South African Military 
History Society


News Sheet No. 10.
August 1973


Monthly Get-together, 16th August l973.

In the absence of the Chairman, Maj Justin Hulme, who wished an apology to be recorded; SB Bourquin took the Chair and opened the proceedings.

Lt Gerry Gore addressed a gathering of 26 persons on the subject "Cyprus, Island in Revolt". After outlining the ancient history of Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean 3 572 sq. miles in size and only 40 miles from the Turkish mainland, he pitched his audience into the troubled atmosphere of the mid 1950s. Of the population of 575 000 persons, 77% were Greek and fervently desired Enosis (union with Greece) but were supressed and dominated by the 18% Turks.

Lt. Gore sketched the early life histories of two of the main personalities: Col. Georgios Grievas, (born in 1899) a professional soldier who had been trained in Greece and France, who headed E.O.K.A., the subversive guerrilla movement which was opposed to Turkish rule; and Archbishop Makarios, the erstwhile sheperd boy who, while still a student, had been consecrated a bishop in the Greek Orthodox Church.

Lt Gore commenced his duty in Cyprus as a diver attached to the British Navy and in this connection he had a few interesting things to tell. His subsequent operations extended on to land and one of the rôles he fulfilled here was that of "official divisional photographer", "simply becuuse I happened to be the only bloke around who had a camera". The speaker brought to life again such names as Nicosia, Famagusta, Limassol and Larnaca and he had many a tale to tell of bullets and bribes, murder and mayhem, and of the monumental blunders whtch seemed to have been the hallmark of British foreign policy in post-war years.

The meeting's thanks to the speaker were ably expressed by Midge Carter.


(a) Zulu War Battlefields Tour.

While this branch is not making any formal arrangements for the long weekend, 1st to 3rd September, members are urged to link up with the Johannesburg Branch on its conducted tour to Dingaan's Kraal, Ulundi, Hlobane, Kambula and Intombi, as detailed in the circular letters addressed to members. As a tour to these localities might not be repeated for some time members should make the best of this opportunity.

(b) Monthly Programme

September 13th
Dr. Ian Copley will give a talk accompanied by some slides, on "Robin Hood" (We have been assured that this lecture has some significance from a military history point of view).

October 11th
Maj Darrell Hall will give a slide talk on a subject of his own choice.

November 8th
Dr. P. Thompson of the Department of History, University of Natal, will give a talk on "The American Civil War".

December 13th
This will be a social evening without any fixed programme, but members are invited to bring along their slides taken on Society outings or other visits to places having a military history interest. (A projector, screen and slide trays will be provided).

January 17th
Col. Wynyard M. Amoore, DSO, MBE, will give a talk on his service with the Ghurkas and his military experiences in the Far East.
(Please note that this is the third, Thursday, and not the second, Thursday, in January.)

The venue, as usual, will be the Board Room, Department of Bantu Administration, 132 Ordnance Road, Durban, commencing at 8 p.m. Glasses and ice will be supplied so please bring your own bottled or canned refreshments. Friends and interested persons are welcome to come along.


Our Prime Minister, Mr. John Vorster, will soon receive an unusual present from England ... a piece of old railway line.

It's a memento of World War II. The piece of line, which has been fashioned, into a paper weight, comes from a railway siding at the picturesque village of Droxford, in Hampshire.

The siding was the scene of an historic pre-D-Day Council of War in June, 1944. Among those present was General Smuts. Winston Churchill's private train was drawn into the siding for the meeting.

Now the line has been ripped up, a local business man, Mr. Sadler Ashby, managed to save some of it and turn it into paperweights.

Tania Johnston.

South African Military History Society /