S A Armour Corps


The Flame of the Armour Burns Forever
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History       Go top
…Established as the Port Elizabeth Volunteer Rifle Corps on September 19, 1856, the title Prince
Alfreds Guard (PAG) was unofficially assumed in 1860 when the regiment escorted Queen
Victorias second son.

Official recognition came in 1874, and the name Prince Alfreds Volunteer Guard was adopted.
The regiments first action came during the 9th Frontier War on December 2, 1877 at
Umzintzani. Afterwards, a Xhosa shield with crossed assegais and with the word Umzintzani
became the unit collar badge. The subsequent battle honour was the first awarded a South
African reserve unit. In 1880 a PAVG contingent served in the Basutoland campaign. A highlight
was the claim to have made a bayonet charge at Lerotholis kraal on October 22, the first made
by a British volunteer regiment. A second contingent arrived in February 1881 and also saw
action. In 1897 a contingent served in the Langberg (Bechuanaland) campaign where they made
another bayonet charge, and in 1899 the regiment, now 691 strong, was mobilised for the Anglo
South African War.

The regiment at first guarded the railway between De Aar and Stormberg but in early 1900 about
two companies were converted to mounted infantry and served in the Free State and Transvaal
with the 6th and 11th Divisions. Between 1913 and 1934 the unit was renamed the 3rd Infantry,
Active Citizen Force. World War One saw it mobilised on August 22, 1914 for garrison duty in
the Cape peninsula. It was demobilised the next July. Nearly 90% then volunteered for overseas

During World War Two, the PAG served as a link battalion for 2 SA Brigade, sending drafts,
many of whom served with the Field Force Battalion. At last, in February 1943, it was
announced that the PAG would become a tank regiment in 6 SA Armoured Divisions 11
Armoured Brigade. The unit landed at Taranto, Italy, on April 20, 1944, equipped with Sherman
Mk Vs and Crusaders, initially tasked to help relieve the bridgehead at Anzio. Later the unit took
part in the advance on Florence.

During the 1970s and 1980s the unit, now equipped with Eland armoured cars, took part in
counterinsurgency operations throughout South Africa and also in Namibia and Angola. In 1984
the unit converted to the Olifant main battle tank and was allocated to 9 SA Division. The unit
saw service in the then-Transvaal before and during the nonracial 1994 elections.

The unit was then remustered as mechanised, then motorised, and, now, as air assault infantry.

Officers Commanding       Go top
  From To
Colonel J.M. Hill 1856 1857
Colonel A.J. Clairmonte 1857 1857
Colonel A. Ogilvie 1857 1860
Colonel A.C. Wylde 1861 1865
Captain W. Fleming 1865 1865
Colonel A.C. Wylde 1874 1876
Major G.R. Deare 1876 1888
Lt Col. G. Gordon 1888 1898
Major G.C. Clark CMG VD 1898 1899
Lt Col. H.W. Court VD 1899 April 1915
Lt Col. J.N. Neylan DSO April 1915 November 1915
Lt Col. A.P.J. Wares VD November 1915 May 1925
Lt Col. F.L.A. Buchanan MC VD January 1916 June 1930
Lt Col. Whitehead DSO June 1925 January 1926
Lt Col. J.L. Reis VD July 1935 September 1942
Lt Col. H.A. Olsen DSO ED September 1942 December 1945
Lt Col. W.E. Hawkins ED February 1946 June 1952
Commandant G.M. Human July 1952 April 1955
Commandant J.N. Erasmus JCD May 1955 January 1959
Commandant I.F. Nel SM JCD January 1959

RSM       Go top
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Insignia       Go top

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