Errol Back-Cunningham returned on March 10th for a second ZOOM lecture, this time on the subject of The South African Motorcyclist Corps and the diary of Alan Stuart-Findlay, Platoon 8, Potchefstroom, 1916-1918.
Having given a broad background sketch of the start of WWI, he outlined the start of the SA Motor Cycle Corps which was formed in Jan 1916: there was an HQ group, 8 platoons each with a mechanic; pay was good: 5s 6d a day.
General Smuts had bought 400 BSA motorcycles (557cc, 4.5hp!), which proved totally unsuitable for bush warfare in German East Africa. For example, the magneto was exposed to water and mud so it was frequently useless. Their starter and lighting systems were primitive - but then it waspre-1920 and motorcycles had along way to go. Comparable performance would be that of a modern day 50cc motorcycle - and then they were loaded with the rider and all his kit on top!
His maps of the area showed vividly the many 50km [30 mile] dashes which they had to make chasing - or being chased by - von Lettow-Vorbeck's troops. Taking into account the problems which were set out in Stuart-Findlay's diary it was no surprise that the latter applied for a transfer to the Infantry.
The lecture is available in the Zoom library in two parts on the website.
MEMBERS OF ALL BRANCHES CONTINUE TO BE
WELCOME TO ATTEND ALL ZOOM MEETINGS
Let email@example.com know in order to be sent an invitation to the next ZOOM meeting.
Our next zoom lecture will be on Thursday 21st April starting at 19h30
NB THIRD Thursday because of Easter!
Speaker: Kathie Satchwell
Subject: Margaret Smith Dewar - WWI Nurse in South Africa, France, Brighton and Macedonia.
Eastern Cape Branch (SAMHSEC)
Next zoominar will be on Monday 11 April 2022 starting at 19h30
Speaker: Adam Ranger
Subject: Biodiversity Management in present and post-conflict areas.
Becoming Zoominati and enjoying Military History Society
meeting and talks from your own home.
Approximately 200 of our members receive announcements of forthcoming meetings and are invited to join the meetings. We wish to encourage more of those who are missing out to become involved.
All you need is a computer, OR A CELLPHONE, and a data connection and you can become part of the meetings. You will need to contact the Society to be added to the invite list and then you are all fitted out. You then click on the link in the invitation just before the meeting starts and it will hook you up to join the meetings.
A beneficial side-effect of becoming Zoominati is that with your new found knowledge and experience, you can start Zooming with friends and family all over the world using the same facilities.
Meeting at St Cyprians Church Hall in Umbilo, Durban, from 14h00 for 14h30 on Saturday 9th April will start with the AGM followed by Prof Donal McCracken of UKZN, who will present on Major General Sir John Ardagh (1840- 1907), director of the British War Office's Department of Military Intelligence during the Anglo-Boer War.
JUNE 2022 MILITARY HISTORY JOURNAL
DECEMBER 2022 MILITARY HISTORY JOURNAL
SHARE YOUR INTERESTING PASSION!
TOUR OF SITES OF MILITARY INTEREST IN ISRAEL
1948/9 BERLIN AIRLIFT
PLANNED MEMORIAL RIDE IN 2023
Thomas Kreisig - COVE e-mailed the Society from Northern Germany as follows:
"As an ambassador of the South African charity Qhubeka, I am doing some fund-raising activities in Germany. Apart from some typical, rather minor things like group rides, etc., I am planning something bigger in 2023.
On October, 15th (the 75th anniversary), I want to start a group ride from the airfield Luebeck to the airfield in Gatow (Berlin) to honor the 50 members of the SAAF, joining the air lift that day in 1948. My goal is: a group of at least 50 to join the 300+ km ride from Luebeck to Gatow, raise funds for at least 50 Qhubeka bicycles and have a ceremony in Gatow to honor the SAAF crew.
Right now, there is an agreement, that having one (or more) DC-3/Dakota flying again from Luebeck to Gatow would be fantastic. It is difficult, requires some special permits - but it seems possible, at least in theory as of today. Additionally, because we realised that there is not that much information about the SAAF involvement available, creating a documentation should be targeted, too.
I am interested in information about participants, their descendants, and any other interesting facts which would add to this story and celebration.
Branch contact details
Eastern Cape details contact Malcolm Kinghorn 041-373-4469 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gauteng details contact Joan Marsh 010-237-0676 email@example.com
KwaZulu-Natal details contact Charles Whiteing 082-555-4689 firstname.lastname@example.org
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