South African Military History Society

News-sheet No. 102. DURBAN BRANCH February 1982.


An unfortunate motorcar accident which fortunately had no serious lasting or physical results prevented the proposed guest speaker, Colonel Hodgson, on Doctor's orders, from addressing the February meeting of this branch, Colonel Hodgson offers his sincere apologies to all the persons who came to hear him; it may be possible, however, to arrange our programme in such a way that he will be able to address the monthly meeting in June. The meeting wished Colonel Hodgson, in the meantime, a speedy recovery.

At very short notice and as no other speaker could be found on that occasion, our Chairman, 'SB' Bourquin, stepped into the breach and spoke on "The Human Factors and Attitudes Associated with the Zulu War of 1879". This talk was based on an article he had contributed to the 1980 issue of "The Condenser", an annual publication issued by the Tongaat Group of Companies, to which due acknowledgement was made.

Avoiding the generally known and well documented course and progress of the war the speaker chose to deal with the many, often conflicting, views and attitudes prevailing at the time. The British people and Government were generally opposed to a war with the Zulus, the British High Commissioner in South Africa and the military commanders under him felt that such a war was inevitable. It was even considered desirable in order to further the High Commissioner's dream of a confederation of states in Southern Africa. The Lieutenant Governor of Natal was against, but the colonists were in favour of war provided that the Blacks proposed to be enrolled in the Natal Native Contingent were not recruited from their labour force. The Zulu warriors welcomed an armed conflict for personal and traditional reasons, but the Zulu King and his counsellors were apprehensive and would have preferred to avoid it.

When armed conflict eventually did arise different attitudes and reactions were evinced by the British Imperial soldiers, by colonial volunteers, by civilian personnel serving with the armed forces and, last but not least, by the Zulus themselves, in regard to matters such as discipline, bravery and valour, fear and cowardice, sacrifice and selfishness, moral convictions and blind obedience.

During "question time" these last mentioned issues led to a lively discussion. Dr. Jaap Barle thanked 'SB' for a most interesting talk from an expert with a vast knowledge of the subject, and for having ensured that the members and guests present had not come to the meeting in vain.



ANGLO ZULU WAR BATTLEFIELD TOUR (sponsored by Ulundi Holiday Inn for members and friends of the South African Military History Society)

As already circulated with last month's news-sheet this tour of the battlefields around Ulundi with Holiday Inns unique guide Mr. Tom Ndaba, who tells the story of the rise and fall of the Zulu nation, from the Zulu perspective, will take place over the weekend 19th to 21st March l982. The cost of accommodation and all meals is R49,50 per person.

For further information, please contact Miss Linda Knox of Holiday Inns, at : Telephone O3l-374348.


March 11TH

April 15th May 6th June 10th July 8th August 12th September 9th October 14th November 11th

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, Mayville, 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 most welcome to come along.

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

* NOTE* Fast mirror and backup site      BOOKMARK FOR REFERENCE     Main site * NOTE*

South African Military History Society /