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It is May 1983. The UMR is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Headquarters, the UMR Hall, in Greytown. A medal parade, civic dinner and a number of other events are on the programme. The members of the Unit are upbeat and enthusiastic and look forward to all the activities. There is an officers meeting in the old UMR Hall. On the agenda the Unit's history going forward from 1975 when the last edition was published. A decision is taken to appoint a senior officer (Maj. L. Palmer) to commence working on the History project. The idea is to begin collecting material, articles and photographs, interviewing the older ex-members and Comrades of the Unit, collecting anecdotes and any other related information. The years passed and the work load increased as time went on. The one man project became a 4 member committee and members came and went. Cmdt. John Allchin took over the project. Under his direction the work continued until in, 2004, there was enough progress to appoint a professional scribe to put it all together.

Mark Coghlan of the Pietermaritzburg Museum, a person of great experience and insight into military history in KwaZulu-Natal, was approached and accepted the assignment; To draft, collate and produce the History of the UMR 1864 to 2004.

The rest is history, the culmination of over 20-odd years of hard but fulfilling work.

As the reader turns the pagers of this document, the history of the illustrious UMR will unfold before his/her very eyes, and the reader will be taken for the ride of a lifetime. The ride starts with a small band of 45 cavalry volunteers in Greytown and ends with a modern Armoured Car Regiment, a compliment of 254 trained men and women, equipped with Rooikat armoured vehicles and a modern and functional headquarters at Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. The Umvoti Mounted Rifles is the second oldest Regiment in the South African National Defence Force. It was 150 years old on 16 May 2014.

The Regiment fought gallantly and with honour in the South African (Zulu) War of 1879; The South Africa (Anglo Boer) War of 1899 -1902; Natal (Bambata) Rebellion of 1906; South West Africa (First world War) 1914-1915 and Gibbon, Western Desert (Second World War) 1941-1943.

The Regiment stands proud as the only active Armoured Car Regiment in KwaZulu-Natal, and is ready to serve the South African National Defence Force, the Country and its People, where and whenever called upon to do so.

Hardcover, 795 pages. Published October 2012 


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