Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Springbok Legion

3 December 1941

In December 1941, the South African Springbok Legion arose, initiated by ex-servicemen, not out of ideological imperative, but due to more material concerns. Started as a type of soldiers' trade union, it negotiated salary and pension increases for soldiers and aiding with demobilization. The Legion also aided returning soldiers to find work and housing. Over time the Springbok Legion was dominated by the Communist Party. It was open to all races, but few black servicemen signed up. In October 1944, 98 new black members were counted.

Read more? Suryakanthie Chetty, 'Race, Gender and Liberalism in the Union Defence Force, 1939-1945' in: The World in World Wars (Leiden 2010)