South African Military History Society

Tel (+27)(0)10-237-0675 Fax (+27)(0)86-617-8002


Past ZOOMeetings

Johannesburg did not host any Zoomeeting in June although SAMHSEC managed both their usual Zoominars. Recordings are in the Video library on the web-site as usual.

The KZN branch hosted its first ROOM gathering in May with the second one having to be postponed due to the Covid-19 Delta variant restrictions.

The Cape Town branch is still in mothballs and new members joining from the Western Cape are being 'lent' to SAMHSEC at this stage so they at least receive newsletters and invitations to the Zoominars.

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Just let know in order to be sent an invitation to a ZOOM meeting. Contact the branch to confirm ROOM meetings while we are under Covid-19 restrictions.

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Johannesburg Branch

Next scheduled ZOOM lecture will be on Thursday 8 July at 19h30

Claudia Frattini will be talking about The Irredeemables: A brief story of Zonderwater Italian POW Camp and the prisoners of Special Cage (Block 8).
The presentation will touch on areas of her PhD research into the Fascist camp at Zonderwater, especially on the story of a manuscript from the Fascist Camp at Zonderwater.

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Eastern Cape Branch (SAMHSEC)

Next zoominar will be on Monday 12th July

Speaker: Robin Smith.
Subject: "The Historiography of Warfare with particular reference to the Anglo Boer War"

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Next RPC (request the pleasure of your company) will be on Monday 26 July 2021 at 1930 South African time. (First session)

Speaker: Stefan Szewczuk Subject: "Polish children in Oudtshoorn in 1943".

and at 20h15 for the second session:

Speaker: Pat Irwin Subject: "Women in War".

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KwaZulu-Natal Branch

In abeyance under the latest Covid-19 restrictions

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Members with an interesting presentation on any aspect of military history are sought for ZOOMEETINGS. A nominal 30 minute lecture supported by Power Point or similar slides, but not video, is required

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INFORMATION WANTED - Pretoria and Benoni Burials

Dr Anne Samson e-mailed:The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is looking for relatives of WW1 deaths buried in Pretoria and Benoni cemeteries. They seem to be refurbishing some headstones

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South Africans buried at Arlington National Cemetery in the USA

Dr Hendey of our KZN branch sent a copy of an interesting article published in an expats web-zine called Boerewors Express which tells of 3 South African born people buried in the military cemetery in Washington. The men were:

Lieutenant Victor POTGIETER who died September 1944 in an air crash while assisting to parachute supplies to Yugoslav partisans in Greece from Brindisi in Italy. All casualties were buried in a common grave in Greece, reburied a year later in Athens and taken to Arlington for burial in 1951. The Americans presumed he was British and only later did his family find out his fate. SA diplomats started honouring his grave in 1993.

The second burial is that of SA born Athelstan Frederick SPILHAUS born 1911 in SA died as a US citizen in 1998. He was a scientist, a wartime meteorologist, an inventor, writer of 11 books and over 300 articles. He was a research assistant at MIT from 1934 to 1935, and then became Assistant Director of Technical Services for the Union of South Africa Defence Force until 1936. By a special Act of Congress in 1943, he became a temporary officer in the US Army Air Corps. In 1947, he served as meteorological advisor for the Union of South Africa. He became an American citizen in 1946. In 1944 and 1945 he ran weather stations in northern China, living in caves near Mao Tse-Tung's headquarters behind Japanese lines, supplying weather reports critical to US bombers out of Guam and Saipan.

The third South African buried at Arlington National Cemetery was PFC Christopher Warren LOTTER. He was born on 16 March 1988 in George, South Africa. He died on 31 December 2008, at 20 years of age. He died in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when he was shot by a sniper in Tikrit while standing in the gunner's hatch of an armored vehicle while helping to secure an area around the city's water plant at the Khadasia General Hospital. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

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Military History Journal.

The June 2021 issue is almost ready to go to the printers.

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Branch contact details

Cape Town details contact    Carl Burger     082 333 2706

Eastern Cape details contact    Malcolm Kinghorn    041-373-4469

Gauteng details contact    Joan Marsh     010-237-0676

KwaZulu-Natal details contact    Charles Whiteing     082-555-4689

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