South African Military History Society



Dear Fellow member,


A bumper evening was had by all on Thursday the 11th September, 1969, when Dr. J. Barnard, one of our Pretoria members, spoke to us on "GENERAL LOUIS BOTHA IN THE SPIOENKOP CAMPAIGN, JANUARY, 1900." It was yet another first-class address and Johann Barnard made it so much more interesting, if that was possible, with splendid large maps. Thank you, Johann, for a most interesting evening and we wish you everything of the best in the publication of your book which we believe will be published next year.

Our old stalwart member, Lt-General Geo. E. Brink, CB,CBE,DSO, thanked the speaker on behalf of the society and also reminisced for he personally knew General Botha. We take this opportunity of wishing you, "Uncle" George, as he was affectionately known in S.A. Divisions, a very happy 80th Birthday on the 27th September and a very happy and well earned retirement down at the coast with your wife. We do hope that you may be able to visit Johannesburg every now and then and will be only too pleased to see you at our meetings when this is possible.

The numbers present at the September meeting was very gratifying. The register reveals that there were 45 members and 15 visitors, but there were certainly more than that. It was once again a capacity crowd. Among our visitors was indeed a distinguished one. We were very honoured and most pleased to welcome Wing Commander Dennis Adams who was one of the famous "few" who fought the Battle of Britain and shot down tbe first German aircraft over Britain in tbe second world war on the 27th September, 1939. We all look forward to seeing tbe film "THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN" in Johannesburg next month and to see tbe sort of flying Dennis Adams did in 1940.


Will members please note carefully that the next meeting will be on Thursday, 2nd OCTOBER, 1969, as the second Thursday is the night before the long week-end and most Johannesburg members of the society will be going to Kimberley for the long-awaited trip (more about this on the next page). The speaker at this meeting will be Professor Cochrane of Wits. University, whose subject will be "DIPLOMACY AND THE USE OF ARMED FORCE."


This meeting will take place on our usual day, the second Thursday, which will be the 13th November, and preliminary arrangements have been made for the postponed address by General Fraser on "UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE."


Here again we have had to deviate from our usual day in order to fit in with the speaker and also it will not be too near the holiday and school closing season. The date will be MONDAY the 1st (FIRST) December, 1969. We have been very fortunate in procuring the services of Brian Chilvers, a journalist who recently returned from a "seeing on the spot" visit to Vietnam. He has just concluded a series of short broadcasts on this theatre of war and we are sure his talk to us will be most interesting.


Those members who had put their names forward to go by bus and were not at the last meeting will be pleased to hear that the bus trip is definitely ON. Of the required 45 required to fill the bus and make it an economic proposition, we are pleased to let you know that 40 members and visitors have signified their intention of going by this means of transport.

I am very pleased at the effort of the members and am confident that the last remaining FIVE seats will be snapped up within no time at all.

If you are not going by bus and perhaps have changed your mind that you would now like to go, then PLEASE let us know immediately so you can obtain one of the 5 remaining seats.

It is most important that all those going by bus, please send us your cheques IMMEDIATELY. The final firm price per seat has risen slightly. The price, return, is FOURTEEN (14) RAND. I am sure that you will begrudge the slight extra charge but we must do this in case the extra seats are not taken. If they are, we can discuss the refund on our return.

The bus will be leaving the grounds of the National War Museum on Thursday afternoon the 9th October, at 3 (three) p.m. SHARP. Please ensure that you are on time as we will be unable to hold the bus for any late-comers as we have a tight schedule to keep to. As mentioned in our newsletter last month, you will be able to park your cars, charabanc, jaloppies, skidonks or "what-have-you", in the grounds of the War Museum with complete safety as they will be under guard all night and day while we are away.

En route we hope to stop at Stilfontein for about half-an-hour for "cocktails" and to "stretch" our legs, etc. etc.

The bus will leave again on Sunday, 12th October, 1969, at noon.

It is suggested that your evening meal be brought in the form of a hamper which can be enjoyed en route.

I am sure that this trip will turn out to be first-class. It will be the first long week-end trip and the first by bus and I am certain that the long bus trip with no worries on the passengers having to drive etc. will be just "what the doctor ordered."

Further details of where to meet on the Friday morning and at what time (mainly for those who are making their way to Kimberley under their own steam) and further other details will be enclosed with this newsletter.

To make sure that all those who intimated in some form or other their intentions to go by bus on our nominal roll, we give their names herewith. If your name is NOT here, please phone the Chairman IMMEDIATELY who will rectify the matter.

Names as follows:-


An American company makes an inflatable world globe, which is shipped deflated. A large order sent to the United Arab Republic was temporarily impounded by customs agents who snipped out their enemy to the east. Then, when people bought the globes and tried to blow them up they wouldn't work. All the air leaked out through Israel!


A committee representative of all sections of the ex-service world met in Johannesburg on 22nd July and agreed that, as part of the celebrations of this occasion, there will be a suitable presentation to Uncle George as a token of respect and esteem and of gratitude for his services as our first leader in the field and as an active participant and leader in all aspects of work for the welfare of ex-servicemen from demobl1isatlon right through to the present day.

We wish to inform you that all contributions are to be forwarded to the "South African Ex-Services National Council", P.O. Box 52090, Saxonwold, Transvaal and cheques to be made out in the name of the tribute as mentioned above.

In deploring the state of the world, perhaps we expect too much of the human race too soon. On dark days, it is worth remembering that the word "civilization" itself was coined by a Frenchman only 200 years ago ....


The Editor still requires articles, photos, maps and anything that you may think will be of use for publication. Our next Journal, No.5, will be published at this year end. Please do not be disappointed if your articles etc. are not published in the next edition. It is necessary to balance the subject matter and will certainly appear at a suitable time.

* * *

Wouldn't it be nice if two weeks on holiday seemed to last as long as two weeks on a diet .... ?


These will be most welcome at any time. If you feel that you would like to bring these to the attention of the committee, we give hereunder their names and telephone numbers:-

Mr. Bertie Simpkins (Chairman) 51-9411 46-4585
Mr. Pat Rice (Vice-Chairman) 52-6916 43-1783
Mr. Paul Melville (Secretary) 724-5222 42-5348
Mr. Terry Sole (Treasurer) 28-1646 53-6343
Mr. John Ball 40-6456 45-7964
Mr. Charles Cohen 838-6493 728-2882
Mr. Don Forsyth 23-1750 46-7810
Mr. Nick Kinsey 838-8211 42-2552
Dr. Felix Machanik 22-0869 728-2200
Mr. Doug Tidy 836-2301 44-5839
Mr. Henry Winder 28-1500
ext 415

Notice: displayed outside a London church: "Come in and have your faith lifted ... "


If you wish to leave a message to be phoned at any of our monthly meetings or you wish to make an urgent call whilst at our meetings the National War Museum (and for this we thank Comdt. George Duxbury) have made a night line available in tho small office next to the hall in which we have our meetings. The telephone number is 41-4703.

In Westminster Abbey, I overheard an American tourist saying to his companion: "You do one side and I'll do the other ..."


"ALLIED BAYONETS OF WORLD WAR" by J. Anthony Carter. Price R2-50 in U.K. Available in S.A. through Lt.Col. N.E.H. Chance, Wynberg, Cape.

"BRITISH & AMERICAN INFANTRY WEAPONS OF WORLD WAR 2 by A.J. Barker. Price R2-50, in U.K. Also availabe through Col Chance.

"FIGHTERS OVER THE DESERT" by Christcpner Shores and Hans Ring, published by Neville Spearman. Price R7-50, in England. It is understood that arrangements are being made to distribute it in South Africa.

"THE ROMAN IMPERIAL ARMY" by Graham Webster. A & C Black at 63 shillings.

"LADY SALE: JOURNAL OF THE FIRST AFGHAN WAR" by Patrick Macrory. Longmans at 42s.

"THE GREEN HOWARDS" by Geoffrey Powell, Hamilton, 25s.

"WAVELL, SUPREME COMMANDER" by John Connel. Collins, 42s.

"THE NORTH-WEST FRONTIER OF ROME" by David Divine. MacDonald at 50s.

"THE ZEPPELIN FIGHTERS" by Arch Whitehouse. Robert Hale 35s

"COMBAT NOTES FROM VIETNAM, PARTS I AND II" Editor Lieut-Col Albert N Garland, US Army. Infantry Magazine US Army Infantry School, Box 2005, Fort Benning, Georgia, USA


"INDIAN ARMY UNIFORM" by W Y Carman. Morgan-Grampian, 150s

For further details of these books please contact your Chairman, Bertie Simpkins.

The "SOLDIER" Magazine, the infantry magazine of the British Army, is on sale every month at the CNA. It is a MUST for all members and contains a wealth of information.

Please let us know what you think of this new format of a newsletter.

My kind regards to you all, bad luck to all those not coming to Kimberley. I do hope to see you all at our next meeting and all your friends are welcome.


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