South African Military History Society


Past Meeting - Johannesburg.

The 14th Annual General Meeting of the Society was held at the Museum on Thusday 10th April, 1980 and was attended by some 41 members.

Prof. J. Barnard, in his Chairman's report, pointed out that the Society was now 401 strong, including 20 life members. Highlights of the past year had been the Zulu War Centenary Celebrations and tour to the relevant battlefields, and the starting of a branch of the Society in Port Elizabeth, while the following year promised to be extremely interesting as, amongst other events, a lecture and tour to commemorate the Centenary of the First Anglo-Boer War were planned for Jan. 1981. There is also the possibility of a tour to, possibly, Ladysmith during October 1980. A special issue of the journal to commemorate the Centenary of the First Anglo-Boer War was planned for December 1980.

Mr. Maurice Gough-Palmer,in his Treasurer's report, was heard to comment that it "was a pleasure to report a profit", namely a R389 surplus. There had also been a nett increase of 30 members of the Society over the last year.

Prof. J. Barnard was returned unapposed as chairman for a second term of office and the following committee was elected.

Mr Pat Rice was reappointed the Hon. Auditor.

As indicated in the agenda, a motion to change the Afrikaans version of the Society's name to "Die Suid-Afrikaanse Vereniging vir Krygsgeskiedenis" was proposed and accepted.

Under general, Col. Duxbury suggested that consideration be given to holding an annual dinner late in the year, which suggestion was received enthusiastically and would be investigated by the committee.

After the formalities of the AGM were concluded Mr Paul Barker gave a brief introduction to and showed two films on aircraft, namely "Unquiet Peace" and "Past and Present".

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Future Meetings - Johannesburg.

8th May,1980 20h00
Cmdt. Deon Fourie "Angolan Adventure 1975/6".
(This topical subject should provide for a most interesting talk.)

12th June 1980 2OhOO
Mr F. Pretorius "Life on Commmando during the Anglo-Boer War, 1899/1902".

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Know your Museum Evenings.

The next 2 talks in this series are:-

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"Truce that never was".

At the close of the AGM, Fred Wright gave the following postscript to his talk in Oct. 1979 entitled "Incidents in the Western Desert". In that talk he described how units of The Middellandse Regiment and 2nd Transvaal Scottish held a high piece of ground that dominated the Axis bypass road around Tobruk. This position was often attacked by the Germans in attempts to free the road but with no avail. One day however,a German convoy of trucks wrongly came along this bypass road and were severely mauled by the Allied forces from this dominant high point (Acroma Keep). Too late it was discovered that the trucks contained British and Indian P.O.W.s and a large number were injured and killed.

A Lt. van Niekerk of the D.M.R. who controlled the Vickers fire, with the permission of the Post Commander, Capt. French, managed to arrange a truce with the Germans and ambulances from Tobruk were sent to collect the wounded.

Fred Wright recently discovered that when Capt. French reported the matter to Brigade,he was instructed to make no mention at all of the truce in his official report,as there could be no official truce with the enemy - officially it never happened.

Lt. van Niekerk received the Military Cross for his brave efforts in arranging the truce.

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SUBS Single R5.00; Family R7.50; Life R50.00. Payable to the Treasurer, S.A.M.H.S., Box 52090, Saxonwold, Tvl.

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That's all ... Mike Marsh

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