History, Uniforms, Medals & Insignia

Rhodesia Prison Service Band

The origins of the R.P.S. Band are obscure, although the formation took place around 1970. It appears that a full set of brand new military band equipment of East European (possibly Czech) manufacture had been acquired somehow. This was of good quality, though of silver (chrome), not brass. It is possible that it had been imported for some other body.

Director of Prisons, Frank Patch somehow got on to the trail of retired BSAP bandmaster, Ken Barnfield and after a while he was attested into the Prison Service. A brilliant and highly talented man, nobody knew music like he did and there was no better bandmaster around. He came with a list of pre-conditions, which included the right to form the band as he wished, to train it in the manner he wanted and more importantly to be allowed to pick whoever he wished from the warder ranks for training as musicians. A bemused Frank Patch and Alan Simpson, then Assistant Secretary to Prison HQ, went along with this. It would appear that he brought along one or two of the band members from the B.S.A. Police Band. Another insistence was that he would not take in anyone who had a musical background. Within a year he had formed a marching band, based at Chikurubi. It was remarkably good and its first public appearance was at the drumhead service in 1971, where the new flag was dedicated, followed by a march past.

See uniform section for details of band uniform.

RPS Band

Flag Dedication, Chikurubi 1971 – Supt. Brian Ruff (Parade Commander), to the left is
Johnny Walker Head of the Dog Section, and to the right Ken Barnfield with the band. 
– Photo Brian Ruff




Copyright © Wayne M. Kennerley 2018