South African Military History 

P.O. BOX 12926



THURSDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2020: - Cape Town remembers World War I – Owen Kinahan

Suburban municipalities from Claremont to Camps Bay were united into the Corporation of the City of Cape Town in 1913. The declaration of war in 1914 couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time for the new city challenged by water shortages and eager to fulfil its promises of a new and improved infrastructure for the tiny population of 150 000 souls.

The talk with over 100 illustrations is a snapshot of the city and how it was affected by the war; how and when it remembered those whose “names liveth forever more”. For the first time an integrated data base has been created for Cape Town’s Fallen. It includes those with a definite Cape Town connection – home address, school, parish, club place of employment, etc. It has almost 2000 names, about 25% of South Africa’s total losses.

It is also a richly illustrated inventory of memorials which have survived for a century. The context is described through the institutions, architects and artisans and the mire of propaganda and jingoism. Cape Town has a very good survival rate of monuments with two high profile exceptions which, hopefully, will be shamed into mending their neglect.

Owen Kinahan was born in Southern Rhodesia in 1955 and educated by Carmelites until emigrating to Windhoek and surviving ChristelikeNasionaleOnderwys.

He majored in history and African history at UCT in 1976 and qualified as a teacher, returning to Swakopmund for 4 years. He was appointed Alumni Officer at UCT and then established his own PR and fundraising consultancy in 1982.

In 1996 he was elected to Cape Town City Council and served the City for the next 22 years. Totally immersed in urban conservation projects and the museum world for nearly 40 years, he has held executive positions in many organisations including the UCT Council, Josephine Mill Museum, SA Museums Association, Historical Society of Cape Town, the Owl Club, SA Breweries CSI Trust, St Petr’s Garden of Remembrance Trust, UCT Irma Stern Museum and many others.

His contributions have been recognised by the Cape Times Centenary Medal, the Molteno Gold Medal of the Cape Tercentenary Foundation for Lifetime Achievement and ranked as an Alderman of the City of Cape Town.

Happily retired and as busy as ever he is currently researching Cape Town in World War I for publication in 2020.

Carl Burger (Chairman)
082 333 2706

South African Military History Society /