A Richmond councillor has been honoured at a parade remembering the contribution of the South African Cape Corps battalion during the First World War.

Cllr Margaret Buter was guest of honour at the inaugural Battle of Square Hill Parade on September 23, which was a precursor to the 2018 centenary of the Battle when the battalion helped the Allies- led by General Allenby- break through to Damascus and knock the Ottoman Empire out of the War.

Cllr Buter told the England branch of the South African Legion, who hosted the ceremony, of her personal affinity with the memorial- she originally comes from Zambia where her grandfather served with the King’s African Rifles and received two medals.

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His name is on the Cenotaph in Malawi, and his granddaughter made her speech beside Richmond South African Cenotaph during the parade.

Cllr Buter said it was “an honour” to be called on to be the guest of honour.

She said: “When the salute of honour was given for me, I was overwhelmed and knew that this was a historical moment here in Britain.

“We had all come to honour and remember the men and women who gave of themselves at such a battle so that we can enjoy freedom, liberty and peace.”

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At the event, South African Legion England Branch Chairman, Lgr Claudio Chistè, said: “It was an honour to be able to welcome Councillor Margaret Buter of the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, as well as so many representatives of other veterans’ organisations.

“As next year marks the centenary of the battle, we are already preparing to grow this annual event into one with full diplomatic and military representation.

“We also hope to reach out to descendants of those who fought and fell at the Battle of Square Hill, so watch this space.”

The parade was preceded by a ceremony presided over by the Rev John McCabe in the cemetery chapel to dedicate the new flags of the SA Legion England Branch.

South African Legionnaires were then joined in the parade and Act of Remembrance by representatives of the Royal British Legion (SA Branch), Royal British Legion (Gloucester), and M.O.T.H. (Gazala Shellhole).