These are the recollections of Mark Bowler who was with IANS 8. Many thanks go to him for contributing.
I was with IANS 8 at
Chikurubi. We reported to Llewellin Barracks on
4th January 1978 and then a few days later we were sent back on the overnight
train to Salisbury to start our training at Chikurubi. We were all, as far as I
know, "volunteered" to serve in Intaf, I remember we were in a large
hall in Llewellin Barracks and they started numbering us off to different
units, Intaf, BSAP etc. I am not sure if the other IANS had been recruited like
As training staff we had SM Paddy Gallagher, SM Collins, SM Underwood, SM Bolton, Corporal Thorpe, Corporal Trevor McVeigh (Irish) and DC Hamish (Jim) Peters and ADC Peters. There may have been other instructors at different times. I don't remember any specific name we had for the IANS or the squads. We never had an IANS T shirt. I seem to have a feeling that we were some sort of a "problem" IANS possibly because of the nature of recruiting and some people were there very much against their will. I remember that we had 3 squads, Red, Blue, Green. I think I was in Blue. (Memory is getting a bit hazy about that). We passed out towards the end of February 1978 and the went on to do the Admin course, lasted about 3 weeks mostly at Earl Grey Building. Sometime in March 1978 we were deployed to our stations. I was posted to Mutasa, spent the first 3-4 months in PV's in the Honde Valley, then to Ruda and then to Mutasa.
I have a newspaper cutting of the prize winners at the passing out parade. I wonder where all the trophies went? I still have a small miniature trophy that I received with the large trophy which I had to return. I was the best shottist in IANS 8. I made some very good friends then. I think that the nature of the recruiting by "volunteering" national service men to serve in Intaf led to some very "unsuited" individuals in our ranks. After training we parted company with most of the IANS 8 and lost contact, I often wonder what became of some of them that we trained with.