REVEILLE MOTH SHELLHOLE 20th January 2009 For those with sophisticated toys (GPS S 26’ 59” E 28 19’ 11”)
Reveille meetings first Tuesday monthly except January 19hr30 for 20hr00
This dissertation was prompted as a result of frequent requests made to the writer by MOTH interested in our origins how we conduct ourselves at our meetings and in every day life as ex-servicemen now proud respectable members of Reveille and the unique MOTH order.
The following paresis is respectfully presented by MOTH TREVOR THOMAS of Reveille Shellhole Benoni, previously of Bulawayo Lion Shellhole in Rhodesia.
- (Originally Bulawayo Lion was named Rhodesian Lion)-
Membership of the MOTH is restricted to ex- Front-Line War Veterans who qualify having submitted proof required by the MOTH Constitution see page 114 conditions.
MOTH’s take direction and guidance given to us by MOTH Members of long good standing in the Shellhole and MOTH ORDER guided by the MOTH Constitution.
.-(DO NOT REFER TO THE CONSTITUTION AS ‘THE PINK BOOK’
IT IS OUR CONSTITUTION AND STANDING ORDERS speak about it respectfully.
*QUALIFICATION REQUIRED TO BE CONSIDERED TO BECOME A MOTH*.
Those who qualify for membership into the MOTH were previously ex- Navy, Army or Air-Force war veterans, who conditionally served under war- time conditions to be considered eligible for MOTH membership including a Shellholes approval
Ref: (MOTH Constitution page 114 Annexure “B”)
THE FOUNDING OF THE MEMORABLE ORDER OF TIN HATS
The MOTH ORDER was founded by Charles A Evenden (Evo) on the 7th May 1927 Durban South Africa with the aid of eleven WW1 ex-military service and work pals.
At the time he was a cartoonist working for the Natal Mercury. A cartoon depicting ‘Forgetfulness’ about the (1914-1918)-(First World War) sketched by him entitled -“The Tin Hat”- stimulated his founding of the MOTH ORDER.
An article placed in the Mercury news paper by a reporter pal Robert. Johnson (Johnnie) who wrote a recruitment paragraph in ‘his’ column ‘the idler’ This article stimulated a flood of ex-war veterans to storm the Durban Town Hall where the original recruitment was planned for and held.
Johnies words to ‘Evo’ before writing the above story was:-
“An idea like this only wants a spark and it will run like a prairie fire”
What an accurate statement. - With only 50 tin-hats as we know them today plus a light hearted constitution and application forms their estimation of attendance fell far short of attendance.
More tin-hats, constitutions and forms were urgently made to meet this overwhelming demand from both ex-service-men and woman applicants desiring to become MOTH.
* A GLIMPSE OF SOUTH AFRICA DURING 1927.*
Most of the South African public of 1927 nine years after WW1 had some-how obviously lost sight of the contribution war veterans had made to peace and justice in the world after World War One- (1914-1918) - This first world war was supposed to put an end to all wars prompting the Mercury’s editor Kingstone.Russell to expose a world wide urgent problem with Evo’s sketch (The tin-hat) that provided the necessary impetus stimulating Evo to pursue his dream of forming an ex-service-men brotherhood into becoming reality.
The public as a whole appeared to be unconcerned with veteran soldiers post war plight. Most war-veterans after this conflict found themselves in an unfamiliar civilian world without any help from the ‘Authorities’ to ease their burdens.
Help was well overdue yet nothing happened until the above mentioned move was made to test soldier opinion to help them selves.
*THE CARTOON THAT FIRED THE FOUNDING OF THE MOTH ORDER.*
Charles A Evendens cartoon ‘The tin-hat’ depicting ‘Forgetfulness’ gave him the push he needed to form our brotherhood of ex-servicemen and women. This idea of his had been carried around in his mind for a long time, first thinking of it on his return trip to Australia while traveling on a troop ship after his (WW1) service.
He served with the ‘Australian New Zealand Army Corps’ (Anzac) forces during World War One at Gallipoly Turkey.-(Anzac military campaign)- that took place on the Turkish peninsular on the Mediterranean Sea.
The above event is the most commemorated battle by Australians, New Zealanders and the Tasmanians. ie More so than the end of both WW1 and WW2 armistice commemorated by other Allied countries Remembrance-Day 11th November yearly.
Charles A Evanden is affectionately known as EVO and respectfully as MOTH ‘O.’
All MOTH Membership numbers follow on from MOTH ‘O’- Evo’s number naught.
MOTH numbers are issued on attestation and recorded on our membership certificates. *MOTH membership numbers are the equivalent of our Military number*
. THE NAME EVO
-MOTH O’s fathers ‘nick-name ’Evo’ was adopted by MOTH ‘O’ as his own .
*THE LONDONER AUSTRALIAN SOUTH AFRICAN* -MOTH ‘O’ –‘Evo’-
London born Evo immigrated first to Australia then to South Africa after seeing Durban from a troop-ship on his return to Australia after WW1. Africa drew him like a magnet. *Evo arrived in SA at age 28 then sadly passing away in 1961 at age 66*-
He lived his MOTH dream for a short yet happy 34 fruitful years leaving a legacy.
*EVO MOTH ‘O’ WAS ALSO A VOLUNTEER*
‘Evo’-MOTH ‘O’- applied and turned down three or four times before being able to slip into the Australian armed service as a volunteer. His previous attempts failed due to his poor eye-sight and a badly damaged hand. His damaged hand hampered his artistic skills all his life. This injury occurred while still very young working in his first job in the UK
*UNION DEFENCE FORCE RED-TABS*
South Africa and Rhodesia were fully manned by volunteers during WW1 and WW2
No conscription was in force in either country!
Slide-on Red tabs were worn by all South African troops proudly displaying voluntary status of this country.
* Allied countries conscripted all their healthy young into the armed forces.*
Rhodesia and South African Armed Forces were the only forces during both wars to wear Brown Boots this practice continues by both countries to this day, others have followed.
Rhodesian forces refrained from displaying volunteer status.
Rhodesian population by percentage contributed more manpower by proportion than
any other Allied Forces during both World War One and Two
The need for a (war veterans-brother-hood) was obvious as some ex-soldiers had returned to civilian life war-wounded or just down in the dumps and disorientated even un-employed. Support and comfort was overdue for many of them with nowhere to turn This problem was not unique to Africa it was a world wide difficulty though his idea was being considered in South Africa ‘nine years’ after this brutal wars end
Only an ex-soldier can truly imagine the bond soldiers form with one another during war that remains to include other ex-vets as pals from other wars when acquainted.
World circumstances at that time following this most horrendous war was now in peace mode, not that it was obvious as various tensions were there only different.
Without exception, ex-soldiers missed their war-time camaraderie experienced only while in uniform. This identity shared between war-vets turned out to be the key needed for an ex-servicemen association to come together satisfying most soldiers.
Similar attitudes internationally were experienced and since continued after other wars throughout the world, resulting in the formation of ‘Veterans Associations’ sprouting in most countries examples are in the UK, (Anzac)-Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania - America, Canada and Russia possibly with the largest numbers
*HISTORY HAS A HABIT OF REPEATING ITSELF*
At the conclusion of WW Two similar attitudes and circumstances accounted for swelled MOTH Membership throughout colonial Africa and the United Kingdom.
*Sadly - WW Two, South African Black Soldiers were given ‘a suit and a bicycle” as their -‘Reward’- for 6 long years service in the Front Lines of Battle in North Africa and Italy!* They were in a sedentary role yes! It was no safer than other troops-(???)-.
-Rhodesian soldiers fared a lot better by being given help to buy their own property .
Reveille Shellhole had over a thousand visitors attend every MOTH meeting in the Benoni Town-Hall during 1945 and 1946. From these large numbers of MOTH and visitors, many previously from operative Benoni and Boksburg Shellholes were formed, since now closed.
Sadly many Shellholes have since closed down, mainly due to WW2 MOTH Sunset-calls.
When the writer arrived on transfer from Rhodesia to Reveille in 1980 over 150 MOTH attended the 1st Tuesday night monthly meetings. At that time MOTH were either WW1 or mostly WW2 veterans with me a lone Rhodie for at least my first two years after my arrival in the land of my birth, my parents having exported me when still a baby.
Currently twenty-five MOTHS attending a monthly meeting is now considered an excellent turn-out, this includes five or more visitors from other Shellholes.
Our ‘Outstanding Reveille Shellhole Building’ quoted in ‘Old Soldiers Never Die’
ie Evo’s book titled Benoni MOTH Center, now referred to as Reveille Shellhole.
*Reveilles Visitors book contains Evo’s entry also Vera Lynn’s*
*WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.*
*World War One and World War Two Volunteers*
Veterans who found themselves un-employed after WW1 and WW2 were young volunteers who had recently left school to join-up. Most without any job market qualifications or Matric school qualifications.
South Africa and Rhodesia comprised of Volunteers only in their armed forces
No one was conscripted during WW1 orWW2.this only came about when National Service started in the fifties -see ‘Red tabs’ later-
*World-wide economic down-turn*
The downturn in the world economy post WW1 placed most people in financial difficulties. Unfortunately this desperate financial situation extended itself into the 1930’s. Historically this period was known as the Great Depression having affected the whole world without exception prompting reasons for WW Two (1939 to 1945)
*THE MOTH ORDER WAS BORN ON 7th MAY 1927*
Our MOTH rites, rituals and traditions are adopted from British culture surrounding the period of the Battle of Delville Wood and commemorated by MOTH on 16th July 1914.
The battle of Delville Wood was a devastating horrific battle where Rhodesians and South Africans fought side by side. .Both countries fielded only Volunteers.
-Other Allied-Servicemen during WW1 (1914-1918) were all Conscripted-.
*The Second World War saw a repeat of SA and Rhodie volunteers once again.
Our volunteer attitude saw the only Two Armies at that time to wear ‘Brown Boots’
This tradition or practice has continued in both countries without change since then
*MOTH RITES AND RITUALS*
MOTH use WW1 slang for the fun of it, we constantly try to emulate WW1 morals and disciplined way of life as our own. This attempted behavior is evident in what we pursue in our every day lives also during our behavior and conduct during MOTH meetings.
WW1 Chivalry during this period of history (1914-1918) is unfortunately no longer seen.
Historically at that time society was motivated by gentlemanly behavior at all levels, now these traits all MOTH eagerly strive for so willingly proudly MOTH’s
THE MOTH OATH IS OUR THREE IDEALS - (TC - MH - SM.) –
. -This personal aspect is individually meaningful.-
SM = Sound Memory.- Our Roots-Rites-Traditions and pride.
The above three ideals are what soldiers the world over seem to stand for during war service from rookie to veterans and now in the MOTH ORDER.
Our Individual Regiments, Units, Companies, Platoons Ships or Squadrons, include areas of deployment uniqueness, dangers, happiness, laughter or sadness, ups and downs are all part of the mix it’s a khaki bond of memories never to be taken away from any of us. A help ‘makaar’ thing only ex-servicemen can understand
*TO THE FALLEN*
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
Laurence Binyon 21st September 1914
*NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN*
*Never neglect learning about your roots within the MOTH ORDER or about those of your Shellhole. Never neglect motivation left behind by fellow MOTH who have since answered the sunset call for their sacrifices made for freedom and justice that followed their actions no different to your or my war wherever it may have occurred.
Never forget the where, when, why or how, own your moments. -MOTH Trevor.Thomas-
MOTH SYMBOL ie Tin-hat and verse.
. -SUNSET CALLS-
We show respect for our fallen fellow MOTH who have answered the Sunset Call.
The memory of fallen comrades is forever in our thoughts – (Sound Memory)-
-They paid the supreme sacrifice for freedom and justice-.
*THE VACANT CHAIR SALUTE IS IN RESPECT FOR ALL OUR FALLEN*
We Commemorate all Sunset calls with a salute to the ‘Vacant Chair’ dedicated to all the ‘Unknown Soldiers’ who died without a grave to call their own, included are the memory of our own individual war-time comrades who answered the sunset-call during our war.
-Included are all MOTH Comrades who have since answered the Sunset-call.-.
*This MOTH salute is always given with bowed heads and in true thanksgiving*
THE MOTH PRAYER (Ritual)
I shall pass through this world but once, any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show my fellow-man, let me do it now, let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again!- Also known as ‘WHITE KNIGHT’-Author unknown-
. PRAYER TO OUR FALLEN. (Ritual)
They shall grow not old as we who are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them. By Laurence Binyon 1926
*ALL MOTH EXECUTIVE TASKING IS THE OLD BILLS RESPONSIBILITY*
THE OLD BILLS FIRST DUTY AT A MOTH MEETING IS ENSURING THE REQUIRED CORUM OF MOTH IN GOOD STANDING ARE IN ATTENDANCE
ie A CORUM IS 20% OF (PAID-UP) MOTH. (ie MOTH in good standing 1 in 5)
Nb NO SHELLHOLE IDEAS OR DECISIONS MAY BE PROPOSED SECONDED OR RATIFIED WITHOUT THE CORUM OF SHELLHOLE MOTH IN ATTENDANCE.
*NO MOTH is a free agent to add or subtract from any MOTH traditions, rites or rituals*
The Wee Bill is an Old Bill in waiting ‘except at Reveille’ A good MOTH intention that has never followed on at Reveille. Wee Bill is Old Bills helper standing in if required
*SHELLHOLE EXECUTIVE ACCOUNTABILITY*
*MOTH- Rites-Ritual-Traditional and Prayers some-up the 'MOTH OATH’*
*TC True Comrades-MH Mutual Help-SM Sound Memory*
Collectively the Adjutant and Pay Bill are our ‘money-bags’ responsible for Shellhole funds and Security. They are the ‘Watch-Dogs of all Shellhole financials and procedures..
*Old Bill remains the Responsible-Person*.
*Wee Bill is expected to ensure responsible effective procedures are followed*
The Shellholes Executive is jointly responsible for the traditional MOTH way of running the Shellhole smoothly no different to running a successful business.
The MOTH ORDER subscribes to ‘Smart-Edge’ accounting system for the Shellhole
All Shellhole executives are required to be familiar with the Smart Edge system to be able to manage our Shellhole funds and avoid inaccurate procedures or false authorization.
Nb Poor record keeping results in no control easily opening-up opportunities for fraud.
*Fraud has previously occurred in the MOTH ORDER*.
Guess what? *Shellholes go broke because ‘someone’ broke the law of the land)*
Nb Where fingers are ‘found in the till’ a crime has occurred, a criminal case will be opened and fully investigated. If guilt is proved criminal charges will be initiated. Offenders face excommunication from the MOTH ORDER is guaranteed.-What a shame- *Compliments and complaints are to be investigated by the executive for acceptance*
*COMMEMORATIVE MOTH CALENDER*
There are five commemorative dates on the MOTH calendar where both Rhodesians and South Africans fought together side by side during both
WW1 and WW2.
Nb *These five dates are recorded on the reverse of your MOTH Membership Card.*
. *MOTH COMEMORATIVE PARADE DATES*
MAY 07- Founders Day (The founding of the MOTH ORDER). -Commemorative Church Parade and Family-day with friends..
MAY 24- General. Jan. Smuts’ birthday.- (Tree Planting).-
JULY 16- Delville Wood. (A WW1 battle in France) -(Parade)-
OCTOBER 23- El Alamein (A WW2 battle in North Africa)-(Parade)-
NOVEMBER 11- Remembrance Day- Commemorating the End of both WW1 and World War 2 also wars that followed everywhere are commemorated.
All MOTH parades are held on the Sunday closest to the dates listed above.
All MOTH Parades are Church Parades. All MOTH commemorative calendar dates are seen on the reverse of each yearly membership card for easy referral.
*THE TWO MINUTE MOTH PARADE SILENCE.*
In honour of Survivors and the Fallen of all wars are two minutes of respectful silence. First minute is dedicated to all survivors the second minute to all the Fallen.
Parade stands to attention in complete silence and respect, this parade ritual haves its roots in South Africa its inception credited to the inspiration of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick of ‘Jock of the bushvelt’ fame.
Sir Percy was an author, politician and mining financier. His eldest son a Major serving previously with ‘Imperial Light Horse’ was killed in action on 4th December 1917 at Blaumitz in France during World War One.
Two years later, Sir Patrick requested through Lord Milner former High Commissioner for South Africa propose on his behalf to King George V that a moment of silence be observed annually on the 11th November in honour of the dead of World War One.
On the 17th November 1917 King George V proclaimed that at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month there may be for the brief space of two minutes, a complete suspension of all our normal activities so that in perfect silence, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead!
The first minute of silence period is thanksgiving for those who have survived.
The second minute to remember the fallen.
*PROTOCOL SILENCE ON PARADE*
For parade protocol purposes ‘each minute of silence’ are concurrently consecrated.
First minute after ‘Last Post’ the second before-‘Reveille’-both blown by a lone Bugler
*MOTH salute and MOTH Prayer to the fallen is followed by a lone bugler blowing
‘Last Post’ followed by MOTH drop-salute signaling Reveille to be blown*
*During the above ritual all on parade remain to attention during Last Post and Reveille*
See this full ritual format later.
. *MOTH VETERAN FORMAL DINNERS*
Reveille arranges a Veterans Formal Dinner most years where the younger MOTH’s serve as waiters to older veterans. All MOTH events are always shared
with other Shellholes, Military Units, family and friends. Dinner dates selected are usually a Friday or Saturday evening close to a MOTH calendars event
*MOTHS MUST ACHIEVE THESE OBJECTIVES*
Learn about the MOTH ORDER its history, rites, ritual and traditions, necessary to create pride in what you stand for as a disciplined MOTH.
Should a MOTH know any or all MOTH subjects well, then it becomes his duty to teach those new members in the MOTH ORDER who don’t know.
Should you not know a MOTH subject ask your mentor to teach you so that you understand then, put this new found knowledge into practice on-going throughout your MOTH career
.Don’t be a slacker be a go-getter, learn all you can, knowledge is power.!
*MOTH OATH & MOTH SALUTE*.
(These Rituals are taught and enforced on Installation night) *MOTH OATH*
-Don’t take your ‘OATH’ lightly!
“I give my comradeship to this Shellhole and my zeal to this order, I give my cheerful service as a witness that we live to lighten each others burden. In the light of this Shellhole, I declare that he who fought by my side is my comrade still wherever he may be and in his name I solemnly acknowledge by this MOTH salute that we are here to work within the three ideals TC-MH-SM which require our practical expression and sincere endeavor in the work of this memorable order” *(Recruits repeat the above with suitable pauses prompted by the Old Bill)*
*HOW TO MOTH SALUTE* .
An Open Right hand placed over an Open Left hand.
(The right hands thumb is to be positioned in your belly button).
Nb -The MOTH salute is not reverse arms it is uniquely MOTH. Napoleon quoted –‘An Efficient and Effective Army Marches on its Stomach’
*MOTH BLAZER BADGE*
The badge is designed with a lit candle placed on a Tin-Hat at its centre, symbolizing a Light of Remembrance in respect to our fallen comrades.
*(The Tin-Hat that saved so many lives in times of war)*symbolizes the perpetuation of front line comradeship that transcends race rank and material worth in memory of our MOTH roots, rites, rituals and traditions in memory of our Elder Brethren who since have answered the sunset call, included symbolizing us being protected under an ‘umbrella covering’ by the tin-hat all in common pursuit and unity with one another and our -MOTH-Three Ideals - (TC-MH-SM)-
Twelve stars are arranged in an un-ending circle symbolizes us being proud MOTH for every twelve months of a year and in our daily and nightly actions donating the eternal universe, forever the divine example of harmony.
The two inverted and crossed rifles with bayonets fixed are leaning as if thrust into battlefield soil, crossed to signify sacrifice and reserved as a token of remembrance in honour of those soles who paid the supreme sacrifice, shows all beholders that we are
The word MOTH is already in the plural ie-(Memorial Order of Tin-Hats)-so there is no need to say Moths! Having said that, most MOTH use MOTH’s ongoing during every day conversation.
Do not ever feel guilty if criticized for saying MOTH’s as Evo used ‘MOTH’s’ on-going in his book -(Old Soldiers Never Die)- a biography about himself and how the MOTH idea evolved. This story was only written long after the founding the MOTH
* MOTH FLAG*
The MOTH flag has three equally spaced vertical panels its colours, Navy blue, Red and Air force light blue. ie. From the left, Navy Blue symbolic of the Senior service the Navy, then Army Red , followed by the junior service the Air Force light blue.
At the center, a white tin-hat with lit candle. The MOTH flag is flown at all our parades. It also hangs on the Executive Top Table at MOTH meetings.
*-(Never allow any flag to lie down like a tablecloth) -*
However, we drape a MOTH’s coffin with our MOTH flag at MOTH funerals.
The Tin-Hat and lighted candle mounted on a plinth is placed thereon
Scatter paper poppies are added onto the coffin as a ritual part of our MOTH input at funeral services all part of tradition being our final cheerio.
(As a matter of interest, R.S.A’s protocol –‘Police’- SAPS- are the Senior Service.).
The reason, the First Service formed in South Africa was the Police. In Rhodesia it was the British South Africa Police.
-Nb Any countries first formed military service evolved is the ’Senior Service’-
The Banner is designed in the above flags colours yet oblong in shape, the smaller measurement at the top. The banner is mounted on a two meter long staff. Usually the Shellholes name appears at the banners base.
Banner bearers, march ahead of a parade when marching in ‘Column of Route.’
The banners staff fits into a retaining pouch mounted to a waist belt usually white in colour. This staff is held with left hand fully extended the right hand belt high.
When standing to Attention in ‘Review Order’ on parade, banner bearers take up position in the center of the front rank of a platoon formed-up in threes.
Lowering the banner to ground level occurs when in-salute. .ie MOTH salute.
*OUR MOTH UNIFORM AND DRESS REGULATIONS*.
Dress regulations are a strict dress code. Wear only MOTH regulation uniform.
No mixing of non-regulation clothing. ie - (As per military regulations)-
.-Black (single-breasted) Blazer with MOTH badge and MOTH buttons
-White Shirts with Navy Blue MOTH Tie.
*(Reveille embroidered shirts are available from Shellholes Quartermaster)*
- School Grey longs with school grey socks only to be worn.
- (During winter wear only a school grey pullover or jersey)
- Black shoes only worn with a black belt or with black braces.
- (Please ‘No Industrial Shoes’ to be worn!)-
*Dress Smart - you are an ex-Soldier*.
Be a proud MOTH we are always on parade,
*We are all MOTH AMBASSADORS*
*RHODESIAN MOTH DRESS REGULATRIONS*
The only exception to the above Dress Regulations apply to Rhodesians who became MOTH while living in Rhodesia and conditionally prior to April 1980.
The Rhodesian differences are a MOTH Black tie having a larger than normal gold MOTH logo and worn with Black socks and Black pullover or jersey in winter.
-Black being the colour associated with mourning the suggestion was initiated-
At the advent of UDI in Rhodesia no Business or Association was legally permitted to have their (GHQ) (Head-Quarters) located outside of Rhodesia.
*(MOTH GHQ is entrenched in Durban South Africa for all time)*
Rhodies being both proud and stubborn in Silent Protest chose to change Rhodesian MOTH Dress Regulations by wearing Black accessories in mourning in preference to
regulation MOTH traditional grey accessories and a navy blue tie.
-The above decisions were not for political reasons-
. *TRADITIONAL SCHOOL UNIFORM IS OUR MOTH REGALIA*.
Inspect yourself thoroughly before you go anywhere! – You are your own SGT/MAJ.
MOTH regalia was adopted from Traditional school uniform.
* Buy your regalia only from a school outfitter for it to be correct in every respect*
Previously mentioned, many a WW1 veteran joined-up straight from school on their return to civvy-street many ex-soldiers continued to wear their school uniforms in a very hard unfamiliar civilian world and not being able to afford anything new.
*MOTH Uniform is Traditional South African and Rhodesian Schools Uniform*
. *MOTH TIN-HAT DRESS REGULATIONS*
*WEARING YOUR TIN- HAT APROPRATLY MAKES YOU FULLY DRESSED*
(Provision is made available should you be unable to wear your MOTH regalia for any reason to a MOTH function or unable to change into MOTH regalia after work)