ED FOUCHE BCR
Dear Member / Friend
It is with regret that we inform you that Joe Wiper (ex 1Cdo) passed away suddenly this morning (23 December 2012) after feeling ill. Joe had recently returned from a trip to Mozambique and was with Ian Rose when he died. Our sincere condolences to Rita and the family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
I will keep you all posted as and when I receive further information on whether or not there is to be a service or send-off for Joe.
Then the march to end all marches
As the warriors of old give it their all
As if their youth had revisited them
And the streets are lined with the gratefulv And those who came for their own reasons
And the waves follow them
Lapping gently at their heels
Until every space is filled outside the place of Royalty
And then the beast of war awakens
And flies over as it did in the days of need
Red petals cascade upon the watchers
And a nations heart opens
Filling the air
And says thank you
Thank you so much for forwarding my msg. It's easy to lose touch as the years roll by and now that I stop and think about it, I can't believe it's been 37 years since I saw Joe and 34 years since I saw Ian.
This is very painful for me because, although I often browse the internet, I find that the memories are as clear as yesterday and Rhodesia will always be part of me. I miss my homeland and all that we fought for but it was because of the brave guys of the RLI, Selous Scouts and all the other regiments, that gave so much of themselves, and some that gave all, that I still feel the same way today as I did all those years ago.
I was only a kid when I joined the Rhodesian Army at age 16 (I lied on the application). Turned out I was the youngest soldier in the history of the Rhodesian Army and I looked up to guys like Joe Wiper and Ian Rose.
I had mentioned that they were best of friends and the fact that Ian was with Joe at the end (37 years later) speaks for itself.
As we all did, I lost many friends and colleagues to the war, the first of which was Garry Lloyd of Umtali who slept in the bunk beside mine and was tragically killed by a landmine just a couple of months after we completed our Medic training at Llewellyn barracks camp hospital. The following year another classmate John Coey (A Native American - I think from Ohio) was killed in action by a gunshot wound in 1975 whilst trying to get to another injured Troopie. And now I learn of Joe Wiper - a true Rhodesian and a proud member of the RLI. True Rhodesian's never die, they just fade away.
In the morning and at the setting of the sun, we will remember them!
Unfortunately I have no pictures other than the mental images I recall so often of a time and an experience I would live all over again if we could only have Rhodesia back.