the front to join forces
with members of the Waffen SS (c & d) in the daring night-time raid.  The
meticulous planning went awry when only whisky was available for the
pre-raid toast ( e) and something “schnapped” (f).

82nd Airborne (g) took the opportunity to launch a successful
counter-attack.  In true Hollywood fashion, the hero gets the girl.  Here
(h) he is seen whispering those tender words “would you like fries with

Re-opening of the East London Drill Hall June 2017

East London District MOTH were well represented at the reopening of the
Buffalo Volunteer Rifles (formerly Kaffrarian Rifles) Drill Hall.

The Hall has been closed for extensive renovations and upgrading.

In his speech, the GOC SA Army Infantry Formation spoke of the challenges
facing Reserve Forces and singled out the MOTH order as an important
participant in storing South Africa’s military history and in providing a
support base for the maintenance of a competent and capable Defence Force


The Lions Club of Cambridge (East London) hosted a potjie competition on
Saturday 25 February 2017.  Funds raised went to McClelland Adult Centre for
the Intellectually Impaired.  Buffalo-Dixie and Port Rex Shellholes
participated.   The competition was won by Kempston Group.  This was the
first attempt at such a competition by Lions, who may be relied on to
support the East London District potjie competition in aid of M.E.S.C.A.