The Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH) from the Long Tom Shellhole in Tzaneen hosted the Delville Wood Day Parade on Sunday morning the 14th of July in honour of those that have fought in this epic World War 1 battle which was a significant part of South African history.
The Parade entailed a wreath laying ceremony at the Round Table’s club in Circle Drive in Tzaneen. Attendance from the public and especially descendants of family members that were part of this tragic battle attended this parade.
The Memorable Order of Tin Hats or the MOTH as it is more popularly known is an ex-serviceman’s organisation. It was founded in Durban in May 1927 by Charles Alfred Evenden who was born in London.
As a young man he immigrated to Australia and served with the Australian forces in Gallipoli during World War I where he was wounded and evacuated to England. After returning to Australia, he was discharged from the army.
In 1927 he saw a war film that included an impressive scene of marching troops wearing tin hats, and muddy uniforms all carrying trench equipment. Looking at the scene, it made him wonder what had become of his comrades in the army, where they were and what they were doing.
This line of thought inspired a cartoon on forgetfulness of a comradeship that had apparently ceased to exist. From this one idea other ideas came to the fore, then discussions with colleagues and friends and, eventually, on the 7th of May 1927 the founding of an ex-serviceman’s organisation known as the Memorable Order of Tin Hats or simply MOTH originated.
The Order is added on concord and harmony and operates independently of race, religion or politics in the same way as this front line service, but with full democracy at heart.
For any enquiries about the MOTH’s in Tzaneen persons can contact Alan Odendaal (083 660 2472) or John Anderton (072 797 8195).