NEWSLETTER No. 24.
P.O. Box 52090
At the June Meeting, Mr. R.G. Murchison, of the American Consulate, gave a brief talk on the "SEVEN POUNDERS OF MAFEKING". It was most interesting except that he didn't tell the audience what happened to his Relative? At the next meeting, please, sir'.
The main speaker of the evening was Mr. Stewart Jones who talked on "THE CAUSES OF WORLD WAR I". His address was a most competent marshalling of historic facts and the weaving thereof into a clear picture which all could follow. Mr. Jones is a lecturer of Economic History at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Mr. Will Carr, acting in the absence of the Chairman, thanked both speakers.
LADYSMITH TOUR LONG WEEK-END SAT 5 SEP-MON 7 SEP
This tour is still definitely "on". The Society intends hiring a bus, as in the Kimberley trip, and details of the cost and time of departure will be notified later. However, it is anticipated that the departure time will be 3 p.m. from the War Museum and the cost of the bus trip, return, will probably be about R14-00. Prices of hotels are as follows:-
Those members who will be travelling by their own transport are asked to let the Chairman know so that we know how many will be coming on the tour.
Some subscriptions are still outstanding. Would defaulting members please settle immediately. Thank you.
LECTURE PROGRAMME FOR 1970
For the benefit of new members we give hereunder the programme for the remainder of the year and will do so each month so that they will know what our future lectures are:-
|Date||Topic||Speaker||July 9th||"THE GREAT WAR - THE WESTERN FRONT"||Col. K. Pitts.||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|
Mr. J.G. Orford of Box 960, Klerksdorp, in a letter to the "COMMANDO" Magazine, writes as follows
"I am establishing my own museum on my farm - The General de 1a Rey Memorial Museum and as a result of research into the history of the Old Fort at Potchefstroom, have come to the conclusion that the first trench-warfare action in South Africa was fought there on 22nd January 1881. I quote from the diary of the Royal Scots Fusiliers --
"On 28nd January (1881) a trench was opened at a distance of 220 yards, and since it promised to be a perpetual source of annoyance, a party consisting of Lieutenant Dalrymple- Hey, a Sergeant and ten men made a sortie in broad daylight. As they dashed across the open three men fell, but the remaining seven reached the trench, and drove out the enemy, killing or wounding, eleven and taking four prisoners ....."
General De la Rey was at Potchefstroom on 15th December, 1880, when the first shots were fired. His brother-in-law, Greeff, acted as commanding officer of the Boer forces for a period when Generel Cronje was ill. I think that it is probable that this was where and when General de la Rey conceived the idea of trench warfare, though the battle of Majuba, and the earlier battle of the second Boer War may well have strengthened and clarified his tactical schemes.
Trench warfare goes back to about l200, and, as far as the British Army is concerned, to about 1842 when a directive was issued.
WILL YOU PLEASE LET ME HAVE ANY INFORMATION WHICH YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE SIEGE OF POTCHEFSTROOM ?
I might mention that I have a number of unusual photographs and cuttings, including one of Colonel Winsloe, and the homemade R.S.F. flag which flew over Potchefstroom in 1880/81 for 98 days, copies of which I can lend you. I a1so have photographs of two V.C.- winners Lt Hill and Private James Osborne both of the 58th.
If you are interested in these and other items, you will be welcome to visit me.
EAST LONDON - A bayonet, probably used by the Black Watch when garrisoned in King William's Town about 1850, has been found in the wine cellar of an East London hotel.
"How it got there is anybody's guess," said the hotel manager, Mrs.H Morros. The bayonet was specially cleaned, treated and dated by a local antique weapon collector, Mr. R. Palmer, who said its type had been mostly used with the famous old "Brown Bess" rifle.
In 1953, when King William's Town School of Industry was being extended, workmen uncovered a cache of these bayonets, which were probably buried there by the Black Watch. They were all sent to Iscor to be melted down ??!!??
JOURNAL: The Journal should be ready by the 30th June; if so, it will accompany this letter; if not, it will go out under separate cover as soon as possible thereafter.
DEATH: It is with regret that we announce the death of one of our members, Mr Charles McVitty. To his wife and family we extend our deepest sympathy.
OCTOGENARIAN: At the June Meeting, members had the pleasure of congratulating Mr Stan Beadle on his 80th Birthday. Well done, Stan, and we hope that you will be spared for many years to come ..
A Committee Meeting will be held at the War Museum on Thursday the 9th. July at 7.10 p.m.
Details of this lecture:
Venue War Museum, Saxonwold
Date Thursday - July 9th
Time 8 p.m.
Topic "THE GREAT WAR - THE WESTERN FRONT"
Lecturer Col. K. Pitts