Rhodesian forces oral history project

How to cite this record

Jeater, D. and Onslow, S. and Berry, A. (2013) Rhodesian forces oral history project. University of the West of England, http://researchdata.uwe.ac.uk/104.

UWE Harvard citation (for UWE users)

Jeater, D. and Onslow, S. and Berry, A. (2013) Rhodesian forces oral history project. UWE data repository [online]. Available from: http://researchdata.uwe.ac.uk/104 [Accessed 12 December 2018].

Project Title

Rhodesian forces oral history project

Brief summary of project

This research project ran from March 2008 to September 2010 and interviewed nearly 100 members of the Rhodesian armed forces and police service who were in post in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the period 1972-1980. A further 24 responses were obtained by questionnaire. The project has created an audio collection of interviews, with transcripts and some additional documentary material, available for research alongside the extensive paper archive preserved by the Rhodesian Army Association (RAA). The Rhodesian Army Association archives have been catalogued in a separately funded project at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol. This oral history project presented a unique opportunity to supplement the written documentary material from the RAA archive, with interviews with former members of the Rhodesian security forces from the renewed insurgency in December 1972, until formal independence from Britain in 1980. This oral history project had two specific goals: Firstly, it sought to put the Rhodesian Army Archives in their broader social context. This project intended to provide a much more detailed picture of the overall substantial conscript force, which drew upon all elements of white Rhodesian male society. Secondly, it was intended to underline the point – which is all too often not recognised in popular history – that the white community in Rhodesia was not homogenous in class or generational terms, nor was it united in its racial/ ideological political outlook. The conflict in Rhodesia represents a unique case study in the role of war in the construction, and maintenance, of national identity, and the complexity of patriotism. We sought to explore how far the experience of military training, and group loyalty bonds formed through war, were one of the unrecognised factors sustaining the Rhodesia Front government's pursuit of internationally recognised independence. In addition, the project enables us to discover more about the organisational structures underlying the creation of the paper archive, and allows us to re-examine the prevalent accounts of the war and the ways in which it has been remembered and memorialised since 1980.

Associated Publication Links

http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/32237/ (UWE Research Repository)

Publisher

University of the West of England

Details

Item Type: Dataset
Related Datasets:
Related Dataset TitleURL
Rhodesian oral history projecthttp://www.kingscollections.org/catalogues/lhcma/collection/r/rhodesian-oral-history/
Methodology: In total 98 interviews were conducted by Sue Onslow and Annie Berry with 95 different people (82 men and 13 women, including 3 interviewed as a couple). All of the interviews were with white Rhodesians/Zimbabweans. An additional 24 questionnaires were received from people in the UK and overseas, who could not be interviewed; giving a total of 119 participants. The total duration of the interviews is nearly 160 hours.The interviews were semi-structured, and we used similar questions in each interview. For further information on the questions asked view the interview guide attached to this record. Interviewees were a wide variety of ages; from late forties to eighties. Out of the 95 different people interviewed, 46 were associated to the British South Africa Police (both regulars and reserves, including Support Unit etc), 33 to the Army (Many switching between RLI, RAR and including SAS, Selous Scouts etc), 8 to the Rhodesian Air Force (or RRAF), 3 to Internal Affairs and 5 were in civil service or civilian roles. Interviews were all conducted in the UK, with the exception of one being conducted in South Africa.
Spatial Coverage: Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)
Data Collection Time Period: March 2008 to September 2010
Language of the Dataset Collection: English
Creators: Jeater, D. and Onslow, S. and Berry, A.
UWE Faculty/Department: Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education > Department of Arts and Cultural Industries
Depositing User: A. Clarke
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 15:59
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 08:40

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