South African Military History Society

Tel (+27)(0)10-237-0676 Fax (+27)(0)86-617-8002


July 9th Lecture ZOOMEETING

AL du Pisani talking about "Military History - one heavy metal song at a time" would have been even better if he had been able to play us the songs of which he spoke. ZOOM has to use whatever bandwidth our individual homes are able to make available for the images ... if you watch even on international TV you sometimes get the sound but the person's lips do not move. If you try videos the amount of data is simply too great - visual and audio - so that we have yet to succeed in transmitting any made videos or high quality recordings.

So while he told us about the Swedish band, Sabaton, and how their passion for accurate historic storytelling led to several albums being recorded and released to general acclaim (and commercial success) he was unable to play any of their music for us. He highlighted three particular songs and separately told us where these could be accessed - here the information is:

Music Videos -
Bismarck (narrative video):
Seven Pillars of Wisdom (narrative video):
In Flanders Fields (lyric video):
Angels Calling (recording video):

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Sadly, SAMHSEC - Eastern Cape Branch - had its ZOOMEETING CANCELLED while under way on Monday 13th July when unscheduled Eskom load-shedding took away the power and Barbara Ann Kinghorn was unable to tell us more about "Knit your bit - patriotic knitting". The meeting had to be postponed.

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Ever willing to innovate, and following the disappointment of their power outage, on the last Monday of July SAMHSEC hosted a social gathering which was attended by 34 participants including the Fullers from KZN and Chairman David Scholtz from Johannesburg amongst others as well as Honey Prado in Doha, Qatar.

Snacks, drinks, slippers all optional - RPC being Request the Pleasure of your Company

Word is spreading - maybe slowly, but it IS spreading!

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SAMHSEC - Eastern Cape Branch

will hold its next ZOOMEETING on TUESDAY 11th August

when Barbara Ann Kinghorn will tell us more about "Knit your bit - patriotic knitting" This presentation should be able to go ahead - so far no power cuts have been scheduled. Details will be sent to ZOOMINATI closer to the date.

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Johannesburg's next ZOOMeeting

scheduled for Thursday 13th August will be by
Martin Plaut, talking from the UK on 'The impact of the 1909/10 Union discussions on South Africa's entry into WW1'.

He will discuss how the South African franchise was shaped by the imminence of the First World War when the Union of South Africa was formed. The Imperial Defence Conference in 1909 overshadowed the discussions on the Union, when the MP's arrived in London (including Smuts and Botha) to present their case Britain had little option but to accept their demands, and endorse the Union Constitution unamended, since they needed South Africa's support in the coming conflict.

Details of the lectures will be sent to all on the master list as usual.

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New to Zoom?

Training sessions are not mandatory but are to help those members who are unfamiliar with this new way of accessing the Society's talks while under Covid-19 look-down.

Johannesburg has had five training sessions so far and will hold more sessions as requested. If you would like to attend a training session please e-mail or

In all cases when you attend a Zoom meeting you need an invitation from the host. Every meeting has its own ID and password. If you are already on SAMHSEC or JNB's lists, you will be sent this information. We are creating a master list of members who have expressed interest, to whom notices of all future Zoom lectures will be sent.

To be added to this existing master list, if you have not yet already done so by e-mail, please e-mail or

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Members with an interesting presentation on any aspect of military history are sought for ZOOMEETINGS. A nominal 20 minute lecture supported by Power Point or similar slides, but not video, is required.

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War Ditty Query

Don Henning in the UK asks:
A relative of mine, born in the 1940s, remembers her grandfather reciting a ditty to her of which she can remember the following:
"Been in the army long sir? - Rather, 50 odd years or more
Seen any bloodshed? - Rather, In the great Zulu war"
That's what she remembers and would love to trace the whole piece. Does it ring any bells among any of your members? A long shot (no pun intended).

Joan has his e-mail details if anybody can help.

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Intra-Provincial visits

You lucky KZN people can at least visit battlefields again - here is an e-mail from a fellow member:
"Being a tourist guide and a member of the history society for many years can I ask you If you would not mind sharing with all the members my information about my business Chez Nous B&B and my tour guiding."
Elisabeth Durham / Owner & Manager
Chez Nous Bed & Breakfast +Self-catering
Tel/fax: 034 212 1014 Cell: 072 779 5949 web:

Her French is going to get rusty without overseas visitors so if you need practice ...

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Branch contact details

For Cape Town details contact Carl Burger 082 333 2706
For Eastern Cape details contact Malcolm Kinghorn 041-373-4469
For Gauteng details contact Joan Marsh 010-237-0676
For KwaZulu-Natal details contact Roy Bowman 031 564 4669

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