Lieutenant-Colonel R.F. Reid-Daly CLM, DMM, MBE


Verified Military
Sep 7, 2006
Lt.-Col R. Reid-Daly CLM, DMM, MBE

Founding Officer Commanding: Selous Scouts Regiment

Passed away on 9 August 2010

We regret to announce that Ron Reid-Daly former Commanding Officer of the Selous Scouts Regiment died on the 9th August 2010. He was at home in Simon’s Town with his family and died peacefully after slipping into a coma on Thursday.

Born in South Africa, Reid-Daly entered military service in 1951 and served with the C (Rhodesia) Squadron of the British Special Air Service (SAS) in operations against insurgents in Malaya. Rising to the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major in the Rhodesian Light Infantry, he was later commissioned and achieved the rank of Captain. He retired from the Army in 1973.

In late 1973 he was persuaded by General Peter Walls, then chief of the Rhodesian Army, to return to active duty in order to form the Selous Scouts, an elite special forces unit to combat the growing threat posed by nationalist guerrillas. Drawing on his Malayan experiences, Lieutenant Colonel Reid-Daly built up a skilled and highly professional regiment from scratch. Although the Selous Scouts achieved many of their military objectives, their unorthodox methods created tensions within the military hierarchy. Reid-Daly had several brushes with the Rhodesian authorities.

In 1979 rumours surfaced in Salisbury that that the Scouts were poaching ivory along the Zambezi valley. These were never proved and the colonel, as a well-known conservationist, dismissed the allegations as ridiculous.[1] In the process of defending himself against them Reid-Daly verbally attacked Major General John Hickman.[2] For this he was charged with insubordination and sentenced with a reprimand. Disgusted, he resigned as the commander of the Scouts in August, but continue to fight a legal battle against the judgement, proclaiming his innocence. This continued even after Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, and only stopped after Reid-Daly moved to South Africa in 1982.[3]

In South Africa, Reid-Daly became commander of the Transkei Defence Force, and later was the leader of the private security firm Security Services Transkei Pty Ltd. For the final decade of his life, he resided near Cape Town.

Deathsong For The Colonel

A slow, sad wind mourns your passing,

Winds its lonely notes around me

As I stand the last watch

By your grave.

The dry, brittle leaves stir, swirl slowly, round

Your last resting place.

Bare autumn trees quiver

In parodied grief

As if nature itself

Shares my loss.

The Colonel is gone.

And a corner of me

Which was filled

By his vibrant charisma

Is empty and dull and gray

And dead.

(Chas Lotter)

RIP Sir, we owe you a great debt.

Least We Forget.

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Sincere condolences to the SOF community on the loss of Lt Col Reid-Daly. May he rest in peace.
On a personal note, heartfelt sympathies to his nephew Tom. I last heard from him on August 8th and this is the first I've heard of this news. Deeply, deeply saddened.
Hi Everyone

Following the passing of Uncle Ron, we fully expect memorial services for him to be held around the country, as well as around the world. While Cape Town is not exactly central, certainly for South Africans, it was Uncle Ron’s expressed wish to have his main ‘Remembrance Ceremony’ there, where he enjoyed his final years. His family [at his request] will have a private cremation service.

So please see this Remembrance Ceremony as the key ‘last parade’ for Uncle Ron which will be a ‘semi-military’ ceremony. The Selous Scouts, Rhodesian Light Infantry and Special Air Service will be represented, along with several other Rhodesian and international regimental associations, plus many individuals, friends and family.

The Remembrance Ceremony for the late Ron Reid-Daly will take place as follows:-

Friday 20th August 2010
The Ballroom
Kelvin Grove Club,
144 Campground Road [corner Glasgow Rd],

Hope to see you in Cape Town.

Pamwe Chete,
Tom Thomas
Chairman, Selous Scouts Association
My copy of Pamwe Chete is one of my most prized possessions. RIP.