South African Military History Society

January, 1970 NEWSLETTER


P.O. Box 52090
SAXONWOLD, Transvaal.
Telephone: 41.4703
19 January, 1970

Dear Fellow-members


We had a good turn-out for Mr. Bryan Chilver's address to us on the Vietnam situation. His talk was most interesting and very enlightening. We were fortunate in having somebody of his calibre as he talked from first-hand information, having spent some weeks there obtaining his facts. One of the high-lights of his talk, was telling us all the events that led up to the Vietnam war.

After his talk, the "questions-answers" were even more interesting than the first part of his address.

Mr Bryan Chilvers, son of Hedley Chilvers who was a well-known author( died a few years after World War II) is a radio journalist. He served during World War II with the S.A. Artillery in East and North Africa. He then seconded to the Royal Marines and served in the South Atlantic. He also served as an anti-aircraft gunner, thereby serving in all three branches of the armed forces. At present he is news editor with the S.A.B.C.

He won the Stellenbosch Farmer's Winery's annual Press Award for enterprising Journalism and his prize was a trip to New York. As a result of winning the "BEST JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR" prize in 1968, he did a short tour of South Vietnam in May 1969. He does not profess to be an expert on the war in Vletnam, but intended merely to give the Society his impressions of what he saw during his visit there - and this was done very well indeed.

Mr. Murchison thanked Mr. Chilvers on behalf of the Society.

A few days before Mr. Chilvers addressed the Society, I saw this poem in a magazine and it is appropriately reproduced:-

Heard of the Moron who ......
Wouldn't pay his fare in the bus because his name was Crime, and Crime does not pay.
Put the clock under his bed so he could wake up on time.
Called his girl-friend "postcript" because her name was Adeline.
Wouldn't ride on a double-decker bus because there was no driver up top

At our December Meeting we were pleased to welcome Mr. Michael Schoeman one of our keenest members from Cape Town. Michael is serving in the S.A. Air Force and was spending his leave doing aviation research in Johannesburg and Pretoria. An article written by him appears in the latest edition of the Society's Journal.

Fish to Swordfish:- "The transatlantic cable? Oh! you didn't".


A special word of thanks to Mr. Charles Cohen for arranging all the addresses for the coming year and here they are. Please note that with two exceptions the nights are the second Thursday each month. In October and December the nights are the first Thursdays.

Date Topic Speaker
February 12th "THE BATTLE OF JUTLAND." Mr. T. Tolhurst
April 9th "THE 1914 REBELLION" Mr. V. Solomon
June 11th "THE CAUSES OF WORLD WAR I" Mr. Stewart Jones
August 13th "THE GREAT WAR - OTHER FRONTS" Col. K. Pitts.
September 10th "THE POETS AND POETRY OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR" Mr. Jacques van Oortmerssen
October 8th "THE EAST AFRICA CAMPAIGN 1914-1917" Col. Lunn-Rockliffe
November 12th "THE JAMESON RAID - NEW THOUGHTS" Mr. P. Cartwright
December 3rd "THE GREAT WAR - THE AIRFORCES" Sqn-Leader D. Tidy

Heard of the Moron who .........
Saluted the refrigerator because it was a General Electric.
Took hay to bed with him to feed his nightmare.
Backed out of the bus when sombody said he would pinch his seat.
Took a yardstick to bed with him to see how long he slept.


This was discussed at the last meeting of the Society and it was agreed that another bus trip be taken and the best time would be the long-weekend Friday afternoon the 3rd, April to Monday the 6th April. The Society would proceed to Ladysmith and would cover the Battle of Spionkop (main item) and possible other battles in the surrounding area.

Details as to cost etc will be published later but the trip is definately "on", provided of course, that we can get a full bus.
Our last bus trip was a resounding success and we are sure that there will be a rush for this one too.

It will make things a lot easier if there is just one person to phone in this connection, as the last time there were a few duplicated bookings. Will those who are interested please telephone or write to Mr. B.G, Simpkins, 26 ---- Street, Roosevelt Park Extn., JOHANNESBURG, telephone Business 51.9411 or (preferably) Residential 46-4585.

It is also essential for those who are going by car, to let the Society know as we must know the total numbers in case there is to be another braai etc., or meals to be provided.

Heard of the Moron who ...
Died with his boots on so he wouldn't hurt his toe when he kicked the bucket.
Stayed up all night studying for a blood test.
Took whiskey on the roof so he could have a drink on the house.


Congratulations to all those concerned with the publication of our Journal. The latest number is enclosed with this letter, unless you specifically requested that you receive it at the January meeting. It is rich in material and we hope that you will enjoy digesting all the interesting articles.

The work of the Journal however, never stops and so we once again appeal to all members to'present their articles and photos for consideration.

(Names, addresses, telephone numbers and interests.)
This list which is distributed annually is also enclosed herein. It is submitted for your benefit. Please study it carefully and inform the Secretary of any change so he can keep the Master List up-to-date.
It is essential that change of address be notified immediately to ensure that all correspondence reaches you. Please do this in your own interest.


Annual subscriptions are now due and we re~uest that you pay as promptly as possible and so help to smooth the work of the Treasurer. A form to this effect is attached to this letter. Please return it with your cheque for R3.00 (Three rand.)

Heard of the moron who ...........
Wouldn't go out with his wife because he heard she was married.


It is almost impossible to cope with all the names of new books that come out almost every day and which are of interest to members. I have therefore decided to discontinue giving lists of some of these boos, which in any case are not complete in the news-letters.

At each meeting there will be available,. from Mr. B Simpkins, the latest copies of "C0MMANDO" and "SOLDIER" magazines which give all details of latest books and so members can scrutinise these at their leisure, but you are requested not to take these away.

For those members who are not able to attend Meetings, we bring to their attention that these magazines are available each month from the booksellers. One important factor for those attending the meetings is that the Department of Defence has very kindly put our Society on their regular distribution list for their "ACCESSIONS LIST". The first of these lists giving details of latest books will be available for scrutiny at the February Meeting. This list must also not be removed.

Heard of the Moron who .........
thought his bed was too narrow so put a bedspread on.
Wore two pairs of socks to golf because he thought he might get a hole in one.


If you wish your name to go forward as a prospective member of the Society's Committee, please do not hesitate, as new blood is always welcome, particularly as the administrative work naturally grows with the membership growing and is this growing.??

ITALY TOUR - 1971.

The go ahead for this tour has been adopted in principle. The present idea is that a month's tour will take place visiting the route that the South African 6th Div. took and "doing" their main battles. There will also be time allocated for sight-seeing both by day and by night. The group will fly to Italy and back and the tour in Italy will be done by motor coach. Much spade work has still to be done, and as various details come to light, so you will be advised accordingly.

The price per person vvill be a real good "cut" price as we are "in the know" but it will be necessary for some 150 persons to make the trip an economic proposition, and all those going must become members of our Society, if they are not already members. If you have any ideas about this trip, please let us have them as more heads are better than one.


Venue War Museum Saxonwold
Date Thursday February 12th
Time 8p.m.
Lecturer Mr. T. Tolhurst


There will not be a Committee meeting in February 9 which is usually held just prior to the month's Lecture.


You probably know that Purnell's are bringing out weekly magazines on the First World War. The sixth one is on sale now. As our main theme in lectures for this year is on this subject it would be a good idea if you invested in these magazines which are available from book-sellers at 55 cents per copy. Back numbers are also available.


Cap badges and collar badges (where applicable) of the following: Southern Rhodesia Constabulary; Mashonaland Mounted Police; Rhodesian Defence Force.

South African University Regiments - Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Natal etc., Johannesburg Regiment: Transvaalse Staatsartillerie; Regiment Noord Transvaal (collars only); Regiment Schoonspruit; Regiment President Kruger (collars only); Regiment President Steyn (collars only); Regiment Oos Rand; Regiment De Wet; Oranje Vrystaate Veldartillerie; Regiment Hoëveld (Collars only); Regiment Gideon Scheepers; Regiment Froot Karoo; Regiment Malopo; Regiment Noordoos Kaap (collars only); Regiment Algoa Baai; Durban Regiment; Regiment Windhoek; Transvaal Horse Artillery (KC); Kaffarian Rifles (Officers); Natal Mounted Rifles; Cape Field Artillery; Rand Light Infantry; Pretoria Regiment (cap only) THE ABOVE REFER TO THE "NEW" BADGES AS WORN CURRENTLY.

OFFER EXCHANGES - wide range of Rhodesian badges, old & new, cap, collar, shoulder titles, buttons, cloth badges etc., including scarce items such as Rhodesian Air Askari Corps, RRAF Officer's embroidered cap badges, RRF "wings" etc., etc.,
Mr. K.D. Jackson. ................... BULAWAYO, RHODESIA.


BRITISH MILITARY BADGES WANTED: I collect all kinds of badges (metal, Cloth etc.) of the above country. Would like to correspond with other collectors of British Badges. Would also like to correspond with someone in Britain in connection with badges in my collection.

INFORMATION NEEDED. During the battle at Sanna's Post in the S.A. War General de Wet captured some guns from the British. Interested gunners would like to know what became of these guns.

EARLY RHODESIAN MILITARY HISTORY: Anyone who has studied in this direction may have information I need.
Please contact Neville Gomm, .... BLOEMFONTEIN.


We hope that our programme for the year will meet with your approval.
It should prove most interesting and educational. Please tell your friends about our Society and show them the programme for the year. Thank you for your support at all our meetings in 1969! and I trust that you will be regular attendants in 1970. For those who live too far to attend our monthly meetings, I hope that this monthly detailed newsletter gives you some idea as to what is happening and that it keeps you in the picture. I would mention that constructive criticism is most welcome, so do not hesitate to mention any such criticism at our meetings.

Wishing you Happiness & health for 1970


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