South African Military History Society

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


June 25th Lecture ZOOMEETING

Anne Samson's lecture about Kitchener's Ladies drew a record 49 attendees who were treated to a well-illustrated narrative focusing on the women who had influenced the famous soldier. Question time once more included critical comments which Dr Samson fielded with courtesy and understanding. We even had a member in Doha, Qatar, 'attending' and of course Anne was in her UK home delivering the talk.

As with the other ZOOM lectures this is now accessible on the web-site in the Zoom Library.

Anne's book on Kitchener is now available from - which some of you might recognise as being the e-mail of Johan van den Berg, recently retired Chairman of the Society's Cape Town Branch. This should enable you to buy it without any forex hassles.

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And now for something completely different!

at 19h30 on Thursday 9th July will have AL du Pisani talking about
"Military History - one heavy metal song at a time"

His lecture is about the popular Swedish band Sabaton, who sing about war and heroes and other things relating to military history.

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As an aside

Keeping to a musical theme, members might be interested in how former Chairman Jan-Willem Hoorweg has been keeping out of mischief recently. These two pieces have been played by separated bassoonists from all over the world, collaborating to show how it IS possible to even make beautiful music during a Covid-19 look-down ... enjoy! - "Bassoon-Saloon #7 Johann Sebastian Bach Movement from the Cantata 117" - "Bassoon Saloon #8 "Echte Freunde""

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SAMHSEC - Eastern Cape Branch

will hold its next ZOOMEETING on Monday 13th July
when Barbara Ann Kinghorn will tell us more about
"Knit your bit - patriotic knitting"

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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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I am surprised that not a single member seems able to comment on the e-mailed query which appeared in last month's newsletter - so here it is again, to jog your memories

Use of Bicycles in War

Hin Oey in the Netherlands asks MEMBERS as follows:
"I have done genealogical research concerning the Kleinenberg family. A family member emigrated from the Netherlands to SA in 1852. I have traced the family and came across a number of details. One of these details is a 1894 newspaper item mentioning a J. Kleinenberg as being the first military dispatch cyclist (in the world?). This most likely refers to Johny (Johannes) Kleinenberg (son of the immigrant). I even have pictures of this Johny with a bike referring to the 1898 (?) Magato campaign. One of these is even of interest from a photographic point of view being a (rare) Exton Carte-de-Visite. With whom could I discuss early military cyclists in more detail.?"

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120th Anniversary of the Siege of Elands River

Presuming we will be allowed to cross provincial borders, a trip to Swartruggens might prove a welcome outing:
Saturday 15 August will see the 120th Anniversary of the Siege of Elands River being observed at the Animal Monument & Wall of Remembrance on the terrain of the Elands River Museum (S 25 39' 20.4" & E 26 41' 47.9").

Wreaths will be laid in remembrance of British, Australian, Boer and Black participants. Kindly let the organisers know before 1 August 2020 if you will attend as it is important that they know the number of people in attendance for catering purposes. The event costs R100 a head.

Peet Coetzee 0637340936 (Curator: Elands River Museum)

Maarten Stols 0825568861 (Chairman: 120th Anniversary Committee)

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During this lock-down several publishers have sent details of new releases which might be of interest to members. This is NOT an endorsement, simply a mention:

Al J Venter & Friends - COMBAT - South Africa at War Along the Angolan Border

"A seminal work by the only man who has been covering conflict in Africa for 60 years. A compilation of fascinating accounts about South Africans at war from WWII to Angola, to Sierra Leone and Somalia. Told, just like it was by the 'Main Manne' and 'The Grunts', the 'Flyers' the 'Paras', the 'Recces', the 'Sailors' and the 'Troopies'.

Off the killing fields, Venter's book also deals in detail with how South Africa secretly developed and built six atomic bombs and how, with Israeli help, South Africa developed a super-sophisticated medium-range ballistic missile programme, parts of which were later adopted for Israel's Jericho missile."

PRICE: R375.00
Orders: Dominique 083 251 3359

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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 four 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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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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