South African Military History Society



Dr Patrick Lewis (ex Mayor & Freeman, Johannesburg).
Mr Ken Gillings (Durban Branch)
Mr M. Willet (Worcestershire, England).

Shorts: Metro-Goldwyn Hall 'Same but Different'.
For this month's Military Magazine we had a view with their tin helmets removed of the personalities oposing one another in die Allied & German Linus at Boulacourt in May 191W. We saw their differencee and similarities from moustaches to uniforms; at word and at play.

Main Feature: 'The Jameson Raid'. Past Chairman and present committee member Will Carr gave an erudite talk to a capacity audience.

In something of a break with tradition, your present scribe will not attempt a verbatim report as with the best will in the world (no pun intended) statements not meeting with the speakers approval are bound to occur in the reportage unless the speaker provides his own précis. Suffice to say that if you had wanted to know the inside story of the Jameson Raid you would have been with us on the 14th.

Speaking from a back-ground of the 1st S.A. Brigade in Somalia, Ethiopia and Italy followed by a spell with Jugoslav partisans, Will Carr painted us a view of the social and political facts leading up to the Raid. The Raid itself was a mixture of Dr Jameson's impetuous personality, double-dealing, sheer fillibustering incompetance and lack of discipline amongst the Raiders. The fact that the telegraph wires had not been cut (the alledged drumkeness led to fence wires instead of telegraph wires being cut, or the incapability of climbing a telegraph pole to do the job) led to advance warning of the Raid coming through from the Border and inevitable catastrophe. The finding of all relevant correspondence and papers by the Burgers was the coup de grâce.

The embarassment following the Raid was outlined, the very light sentences of the culprits (raiders and plotters).

Wilbur Smith in 'Men of Men' has a slightly different version.

Despite the disgrace, Dr Leander Starr Jameson obtained a premmiership of the Cape Colony and a knight-hood before his death some 20 years later, which must be an attribute to his energy and personality.

Most important was the influence the Raid had in leading up to the Boer War and even World War I.

Question Time: Two members of the audience reported that they each knew of an innocent relative incarcerated in the Johannesburg Fort in the aftermath of the Raid.

Dr Felix Machanic aired a fine print of Dr Jameson from his collection.

Vote of Thanks - was ably delivered by Mr Nick Kinsey.

Social Gathering: The Braai on 28 October 1983 will begin at l8h3O in the War Museum grounds. Food, wine and malt included at R6,OO a head. Early acquisition of tickets will help catering estimates.

Future Meetings

Johannesburg : "Speakers Evening" Thursday 19 November 1983

1. Custer's Last Stand - Bill Garr

2. Incidents in the Royal Greek Airforce - Dr Christedes

3. Raaff's Rangers - Ian Uys.

Durban: Please contact : Tania van der Walt tel no 031-742970

Cape Town: Mr Garschagen (72-6854) for details of November program.

Note: A prisoner, Cohen, asked by a British Officer why he, a Jew and a (sic) Uitlander, was fighting for the Boers, he replied that he was fighting for the Franchise - Deneys Reitz 'Commando'.

[I B Copley]

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