South African Military History Society

August 1981 NEWSLETTER

Past meeting - Johannesburg - 9th July 1981

Johannesburg members who attended Mr Peter Fox's slide presentation entitl'd "Airborne Lifeline - Role of the Royal Air Force over Burma, 1942/1945", were treated to a very professional and excellently prepared presentation. The 33 members and guests were shown slides which were so well presented, that one was moved from ones seat into the midst of the battles. Mr Fox was a Flight Lieutenant with 215 Squadron Bengal, later became O.C. 567 A.M.E.S. radar station in Bengal and then Air Liasoii Officer XIV Army, Burma and as a result he could really speak about this campaign with authority. Mr Fox showed various maps, flags and other items of interest that he had acquired during this phase of the war.

Major Doug Tidy thanked Mr. Fox on behalf of the Society.

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The Society also took leave of Mr. Paul Barker, an ex-committee member, who is leaving South Africa to open an agency of his firm in America and whose contributions will be missed.

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Future Meetings - Johannesburg

Thurs. 13th Aug - 20h00 - "At the Call of King and Country - An Infantry Subaltern on the Western Front, 1917" - Maj. D.D. Hall

This is the story of a young officer who joined the British Army from South Africa in 1916 - his training in England - his experiences, and those of his battalion in France - culminating in the Battle of Bullecourt in May l917, when he was killed. The story will be told by three speakers, with two slide projectors and screens, so that photographs can be compared 'then and now'; the ground compared with the map; and so on.

As many Society members are aware, Maj. Hall has been researching the subject matter for this lecture for many months. The story of how he traced the wartime activities of this relative to his untimely end make a fascinating tale and will be touched on in the lecture.

Thurs. 3rd Sept - "Medical Aspects of the Anglo-Boer War" - Prof J.C. de Villiers

Future meetings - Durban (Contact Tania van der Watt 031-742970)

Thurs 13th Aug - 20h00 - M.C. Carter "The Carrier War - Pacific Theatre 1941-1945"

Thur 10th Sept - 20h00 - Cmdt. J Hulme "D - FOR DESERTERS"

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Journal and Subscriptions

By the time members receive this newsletter, all those members who are fully paid up (about 400 out of 460) should have received their copies of the June 1981 edition of the Journal. As the Society has to buy these Journals in the first place from the Museum, they can only be sent to paid up members. If you have not received your copy and you think you are in good standing with respect to your subscriptions, please contact Maurice Gough-Palmer (Jhbg 616-1531) so that the matter may be rectified.

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for 1981 are single (R7-50), family(R10-00) or life (R75-00) with a R1-00 entrance fee for all new members.

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New National Monument

The Government Gazette of 2975/81 declares the so-called Hilldrop House (also known as Sir Rider Haggard's house) and the land on which it stands at Newcastle,to be a national monument.

This imposing building was erected by Sir Melmoth Osborne, resident magistrate of Newcastle from 1868 to 1875. Sir Rider Haggard took occupation in January 1881 and during his sojurn the Royal Commission which drew up the terms of the Pretoria Convention and which provided for the retrocession of the Transvaal after the First Anglo-Boer War, 1880-188l, held its meeting here.

Present on that occasion were Sir Hercules Robinson, Sir Henry de Villiers, President Brand and Sir Evelyn Wood.

That's all ... Mike Marsh

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