South African Military History Society

May Newsletter

April Meeting

The 18th Annual General Meeting was held in the new lecture hall and was very well attended.

In their report the Chairman and Hon Secretary Treasure reported a healthy and active society increasing in membership in all the branches (Durban membership exceeds 100 and the society as a whole exceeds 500 members). The financial situation is similarly sound.

Election of Committee Members

Maj Darrell Hall was re-elected chairman unanimously.
Two committee members, Will Carr and Prof Jim Craig, were not available for re-election. The remainder of the committee was re-elected unanimously and the two vacancies filled by Ian Uys and Stewart Stiles, also a unanimous decision. The Committee therefore stands at:

Our hearty thanks for services rendered are extended to these three retiring members of the Committee.

The Murchison Memorial Prize : This year's best contribution of the Society's Journal was awarded to Will Carr for his article on 'Masada', He was unfortunately not present due to illess. Our congratulations and Best Wishes for a speedy recovery.

Before the start of the second half of the evening the film 'War under the Sea' we had a very appropriate introduction from Dr Felix Machanik who had brought along a scale model of the S51, the first double hull, double periscope sumarine. By coincidence the very same ship which sank after a collision near New York harbour has been found and is due to be raised in the near future. A further coincidence is that the model constructed by Dr Machanik as first prize for a raffle was later returned to him by the winner of the raffle just before he died. Dr Machanik has kindly promised the model to the War Museum.

'War under the Sea' was a very well presented film covering the first American attempts to travel beneath the waves to the transarctic Nautilus and the more recent Polaris nuclear submarines. The film covers the first and second World Wars, and includes interviews with swbmariners old and new.

British Submarines were used very effectively in the Sea of Marmara between the Dardanelles and Istanbul and beyond in World War I, whereas the German 'U' boat had the run of the Atlantic until the Convoy system was developed in World War II - something the Japanese never learned and paid the price the Allies almost paid.

Notices : The Military Medal Society of South Africa has invited any of our members who might be interested to join their Battlefield and museum Tour, 23 September to 7 October 1984 : Waterloo, Ypres, Menin Gate, Delville Wood, Exhibition of orders and medals in London and other London museums. Cost : R1 862,00. For further details contact E.S.C. Barber tel no. O11-543333.

Members of the Society hawe again been in print since Philip Gon's book 'The Road to Isandlwana'. A very senior member Col C.F. Hodgsen has written "From hell to the Himalayas' a campaign in which he took part himself; Ian Uys has produced 'Delville Wood'; J.G. Price, an Australian member, has written 'They Proved to All the Earth' - the state of Victoria's contribution to the South African War dead; whilst Maj Sheil Small's book 'Green Shaddows' about the Ghurkas is to be made into a film starring Shaun Connery - they may have trouble casting suitable Ghurka ladies'!

Next meeting : This will be on 10 may 1984. Mr I.T. Craig will speak on 'The Convoy System and the Two Battles of the Atlantic - 1914-18 and 1939-45'.

Durban Branch : Contact Mrs Tania van der Watt at tel no. 031-74-2970.

Cape Town Branch : Contact Paul Lange at tel no. 021-61-7441.

Your scribe will be in Israel for the next two news letters and a ghost writer is being arranged.

Re Tour 5 to 6 May - Phone Mike Marsh at tel no. 011-648-1657 to join at the last minute, Work tel no, 011-648-1150.

I.B. COPLEY : Tel no. work - 012-71-2751
Tel no. home - 012-71-3198

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