South African Military History Society



Dear Fellow Member,


It is with regret that we announce the death of one of our members, Brigadier Ross of Durban. He died in February of this year but we have only just been notified. To his family we extend our deepest sympathies.


It gave me wonderful satisfaction to see our hall filled to capacity for General Fraser's talk to us on Thursday the 13th November and I am sure he must have been delighted too. Over 110 members and visitors were present. His subject was topical and it was well received and I am sure that all those present went away with a lot to think about. I liked the questions asked and the answers given. The dialogue between questioners and General Fraser was very interesting.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the Society to have General Fraser to come over from Pretoria and to spare one of his very rare free evenings and we were very grateful for the gesture. Once again it was a sad loss for those who were unable to attend.

General Fraser is a "banana" soldier, having been born in Mooi River but matriculated at Jeppe High here in Johannesburg so we can lay part claim to him.

He joined the "Dukes", now the Cape Town Rifles and then went to the Permanent Force where he was commissioned in 1939. He also had the opportunity of qualifying as a pilot.

He saw service in the main theatres of the last war where South African soldiers fought and by that time he was with the gunners. After the war he had to revert to the rank of Major (from his wartime rank of Lt-Colonel) and has gradually climbed the ladder of success and is now General Officer Commanding Joint Combat Forces. He has twice been decorated in the past few years, firstly with the Southern Cross Medal and this year with the Star of South Africa, both richly deserved.

Heard of the Moron who ......
Moved to the City because he heard the country was at war?
Cut off his fingers so that he could play the piano by ear?
Took liquor to bed with him so that he could sleep tight?
Was so modest that he shut himself in the room to change his mind?
Went into the living-room because he thought he was going to die?

At our November evening we were also very pleased to have Colonel Lunn-Rockliffe, the newly-appointed British Military Attache.

You could get rich manufacturing crutches for lame excuses.

French actor Jules Berry had an original way of dealing with his creditors. When their letters became too insistent he wrote to them: "Dear Sir, Every month I put all my bills in a hat and pay the first one I draw out. This is to inform you that if you continue to annoy me you will not participate in next month's draw"


I told members that everybody had thoroughly enjoyed themselves and that I had written Letters of thanks to all those in Kimberley who had made our stay such a success and so enjoyable. A small gift of appreciation would soon be going to these same good people.
May I please remind all those who took black and white photos and coloured slides to please let the Society have a small number of these for its permanent record.

Heard of the Moron who .... Turned out the lights of the car before changing gear? Made his son in the Army three socks because he said he had grown another foot? Took milk and sugar to the pictures because there was a serial on? Put iodine in his pay because he had a cut in salary? Went to the football game because he thought a quarter-back was a money refund?


Please do not forget that our December meeting is early. It takes place on the 1st December, a Monday, in order to fit in with the speaker's request. This should be another very interesting evening. We are due to have Bryan Chilvers talk to us on "VIETNAM WAR". And he should know something about his subject as he went there himself to get "on the spot and first-hand information. Some of you may have already heard his many broadcasts. Please do not miss this evening. It will be well worthwhile.

A rest for everybody - we make a point of having no meeting during this month.

To be advised in the newsletter which will be sent out in January.

Light is a magic element. The great builders of the past used it masterfully to manipulate mood. The Egyptians cut the temple at Deir el Bahri from the rocks on the west bank of the Nile so the morning sun would stain it an awesome purplish-bloody red. The Byzantine architects covered their domes with glittering mosaics, so that light would reflect dizzyingly and dazzlingly, obscuring form with mystery.
The Gothic builders filtered light through coloured glass, to set it dappling and dancing on the grey stone. And the baroque masters, in their churches, focused the sun like a spotlight, to heighten the drama of their designs, and, in their palaces, let it in against a w~ll of mirrors, to flood the room with brilliance.


The next issue is with the printers and we are all eagerly awaiting its publication. Please do not forget to continue sending in articles, etc. for our Journal so that we do not run out of material.

Wife to husband: "What kind of pictures have you been taking that you have to develop them in the dark?"
Father, returning to family in car: "They said the camping grounds are full up so we'll just have to stay at some airconditioned motel, sleep in beds, and make do as best we can"


As mentioned in our October Newsletter we will accept these lists from members only for publication. Please send these lists from members to Mr. B.G. Simpkins, Johannesburg.


"FLINTLOCK PISTOLS" BY F. W. Wilkinson Published by Arms & Armour in their illustrated monograph series. Price in U.K. 30s.

"THE FORTRESS THAT NEVER WAS" by Rodney G.Minott A Nazi Alpine Myth. Published by Longmans S.A.(Pty)Ltd. Cape Town Price R2.7O

"THE WAR IN THE FAR EAST 1941-45" by Basil Collier Military History of our Time. published by W. H. Heineman, London Price in U.K. R1O.50

"NO CHARGE FOR DELIVERY" by C.W.L. de Souza (Books of Africa - R5.00) This is a strange and fascinating book which is little more than a collection of telegrams which were exchanged between the Boer leaders during the South African War.

"THE BLOODYBACKS" by Reginald Hargreaves Colonial Campaigns - Hart-Davis 55s.

"GREAT TRUE SPY ST0RIES" by Allen Dulles Redl and Co. - Ginger/Collins, 25s.

"1775 ANOTHER PART OF THE FIELD" by Ivor Noel Hume - American Revolt - Eyre and Spottiwoode, 55s.

"CLUBS TO CANNON" by Brigadier O.F.C. Hogg - And Greek Fire - Duckworth, 42s.

"IN THIS SIGN CONQUER" by Brigadier Sir John Smyth, V.C. The AZrmy's padres - Mowbrays, 63s

"THE MATABELE WAR" by Stafford Glass Unwanted conflict - Longmans, 45 s.

"AFRIKA KORPS" by Major K.J. Mackay - Macdonald. 8s 6d.

"U-BOAT: THE SECRET MENACE" by David Mason - Macdonald. 8s 6d.

"D-DAY: SPEARHEAD OF INVASION" by R.W. Thompson - Macdonald. 8s 6d.

"THEIR FINEST HOUR" by Richard Bishop - Macdonald. 8s 6d.

Notice on the door of a small business shop: "Out to lunch.
If not back by five, out to dinner also,"

Sign on the door outside a spiritualist's office:
"Please ring bell. Knocking causes confusion."


"Kamoose" Taylor, whose Hotel Macleod in Alberta was known all over the West in 1880, had vey particular guest rules:
When guests find themselves and their luggage thrown over the fence, they may consider that they have received notice to quit.
The bar will be open day and night. Day drinks, 50 cents, night drinks, one dollar. No mixed drinks will be served, except in case of death in the family.
Guests are forbidden to strike matches or spit on the ceiling, or to sleep in bed with their boots on.
Quarrelsome or boisterous persons, also those who shoot off without provocation guns or other explosive weapons on the premises, and all boarders who get killed, will not be allowed to remain in the house.


The conversation round the campfire turned to the question: "What is the most frightening sound you can think of?"
"A groan in the dark" said one fellow, "when you know nobody's there
"The rustle of a deadly snake in the undergrowth" said another.
Finally an older member of the party grunted. "I know a sound worse than all yours put together. A long, low whistle comingt from a mechanic underneath your car."

We are nearing the end of another year, members, with all its mental strain of work in these concrete cities of ours, unless you are blessed in working in a quiet country town, and the never-ending rat-race of our times, so please heed these few words of advice.
How long do you want to live?
Do you paw the ground while waiting for a bus, an appointment or in a queue? - subtract 10 years.
Do you run up and down stairs when you're unfit? - better start getting estimates now for your heart operation.
Do you have several extra money-making activities besides your regular job? Good. You'll need the money to support you in your last, lingering illness.
Do you act the driver's part when you are a passenger, sharing his fears and tensions? - subtract another 10 years.
Do you hold tightly on to all the reins, considering yourself indispensable? - You'll have plenty of time to remember. In your hospital bed, that Neanderthal man thought he was pretty important too.
Do you sprint to catch the bus immediately after eating? - But why didn't you say before that you always wanted a stroke?


Do you often blow your top and sizzle over like a coffee percolator? Never mind. It is your blood pressure. You just carry on and enjoy it while it lasts.
Do you still play rugby, Or tennis, on hot afternoons, as you used to in the days when you had hair? Better increase your wife's allowance so she can keep a black outfit handy.
Do you crowd six monthsi riotous living into your annual holiday? Keep up your life insurance premiums so that your family will be able to take a nice calm holiday.
Does your home throb and shriek with telephones ringing, radios blaring and doors slamming? Mental institutions are becoming increasingly popular. Take lots of clothes with you - the treatment is lengthy.
Do you eat and drink what you like at all hours of the day, regardless of what your doctor told you? Find yourself a nursing home with a short waiting list. It probably won't be as good as those with longer waiting lists, but you're going to need it in a hurry and you haven it time to worry about details.
Meanwhile, have a good time, fella.


There will be some members who will not be able to make the next meeting and to those and. to all those members who live farther afield, may I, on my behalf and my committee's, wish you one and all a Very Happy Christmas in the spirit in which it should be given and for the New Year, 1970, a wish of good health and happiness. After all if you have good health and happiness,there is nothing more of consequence to have.

A happy holiday to all those who are going away and PLEASE very safe driving. KEEP DEATH OFF THE ROADS. It is naturally far better to be 10 minutes late in this world than 30 years too soon in the next.

Reminds me of a cartoon I once saw. Two fellows sitting on a cloud with their wings, long white clothes, and playing harps. Said one to the other: "You know, I only had one accident in 30 years!"


There will be no Committee Meeting on Monday, 1st December 1969.


* NOTE* Fast mirror and backup site      BOOKMARK FOR REFERENCE     Main site * NOTE*

South African Military History Society /