South African Military History Society


Newsletter / Nuusbrief 206
November 2021


“The Elizabeth Salt Saga 1819-2021: Myth and Reality” presented by Pat Irwin to SAMHSEC’S 8 October 2021 meeting examined the relationship between what has been claimed for Elizabeth Salt and what might actually have taken place. The core of the myth is of a woman, the wife of one of the British soldiers, carrying ammunition through amaXhosa lines during the Battle of Graham’s Town in April 1819. This belief was opened to scrutiny based on verifiable evidence.

Pat’s presentation is in the SAMHS Zoom library, see

Malcolm Kinghorn spoke about “Virtual Remembrance Ceremonies” during SAMHSEC’s RPC on 25 October 2021. The COVID pandemic caused some remembrance ceremonies to be conducted virtually, while others were put on hold. Virtual remembrance ceremonies were new to us, but the concept is not. Royal Navy divers have replaced the White Ensign on the wreck of the battleship HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow on 14 October every year since the ship was sunk by a German submarine on 14 October 1939 with the loss of more than 800 lives. The dive is coordinated with Royal Oak Association ceremonies in other parts of the country, for which the dive is a virtual event.

Malcolm’s talk is available via this link: ring

Jaco Pretorius’ presentation to SAMHSEC’s RPC on 25 October 2021 was on the book “The Bomber Mafia” by Malcolm Gladwell on the development of the American doctrine for daylight precision high-altitude strategic bombing.

November 2021 meetings

8 November 2021

Peter Sutcliffe is to talk on “Operation Splinter – Rhodesian Counter Insurgency Operations on Lake Kariba and the Zambezi River”.

20 November 2021

SAMHSEC’s field trip to the Nanaga area on Saturday 20 November 2021 is to focus on the Potgieter Trekboer family, the 4th Frontier War, the Newcombe 1820 Settler family and the memorial plaques in the Nanaga Methodist Church for congregation members who died in both World Wars.

If you are interested in joining the field trip, please contact Malcolm on before 5 November 2021.

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