Rugby Memorabilia Society

Khaki-clad Springboks:

Rugby matches played by the 6th SA Armoured Division 1943-1946 by 'The late lamented' Gideon Nieman.

Rugby matches played by the 6th SA Armoured Division 1943-1946 by Gideon Nieman.

The book is custom size 220 x 275, 152 pages with numerous action photos in black and white. The edition is limited to 150 copies. The price is R380.

This book covers the matches in Egypt (1943/440, Italy 1945 and the European tour 1945/6. The 6th Division team was of provincial standard with most of the players having represented provinces in South Africa prior to the war. George Smith (Springbok 1938) and Howard Watt (Springbok 1937) played under the captaincy of Basil Kenyon (Springbok 1949 & 1951/2) in Egypt. In Italy and Europe future Springboks Stephen Fry and Cecil Moss were key players.

In Egypt the 6th Division played t matches from November 1943 to March 1944 against NZ Base (3 times) 10th armoured, Rest of Egypt (two times and a match at Cairo area. In Northern Italy while waiting for demobilisation they played 2nd NZEF twice, 59 area, 2 Military District and British Army CMF. The book also tells the story of the keen rugby rivalry between South African and New Zealand troops in Egypt and Italy and the legend of “The Book”. The last two matches were partly preparation for a tour of the UK, France and Germany which

In the UK they played Brigade of Guards, St Mary’s Hospital, Royal Australian Air Force, NZ Services, and Guys Hospital with mixed success and having problems adapting to the conditions and referee interpretations. They then left for France where they played the Combined Paris and Bordeaux Universities, a Regional team at Pau and Bayonne. They then went by train to Paris and Brussels to play the 53rd Welsh Division at Wupperthal. Another match was cancelled due to snow and ice and they returned via France and Switzerland to Italy to fly to Egypt to return home. There they played their final match against the Rest of Egypt.

The book is richly illustrated with numerous action and team photos of teams and matches in Italy and on tour. Most of these photos had not been published before.

The book is available on

Peter Douglas-Davies