South African Military History Society




Since the beginning of the year the Society has had two meetings - one in February and one in March. In February Captain J.A. Ball provided some very interesting information on South Africa's achievements in the field of P.O.W. administration during World War II.

On 2nd March the Society held the Annual General Meeting at which the old committee was re-elected en bloc to serve until 1968.

Dr. J. Ploeger (Military Historian from Defence H.Q.) read a paper, copies of which are available from the secretary.

Copies of the Chairman's Report and the Financial Statement are appended.
From the Chairman's report arises one important item of information; our regular publication.We have at present enough material to fill one or two edition. This brings us to a point that has been raised, namely interest sections. In order to get the maximum activity and contributions for our journal, we need to have groups of people working together on subjects such as badges, medals, firearms, etc. Suggestions are most welcome and we would be pleased to hear from those who are prepared to undertake the organisation of any such section.
More copies of our Rules are now available and those members who have not yet obtained theirs can expect them in the post in the near future.

Majoor Kotzé het goedgunstiglik die Vereniging se Reëls uit die Engels vertaal en afskrifte sal binnekort gereed wees vir verspreiding.
'n Voorstel vir die jaarlikse aanbieding vir 'n pry s, of pryse, is ontvang vir die beste stuk navorsingswerk wat aangebied word vir publikasie in die tydskrif. Verdere besonderhede is nog nie bekend nie en die saak moet nog bespreek word. Ons sal egter bly wees om lede se voorstelle in hierdie verband te ontvang.



Met die viering van sy 75ste bestaansjaar gedurende 3 tot 10 Oktober 1966 het Bothaville - in die Vrystaat op paslike wyse sy plaaslike kommando vereer deur ereburgerskap daaraan toe te ken. Die bevelvoerder van die kommando is kommandant F. C. van der Merwe. Ere-burgerskap is reeds aan verskeie ander kommandos toegeken en dit sal van nou af seker meer gereeld gebeur dat ons lees van die een of ander kommando aan wie hierdie eer toegeken word.


The following information is obtained from the book "Springbok Victory" by Carel Birkby and may be of interest to our badge collectors.


During the Second World War this was the smallest fighting unit in the British Empire. It consisted of only eighteen selected volunteers.
The Commanding Officer of this unique unit was Captain E. Mc K. Nicholl and he had as his Second-in-Command Corporal A. Dugand. The squadron was divided into four sections, each consisting of a lance-corporal and three troopers.
The K.I.S. was originally founded by Major J.J. Drought and on formation consisted of 85 men. It was later disbanded, the troopers being absorbed into other units.
Captain Nicholl advocated that reformed on a small scale to act as special scouts and the unit again came into being.
These men were from all walks of life and all parts of Africa and were of the types who make frontiersmen. They could ride, knew animals, were at home in tough country and ready to live hard and dangerously.
Their dress consisted of slouch hats, khaki bush shirts and shorts or slacks. The unit had a badge of which only one hundred were struck. It was not worn while on patrol. It was made up of a laurel wreath surmounted by the letter "D" - for Droughts - enclosing a diagrammatic representation of the cardinal points of the compass, with the motto of the unit below it, "Quod Age Agis" - Do what has to be done."
Due to the small number of badges that were struck, this is surely a great prize for collector's of regimental insignia. Further information on this interesting unit would be welcomed by the secretary.



We welcome the following new members:-
Mr. E.S. Polansky, Illovo; Johannesburg. - Military history.
Major A.C.L. Tyrrell, Craighall Park, Johannesburg. - Military history.
Dr. I. Kaplan Johannesburg. - Military history.
Mr. M.C.I. Salisbury, Rhodesia. - Military miniatures, uniforms and history.
Mr. D.R. Forsyth, Siemend, Johannesburg. Military history and medals.
Mr. H. Kelly; Plumstead, Cape Town.- R.A.F. and Commonwealth air forces, medals, coins and relevant literature.
In our Newsletter No. 2 we mentioned that the Hermannsburg Cadet Corps was armed with the Terry Carbine. One of our members, Mr J.E. Davis has given us the following information on the firearm and one is to be seen in the S.A. National War Museum.


In 1855 the British Army was desirous of adopting a breech-loading carbine for cavalry use. For years this branch of the service was armed with ineffectual pistols and muzzle loading weapons, difficult to load on horseback and there always being the chance of lost or bent ramrods.
Many different systems were presented for tria1, the most well known being the Leetch's, Sharp's, Green's, Terry's, Westley Richard's, Burton's, and Prince's. All of these worked but were found to be unfit for military use.
The field was narrowed down to the Terry's, Westley Richard's and the Sharp's, all of which were adopted at various times.
The Terry carbine was manufactured from 1856 by Messrs. Callisher and Terry of Birmingham and London. This gun, which incidentally was the first bolt-action rifle used in the British Army, was officially adopted in March, 1861.
The bolt was operated by a hinged handle, fitted at its rear end, which was pulled outwards to the right and then back. The cartridge was self contained except for the percussion cap which was placed on the nipple and fired as in a normal muzzle loader. The cartridge was made of nitrated paper and contained a greased felt wad behind the powder charge and attached to the base. On firing the wad remained behind in the breech, when the next round was loaded the wad was then pushed up into the chamber. When this round was fired the wad then was pushed out in front of the bullet cleaning and lubricating the barrel. The same sort of cartridge was used in the Westley Richards Monkey-Tail rifle.
The calibre of the gun was 0.568 in., with five groove rifling, taking a Metford-Pritchett bullet of 530 gr. and was propelled by two drams of powder.
Not all of the Terry guns were carbines and not all of them were for military issue. Some very fine sporting rifles were made, of many different barrel lengths. Many years ago in London the author saw a very nice pistol using the above system, unfortunately these are few and far between and very seldom seen.


Die sekretaris stel belang in u adresverandering - verskaf dit aan hom voordat u verhuis.


"The man who commands efficiently must have obeyed others in the past, and the man who obeys dutifully is worthy of being some day a commander." Cicero.


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