Memorable Order of Tin Hats
The Memorable Order of Tin Hats, known as The MOTH, was founded in 1927 by Charles Evenden
Charles Evenden
Charles Evenden, soldier, cartoonist, and author, is probably best remembered as the founder and guiding inspiration of the ex-servicemen organisation known as the Memorable Order of Tin Hats.-Early life:...

 as a brotherhood of front-line ex-soldiers. The ideal of the Order is to help fellow comrades in need, either financially or physically and to remember all servicemen who have answered the Sunset Call, both in war and peace time.


According to the Dictionary of South African Biography, one night in 1927 after he and the editor of The Natal Mercury, RJ Kingston Russell, had seen a war film, Charles Evenden
Charles Evenden
Charles Evenden, soldier, cartoonist, and author, is probably best remembered as the founder and guiding inspiration of the ex-servicemen organisation known as the Memorable Order of Tin Hats.-Early life:...

 was persuaded to draw a cartoon on 'remembrance'. According to the Dictionary, "The cartoon showed a tin helmet surmounted by a burning candle. Around the flames of the candle were six words – True ComradeshipMutual HelpSound Memory".

However, the official MOTH website carries a cartoon captioned Forgetfulness and this led to the founding of the Order. This is confirmed by the Eastern Province Herald which describes the cartoon as follows: "a bullet- and shrapnel-riddled Allied helmet awash in the ocean. In the background a steamship passes over the horizon, leaving the forgotten, ghostly form of a veteran forlornly wading through the water."

The concepts of True Comradeship, Mutual Help and Sound Memory were to become the inspiration of a remarkable organisation of ex-front line soldiers, of all ranks, known as the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH). Evenden, as the founder of the movement and its guiding inspiration was given the title of 'Moth O' - a position he held until his death."

The membership of the MOTH movement, under Evenden's vigorous direction and leadership, grew into thousands. Men and women of two world wars, of the Second Anglo Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 (1899–1902) and even those of former enemy forces streamed into its ranks. All who were prepared to keep alive the memories of comradeship and self-sacrifice - the finer virtues that war brings forth - were welcomed and made at home in shell holes with colourful and meaningful names of war-time memories and occasions. The shellholes spread to the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and to Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

). Membership was extended to those who had participated in the South African Border War
South African Border War
The South African Border War, commonly referred to as the Angolan Bush War in South Africa, was a conflict that took place from 1966 to 1989 in South-West Africa and Angola between South Africa and its allied forces on the one side and the Angolan government, South-West Africa People's...


The MOTH national headquarters is situated in Warriors Gate, Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, which is modelled on a Norman
Norman architecture
About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

 design from a photograph given to Evenden by Admiral Evans-of-the-Broke
Edward Evans, 1st Baron Mountevans
Admiral Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell Evans, 1st Baron Mountevans, KCB, DSO , known as "Teddy" Evans, was a British naval officer and Antarctic explorer...



In 1948 Evenden opened Mount Memory,- a monument to the missing and dead of the Second World War, in the foothills of the Drakensberg
The Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, rising to in height. In Zulu, it is referred to as uKhahlamba , and in Sesotho as Maluti...


Eligibility for membership

  • In any War prior to 1939 as a member of the fighting forces, including medical or other auxiliary units of such forces. This includes all wars and campaigns in any country.
  • In World War II and subsequent campaigns as members of the Union Defence Force
    Union Defence Force
    The Union Defence Force may refer to a former or current military organization:* the South African Army from 1912 to 1957* the military of the United Arab Emirates...

     outside the borders of the Union on active service.
  • As full-time members of the Union Defence Force, in the Coastal or Coast Garrison Artillery and the South African Air Force
    South African Air Force
    The South African Air Force is the air force of South Africa, with headquarters in Pretoria. It is the world's second oldest independent air force, and its motto is Per Aspera Ad Astra...

     Squadrons engaged in seaward patrols. This includes ex-members of the Radar Service and coastal crash boat crew serving with the Artillery Batteries and SAAF Squadrons mentioned above.
  • As full-time members of the South African Naval Forces
    South African Navy
    The South African Navy is the navy of the Republic of South Africa.-Formation:The South African Navy can trace its official origins back to the SA Naval Service, which was established on 1 April 1922....

     outside the Union
    Union of South Africa
    The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

     or in the coastal defence of the Union. As members of the British or Allied Forces – air, navy or army – Great Britain or abroad.
  • As officers or ratings in ships of the Allied Merchant Service
    Merchant Navy
    The Merchant Navy is the maritime register of the United Kingdom, and describes the seagoing commercial interests of UK-registered ships and their crews. Merchant Navy vessels fly the Red Ensign and are regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency...

     at sea during World War I and World War II and minor campaigns. As full-time members of the Air Auxiliary Services of the Allied Forces (Such as BOAC
    Boac may refer to:* Boac, Marinduque, a municipality in the Southern Philippines* Boac , an American rapper* British Overseas Airways Corporation, a former British state-owned airline...

    ) who served in combat areas in support of the Allied Forces in World War II
    Allies of World War II
    The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

  • With the Underground Resistance Movements
    Resistance movement
    A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

     (Partisan Force) during World War of 1939-45 on the side of the original Allies.
  • As full-time servicemen or women in minor campaigns, viz. Korean War
    Korean War
    The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

     (1950–53), Kenya
    Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

     (1952–56), Malaya
    Federation of Malaya
    The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

     (1948–60), Cyprus
    Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

     (1955–59), Suez
    Suez Crisis
    The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

     (1956–57), Palestine (1946–49), Yemen Aden Protectorate
    Aden Protectorate
    The Aden Protectorate was a British protectorate in southern Arabia which evolved in the hinterland of Aden following the acquisition of that port by Britain in 1839 as an anti-piracy station, and it continued until the 1960s. For administrative purposes it was divided into the Western...

     – 1964-67), Western Malaysia (Sabah
    Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

    , Sarawak
    Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

    , Brunei
    Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

     – 1962-68) with the British Forces in Ireland (1969-) who are in possession of the General Service Medal
    General Service Medal (1962)
    The General Service Medal , was introduced in 1962 to combine the General Service Medal , as awarded to the Army and RAF, and the Naval General Service Medal...

     and/or Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

     Clasp. The guerilla warfare in which Rhodesia was engaged 11.11.65 until 5.3.80, Members of British Forces in Falklands War
    Falklands War
    The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

     2.4.83 to 14.6.83; Members of United States Armed Forces
    United States armed forces
    The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

     and their Allies in Vietnam
    Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

     from 22.12.61 to 7.5.75.
  • As members of the South African Police
    South African Police
    The South African Police was the country's police force until 1994. The SAP traced its origin to the Dutch Watch, a paramilitary organization formed by settlers in the Cape in 1655, initially to protect civilians against attack and later to maintain law and order...

     or Rhodesia
    Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

     Police (11.11.65 until 5.3.80) who have been in active operation against guerillas on their Borders and who are in possession of the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism
    South African police decorations
    An overview of South African police decorations and medals, which form part of the South African honours system.-South African Police:The South African Police was established in 1913 as a national police force...

     or the Rhodesian General Service Medal
    General Service Medal (Rhodesia)
    The General Service Medal was Rhodesia's most widely-awarded military decoration, awarded to members of the security forces and British South Africa Police for service on operations undertaken for the purpose of combating terrorists or enemy incursions into Rhodesia.- Institution :The medal was...

  • In Vietnam as members of the Allied Forces (as recognized for eligibility for the 1939-45 World War)
  • As security force members :
    • who served in an operational area, namely South West Africa
      South West Africa
      South-West Africa was the name that was used for the modern day Republic of Namibia during the earlier eras when the territory was controlled by the German Empire and later by South Africa....

      , Angola
      Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

      , Mozambique
      Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

       or the South African Borders.
    • who have been directly engaged in operations anywhere in South Africa from 1 December 1983 until 2 February 1990.

See also

  • Remembrance Day
    Remembrance Day
    Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

  • Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association
    Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association, often referred to as the Returned Services' Association but best known simply as the RSA, is one of the largest voluntary welfare organisations in New Zealand and one of the oldest ex-service organisations in the world.Wounded soldiers...

  • Returned and Services League of Australia
    Returned and Services League of Australia
    The Returned and Services League of Australia is a support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Australian Defence Force ....

  • Royal Canadian Legion
    Royal Canadian Legion
    The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit Canadian ex-service organization founded in 1925, with more than 400,000 members worldwide. Membership includes people who have served as current and former military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and municipal police, direct relatives of...

  • The Royal British Legion
    The Royal British Legion
    The Royal British Legion , sometimes referred to as simply The Legion, is the United Kingdom's leading charity providing financial, social and emotional support to those who have served or who are currently serving in the British Armed Forces, and their dependants.-History:The British Legion was...

  • American Legion
    American Legion
    The American Legion is a mutual-aid organization of veterans of the United States armed forces chartered by the United States Congress. It was founded to benefit those veterans who served during a wartime period as defined by Congress...

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
    Veterans of Foreign Wars
    The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a congressionally chartered war veterans organization in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VFW currently has 1.5 million members belonging to 7,644 posts, and is the largest American organization of combat...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.