About Me

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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Saturday, July 19, 2008


JOHN EDMOND-was a well known singer during the Rhodesian bush War-Born in Zambia of Scottish parents on the Roan and Antelope Copper mine in 1936. John joined the Rhodesian Army and served in The Congo, Nyasaland and Southern Rhodesia. He started his singing career while in the Army and became well known for his "Troopie Songs".

For more information on John and his music check out http://www.johnedmond.co.za/biography.html

I Wish I Was A Blue Job
Forgotten Soldier
Daddy Is A Trooper
Jungle Green
Flat Dog Blues
The Battle Of Bembezi
The U.D.I. Song
A Soldiers Dream
Green And White
Trooper Thomas
The Candle That Burns
Shangani Patrol
The Happy Safari
Entertainer's Sharp End Blues
Goodbye Not Goodnight
Sling Your Slayer
We Stand Alone
The W.O.'s Gone All Disco
Ratpack Boogie
The Whistlin' Troopie
For You Bob
There's A Convoy Leaving
The Gunship Calypso
Back In The Sticks
Sweet Banana
Black Boots
Pick Yourself Up
When The Leaf Is On The Tree
The Incredibles
Roger Was A Mine Dog
Warriors Bold
In The Name Of Grey
It Makes Me So Sad
Salisbury Town
Keep Your Head Down
The Green Leader Theme
Troopie Boy You Won
Cammo Clad Angel
You Ain't No Hero
Sergeant Guy
Mother A Lady
Let's Have A Hooley
Dad's Army
The Penhalonga Piper
Nobody Was There
Flesh And Bone Soldier
The Last Word In Rhodesian



Listed below is the Top 100 music of 1976-1980 Not that we had much time to listen to it.

I had a small WRS transistor radio which went to the bush with me in my "ROCKET BOX" trunk. I find that some of these songs take me back to those days.

1980 Music
1. Call Me, Blondie

2. Another Brick In The Wall, Pink Floyd

3. Magic, Olivia Newton-John

4. Rock With You, Michael Jackson

5. Do That To Me One More Time, Captain and Tennille

6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen

7. Coming Up, Paul McCartney

8. Funkytown, Lipps, Inc.

9. It's Still Rock And Roll To Me, Billy Joel

10. The Rose, Bette Midler

11. Escape (The Pina Colada Song), Rupert Holmes

12. Cars, Gary Numan

13. Cruisin', Smokey Robinson

14. Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl, Spinners

15. Lost In Love, Air Supply

16. Little Jeannie, Elton John

17. Ride Like The Wind, Cristopher Cross

18. Upside Down, Diana Ross

19. Please Don't Go, K.C. and The Sunshine Band

20. Babe, Styx

21. With You I'm Born Again, Billy Preston and Syreeta

22. Shining Star, Manhattans

23. Still, Commodores

24. Yes, I'm Ready, Teri De Sario With K.C.

25. Sexy Eyes, Dr. Hook

26. Steal Away, Robbie Dupree

27. Biggest Part Of Me, Ambrosia

28. This Is It, Kenny Loggins

29. Cupid-I've Loved You For A Long Time, Spinners

30. Let's Get Serious, Jermaine Jackson

31. Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer, Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes

32. Sailing, Christopher Cross

33. Longer, Dan Fogelberg

34. Coward Of The County, Kenny Rogers

35. Ladies Night, Kool and The Gang

36. Take Your Time, S.O.S. Band

37. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer

38. Too Hot, Kool and The Gang

39. More Love, Kim Carnes

40. Pop Muzik, M

41. Brass In Pocket, Pretenders

42. Special Lady, Ray, Goodman and Brown

43. Send One Your Love, Stevie Wonder

44. The Second Time Around, Shalamar

45. We Don't Talk Anymore, Cliff Richard

46. Stomp - Brothers Johnson

47. Heartache Tonight, Eagles

48. Stomp, Brothers Johnson

49. Tired Of Toein' The Line, Rocky Burnette

50. Better Love Next Time, Dr. Hook

51. Him, Rupert Holmes

52. Against The Wind, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

53. On The Radio, Donna Summer

54. Emotional Rescue, Rolling Stones

55. Rise, Herb Alpert

56. All Out Of Love, Air Supply

57. Cool Change, Little River Band

58. You're Only Lonely, J.D. Souther

59. Desire, Andy Gibb

60. Let My Love Open The Door, Pete Townshend

61. Daydream Believer, Anne Murray

62. I Can't Tell You Why, Eagles

63. Don't Let Go, Isaac Hayes

64. Don't Do Me Like That, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

65. She's Out Of My Life, Michael Jackson

66. Fame, Irene Cara

67. Fire Lake, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

68. How Do I Make You, Linda Ronstadt

69. Into The Night, Benny Mardones

70. Let Me Love You Tonight, Pure Prairie League

71. Misunderstanding, Genesis

72. An American Dream, Dirt Band

73. One Fine Day, Carole King

74. Dim All The Lights, Donna Summer

75. You May Be Right, Billy Joel

76. Hurt So Bad, Linda Ronstadt

77. Should've Never Let You Go, Neil Sedaka and Dara Sedaka

78. Pilot Of The Airwaves, Charlie Dore

79. Off The Wall, Michael Jackson

80. I Pledge My Love, Peaches and Herb

81. The Long Run, Eagles

82. Stand By Me, Mickey Gilley

83. Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar

84. Deja Vu, Dionne Warwick

85. Drivin' My Life Away, Eddie Rabbitt

86. Take The Long Way Home, Supertramp

87. Sara, Fleetwood Mac

88. Wait For Me, Daryl Hall and John Oates

89. Jo Jo, Boz Scaggs

90. September Morn, Neil Diamond

91. Give Me The Night, George Benson

92. Broken Hearted Me, Anne Murray

93. You Decorated My Life, Kenny Rogers

94. Tusk, Fleetwood Mac

95. I Wanna Be Your Lover, Prince

96. In America, Charlie Daniels Band

97. Breakdown Dead Ahead, Boz Scaggs

98. Ships, Barry Manilow

99. All Night Long, Joe Walsh

100. Refugee, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

1979 Music
1. My Sharona, The Knack

2. Bad Girls, Donna Summer

3. Le Freak, Chic

4. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy, Rod Stewart

5. Reunited, Peaches and Herb

6. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor

7. Hot Stuff, Donna Summer

8. Y.M.C.A., Village People

9. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward

10. Sad Eyes, Robert John

11. Too Much Heaven, Bee Gees

12. MacArthur Park, Donna Summer

13. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, Dr. Hook

14. Makin' It, David Naughton

15. Fire, Pointer Sisters

16. Tragedy, Bee Gees

17. A Little More Love, Olivia Newton-John

18. Heart Of Glass, Blondie

19. What A Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers

20. Good Times, Chic

21. You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond

22. Knock On Wood, Amii Stewart

23. Stumblin' In, Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman

24. Lead Me On, Maxine Nightingale

25. Shake Your Body, Jacksons

26. Don't Cry Out Loud, Melissa Manchester

27. The Logical Song, Supertramp

28. My Life, Billy Joel

29. Just When I Needed You Most, Randy Vanwarmer

30. You Can't Change That, Raydio

31. Shake Your Groove Thing, Peaches and Herb

32. I'll Never Love This Way Again, Dionne Warwick

33. Love You Inside Out, Bee Gees

34. I Want You To Want Me, Cheap Trick

35. The Main Event (Fight), Barbra Streisand

36. Mama Can't Buy You Love, Elton John

37. I Was Made For Dancin', Leif Garrett

38. After The Love Has Gone, Earth, Wind and Fire

39. Heaven Knows, Donna Summer and Brooklyn Dreams

40. The Gambler, Kenny Rogers

41. Lotta Love, Nicolette Larson

42. Lady, Little River Band

43. Heaven Must Have Sent You, Bonnie Pointer

44. Hold The Line, Toto

45. He's The Greatest Dancer, Sister Sledge

46. Sharing The Night Together, Dr. Hook

47. She Believes In Me, Kenny Rogers

48. In The Navy, Village People

49. Music Box Dancer, Frank Mills

50. The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Charlie Daniels Band

51. Gold, John Stewart

52. Goodnight Tonight, Wings

53. We Are Family, Sister Sledge

54. Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy, Bad Company

55. Every 1's A Winner, Hot Chocolate

56. Take Me Home, Cher

57. Boogie Wonderland, Earth, Wind and Fire

58. (Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away, Andy Gibb

59. What You Won't Do For Love, Bobby Caldwell

60. New York Groove, Ace Frehley

61. Sultans Of Swing, Dire Straits

62. I Want Your Love, Chic

63. Chuck E's In Love, Rickie Lee Jones

64. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges

65. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, McFadden and Whitehead

66. Lonesome Loser, Little River Band

67. Renegade, Styx

68. Love Is The Answer, England Dan and John Ford Coley

69. Got To Be Real, Cheryl Lynn

70. Born To Be Alive, Patrick Hernandez

71. Shine A Little Love, Electric Light Orchestra

72. I Just Fall In Love Again, Anne Murray

73. Shake It, Ian Matthews

74. I Was Made For Lovin' You, Kiss

75. I Just Wanna Stop, Gino Vannelli

76. Disco Nights, G.Q.

77. Ooh Baby Baby, Linda Ronstadt

78. September, Earth, Wind and Fire

79. Time Passages, Al Stewart

80. Rise, Herb Alpert

81. Don't Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra

82. Promises, Eric Clapton

83. Get Used To It, Roger Voudouris

84. How Much I Feel, Ambrosia

85. Suspicions, Eddie Rabbitt

86. You Take My Breath Away, Rex Smith

87. How You Gonna See Me Now, Alice Cooper

88. Double Vision, Foreigner

89. Every Time I Think Of You, Babys

90. I Got My Mind Made Up, Instant Funk

91. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Michael Jackson

92. Bad Case Of Lovin' You, Robert Palmer

93. Somewhere In The Night, Barry Manilow

94. We've Got Tonite, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

95. Dance The Night Away, Van Halen

96. Dancing Shoes, Nigel Olsson

97. The Boss, Diana Ross

98. Sail On, Commodores

99. I Do Love You, G.Q.

100. Strange Way, Firefall

Music 1978
1. Shadow Dancing, Andy Gibb

2. Night Fever, Bee Gees

3. You Light Up My Life, Debby Boone

4. Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees

5. Kiss You All Over, Exile

6. How Deep Is Your Love, Bee Gees

7. Baby Come Back, Player

8. (Love Is) Thicker Than Water, Andy Gibb

9. Boogie Oogie Oogie, A Taste Of Honey

10. Three Times A Lady, Commodores

11. Grease, Frankie Valli

12. I Go Crazy, Paul Davis

13. You're The One That I Want, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

14. Emotion, Samantha Sang

15. Lay Down Sally, Eric Clapton

16. Miss You, Rolling Stones

17. Just The Way You Are, Billy Joel

18. With A Little Luck, Wings

19. If I Can't Have You, Yvonne Elliman

20. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah), Chic

21. Feels So Good, Chuck Mangione

22. Hot Child In The City, Nick Gilder

23. Love Is Like Oxygen, Sweet

24. It's A Heartache, Bonnie Tyler

25. We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You, Queen

26. Baker Street, Gerry Rafferty

27. Can't Smile Without You, Barry Manilow

28. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams

29. Dance With Me, Peter Brown

30. Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad, Meat Loaf

31. Jack And Jill, Raydio

32. Take A Chance On Me, Abba

33. Sometimes When We Touch, Dan Hill

34. Last Dance, Donna Summer

35. Hopelessly Devoted To You, Olivia Newton-John

36. Hot Blooded, Foreigner

37. You're In My Heart, Rod Stewart

38. The Closer I Get To You, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway

39. Dust In The Wind, Kansas

40. Magnet And Steel, Walter Egan

41. Short People, Randy Newman

42. Use Ta Be My Girl, O'Jays

43. Our Love, Natalie Cole

44. Love Will Find A Way, Pablo Cruise

45. An Everlasting Love, Andy Gibb

46. Love Is In The Air, John Paul Young

47. Goodbye Girl, David Gates

48. Slip Slidin' Away, Paul Simon

49. The Groove Line, Heatwave

50. Thunder Island, Jay Ferguson

51. Imaginary Lover, Atlanta Rhythm Section

52. Still The Same, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

53. My Angel Baby, Toby Beau

54. Disco Inferno, Trammps

55. On Broadway, George Benson

56. Come Sail Away, Styx

57. Back In Love Again, L.T.D.

58. This Time I'm In It For Love, Player

59. You Belong To Me, Carly Simon

60. Here You Come Again, Dolly Parton

61. Blue Bayou, Linda Ronstadt

62. Peg, Steely Dan

63. You Needed Me, Anne Murray

64. Shame, Evelyn "Champagne" King

65. Reminiscing, Little River Band

66. Count On Me, Jefferson Starship

67. Baby Hold On, Eddie Money

68. Hey Deanie, Shaun Cassidy

69. Summer Nights, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-john

70. What's Your Name, Lynyrd Skynyrd

71. Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, Crystal Gayle

72. Because The Night, Patti Smith

73. Every Kinda People, Robert Palmer

74. Copacabana, Barry Manilow

75. Always And Forever, Heatwave

76. You And I, Rick James

77. Serpentine Fire, Earth, Wind and Fire

78. Sentimental Lady, Bob Welch

79. Falling, LeBlanc and Carr

80. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Santa Esmeralda

81. Bluer Than Blue, Michael Johnson

82. Running On Empty, Jackson Browne

83. Whenever I Call You "Friend", Kenny Loggins

84. Fool (If You Think It's Over), Chris Rea

85. Get Off, Foxy

86. Sweet Talking Woman, Electric Light Orchestra

87. Life's Been Good, Joe Walsh

88. I Love The Night Life, Alicia Bridges

89. You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On), High Inergy

90. It's So Easy, Linda Ronstadt

91. Native New Yorker, Odyssey

92. Flashlight, Parliament

93. Don't Look Back, Boston

94. Turn To Stone, Electric Light Orchestra

95. I Can't Stand The Rain, Eruption

96. Ebony Eyes, Bob Welch

97. The Name Of The Game, Abba

98. We're All Alone, Rita Coolidge

99. Hollywood Nights, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

100. Deacon Blues, Steely Dan

1977 Music
1. Tonight's The Night, Rod Stewart

2. I Just Want To Be Your Everything, Andy Gibb

3. Best Of My Love, Emotions

4. Love Theme From "A Star Is Born", Barbra Streisand

5. Angel In Your Arms, Hot

6. I Like Dreamin', Kenny Nolan

7. Don't Leave Me This Way, Thelma Houston

8. (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher, Rita Coolidge

9. Undercover Angel, Alan O'Day

10. Torn Between Two Lovers, Mary MacGregor

11. I'm Your Boogie Man, K.C. and The Sunshine Band

12. Dancing Queen, Abba

13. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Leo Sayer

14. Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet

15. Telephone Line, Electric Light Orchestra

16. Whatcha Gonna Do?, Pablo Cruise

17. Do You Wanna Make Love, Peter McCann

18. Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder

19. Hotel California, Eagles

20. Got To Give It Up, Pt. 1, Marvin Gaye

21. Theme From "Rocky" (Gonna Fly Now), Bill Conti

22. Southern Nights, Glen Campbell

23. Rich Girl, Daryl Hall and John Oates

24. When I Need You, Leo Sayer

25. Hot Line, Sylvers

26. Car Wash, Rose Royce

27. You Don't Have To Be A Star, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.

28. Fly Like An Eagle, Steve Miller Band

29. Don't Give Up On Us, David Soul

30. On And On, Stephen Bishop

31. Feels Like The First Time, Foreigner

32. Couldn't Get It Right, Climax Blues Band

33. Easy, Commodores

34. Right Time Of The Night, Jennifer Warnes

35. I've Got Love On My Mind, Natalie Cole

36. Blinded By The Light, Manfred Mann's Earth Band

37. Looks Like We Made It, Barry Manilow

38. So In To You, Atlanta Rhythm Section

39. Dreams, Fleetwood Mac

40. Enjoy Yourself, Jacksons

41. Dazz, Brick

42. I'm In You, Peter Frampton

43. Lucille, Kenny Rogers

44. The Things We Do For Love, 10cc

45. Da Doo Ron Ron, Shaun Cassidy

46. Handy Man, James Taylor

47. Just A Song Before I Go, Crosby, Stills and Nash

48. You And Me, Alice Cooper

49. Slow Dancin', Johnny Rivers

50. Lonely Boy, Andrew Gold

51. I Wish, Stevie Wonder

52. Don't Stop, Fleetwood Mac

53. Barracuda, Heart

54. Strawberry Letter 23, Brothers Johnson

55. Night Moves, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

56. You're My World, Helen Reddy

57. Heard It In A Love Song, Marshall Tucker Band

58. Carry On Wayward Son, Kansas

59. New Kid In Town, Eagles

60. My Heart Belongs To Me, Barbra Streisand

61. After The Lovin', Engelbert Humperdinck

62. Jet Airliner, Steve Miller Band

63. Stand Tall, Burton Cummings

64. Way Down, Elvis Presley

65. Weekend In New England, Barry Manilow

66. It Was Almost Like A Song, Ronnie Milsap

67. Smoke From A Distant Fire, Sanford Townsend Band

68. Cold As Ice, Foreigner

69. Ariel, Dean Friedman

70. Lost Without Your Love, Bread

71. Star Wars Theme-Cantina Band, Meco

72. Float On, Floaters

73. Jeans On, David Dundas

74. Lido Shuffle, Boz Scaggs

75. Keep It Comin' Love, K.C. and The Sunshine Band

76. You Made Me Believe In Magic, Bay City Rollers

77. Livin' Thing, Electric Light Orchestra

78. Give A Little Bit, Supertramp

79. That's Rock 'N' Roll, Shaun Cassidy

80. Love So Right, Bee Gees

81. The Rubberband Man, Spinners

82. I Never Cry, Alice Cooper

83. Nobody Does It Better, Carly Simon

84. High School Dance, Sylvers

85. Love's Grown Deep, Kenny Nolan

86. Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman), Joe Tex

87. I Wanna Get Next To You, Rose Royce

88. Somebody To Love, Queen

89. Muskrat Love, Captain and Tennille

90. Walk This Way, Aerosmith

91. Whispering-Cherchez La Femme-C'est Si Bon, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band

92. Year Of The Cat, Al Stewart

93. Boogie Nights, Heatwave

94. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac

95. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, Elton John

96. Don't Worry Baby, B.J. Thomas

97. Knowing Me, Knowing You, Abba

98. How Much Love, Leo Sayer

99. Star Wars (Main Title), London Symphony Orchestra

100. Devil's Gun, C.J. and Co.

1976 Music

1. Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney and Wings

2. Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee

3. Disco Lady, Johnnie Taylor

4. December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night), Four Seasons

5. Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry

6. Kiss And Say Goodbye, Manhattans

7. Love Machine (Part 1), The Miracles

8. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon

9. Love Is Alive, Gary Wright

10. A Fifth Of Beethoven, Walter Murphy and The Big Apple Band

11. Sara Smile, Daryl Hall and John Oates

12. Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band

13. I Write The Songs, Barry Manilow

14. Fly, Robin, Fly, Silver Convention

15. Love Hangover, Diana Ross

16. Get Close, Seals and Crofts

17. More, More, More, Andrea True Connection

18. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen

19. Misty Blue, Dorothy Moore

20. Boogie Fever, Sylvers

21. I'd Really Love To See You Tonight, England Dan and John Ford Coley

22. You Sexy Thing, Hot Chocolate

23. Love Hurts, Nazareth

24. Get Up And Boogie, Silver Convention

25. Take It To The Limit, Eagles

26. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty, K.C. and The Sunshine Band

27. Sweet Love, Commodores

28. Right Back Where We Started From, Maxine Nightingale

29. Theme From "S.W.A.T", Rhythm Heritage

30. Love Rollercoaster, Ohio Players

31. You Should Be Dancing, Bee Gees

32. You'll Never Find Antoher Love Like Mine, Lou Rawls

33. Golden Years, David Bowie

34. Moonlight Feels Right, Starbuck

35. Only Sixteen, Dr. Hook

36. Let Your Love Flow, Bellamy Brothers

37. Dreamweaver, Gary Wright

38. Turn The Beat Around, Vicki Sue Robinson

39. Lonely Night (Angel Face), The Captain and Tennille

40. All By Myself, Eric Carmen

41. Love To Love You Baby, Donna Summer

42. Deep Purple, Donny and Marie Osmond

43. Theme From "Mahogany", Diana Ross

44. Sweet Thing, Rufus

45. That's The Way I Like It, K.C. and The Sunshine Band

46. A Little Bit More, Dr. Hook

47. Shannon, Henry Gross

48. If You Leave Me Now, Chicago

49. Lowdown, Boz Scaggs

50. Show Me The Way, Peter Frampton

51. Dream On, Aerosmith

52. I Love Music (Pt. 1), O'Jays

53. Say You Love Me, Fleetwood Mac

54. Times Of Your Life, Paul Anka

55. Devil Woman, Cliff Richard

56. Fooled Around And Fell In Love, Elvin Bishop

57. Convoy, C.W. McCall

58. Welcome Back, John Sebastian

59. Sing A Song, Earth, Wind and Fire

60. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, Tavares

61. I'll Be Good To You, Brothers Johnson

63. Shop Around, The Captain and Tennille

64. Saturday Night, Bay City Rollers

65. Island Girl, Elton John

66. Let's Do It Again, Staple Singers

67. Let 'Em In, Paul McCartney and Wings

68. Baby Face, Wing and A Prayer Fife and Drum Corps

69. This Masquerade, George Benson

70. Evil Woman, Electric Light Orchestra

71. Wham Bam, Silver

72. I'm Easy, Keith Carradine

73. Wake Up Everybody (Pt. 1), Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes

74. Summer, War

75. Let Her In, John Travolta

76. Fox On The Run, Sweet

77. Rhiannon, Fleetwood Mac

78. Got To Get You Into My Life, Beatles

79. Fanny (Be Tender With My Love), Bee Gees

80. Getaway, Earth, Wind and Fire

81. She's Gone, Daryl Hall and John Oates

82. Rock And Roll Music, Beach Boys

82. Still The One, Orleans

83. You're My Best Friend, Queen

84. With Your Love, Jefferson Starship

85. Slow Ride, Foghat

86. Who'd She Coo, Ohio Players

88. Walk Away From Love, David Ruffin

89. Baby, I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton

90. Young Hearts Sun Free, Candi Staton

91. Breaking Up's Hard To Do, Neil Sedaka

92. Money Honey, Bay City Rollers

93. Tear The Roof Off The Sucker, Parliament

94. Junk Food Junkie, Larry Groce

95. Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again, Barry Manilow

96. Rock And Roll All Nite, Kiss97. Disco Duck, Rick Dees

97. The Boys Are Back In Town, Thin Lizzy

98. Take The Money And Run, Steve Miller Band

99. Squeeze Box, The Who

100. Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.), Glen Campbell

Friday, July 18, 2008


A good black and white photograph of K Car leading in three G Cars after a punch up with gooks in the TTL.
Note the pre positioned fuel drums on the runway left by the land tail which would follow the Fireforce-in those days I only weighed 150 lbs and boy did I hate rolling and trying to pick up the drums on my own. Pilots were never around when it came to refuelling.My back still suffers from lifting those 44 gallon drums.


SAC Van der Heiden being winched and dunked
The picture below is of a Seven Squadron Alouette carrying out hoist training in Seke just outside New Sarum Air Base Salisbury -probably circa 1975 note no strela shroud around the engine. It was always a good idea to borrow someones kit if you were to hang on the strop because you WERE going to be dunked into the Dam.

Cpl Pete Caborn manning winch with myself hanging off strop as we practise Hoisting drills in Chiredzi 1976 -The Lundi and Nuanetsi Rivers were in flood and we carried out some rescues of Africans caught up in the deluge. Note that we flew in shorts in those early days -this practice was halted by Air HQ after the death of Rob Nelson when his helicopter was hit by ground fire and caught fire resulting in him being killed.

From time to time 7 Squadron were called on to carry out rescues using the winch which had to be fitted to the Alouette as a kit- it was removed when not in use due to weight limitations.


Flight Lieutenant Ian Harvey -A legend in Rhodesia -Alouette pilot of note and highly respected by us Technicians -Ian was a pleasure to fly with and there are a few stories about our escapades on Fireforce in Choppertech. There is an excellent write up about Ian in "Sometimes When It Rains". After the Chimurenga war Ian left the Air Force for a spell ,rejoined and ended up as a Group Captain in The Air Force of Zimbabwe where I met him on a few occasions when I worked as a sales rep for a Bell Helicopter CSF. Ian actually arranged for me to work on Seven Squadron to teach thier technicians the intricies of Tracking and Balancing of thier Augusta Bell 412 helicopters. While I was doing this I was invited to the Officers Mess for lunch where a young Air Lieutenant started ridiculing me for having served under 7 Squadron for Smith and his Mabunu. A Group Captain walked across and asked the FLt who he thought he was talking to-Then he said "This white man fought very bravely against me in the Chimurenga War and when he was doing that you were running around the village with a piece of string wrapped around your belly as a picannin-apologise to Mr Shaw and show him some respect".
I last saw Ian Harvey at the Nairobi Air show where the ZAF Hawks were participating.
Ian died recently and had a semi-state funeral held by the ZAF.

Squadron Leader Graham Cronshaw O/C 7 Squadron -Graham was my squadron O/C at the time of the "Green Leader" Raid into Zambia -see earlier blog with Memo to me from Graham

Ed Potterton replaced him as Squadron O/C

Squadron Leader Ted Lunt O/C 8 Squadron Cheetahs Bell 205 Helicopters

I was posted to 8 Squadron but did not enjoy being back at New Sarum and asked to be remustered back to 7 Squadron which did not go well with Ted- Ted passed away in South Africa a few years ago

Squadron Leader Ed Potterton O/C 7 SQN
I flew with him on quite a few occasions and it was when I was with him at the end of the war at election time when our K Car was snaffled by Mark Mc Clean at night while I was having a few beers in Sergeants Mess with RAF monitoring force helicopter engineers -the story in Choppertech.
We affectionatley nicknamed Ed (Shed)


This painting by an artist unknown to me is a very striking image of a Casevac operation carried out by a Rhodesian Air Force G Car circa 1975-6 and reminds me of a similar casevac/body pick up we did in Mabalahuta of an Engineer who was killed by a ploughshare mine he was laying in that area. I had a most frightening experience with this casevac which still haunts me to thid day and is recorded in my book.
Can anyone give me details of the artist as I would like to get permission to post in my book Choppertech.


7 Squadron was afilliated to Fort Victoria -my hometown

This is an early photograph of the afilliation June 1964.
I was 9 years old when this was taken!!
Photograph extracted from Eddie Norris ORAFS website-thanks Eddie


I have added a picture of the whole of 7 Squadron together for the Colours Presentation parade at New Sarum Airbase in Salisbury Rhodesia, May 1979 kindly sent to me by Nick Goodman. This was a very rare and probably one of the only times the Squadron was together in its entirety at least from 1976-1980.

I have added a newspaper clipping of Mike Upton recieving the colours.

I recieved my Aircrew brevet together with other members of the Squadron at this parade. Mike and Dot Faint stood in for my parents as my father was involved in dealing with a Foot and mouth outbreak in the South East Lowveld.

I guess these colours do not exist anymore?

Does anyone have a photograph or picture of both a pilot and techs brevet for me to place on the web site?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This is an excellent Euology which I think everyone who has anything to say about Ian Smith should read-I would have done anything for the man -We Rhodesians respected him to the utmost -through thick and thin

A Eulogy by Professor JRT Wood in respect of the late Ian Douglas Smith -1919-2007

Although always staunchly true to his beliefs, Ian Smith attracted controversy and more than his fair share of misunderstanding.His son, Robert Smith said on Wednesday that he expected as much vitriol from the press as praise for his late father. And, rightly, he refused to say more, arguing whatever he said would be misconstrued.Nevertheless, barely had he spoken than the headlines, commentators and obituaries were dismissing his father as a bigotted, unthinking racist.This fate was shared by his predecessors as prime minister - Lord Malvern, Sir Roy Welensky, Sir Garfield Todd, Sir Edgar Whitehead and Winston Field - most of whom disliked him and some of whom despised him. All were accused at some stage as being racist.They and Ian Smith were, of course, victims of history, caught in a straitjacket.They had inherited a country freshly implanted into a late iron-age culture in the middle of Africa. They all sought in their varying ways to bring to Rhodesia the benefits of the Western concept of democracy, unknown to the people they were living amongst. They all intended to foster non-racial political evolution which would achieve rule by the majority in the fullness of time.None were able to do so because the British and the West, mired in the Cold War and economic consequences of the Second World War, wanted to appease the African nationalists and rid themselves of their imperial responsibilities.The result is the current state of Africa. Need I say more?Although I knew Ian Smith for 27 years I will not pretend to understand his essential being. He was immensely generous and helpful to me in many ways with my project but he was a private man.We discussed the issues which I was studying but, although both Carole and I worked on his book, The Great Betrayal. I was not a confidant, nor did I presume to be.He paid me the great compliment of giving me sole access to his official papers on which I have based my two books So Far and No Further! (his words on declaring UDI) and my about-to-be published A Matter of Weeks rather than Months (Harold Wilson's boast when imposing sanctions), and a third book, as yet untitled and half-written.I was not, however, offered access to his private papers or his diaries on which he based The Great Betrayal. And I respect his decision.Thus I would find it difficult to write a biography because I lack the crucial insight.What I can declare is that Ian Smith was one of great men who left an indelible footprint on the march of time.His detractors only betray their ignorance and misunderstanding of the man and the world he was born into.He came from a family and a society which understood that duty was part of your being. He was at heart a farmer and, like his father, Jock Smith, before him, a great cattleman. Indeed, he was happiest walking among his cattle.A quiet, shy man, he had qualities which his detractors never recognised.His leadership was unspoken but led him to captain sports teams at school and university, to command his RAF flight and to become the Chairman of the Students Representative Council of Rhodes University before being asked to represent Selukwe in the Southern Rhodesian Parliament.Professor Hobart Houghton, the distinguished Professor of Economics, urged him to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship and go on to Oxford University to further his studies but Ian Smith wanted to go farming. All he ever yearned for was to be on his beloved Farm Gwenora with his cattle.A measure of the man was that he retained life-long friendships of men such as Jack Howman, Sam Whaley, Ken Mackenzie, P.K. van der Byl and so many more.He came from what my son, Andrew, calls the 'Warrior Generation'. He faced the terrors of war and suffered grievously. A lesser man would have taken the offer to return to Rhodesia as an instructor after his Hurricane crash in 1943.Instead he returned to 237 Squadron and fought on. His resourcefulness came to the fore when he fought with the partisans in northern Italy after being shot down in 1944. His leadership and his tough response to any challenge came when he led a party of escapees over the Maritime Alps in his bare feet in the hard winter of 1944-1945.Again he did not go home but went back to fight in Northern Germany. His war left him with pain for the rest of his life and that impassive face which misled so many of his detractors.If I cannot share with you any particular personal insights into the man, I can debunk many of the accusations laid against him.For example, he did not declare war on African nationalism. Quite the reverse.In 1962, during the premiership of Whitehead, ZAPU chose the 'Armed Struggle' in accordance with the Marxist prescription for the acquisition of power. Arms caches and armed men began to be found and picked up. Winston Field and Ian Smith inherited this and all Governments have to act or abdicate.He was not, as depicted by his enemies, and Harold Wilson and the British press in particular, a weak, indecisive puppet of his right wing. He was his own man.He was not an appeaser like Macmillan, Butler, Sandys, Wilson, Carrington and the host of others who presided over the decline of Britain's world status.He was also not overawed by any of these men.The right wing did not force his hand on UDI. The British did this by refusing to negotiate with him and then, at the last minute, offering him impossible conditions including the loss of powers gained in 1923.The right wing within the Cabinet did not persuade him to turn down the Tiger deal as Harold Wilson and his ilk liked to believe.He arrived on the deck of HMS Tiger warning Wilson that he could not accept the British prescription for Rhodesia's return to legality - rule by a Governor and Whitehall for an albeit short period. He knew it would be fatal for Rhodesia and Lord Soames would prove him right in early 1980. As Cabinets work by consensus, he agreed to table the Tiger package before his, but he warned Wilson again that he could not accept the method of the return to legality.We men are all rightly influenced by our wives but he was not a puppet of Janet whatever his critics liked to believe. Without doubt he valued her opinion but he was his own man.He was not the devious tricky liar his opponents liked to depict him as. He was obstinate and he refused to fall for the guile of the British, unlike Bishop Muzorewa.Indeed, Ian Smith's ability to out-manoeuvre and outlast his opponents, led Sir Roy Welensky to tell me one day in 1977 in his office in Old Lonrho Building that he wished he could draw.If he could draw, he said, he would draw a cartoon of Ian Smith as the Great Chief Sitting Bull seated outside his tepee next to his totem pole on which were hung all the scalps of those who had negotiated with him and failed.They included Lord Butler, Duncan Sandys, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Arthur Bottomley, Lord Gardiner, Harold Wilson, Michael Stewart, George Thomas, George Thompson, B.J. Vorster, Hilgard Muller, Henry Kissinger, David Owen, Andrew Young and more.Ian Smith is accused of being a racist by almost all the obituaries you will read. Yet he abhorred apartheid and the Afrikaner Nationalists.I had many discussions with him on this subject. He expressed admiration for many of the Africans we discussed including Nelson Mandela.It is true that he called Mugabe a Marxist gangster but was he wrong?I would say that he was realist and from the outset recognised that it would be impossible and indeed suicidal to settle with Mugabe and his ilk.Ian Smith made the mistake of saying in public 'Never in a thousand years' and that mistake still reverberates.Nevertheless, he warned the British from the outset that a premature transfer to majority rule would be disastrous but they disagreed, saying he was blinded by his own bigotry.He was also not the barely literate Rhodesian Front farmer many liked to think he was. He surprised Bill Deedes by speaking Italian.He could surprise one by quoting whole passages of Shakespeare (another legacy of his time in Italy).When Carole, Andrew and I saw him in January of this year, one of us (I fear it was me) mentioned something about being true to oneself.We were treated to the whole second half of the passage from Hamlet'This above all: to thine own self be true.And it must follow, as night the day.Thou canst not then be falseto any man.'He was to himself true.

Books relating to Rhodesian Fireforce

Winds of Destruction -I highly recommend this book to those doing research on the Rhodesian Air Force. Boss PB was an excellent Recce pilot and did an excellent job on developing weapons for the Rhodesian Air Force. A must have in your book collection.

Masodja -A lot of research and a good book about the RAR -MANY EXCELLENT Fireforce actions recorded.
A Pride of Eagles -Some good information on Fireforce and general Rhodesian Air Force activities throughout its history but there are many errors with regard to stories relating to fireforce-I have attempted to straighten some of the issues relating to myself in my own book Choppertech.

Britains Rebel Air Force
Stick Leader RLI -Tough and rugged what can I say!!! Written with feeling /Charlie does not hide his feelings and says things how he thinks. Ek se!!!

The War Diaries of Andre Dennison -a glimpse into daily life on Fireforce with the RAR -Andre Dennison was a highly competent but controversial soldier -one of the best -I personally flew many K Car missiond with the Major who took a liking to me and my skills as a gunner.

The Saints -An excellent book about the RLI -And to those who operated on Fireforce many photographs down memory lane.

Rhodesian Air Force Operations -I highly recommend this book for those doing research as Prop Geldenhuys has done an excellent job of recording Air strikes and general matters pertaining to Rh Af operations in the Bush War
Fireforce -An excellent story and a must read straight from a troopies point of view. One of the firsts written about the Chimurenga war

The Bush War in Rhodesia was first published as Only my Friends call me Crouks -A must read, excellent book and gives the story of "The Russian Front"

These books have excellent stories and information for anyone interested in the Chimurenga war in Rhodesia. I have used them in my own research on the Rhodesian war for Choppertech and have quoted from them on occasions. We need to remember those who died and why the west and Britain washed thier hands of us.(their own kith and kin)

I also recommend that you read the following books and publications:-

The Elite -the story of the Rhodesian Special Air Service -Barbara Cole

The Selous Scouts Top Secret War -Ron Reid Daly/ Beryl Salt

Pamwe Chete The Legend of the Selous Scouts -Ron Reid Daly

Under the Skin Death of White Rhodesia -David Caute

Rhodesian Air Force -Winston Brent

The Chopper Boys -Al Venter

Assignment Selous Scouts- Jim Parker

One Commando -Dick Gledhill

A Short Thousand Years -Paul Moorcraft

Chimurenga -Paul Moorcraft

A Lifetime of Struggle -Edgar Tekere
I also highly recommend reading any publications by Professor JRT Wood, his work is exceptional.
I will also be constantly updating this page for any info available on fireforce -if you have any recommendations please advise through the comments on the blog or e mail me at shawzie@hotmail.com
I would also like to let you know that I have attempted to give photo credits to those who I am aware of. If you see any photographs which require credits or have any objection of them being on the blog please advise and I will take the appropriate action. The intention of the blog is to give a true and historical rememberance of those heady days of Helicopter warfare in Rhodesia.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I have a request from Ginge Morris's family for him to get in touch with Doug and Irene at irdohicks@optusnet.com.au If any blues out there know of his e mail address please pass this message on to him


Alan Shaw and Reg Brandt at a dip tank with "Tame Gooks" from PFUMO RE VHANU.
Alan and Reg were working for the Rhodesian Veterinary Department at the time, Alan was the Senior Animal Health Inspector for Victoria Province and Reg was the Chief AHI for the Province where they worked tirelessley under very dangerous circumstances in the South East of Rhodesia ensuring the well being of livestock in the Province. They would often travel alone in the Tribal Trust Lands with absolutley no escorts or back up.
They were friends for life and spent some of thier retirement together at Mopani Bay near Kariba. True blue Rhodies !!!
Mike Clark (who was also with Alan and Reg) has kindly written a brief of "Alan's story" which is to be published in my book as my father played a huge part in my life in Rhodesia.

This reference is to my father Alan Shaw:-

I have been reading bits of your book, and it looks good, I find it close to home, It triggered memories, I remember some of the names and remember the smell of the war on people, something I had forgotten. The names of the troopies who died and the funerals I went to. I remember the smell of Pa's Landy, do you remember the big bright green balaclava he used to wear when he drove it in winter, the dash was covered in Kensington smokes and his SLR that he loved poking out of the door. What about those green safari suits long socks and brown shoes (One of the few Rhodies who hated Vellies) That would make a great drawing hey! I have a pic of him and Reg not sure if I sent it to u Cheers Grant


I wonder how the result of all this would have been if we could have had a mirror into the future?

Article from Time Magazine 5th November 1965
The Prime Minister of Rhodesia stood tall and thin in the cavernous banquet hall of the Meikles Hotel. Before him sat the leaders of Salisbury society, formally attired. They had raised glasses in a toast to their Queen, but nodded approvingly when he warned that they might soon be leaving her realm. Now they listened silently as Ian Smith, in the flat, nasal accent of the settler, read from the eve-of battle speech of Henry V: "That he which hath no stomach to this fight, let him depart. He today that sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother, and gentlemen in England, now abed, shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here." When he finished, the Salisbury Municipal Orchestra played God Save the Queen.
Another throng of the Queen's subjects poured onto the tarmac of Salisbury Airport last week, but there were no leaders of society among them. For they were black, and had straggled in from the African townships of Harare and Highfield outside the city. They crowded onto balconies, perched in jacaranda trees, and clung to flagpoles around the airport building. More than 6,000 of them were squeezed in alight mass, hemmed in on one side by a 12-ft. wire fence, on the other by a cordon of police and their dogs. When the R.A.F. Comet whistled to a stop and the chubby, unsmiling man appeared at the cabin door, they loosed a thundering cheer. "Mambokadzi tinoda nyi-ka yehu!" roared the black Rhodesians who had come to greet Harold Wilson last week. "Your Majesty the Queen, we want our country!"
The British Prime Minister had come to Rhodesia to try, somehow, to prevent the white-supremacist colonial regime of Ian Smith from seizing independence. It was as critical a mission as Wilson had ever undertaken. The United Nations had urged sanctions to starve the settlers out. Some African states were talking of leaving the Commonwealth. And Wilson himself had talked grimly of the "bloodbath" that might follow a unilateral declaration of independence. At home, where many Britons had blood ties with the settlers, he was under heavy fire to salvage some sort of solution, if only a delay that would prove that Britain had done its best.
Wilson's chances seemed slight. In his talks with Smith last month in London, it had become painfully clear that neither side would make any meaningful compromise on the fundamental issue. The British would give Rhodesia its freedom only on condition that the nation's 4,000,000 blacks be guaranteed control of the government within the foreseeable future. To most of the 220,000 whites, however, that would be suicide. They offered only two meaningless gestures: allowing more blacks to vote for the 15 African seats in parliament, and the creation of an almost powerless senate composed of twelve African chiefs (who depend for their livelihood on the government). Any further freedoms for the blacks were absolutely refused.
The Rhodesians are determined that the blacks will never rule. Deep in their hearts, they believe that the first African government would murder them in their beds and drive them off the land. As Africa's former colonies have been granted their freedom, the settlers have shaken their heads in dismay. They talk of the violence of the Congo, of the autocracy of Ghana, of Communist penetration everywhere, and of the fate of their cousins in Kenya. If the blacks get more freedom in Rhodesia, says one leading supporter of Smith, "there will be a Mau Mau here."
The white man's fate in the new black African nations has not been all that bad. Kenya's Mau Mau terrorism stopped at the first signs that independence would be granted, and the brutal slaughters of the Congo are so far the exception in Africa rather than the rule. The initial period of white panic and black exultation is past --a period that saw wholesale departures of colonial civil servants who took their "lumpers" (severance pay) when their jobs were "Africanized," or the thousands of European farmers who pulled up stakes and fled, out of some misbegotten sense of guilt and impending bloodshed.
The fact is that the whites who have remained are still working and raising their families in every one of Africa's 29 new black states--if for no other reason than that they are needed. For all his anticolonialist bluster, Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah depends heavily on the 5,000 Britons (and scores of Americans) who live in his country, engineering dams and power projects, running factories and keeping trade channels open. Despite the horrors of the past, there are now 60,000 Belgians spread throughout the Congo (which once had 90,000), and the nation's industries, commerce and transport systems could not work without them. Last week the Congo's President Joseph Ka-savubu went out of his way to assure "all foreigners living in the Congo" that "this is their country; they have their investments here."
Throughout Africa, many departed whites have returned, or else have been replaced by newcomers from Europe. British railway workers, fired by the Kenya government at the demand of its labor unions, were back on their jobs a year later at much higher pay; too many trains had been going off the tracks. In the Congo's fertile Kivu region, deserted Belgian farmlands have been snapped up by eager Italians who are now making money hand over fist. Attracted by high salaries and a booming, open economy, the French population of the Ivory Coast has doubled in the past five years.
Throughout West Africa--and elsewhere as well--the relations between white and black are easier than they ever were under the colonial regimes. "Today we can say things to Africans that they would never have accepted before, simply because it is no longer the master talking," says a French Africa veteran. Adds a black waiter in Abidjan: "There is no racial discrimination here, only social differences."
Actually, individual whites have never held much land in West Africa, hence that region has been spared the embittered struggles between black and white that have cropped up in the cooler, more habitable reaches of the east. Even in the bloody Congo, Belgians blame themselves for much of the chaos and exonerate the Congolese for the slaughters that followed independence on the grounds that it was nothing more than tribal ebullience--long restrained by Belgian rule--expressing itself at the agitation of Communists.
Whites who have remained in Africa have stayed on in a less vocal but surprisingly more active role. The large white trading companies in former British West Africa are busier today than ever, and there is no sign of their withdrawal now or in the foreseeable future. Living standards for whites have inevitably progressed with the jet and transistor age: fresh newspapers and delicacies from Europe abound in African cities; Belgian pleasure craft swarm on the Congo River of a weekend; a few theaters in each capital allow whites to keep at least some touch with European culture.
Some countries have been tougher on whites than others. Prime examples: Tanzania, which as Tanganyika once had 22,700 whites, now has 17,000. Last year Julius Nyerere's oft-muddled government confiscated 34,000 acres of rich white-owned farmlands merely to assuage African resentments (and perhaps to undercut Communist pressures from within the government). But even at that, Tanzania's Agriculture Minister is a moderate ex-colonial, Derek Bryceson, who was overwhelmingly re-elected last month as a Government Party stalwart. Salaam is as benign and friendly a city as a European could hope to visit.
After Uhuru, What? Of all the newly independent black nations, Kenya provides the closest parallel to what Rhodesia might face if "one man, one vote" came true. It had a large population of white settlers (60,000 v. Rhodesia's 220,000), many of whom owned vast tracts in the "white highlands" northwest of Nairobi. Soon after uhuru, the government of Jomo Kenyatta bought up thousands of acres in the white highlands--at fair prices but with no refusal--and turned the land over to land-hungry Kikuyu families as part of Kenyatta's political debt to the tribe. Down came the trim hedges and the lofty stands of trees that the English farmers had so cherished; up went ramshackle huts and fields of maize.
Many whites bugged out in despair; others sold their farms but took jobs flying bush planes, running tourist camps, still staying in the grand, gaudy country they loved. Today, there are And Dares-41,000 whites in Kenya, and they are by their own testimony happier than they were before uhuru. From the four Kenya races--African, Asian, European and Arab--Jomo Kenyatta has forged the closest thing to a united nation that can be found in black Africa. More important, the four African ethnic groups --Bantu, Nilotic, Nilot-Hamitic and the Hamites--are in greater harmony now than ever before, much to the relief of whites and Asians who might otherwise feel their random wrath.
Sir Michael Blundell, a busky-cheeked pioneer who came out to Kenya 40 years ago with only a shotgun on his back, was ready to retire to England just a year ago. After a disappointing political comedown following uhuru, he felt the country did not need him. Now he plans to stay on in his fieldstone farmhouse above Nakuru as a brewery director. Says Blundell, who was in charge of putting down the Mau Mau insurrection: "I know now that there is no relationship between the African's outlook today and what it was before. He is much happier and more contented. It is stupid to embark on a policy which must fundamentally turn the African into your enemy. You would then have to control him ad infinitum, and that isn't bloody possible."
Curious and moving testimony on black Africa's behalf was delivered fortnight ago when Lord Delamere, the very symbol of the colonial era in Kenya, tried to bring a delegation of white highlanders to Rhodesia to convince Rhodesians that rule by Africans is not so hideous as they might think. The Smith government denied them visas, but it could not shut them up. In a statement published by the Rhodesian press, Delamere said: "Some of us have known in the past what it is to stand up for our rights as settlers. Most of us had perfectly sincere reservations about the speed with which independence was granted to Kenya. Today, however, we must admit that a great many of our fears have so far proved totally unfounded."
Such words are lost on the Rhodesians, who can see nothing north of the Zambezi but Communism, horror and corruption. They prefer to turn their eyes southward to the Limpopo, Kipling's great grey-green, greasy river where the Elephant Child got his nose stretched out by the crocodile. Across the Limpopo lies the shining example of apartheid in South Africa.
In the Afrikaner nation of Hendrik Verwoerd, there is no nonsense about who is baas. Apartheid (pronounced apart-ite) means just what it says--apartness--and the regime has gone to amazing lengths to keep the blacks apart. They must educate their children primarily in the Bantu language. They may live in urban areas only on government permission, and even then they are confined to the sprawling African townships that surround every city. They have no political rights and must carry passes wherever they go. They may be hauled off to jail without pretext or shipped off to one of the eight "Bantustan republics," in which Verwoerd has decided that most blacks should live. Over the past 17 years, the regime has handed down 55 major laws to restrict the African in everything he does.
Though aimed at blacks, the authoritarian state's decrees slowly move in on whites as well. Enemies of the regime have been confined to their homes, or even jailed without trial, but the restrictions are more often maddening than menacing. Fairly typical is the plight of Diamond Heiress Mary Oppenheimer, whose wedding this week was to be followed by a formal champagne reception for both black and white guests. Clearly illegal, stormed the government: it would violate the laws against serving alcohol to nonwhites at a "racially mixed gathering."
Apartheid has turned South Africa into a villain in the eyes of the world, but the effect is hardly noticeable. Not even the black African nations pay much attention to the U.N.'s call for an embargo on South African products. Zambia, for example, still buys nearly a third of its consumer goods from South Africa, and radical Mali's government-owned airline serves its passengers Outspan oranges from South African groves. South Africa is by far the greatest industrial power of the continent. At the moment, it is going through a mild recession after four furious years of boom, but under Johannesburg's growing Manhattan-like skyline the city races along at a Manhattan pace.
Rhodesia has not yet matched the brutality or scope of apartheid, but the inclination of most of its settlers is obviously in that direction. They point out that the country would never be what it is without the energy, hard work and ingenuity of 75 years of white domination. And they have no intention of giving it away. "There will be no black rule in my lifetime," promises Prime Minister Ian Smith.
For the Rhodesian, there is much at stake. Few communities in the world can match the sun-drenched affluence that Rhodesia's hardy settlers have achieved for themselves. Lions still command the distant escarpments, and elephants, baboons and rhinos forage in the valleys of rivers bulging with hippos. But on rolling high veld, brushed with elephant grass and flowering jacaranda trees, the whites have carved out a tidy empire of modern tobacco farms and cattle ranches that has brought modest prosperity to the land. Taxes are low and so are prices; and, for whites, wages are high enough to permit all but the most menial workers their own cars, homes and servants. Salisbury, with a white population of 88,000 spread out over 30 square miles, claims more swimming pools than any U.S. city of its size.
Despite their good life, Rhodesia's whites still consider themselves frontiersmen in the mold of Cecil Rhodes, the free-swinging colossus who led Britain's last grasps of empire. Announcing that "I prefer land to niggers," he marched into the territory, developed it with his own money, policed it with his own troops and, on the basis of a royal charter granted his British South Africa Co., gave it a government traditionally free of direct London rule.
Most blacks now prefer to call their nation Zimbabwe, after the thousand-year-old ruins of a civilization of master artisans who apparently traded with places as far away as China. To Rhodes, however, it was Zambesia, realm of King Lobengula of the Matabeles, and coveted by the colossus as a link in his dream of an "allred route" of British colonies from Cape Town to Cairo. Rhodes's interest was not exclusively imperial: Explorer David Livingstone had returned from the area some 30 years before with tales of gold nuggets "as big as grains of wheat."
Lobengula was a curious combination of statesman and savage. To demonstrate his ability to keep up to date, he had built a Victorian brick house among the wattle huts of his royal compound at Bulawayo. The brick pile was only ceremonial; he lived in a covered wagon given him by a passing trader and used its driver's seat as his throne. He loved to show bug-eyed visitors the royal treasury: two rusty biscuit tins filled with diamonds. A crafty giant of a man who stood 6 ft. 6 in. and weighed 300 Ibs., the Matabele king was a skillful diplomat with a well-trained army constantly patrolling for trespassers. He had successfully parried the white man's advances for nearly 20 years.
Rhodes got to him in 1888. In return for a promise to keep all other white marauders out of Zambesia, the King affixed his official elephant seal to a document awarding Rhodes's British South Africa Co. the right to dig for gold. Rhodes rushed off to London, passed off the agreement as authority to take possession of the land, and wangled a charter to administer it in the name of the Crown.
For the first expedition, Rhodes hired an army of 500 whites for the British South Africa Co.'s uniformed "police," 200 trusty blacks for servants. The heart of the column, however, was 200 hardy settlers, hand-picked to form a balanced community of professional skills and promised 15 gold claims and 3,000 acres of farmland apiece. By 1890, all was ready. Crossing the Limpopo, the pioneer column marched 400 miles northward, formally took possession of King Lobengula's vassal state of Mashonaland, and began staking out their plots. The old King was dismayed. "I thought you came to dig gold," he wrote the British South Africa Co.'s board of directors, "but it seems you have come to rob me of my people and my country as well."
It did not take long. When Lobengula's armies finally rose in 1893, company police cut them down with machine guns, burned his capital to the ground, and made off with half a million cattle. Lobengula, forced to flee for his life, died in flight. The company took over his throne.
Under hardheaded commercial management, Rhodesia quickly flourished. Cheap labor was provided by a hut tax, which forced the penniless natives to go to work for the settlers to pay it. But the settlers worked beside them in the fields and gradually adopted a paternal feeling toward them. New settlers poured in, built themselves Victorian towns and sturdy houses, and planted mealies (corn) and tobacco on the veld. When more land was needed, the natives were moved off, until in 1928 the officials decided something had to be done to protect them. The result was the Land Apportionment Act, which set aside roughly half of the countryside as "native reserves"--but also prohibited the blacks from owning or even leasing land in white areas.
The company's charter had expired in 1914, and rather than go to the expense of setting up a full colonial regime, London offered the settlers their choice between joining South Africa or forming their own "responsible government." For a hardy people accustomed to freedom, the choice was obvious. In 1923, Rhodesia became Britain's first self-governing colony.
All went well until after World War II, when the blacks of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland--also founded by Rhodes--began to demand their freedom. The white populations of the two colonies, too badly outnumbered to maintain control, began calling for help. In British eyes, the only solution was to weld them into a federation with Southern Rhodesia, whose large white police force and greater degree of self-government might quell the cries for kwacha, or independence. It was a scheme worthy of Rhodes, but not even federation could stem the tide. It lasted exactly ten years.
First Voice. In the meantime, strange things had been happening in Salisbury. Into office as territorial Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia came Reginald Stephen Garfield Todd, a strapping, handsome ex-missionary. To the shock of his own United Party, he began to speak softly to the Africans. He managed to ram through a bill giving Southern Rhodesian blacks their first tiny voice in the territory's government--a separate ballot under which they could elect five of the 35 members of parliament. It was not much, but to the settlers it seemed a step toward their worst fear: that their servants would some day rule.
A wave of public reaction forced the Party to scuttle Todd, and his place was taken by Sir Edgar Whitehead, a conservative farmer from Umtali. To restore his party's shattered image, Whitehead took up the settlers' ever-present demands for full independence from Britain. Britain's prerequisite was a constitutional conference to which all political groups--black and white--would be invited. The conference was held in 1961, and out of it emerged a new constitution that gave the blacks even greater strength in the legislature--15 seats out of 65--and set out conditions by which they might eventually compete for the 50 white seats as well. The conditions: full voting rights for anyone with a high school diploma or a salary of $739 a year.
Supremacy or Death. That was not what the settlers had wanted at all, and the constitution turned out to be a death blow to the government. Under a barrage of charges that it was soft on Africans, the United Party was swept out of office in elections the following year. A new party, built on a hard core of cattlemen, tobacco men and right-wing labor leaders, was on the rise; its platform was white supremacy or death, and its founder was Ian Smith.
Ian Douglas Smith, 46, is Rhodesia's first native-born Prime Minister. His father came to the land from Scotland in 1898, settled down to make his fortune as a gold miner, cattle farmer and butcher in the town of Selukwe, 180 miles southwest of Salisbury. "My father rubbed shoulders with Cecil Rhodes," Smith says proudly. "He was one of the fairest men I have ever met, and that is the way he brought me up. He always told me that we're entitled to our half of the country and the blacks are entitled to theirs."
At Selukwe high school, young Ian paid little attention to his studies, but was a champion sprinter and captain of his cricket, tennis and rugby teams. (Noted his school magazine: "Good on attack, but does not always time his passes well.") An R.A.F. fighter pilot during the war, he was shot down on a strafing mission over North Africa, escaped with a broken leg and a badly mutilated face. After plastic surgery in Cairo, he emerged with a drooping right eyelid, an immobile expression, and a brand-new face that the surgeon might almost have copied from pictures of Gary Cooper.
At war's end Smith went to South Africa to take a business course at Rhodes University, then returned home to Selukwe, where he fell in love with an attractive young schoolteacher named Janet Watt. They were married in 1948, and Smith decided that he would enter politics. "I thought he was crackers," recalls his wife, "but no one can influence my husband once he has made up his mind." The Rhodesia Smith inherited was not conciliatory either. When the United Party decided to accept the 1961 constitution, Smith resigned in a rage--and immediately received a telegram of congratulations from archconservative Tobacco Tycoon Douglas Collard Lilford. "Ian Smith, and Ian Smith alone, was the one to get up and say no," recalls "Boss" Lilford. "He was the only blessed one to resign. This man has steel in him." Smith drove out to Lilford's estate near Salisbury, talked the tobacco man into helping him found the Rhodesian Front to preserve "Rhodesia for the Rhodesians."
With Lilford paying most of the bills and Smith in charge of organization, the Rhodesian Front sprouted like mealies on the veld at Gatooma. All the rightist fringe groups, including the Dominion Party of Contractor William John Harper (now Internal Affairs Minister), got into the act, as did such present powers as South Africa-born Lawyer Desmond Lardner-Burke (Justice Minister) and Cattle Farmer James Angus Graham, the seventh Duke of Montrose (Agriculture Minister). For all its potent figures, the Front was hardly a respectable organization--until it won the 1962 election. "They used to look at us at the Salisbury Club as if we'd come out of bad cheese," says Lilford. "They called us everything--cowboys, Nazis, the lot. They don't any longer."
In the interests of prestige, Smith chose a respected tobacco farmer named Winston Field, the best-known of all his candidates, as the Rhodesian Front's first Prime Minister. But Field was not radical enough to suit the party hierarchy. He approved of the Front's demands for independence, but opposed U.D.I. Finally, Smith himself moved into the Dutch-gabled house at 8 Chancellor Avenue, which is the official residence of the Prime Minister.
That was 18 months ago, and Smith has done little but prepare for U.D.I, ever since. He seldom entertains, usually eats a sparse lunch at home with his wife, and spends as much time as possible inside guarded gates of No. 8's jacaranda-lined grounds. No major legislation has emerged from his tour as Prime Minister, but to promote independence he has flown to London twice, held a national referendum, an indaba (meeting) of African chiefs (all government-paid) and a full-scale parliamentary election (in which the Front won all 50 white seats but did not even contest the 15 black ones).
Smith makes every effort to dress up Rhodesia's brand of white supremacy in respectable terms. He claims he is governing in the interests of the Africans, who could obviously not govern themselves. He points proudly to the fact that their living standard is higher in Rhodesia than in any of the black nations to the north. He boasts that 85% of all school-age children are actually in school and that there are modern hospitals for the blacks in Bulawayo and Salisbury. Blacks and whites get along just fine, he says; Rhodesia is a sort of "racial partnership." And what does that mean? "When my cook and I put on a dinner and it's a failure, both of us are at fault," explains Boss Lilford's wife Doris. "When my cook and I put on a dinner and it's a success, both of us deserve the credit. That is partnership."
And the Africans do all the cooking. The overwhelming majority of blacks are allowed to go only as far as grammar school--"a waiter's education," as one African puts it. The nation has only three African lawyers, a dozen African doctors and not a single African in a key civil-service post. The few blacks allowed to sit in the legislature are powerless and afraid, for police-state laws allow the regime to confine any suspected troublemaker indefinitely and without explanation. The African congressmen, moreover, were all nominated by essentially white parties: the two major African political organizations have long ago been banned. One is the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), whose burly leader, former Methodist Minister Joshua Nkomo, 48, has been held since April of last year at the steaming Gonakudzingwa "restriction center" near the Mozambique border. At another restriction camp at Wha Wha is the Rev. Ndabaningi ("A Lot of Trouble") Sithole, 45, 'a U.S.-educated Congregationalist minister who broke away from Nkomo in 1963 to form the rival Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).
By law, white workers must be given preference over black; the average black income is $200 a year, the average white income $2,000. A white telephone repairman is accompanied on his calls by his black assistant, who carries his six-pound tool kit, hands the baas his screwdrivers with operating-room efficiency, earns bare subsistence wages, and, at day's end, rides seven miles by bicycle or overcrowded bus to Highfield, one of the outlying African townships into which Salisbury's 300,000 blacks are crowded.
The townships are neat and well planned, and although few of their houses are equipped with electricity or running water, they compare favorably with the festering shantytowns of Latin America, Asia and other African countries. That point is lost on the Rhodesian black, who knows only that they are a far cry from the well-kept white suburbs through which he must ride. But he accepts his second-class citizenship impassively, a lack of education, ingrained docility and the state's efficient police leave him no choice.
But his life is getting worse. The government has recently tightened enforcement of the old Land Apportionment Act whereby blacks can no longer own or lease either stores or offices in downtown Salisbury. It is also trying to force private interracial schools to drop their African students. In the countryside, the government refuses to accept Africans' bids to buy unclaimed land supposedly open to them, and has set up controls to discourage Africans still living in tribal areas from moving to the cities. The motive is all too obvious: "If there is black rule in our lifetime," says Smith, "it will be our fault for allowing them to progress too rapidly."
It was Harold Wilson's task last week to determine just how much play there was in this rigid position. Not only had he to deal with Smith's "not in my lifetime" intransigence but also with the equally rigid demands of Rhodesia's black nationalist leaders for immediate "one-man-one-vote" equality. His task was made no easier by the ill-timed comment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who asked the British government to use force to prevent U.D.I. Griped one Whitehaller, "This is a fine time to sing 'Onward Christian soldiers, shoot your kith and kin.' "
Wilson's strategy in Salisbury was to reach a "multilateralization" of discussion. "He wants to get so many people involved in the discussions, arguing about various approaches, that there will be a great number of confusing second thoughts," explained an aide. "He wants to move the negotiations away from the monolithic 'yes' and 'no' point where they have been."
The pace was wild and wearying: in his first 48 hours in Salisbury, Wilson met with 71 persons, ranging from members of Smith's "cowboy cabinet" through African chieftains in blue and purple robes to the leaders of ZANU and ZAPU. Among the deep carpets and mustachioed portraiture of Salisbury's Government House, the rambling, pillared seat of Britain's governor, Wilson resembled an Indian raja holding court. When Law and Order Minister Lardner Burke insisted that Wilson see ZAPU's "detained" Leader Joshua Nkomo at the airport rather than Government House--a move aimed at underscoring the "illegality" of Nkomo's party--Wilson snapped that he would see Nkomo and everyone else only at Government House.
From the outset, Wilson found that Smith could not be budged from his bedrock position: Rhodesian independence, based on the 1961 constitution and sanctified by a "sacred treaty." At their first meeting, Wilson handed Smith a letter from the Queen, expressing hopes for "a solution to the current difficulties"; Smith stuffed it in his pocket to read later. He thus made it clear there was no room in the treaty for the principle of majority rule in the foreseeable future. With that, Wilson turned to another tack: subtle (and not-so-subtle) hints of the dangers of U.D.I. If Rhodesians felt they could break with Britain and escape hardships, they were wrong. Wilson pointed out that 48 countries had already subscribed to sanctions against Rhodesia in the event of U.D.I., and that it would be a simple matter to cut off the nation's oil by embargo. Even though Portugal would probably keep some oil flowing into Rhodesia through Angola or Mozambique, it would be a scant and stopgap measure at best. As to Rhodesia's capability of making life tough for landlocked, black-ruled Zambia to the north, which relies on Rhodesian rails to carry its copper to market, Wilson raised the prospects of a joint U.S.-British Berlin-style airlift. That was faintly ludicrous, since expensive, airborne copper could hardly compete for long, but it was meant to demonstrate that Britain was not about to be bullied by threats of Rhodesian countermoves.
As the stalemate wore on, the voices of Rhodesia's blacks poured in with rising volume. "Listen," said one white Rhodesian, "the savages are singing." They were indeed. Under black umbrellas and dazzling docks (headdresses), the African masses chanted "We want our country," and sang "Zimbabwe shall be free." But the sheer inertia of the positions--the safety, however momentary, that is inherent in stalemate--slowly took effect.
In a sudden series of face-saving shifts, Smith rejected a Wilson proposal for a royal commission to draw up a new constitution for independence, countered smartly with a plan for a "joint" commission (three Rhodesians and two Britons) to decide only if the principles of the 1961 Constitution, with some adjustments, could be adapted to become the basis of Rhodesian independence. To Wilson, it was as unexpected as it was downright "ingenious." It meant that Wilson and Smith could continue talking without either side backing down on principle.
Still, Wilson has no illusions about ultimate agreement. He left Salisbury with the impression that there was only one chance in a hundred of the joint commission actually coming up with a constitutional formula. But the immediate threat of U.D.I, and all its ugly ramifications had--for the moment--been averted. It remained to be seen if Rhodesia's blacks would be as patient as Wilson was willing to be. As he boarded his R.A.F. Comet in the bright sunlight of Salisbury Airport Saturday morning, Wilson left behind a frozen silence. But frost, in the Rhodesian context, is better than fire.

Ironing the lawn in Salisbury

The ending of this is so true -that wonderful British soap -it cleans the blood very nicely!!!
Ironing the lawn in Salisbury, Rhodesia

From Simon Hoggart
Saturday February 9, 1980
Article history
Government House in Salisbury is decorated and furnished in a manner which makes Versailles seem, well, middle-class. Amid the silken splendour of the chairs and the carpets which are so thick you could lose a cat in them, there are life-size portraits of the last few British monarchs. The Governor has added a homely touch with framed snaps of family and friends - in his case people like the Queen Mother and Winston Churchill.
The servants are immaculately dressed in white, with fitments - sashes, cummerbunds and for some reason fezzes - in bright green. This greenery is trimmed with gold according to the servant's rank, so that the head waiter looks like a gift- wrapped present from Neiman- Marcus, with a gold tassel on top of his head. The Governor has laid in a plentiful supply of champagne and Havana cigars (the wife of a visiting American congress-man, thinking these were set out for the guests, tried to take one away as a present for Tip O'Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Just as she took it, Lord Soames spotted her. "Put it back!" he roared.)
Obviously this magnificence is meant to impress somebody, to demonstrate the sheer power and the awesome prestige of colonial Britain (and, for the present month, Zimbabwe, or the British Dependency of Southern Rhodesia as it is officially known, is one of our very few colonies. The others include Belize, Tristan da Cunha, and one or two acres in the Caribbean). This wealth cannot be to impress the Africans, who, apart from the shimmering servants, barely get a look in. Joshua Nkomo is one who did, and got on very well with the Governor. This is not surprising. Nkomo also has a taste for the high life, and is the Lord Soames of Africa.
After a while, you realise exactly who the trappings are designed to impress: the Lost Race of Africa, the Tribe That Lost Its Head, the whites of Southern Rhodesia.
If you listen to the British officials who arrived in December on the great silver bird, you realise that they do see themselves as dealing with a backward and primitive people. They swap amusing stories about the childlike white folk they come across; a woman who thought Soames could cancel her parking ticket, another who complained because she did not have two votes in the election. One British official talks about the "Cheryl and Vomit" society, composed of women who wear their name on gold necklets, and young men on leave from military service who spend their weekends getting drunk in Salisbury and then throwing up in the street.
Even the British squaddies look with faint contempt on the Rhodesians (or "Rhodies" as they sometimes call them; military slang mushrooms overnight). One private explained to me his alleged success with the local women. "You see these Rhodies think they can snap their fingers and some bird'll come running. But us Brits give 'em a few cuddles and talk nice to them, and they've never had anything like that."
No wonder the white Rhodesians resent us. A woman who had, for that part of the world, very moderate views, asked what I thought of Soames. I said he had a reputation for arrogance. "But all you British are arrogant," she said, in genuine puzzlement, rather as if I had said he spoke English or had two legs. It was this wish to give the whites a whiff of the old colonial past which probably led to Soames's appointment. Another Foreign Office official explained that his deputy, Sir Anthony Duff, could have done the job standing on his head. "But he isn't Churchill's son-in-law.'
The corollary of this is that the British are highly impressed by the blacks - possibly in some cases too much so. Many of the Patriotic Front commanders are men of high intelligence and expertise, their education started in mission schools in Rhodesia and frequently finished off in Moscow. This has helped them to run a highly successful guerrilla war and - for the present anyway - follow through politically. But to hear some of the British talking, you'd imagine that the entire physics faculty of MIT had just walked out of the bush.
One British officer in close touch with PF leaders on Nkomo's side blamed the press. "I thought this lot were all golliwogs with machine guns, but they are very, very different." And indeed they are, to an extent which would astonish and perhaps appal some white Rhodesians.
A more bluntly phrased view came from a British private who was talking to a PF commander at one of the assembly points. He asked what he had done to pass the time in the bush, and the African said that he had read - Marx, Lenin, that kind of thing. "I prefer a good western myself," the squaddie said, adding when the PF man had gone: "Here, he's pretty clever, innee, for a nig-nog."
Rhodesian women, black and white, tend to be remarkably good looking. The Shona women have high cheekbones and fine features which make them exceedingly pretty, to European eyes at any rate. The whites have golden hair, lovely toast-coloured skin, and because of the weather, few clothes. There is something particularly disconcerting about hearing those famous racist views expressed in that shrill mounting whine, coming from someone whose rounded figure is straining out of a thin nylon dress.
One such accosted us in a restaurant. "I heard you were journalists, and I've come over to tell you that Ian Smith is the greatest politician in the western world. He's so honest and straight. If the blacks could vote for him, they all would. He's the only reason we've had 14 years of civilisation."
Weren't there some people who disagreed with her, who thought on the contrary that Smith had misled them into a worse predicament than ever before?
"They're all turncoats and bastards and fools. You don't understand what savages these black people are. You've never lived here. Answer this, how many blacks are there in the British Parliament? They are all murderers, they just want to kill us. You wouldn't believe the disgusting things they've done." Surely, though, the whites had mounted some pretty fierce reprisals? "Yes, but that was in self-defence, that was justified."
She turned out to be a teacher of English Literature, a fact which might give pause for thought to those who believe in the humanising effect of great works. Education was exempt from sanctions, and all O and A levels were set and marked in London. "Now they are being provocative and controversial just to spite us.
"Last year we had Persuasion and King Lear. Now they've given us Alan Paton, The Comedians, which is full of nasty blacks, and Othello. I've got a big black buck sitting at the front of my class and I've got to teach him about Desdemona's murder, thanks to you British." A Rhodesian magazine recently prepared its readers for what they might expect with an end to sanctions: wall-to-wall carpets, blenders and digital watches; in fact when the starship Rhodesia is beamed back into the planet Earth, they can expect something much more worrying - exposure to the ideas and the received wisdom of the western world over the past 14 years. They may learn, for instance, that it is perfectly possible to believe that black people deserve the vote without actually endorsing the invasion of Afghanistan.
Because they see the war as invented and run by Communists, they tend to believe that their blacks were happy and content in a white-dominated society. The briefest chat with an African reveals this to be untrue, but then most Rhodesian whites don't have conversations with Africans, except to give them orders.
However, it is easy to see how they have got hold of this idea. Rhodesian blacks are startlingly docile and even courtly. This gentility can be surprising. There is possibly nobody in Rhodesia - black or white - who has not lost somebody in the fighting, the blacks rather more than the whites. Irish people in Ulster tend to relish these deaths, to recount the horrors with something near satisfaction, to draw comfort from each hideous detail. Rhodesian blacks are the opposite, and speak in a deadpan and fatalistic way about the loss of friends and family.
I met General Debengwa, who is Nkomo's senior military leader in Rhodesia itself. Was he going back to his home town, Bulawayo? No, he said, there was no real point since he had no family there. His mother had lived there until a few years ago, but the Selous Scouts had discovered that she had fed a ZIPRA military column which was passing through. They had shot her immediately.
Debengwa described this incident without emotion, as if she had died from a heart attack - something sad but perhaps inevitable. I thought that, like Camus's outsider, he had found coldness his only defence against despair, or that being responsible for many deaths himself, had inured himself against the one which affected him. But later I found that nearly all blacks talk like this; they describe death as we discuss illness or a broken love affair, intolerable only if you let it prey upon your mind.
In a horrible way it matches the whites' unconcern with black mortality; among soldiers prestige can be measured by the number of dead "terrs" (or "floppies" - a description of how they fall when shot). "He and his brother have taken out 58 gooks between them," one troopie told me in admiration of a friend.
Curiously, it is hard not to be a little optimistic about the future for Zimbabwe (as nobody at all calls it yet, except in political speeches). The fear is not that there will be mass slaughter of the whites, followed by their flight to South Africa and the collapse of the economy, but that the need to retain white confidence may mean that the blacks are badly disappointed.
Certainly all the election manifestoes promise the earth (quite literally the earth - all imply that the land will return to the blacks without saying how, when or to whom). They promise new housing, better homes, real social security, secondary schooling for everybody. Yet even if all whites were expelled and their property divided among the blacks (whites are less than 3 per cent of the population) this wealth would be slow in coming.
Meanwhile the whites continue to live in a style unimaginable here, but all too familiar to the shop assistants, garage hands and dissatisfied bourgeoisie who have made Rhodesia their home. Around the average Salisbury bungalow are three or four acres of rich land, thick with shrubbery, flower beds, rolling lawns, arboretums: so much greenery you feel you need a platoon of Gurkhas to hack your way through to the front door. A team of servants irons the grass each morning as the sun rises over the sparkling pool. Later vast dragonflies zoom over the blue water like helicopter gunships as the host and his guests enjoy perhaps a "wine race" - swimming a length backwards while drinking a glass of wine (Rhodesian wine probably, which is awful. It is the only alcoholic drink to give you bilharzia) - or just pushing each other into the water. Then maybe a few glasses of "hooligan juice", a large slug of brandy mixed to a slush with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This is what they call civilisation, and it is easy for us to mock: after all, they work hard and they have fought hard. It is impossible not to admire the way they have coped with sanctions, the way they have manufactured almost everything from tomato ketchup to armoured cars. Though the cause was perhaps not worth fighting - indeed did not need to be fought - we need not grudge them their mindless pleasures, pleasures we would hugely enjoy if we could. I recall one faintly pathetic note being struck 150 miles or so north of Salisbury. A young man, just out of the army, asked if there was any chance that the British would stay behind to help the white Rhodesians fight if the settlement went horribly wrong.
I said (fairly) that there was no chance at all, and added - unfairly - that they could expect to see Lord Soames mount the aircraft steps on March 1, write the name of the new prime minister on a scratch pad, throw it on to the tarmac, slam the door and take off for England with a screech of engines. "Ah, what style" said the young man. "When the British wash their hands, they use only the finest soap."