South African Military History Society

News-sheet No. 97. DURBAN BRANCH August 1981.


At oue August meeting fellow-member M.C. "Midge" Carter continued the Far Eastern themes of preceding monthly talks by delivering a fascinating lecture on "The Carrier War in the Pacific in World War II". After a few brief introductory remarks on the development of aircraft carriers - which originally were regarded with scepticism and lack of enthusiasm - he expanded his subject with the aid of slides, into a mammoth 2,5 hour presentation in which every carrier, every type of aircraft and every action in the vastness of the Pacific found its place. The vastness of this theatre of war was brought home to the audience most vividly by a slide in which a land mass had been superimposed on the Pacific Ocean - the whole of Africa, the Middle East and Europe could quite easily be sunk in that enormous expanse of water.

The vastness of the subject also defies capture in a review as short as is necessary to fit into this newsletter. That vastness was only matched by the incredible extent of our speaker's knowledge of his subject. It was only due to the eloquence of Ian Sutherland that the appreciation of the audience could be conveved to our 'guest' speaker in adequate terms.


A FIELD TRIP has been planned for 7th and 8th of November to Ladysmith and further details will be given in a later news-letter. Please keep this weekend free. Members wishing to participate should reserve accommodation for the night of the 7th. The majority of members are expected to be putting-up at the Royal Hotel, 128 Murchison street, (Box 12), Telephone (0361) 2176 where the tariff is R23 to R25 dinner, bed and breakfast (with bath). Other hotels are: The Crown, 90 Murchison street, and Andrews Motel. FRIENDS AND INTERESTED PERSONS ARE MOST WELCOME TO COME ALONG.

Programme of Monthly Meetings
September 10thCommandant Justin Hulme will give a talk entitled "D - FOR DESERTERS".
October 15thMajor Darrell Hall's talk has been deferred by a week from the 8th to the 15th of October, this is the third Thursday in the month. Darrell will present an illustrated slide talk told by three speakers using two slide projectors and screens. "At the Call of King and Country - An Infantry Subaltern on the Western Front, 1917" is the story of Darrell's uncle, 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 1917 when he was killed.
November 12thMr. Ian Player will give an illustrated slide lecture about the Philippines and the knowledge he has gained after eight visits to the country.

The venue for all meetings will be the Lecture Room, 'SB' Bourquin Building, the Port Natal Administration Board's head office, on the corner of Jan Smuts Highway and Buro Crescent, at the foot of Mayville Hill, on the second Thursday in the month (unless otherwise announced) commencing at 8 p.m. There is ample parking, under guard, in the grounds. Glasses and ice will be supplied so please bring your own canned or bottled refreshments. Friends and interested persons are welcome.


All paid-up members should have received their June 1981 copies of the Journal. If you have not received your copy and you think you are in good standing with respect to your subscriptions, please contact the Hon. Secretary/Treasurer, Mr. Maurice Gough-Palmer (Johannesburg 6l6-l53l) so that the matter may be rectified. Subscriptions are :

(Mrs) Tania van der Watt,
Secretary, Durban Branch,
S.A. Military History Society,
Box 870, HILLCREST, 3650.
Tel. (031) 742970.

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