South African Military History Society

News-sheet No. 91. DURBAN BRANCH February 1981


A record number of over fifty persons attended our monthly meeting on 12th February 198l. It is obvious that the bush war of Rhodesia, although now something of the past, still exercises peoples' minds and evokes a great deal of interest. Mr. Norman Reeves presented five films dealing with different aspects of that war and added greatly to the interest by his expert commentary. That it was expert became immediately apparent from the amount of detail and insight which can only be acquired through personal experience. Mr. Reeves had served with the Rhodesian Forces for nine years and had actually participated in some of the specific events shown in the films. He is now settled in South Africa, his original country of birth, where he holds a senior executive position. His audience noted with appreciation that even after nine years of bush warfare he is prepared to give of his time and experience to serve as a Sergeant-major in one of our own elite citizen force regiments.

The films which Mr. Reeves showed dealt with the "Selection of Selous Scouts", then "The Second Raid on Chimoyo" on 19th September 1978, when the Rhodesian Security Forces actually invaded foreign territory to inflict heavy losses on terrorist bases, suffering themselves only four casualties, i.e. two killed and two wounded. Then followed a historical review depicting events in Rhodesia over the period 1890 to 1978; a film on "Tsanga", the centre for the reconvalescence of heavily wounded Rhodesian soldiers, both black and white, and returning them to self-confidence and independence; and lastly another short action film "Gaza Report".

These films and Norman Reeves' commentary left a deep impression on his audience, and when he concluded his talk by saying "We sometimes wonder, in the light of subsequent developments, whether all this hardship and effart was worthwhile", there was a spontaneous reaction from the audience: "All brave deeds are worthwhile, and as we are still too close to these events, the time will come when history will prove the sacrifices of the Rhodesian people not to have been in vain."

Fellow-member Joe Stallard, a former member of the B.S.A.P. and the most senior "Rhodesian Veteran" in the audience proposed a well merited vote of thanks to the speaker.


At the above meeting Mr. John Reynolds offered for sale souvenirs of the Rhodesian War consisting of small panels, each one carrying the Rhodesian colours and three miniature brass beer mugs fashioned from shells actually fired during the war and adorned with the insignia of all the Rhodesian Army units.. There are four different sets costing R10,00 each, (Total cost R40,00) Further orders may be placed with Mr. Reynolds at 2 iJuba Place, Kloof, 3600, Telephone (0331) 743056.


As your secretary will be out of town until 7th March, any enquiries concerning the Majuba Commemoration may be addressed to the Chairman, Cmdt. 'SB' Bourquin, 16 O'Connor Road, Westville, Telephone 857607.

Programme of Monthly Meetings
March 12thFellow-member CMDT JUSTIN HULME will give a talk on "LOOT CATTLE" (The talk which it was previously announced would be given by Ron Melrose on "Genghis Khan" has been postponed to later in the year).
April 9thOur Chairman, Cmdt. 'SB' Bourquin will present an illustrated slide talk on ANDREAS HOFER (A true freedom fighter).

The venue for all meetings as usual will be the Lecture Room, 'SB' Bourquin Building, (Port Natal Administration Boards head office) cnr. Jan Smuts Highway and Buro Crescent, Mayville, on the second Thursday in the month, commencing at 8 p.m. Glasses and ice will be supplied so please bring your own bottled or canned refreshments.



The army law: If it moves salute it.. If it doesn't move, pick it up, and if you can't pick it up, paint it. (By courtesy of SB).

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

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