South African Military History Society

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


In wishing all members a happy healthy and prosperous 2023 let's start off with finding out about the present state of the Society. The Cape Town branch was unable to find a committee of paid- up members willing to lead the branch. As a consequence the branch has been discontinued - until a committee can be formed. In the meantime SAMHSEC, the Eastern Cape Branch, will adopt the Cape Town members so that they continue to get branch news as well as this newsletter. KZN is carrying on with their meetings on the second Saturday afternoon at the St Cyprians Church Hall, Umbilo Road in Durban.

Zoominars will continue, one hosted by Johannesburg on the third Thursday (January) and second Thursday (rest of year) of each month while Eastern Cape will hold its formal lecture on the second Monday and its less formal 'request the pleasure of your company' event on the last Monday of each month. Invoices will continue to be sent out from Johannesburg, which will also handle the administration of the Society's Military History Journal.


Military History Journal December 2022 Volume 19 No 5

This issue is for members who were paid up in 2022.

Please indicate whether you would like your Dec 2022 Journal to be sent to you
1. by pdf (the only option at present for our overseas members)
2. by courier to a nearby hub (impractical in small towns or isolated members)
3. by the SA post office

Please would members available to serve as hubs also contact Joan by e-mail asap.

Joan would prefer to courier the Journals for 5 or more members to a local hub, from which the other members will collect them, rather than trust the SA Post Office. BUT the members must please remember to collect from their nominated hub. It is discourteous to say the least for someone to still have June Journals waiting for collection at this stage.

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Past ZOOMeeting - Hosted by Johannesburg

Wim Myburgh regaled the Zoominar on 13 December with his lecture WWII Dauntless Girls of South African Coastal Defense Artillery Specialists [ASWAAS] and Special Signal Services [SSS].

He had written an article which appeared in the June 2022 Military History Journal and this lecture further expanded on the live research topic. As background he wrote:
"In just three days enemy activity sunk 14 ships passing the Cape. As part of efforts to control this threat, almost 1000 young women were recruited and trained to be part of the teams that manned the Coastal Batteries that protected South Africa and the shipping routes around the country, as well as being part of the teams that operated the radar systems and the plotting rooms for monitoring the sea routes.

Initially the programs were started as an evaluation exercise but proved so successful that the program was expanded.

All participants were sworn to secrecy and many have never discussed their part in the program.

The speaker has researched the role, the training and the experiences of these women. Whereas the Society has had lectures in the past on the technical developments of radar, this talk gives the human interaction aspects of those who operated the equipment."

By it's very nature this extremely secretive part of the war effort is unknown to most South Africans. Wim - his D.Phil is in Psychology - is trying to meet or speak to the very few remaining women who served in either of these - or their families, because many of the participants held true to their oath of secrecy and never divulged details of their war service.

He has published a book on his research so far, but stressed that this is an ongoing research project - for more information or to order his book, you can get his contact details from Joan via the letterhead address.

The recording of his lecture is well worth visiting on the Society's website in the ZOOM video library.

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Let know in order to be sent an invitation to the next ZOOMinar

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Subscriptions for 2023
(repeated from December)

In light of the financial pressure most of us are under at present there will not be an increase in subscriptions for 2023:

Overseas membership remains at $37 (via PayPal)

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Johannesburg Branch

Thursday 19th January 2023 at 19h30 and then 20h15 - NB THIRD Thursday

Speaker: Robin Smith

Subject: General Douglas MacArthur relieved as UN Commanding General in Korea, April 1951

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Eastern Cape Branch (SAMHSEC)

Monday 9th January 19h30 and then 20h15

Speaker: John Adeney of Perth, Western Australia

Subject: The Battle of Western Australian Hill near Colesberg on 9 February 1900.

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Details of the SAMHSEC January "RPC" will be circulated later in the month

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Become a Zoominatus/a and enjoy Military History Society
meeting and talks in 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. We hold three ZOOMinars a month.

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.

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Eastern Cape details contact    Malcolm Kinghorn    041-373-4469

Gauteng details contact    Joan Marsh     010-237-0676

KwaZulu-Natal details contact    Prof Phil Everitt    084-437-1636

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