South African Military History Society


The February meeting of the Society, which was held on 13-02-92, commenced with a short talk presented by Mr Dimitri Friend. Mr Friend discussed the influences of various European countries, most notably Germany, England and France on our South African military heritage in the spheres of uniform, music, customs and firearms. Two uniforms on display, namely those of the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek Staatsartillery and the more recent State President's Guard were also compared.

The main speaker of the evening, Mr Martin Ayres, presented a comprehensive and well-researched talk on Wellington's Peninsula Army and some of its battles. The talk, which was pertinently illustrated with slides, dealt with the historical background to the campaign, the social conditions prevalent amongst the classes from which the rank and file soldier was drawn, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the infantry, cavalry and artillery, as well as the weapons used. Having painted a complete picture of Wellington's Army, Mr Ayres went on to discuss the campaign from the battle of Vimiero in August 1808, where steady British musketry saved the day, until the final battle which took place at Vittoria on 21 June 1813.

Mrs Copley thanked Mr Ayres for his most interesting lecture.

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Forthcoming 1 Day Tour

Sunday March 29th: Silkats Nek Battlefield and forts on the Eastern Heights.


Assemble 09:00 Rietfontein Military Cemetery (take R511 towards Hartebeespoort Dam, turn left into Ifafi, first left after 100 metres, and continue to the end of the road).

Hand-over by the Society of Bandsman L Thurgood's refurbished grave to the War Graves Board. The Royal Anglian Regt, successors of the Lincolnshires, contributed to the new headstone via the Society.

The party will then proceed to the battle site and site of the original cemetery (parking will be in the quarry), thence on foot via the original wagon road over the Neck and by muletrack to the top of the Magaliesburg. Strong shoes, food and fluid, plus sun protection, are recommended.

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Future Meetings

March 12th: Col Jack Clayton. SAAF in Madagascar.

April 9th Meeting: Notice of AGM is hereby given.
A talk by Mr Lionel Bussin will follow - "My Escapes as a POW in WWII".

Cape Town

March 12th: Boer War Tribute Medals - Mr Bill Hibbard.

April 9th: Annual General Meeting, followed by a talk on his experience as a POW after the Fall of Hong Kong, by Commander Dan O'Hanlon.

Further details are available from Major Antony Gordon at Tel (021) 614-500.


Details of forthcoming talks are available from Mrs Tania van der Watt at Tel (031) 764-2970

Jennifer Copley
(01211) 30447

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Handwritten addendum:

At present we are still awaiting the Dec 91 Journal which will be posted to 1991 members as soon as it arrives.

(signed) Mike Marsh

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