South African Military History Society

News-sheet No. 81. DURBAN BRANCH January 1980


Judging by the relatively small attendance at our January get-together, our members do not seem to have recovered yet from the exertions of the recent festive season (or did the new T.V. serial keep them away?). Nevertheless, those who did attend, including a fair number of guests, spent a worthwhile evening viewing two documentary films. First the funeral of Earl Mountbatten, and then the Remembrance Day function at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, on 11 November, 1979.

Both these audiovisual films were made available to us by the courtesy of the Gunners Association and a silver collection in aid of the welfare activities of that Association netted R 14,46, which, before being handed over, was rounded off to R15. A word of thanks was conveyed to Ken Gillings whose efforts had been material in securing these two most interesting films.


As indicated in the December news-sheet is is the intention to visit Spionkop and Mount Alice over the weekend 26th! 27th January. As there are no further details than those already published the information contained in the previous news-letter is repeated for easy reference.

Saturday 26 January 1980. Assemble on the summit of Spionkop at llhOO. (There is a road to the summit). Inspection of various features of the summit, graves and monuments, A picnic lunch (please bring your own picnic lunches) and a series of talks will fill in the time up to about 15h00. After 15h00 there will be three alternatives: (a) return home, (b) proceed to such accommodation hotels or otherwise, as participants will have arranged for themselves, say, at Ladysmith, Winterton, or the Spionkop Holiday Resort run by the Natal Parks Board (Tariff R5 per adult per night. Guests must provide their own food and refreshments. Telephone (0331) 51514 for reservations), (c )prepare to camp on the summit of Spionkop (permission to do so has been obtained).

Sunday 27 January 1980 at 09h30 assemble at Potgieter's Drift Bridge (Bridge over the Tugela on the Ladysmith-Winterton Road).. Inspection of and talks on the British positions along the Tugela, Mount Alice and Spearman's. Picnic lunch at the Spionkop holiday resort, and return home in the afternoon.

In order to co-ordinate the activities of intending campers and to avoid an unnecessary duplication of camping equipment and certain supplies, persons intending to camp on the surmnit are earnestly requested to advise Ken Gillings (Telephone: 854027 (Home) and 317654 (work)) who will follow up this information with appropriate advice if necessary.


Our Chairman, Cmdt 'SB' Bourquin, will deliver three short talks, the first two talks entitled "Freedom Fighters: (i) William Tell, and (ii) Andreas Hofer", and the third entitled "The Three Sticks"

March 13th
Fellow-member Jeff Mathews, a history lecturer at Edgewood College, will present a talk on General Lord Chelmsford.

The venue will be the Lecture Room, 'SB' Bourquin Building, (the Port Natal Administration Board's head office) on the corner of Jan Smuts Highway and Euro Crescent, Mayville, on the second Thursday of the month, commencing at 8 p.m.
There is ample parking in the grounds which are well fenced alad vehicles are under guard. Glasses and ice will be supplied so please bring your own bottled or canned refreshments.



A warm welcome is extended to new member Mr. Mike Conlin.

(Mrs) Tania van der Watt,
Secretary, Durban Branch,
S.A. Military History Society,
Box 870 HILLCREST 3650
Tel 742970

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