RLI Badge

1st Battalion Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association ®




Dear Member / Friend

Served as Commanding Officer of 1RLI from 1 December 1964 to 18 June 1967

Peter Walls was born and educated in Rhodesia. He first served in the military with the Black Watch at the end of World War Two. He returned to Rhodesia after the war and served in the Staff Corps, before being commissioned into the Southern Rhodesia Regiment. In 1951, he was selected to take an all-white unit, The Malayan Scouts, to Malaya to assist with that Emergency. He was promoted to captain as 2IC of the unit with an experienced British officer as OC. On reaching Malaya it was decided that, as it was an all-Rhodesian unit, it should be commanded by a Rhodesian—he was thus promoted to major and became OC. The unit stayed in Malaya for two years, becoming C (Rhodesia) Squadron SAS.

On return to Rhodesia in March 1953 the unit was disbanded. For his services in Malaya he was awarded an MBE. After various staff appointments he attended Staff College at Camberley in the UK, before assuming command of RLI in 1964 and transforming the battalion into a commando unit. He was responsible for introducing the regiment’s green beret, which subsequently distinguished it from all other regiments on parade. On relinquishing command he became Commander 2 Brigade. He later became Chief of Staff as a major-general, before becoming Army Commander in 1972. He was appointed Commander of Combined Operations (ComOps) in 1977, an appointment he held until he retired to South Africa in late 1980 after Zimbabwean independence

General GP (Peter) Walls and Eunice were about to board an aircraft yesterday morning (20 July 2010) bound from George to Johannesburg. The General succumbed to a heart attack prior to boarding the aircraft.

He was a man of great integrity and grit and led the armed forces of Rhodesia well in the toughest of wartimes.

General Walls will be sadly missed by all the members of the 1RLIRA and we extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Eunice Walls, the family and Peter’s friends.

“How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung.

God and a soldier all people adore
In time of war, but not before;
And when war is over and all things are righted,
God is neglected and an old soldier slighted.

Enough of merit has each honoured name
To shine untarnished on the rolls of fame,
And add new lustre to the historic page.”


Letters of Condolence

I would like to extend my deepest condolence to the family and friends at the loss of a good man with good values. He was admired by many.

Bert van der Vlugt
Ex-Insp. BSAP

Please extend our condolence to the family Phil Graham, Abu Dhabi.

On behalf of the RLI Ouens in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim, please will you post our condolences on the RLI Website?

A truly dedicated leader he was, and was respected by all. He goes ahead to join those already there and waits for us to join him. Heaven blesses the honorable.

We of the RLI stand united in honour of a great man.

Bruce McGregor
RLIRA – Australasia

Hi Bill. Dreadfully sorry to read of this! Thanks for letting me know. Alex Binda

Yes a very sad and moving tragedy indeed. Peter was so strong and straightforward that he had both many friends and not a few opponents. Whatever any may have thought of Peter, 'he always did his best, according to his conscience, Rhodesian heritage, and common sense’. And there were many, many times that those three fine, enduring, and endearing attributes were very sorely tested during his periods of command of whatever organisation at whatever level.

He was a true 'Rhodesian Son' of the very first order'

May he now rest in Peace? For all of us who knew and respected him: , our memory of him , his unshakeable integrity and supreme gravitas, will endure as long as do our fond memories of 'Old Rhodesia ', that he so passionately protected, endure.

Our warmest sympathies and condolences go to dear Eunice at this dreadful time for her.

Sadly, but sincerely,
John 'Digger' Essex-Clark.
Canberra, Australia.

Many thanks Billy, I really appreciate your kindness and all your hard work. Yes, so sad. He was a great man. Keep well Shamwari. Charlie Aust.

He will certainly be among the saints in the heaven. M.Angeloni former Italian paratroopers’ officer

Another good RLI ouen regrouping in the heavens above

Gordon Harland

A great man gone to sit at the side of GOD! A sad day indeed our sympathy to Val and the family. It was an honour to have known him.

Alf Herbst.

I was very sorry to hear of the death of Peter Walls. I knew him quite well, a soldier and a gentleman.

Please pass my sincere condolences to his family.

Regards, Fred Punter. Former BSAP.

Dear Bill,

Thank you for the notification. I served in the regiment when he was still CO, and Uncle Ron was RSM.

Martin Haskins

Good afternoon Billy,

I am sorry to hear of Peters passing, Our Malaysian Veternas remeber him and us young ones all know of him. Notice of his sad death has been circulated amongst all of our veterans networks.

"A giant tree falls in the forest and the forest weeps."

(Old Maori farewell)

Please pass on our thoughts and best wishes to all your members.

Roger Bush
NZSAS Borneo and Victor 3 South Vietnam.