Intaf Horse troops
Patrolling in the field by members of Intaf was mainly done by vehicle, foot or by bicycle. Vehicle patrols were generally hampered by land mines in many districts. The use of horses was a natural follow on to these patrols. The first horse troop was established in 1973 at Mount Darwin, which was under the command of District Commissioner Jim Latham. This troop was locally known as "Latham's Light Horse". As more successes were achieved funds were allocated to purchase more horses.
Eventually horses were donated by various people including the farmers of South Africa. Intensive training was done and drills were established for deployment in combat situations. The horse troops were expanded and eventually there were three mounted units.
The first Troop to be raised was based in Mount Darwin
and was commanded by Ken Tuckey who later commanded A Troop ARU. Another horse troop was raised in Inyanga
district along the mountainous Mozambique border. Its commander was Boet Lombard and members included
Chris Finn who very kindly provided the photos of the Inyanga Horse Troop below, and two part time Intaf men by the names of Alec Fowles and John
Francis as well as a number of DAs. A
third Mounted Troop was raised in Sinoia District. Bryn Price was a member of
this Troop and later commanded C Troop ARU.
The army noted the great success of the Intaf horse troops and in 1975
the Grey's Scouts were formed as an army mounted infantry unit. It was not unusual for the Intaf Horse Troops to deploy with the Greys Scouts on occasion when the Greys Scouts were deployed in the relevant districts.
The Mt Darwin Mounted Troop wore a cloth patch which featured a black printed horse head (as per the chess piece) on green cloth at the beginning. Their commander was Ken Tuckey. Ken often took his fox terrier dog with him on patrols. They experimented with using a combination of pistols and rifles when engaging the enemy. The Mt Darwin Mounted Troop had several contacts with the terrorists and were very successful. The Mount Darwin Horse Troop did deploy with Greys Scouts on occasion.
Insignia. Insignia developed over a period of time. There are a number of variants of the arm patch. The first ones were made by DC Jim Latham’s wife on red cloth. Initials under the first patches were HT for Horse Troop and then MU for Mounted Unit. The final patch to be worn was a khaki cloth badge with a red printed horse on its hind legs facing right. The letters IA (Internal Affairs) were on the left and the letters MU (Mounted Unit) on the right of the horse. The badges were worn on the left sleeve.
Mount Darwin Horse Troop on patrol