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About Colonel Don Grainger

Don Grainger was a remarkable man in many ways. Having chosen to live and work in the burgeoning country of Southern Rhodesia following the termination of the Second World War, he took up the career of a senior officer in the Rhodesian Army.

In 1953, in the newly established Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Major D. H. Grainger became the first Staff Officer (Signals) at Army HQ.

The Rhodesia and Nyasaland Corps of Signals (RN Sigs) came into being in February 1957, and Lieutenant Colonel Grainger became the first Director, and served in that post until 1963.

He then commanded 3 Brigade on its formation in 1967 before retiring in 1971 to become the first and only Honorary Colonel RhSigs.

He was well known throughout Southern Africa for his book Don’t Die in the Bundu.

He was also an outstanding humanitarian whose achievements were recognised world-wide culminating with the appointment by Her Majesty The Queen as one of the eleven Grand Bailiffs of the Order of St John.

He received Knighthoods in four Orders of Chivalry, and under his leadership the Orders implemented numerous projects in Zimbabwe.  With respect to these projects he was a tireless fundraiser. To perpetuate his memory ‘The Don Grainger Memorial Trust’ was established in 2000 for the promotion and implementation of charitable projects.

He was appointed as Minister Plenipotentiary for the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, and accredited by the Government of Zimbabwe in 1995, a diplomatic appointment which he held until his death.

He was a renowned achiever in sport, especially in Rugby, Water Polo and Swimming.

He loved animals and the Zimbabwean bush, where he spent much time throughout his life.

At the time of his death he was married to Ines who has continued his charitable work in the country.


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