The OC’s 26/10 Speech

General Andersen, members of the Regimental Council, OC’s, NCO’s, Friends of the THA, Ladies and Gentlemen I welcome you to the Transvaal Horse Artillery and specifically to our Yearly commemorative evening.

SA declared War on 6 September 1939 and began to recruit for full time service only on 5 October of the same year. Two days later on 7 October 1939, Col Adler addressed a parade of the THA at Auckland Park, and Lt Col Harrison then OC of the THA called for full time volunteers from that Regiment. On 13 October only one week later the THA was placed on full time service, with instructions to recruit up to war establishment. As in World War 1 the Regiment was the First ACF unit to be mobilised for war service. (Taken from “Wherever Destiny Leads The Story of the THA 1975 – 1992 by S Monick)

So why are we here this evening because surely there is nothing special about an action of calling your regiment to war. The THA was not really special in this regard because across the world at this time hundreds of other units, armies, territorial guard units were calling upon their members to take up arms….but herein lies the root of this evenings events and without over analyzing the social and mental makeup of the average volunteer in 1939, the event resembles the courage and willingness of the ordinary young man at the time to leave behind his family, job and life to fight for his country and his unit.

Today as we stand here this character of the citizen and volunteer still shines bright. The OC of TSA is currently commanding a composite full time and reserve element deployed on the Lesotho border, another example of how even today the Regular full time forces value and respect the contribution of the reserve force units.