South African Military History Society


The Society evening of 13th May started with a History Quiz of 20 questions of a general nature. It was the brainchild of Dr. Felix Machanik and Martin Ayres. Martin conducted the proceedings with overhead projections.

There was fierce competition between "working groups" and individual participants, with incorrect answers bandied about to confuse everyone. Specialists, like Hamish Paterson, were excluded, much to their chagrin. With much merriment answers were cross-checked and five winners emerged who had answered between 7 to nine questions correctly.

They were: J. Murray, D. Panagos, H. Perr, K.T. Will and T.L.Willson. They will participate in a Final Quiz which will be conducted later this year.

Felix could, unfortunately, not participate. He underwent an eye operation very recently which prevented him from driving. He assured me, however, that he will be back at our next meeting. In any case, being an expert, he would have been excluded as well.

Martin, almost exhausted from controlling the noisy crowd of quizzers then changed to serious matters and spoke to us about the History of the Royal Horse Artillery.

His talk was extremely well researched and included a great amount of detail about the early years, when the Royal Horse Artillery were cold-shouldered by the top brass (something which we have heard so often during our many lectures, i.e. Tanks, Aircraft, Submarines etc.) too many facts to mention and give credit in this Newsletter. He covered the engagements in wars on various continents where British troops served. His talk was extremely interesting, even poignant.

I have Martin's full text and offer this to any member wishing to make copies. Hamish Paterson thanked the speaker for the talk.

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Having received a Video about the Boer War in Natal (13 min.) from M.G.H. by air courier just in time for the evening, the writer was acutely embarrassed when there appeared only a picture but no sound, and no amount of coaxing by Hamish could remedy the situation. (It was discovered afterwards that a Gremlin had put his finger in.)

This Video will be shown at a later date.

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TOURS: The Ladysmith Siege Museum has again put out a schedule for Study Tours which is very interesting. Information can be obtained from the writer or direct from MAUREEN at 0351 22231.

Durban Branch will arrange a tour to ELANDSLAAGTE for August/September. Further details will appear in our Newsletter once they are known.

The Durban Newsletter of May mentions a talk by Graham Dominy from the Natal Museum about "Naval Battles of the Anglo-Boer War". Anyone interested to read more about this topic can obtain a copy from the writer.

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Forthcoming events:
l0th June Waterloo Evening. 5 speakers
8th July African Wars in the Magaliesberg Vincent Carruthers

For information on forthcoming talks in Durban and Cape Town please contact the writer.

The Society needs New Members. Due to resignations and shrinkage we lost about 40 members last year. If we can sign on new members this would mean that we will not be affected by rising inflation as far as the Journal is concerned.

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John Mahncke (Scribe)
Tel.: (011) 453 63 53

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