South African Military History Society

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


Since the start of the Covid-19 lock-down there have only been e-mailed newsletters, none have been posted. Where members have chosen to receive postal newsletters but have let Joan have their e-mail addresses they will be able to receive these until the lock-down is over.

Past newsletters have been added to the web-site archive for all branches.

June 11th Lecture ZOOMEETING

This, Johannesburg's first Zoom hosting, was attended by 23 participants from all over SA and the UK.

Society member Gil Jacobs gave a shortened version of his June 2017 presentation "The Hydrogen Bomb - Peace or Annihilation?"

Gil's lecture recording will soon be included in the Zoom library on the Society web-site.

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Dr Anne Samson will be talking about Kichener's Ladies on Thursday 25th June at 19h30 in Johannesburg's second hosting.

Anne was scheduled to be in South Africa at this time but is caught up in the global travel ban. Instead she will be delivering her talk from her home in the UK.

The meeting takes the form of two 40-minute sessions with a 5 minute comfort break between the sessions. (During the break you will need to log into the second session).

In order to attend you will need an invite to the Zoom session. ALL members who have already attended a MHS Zoom meeting, or have already asked to be on the invite list, WILL receive an invitation during this coming week.

Any other members who want to start joining in need to send a request to be put on the list to OR

Mike and Joan Marsh have in the past run training sessions for those wanting to get the feel of a Zoom meeting and get practice before the meeting. If you want to be part of a training session, send an email to to OR

Mike Marsh will be the host for the meeting.

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SAMHSEC - our Eastern Cape Branch -

held its scheduled June meeting via ZOOM on Monday 8th with Mac Alexander talking about the Military Service of the 1820 Settler Wiggill Family of which he is a direct descendant.

The hardships the settlers endured - repeatedly having to start from scratch after their homes had been burned down, their livestock stolen and their crops plundered - were highlighted.

The elder Wiggill was a carpenter who was saved by being able to turn to wagon making in addition to rebuilding houses and other buildings. There is also an interesting connection to the Mormon church - if you wish to find out more, the recording of his lecture is accessible via the website.

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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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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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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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