South African Military History Society


Special Note.

Our Society Braai has been brought forward to the 22nd October 1993, due to circumstances beyond our control. Members who wish to attend the Braai are asked to kindly change this date on the booking slip (on last Newsletter) and enter the new date in their engagement calendar. I apologize for the inconvenience. The time of 6 p.m. will not change.

We still do need a few volunteers (ladies)to bring a salad to the Braai. Please contact Dr. Felix Machanik, the braai organizer, at Tel.: 646 19 80.

Our annual Braai has always been a well patronized event and social highlight of the year and I very much hope that, since we missed a braai last year, we will see many old and new members at the Museum.

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The Society evening of 9th Sept. was poorly attended which was really a pity because, once again, curtain raiser and main talk were of a high quality.

We first saw a Video from the M.G.H. stable about the Boer War in Natal. Pictures from action drawings and colour shots showing how the battlefields look today, gave us an insight into the many bloody engagements fought in that province, while the narration by Ken Gillings, Chairman of Durban Branch, added to the human interest story.

The main talk was by Prof. Ian Copley, our resident specialist historian and journal contributor for the Boer War and its many actions fought in and around the Hartebeestport area.

His subject was: "Ambush at Kalkheuvel Pass". This engagement took place on 3rd June 1900, and once again proved the superiority of the Boer forces with - their skirmish tactics over the British units. This was the type of warfare they employed here and elsewhere while also taking advantage of the confusing terrain.

While the British slugged along rough roads from the south to the north of Pretoria to outflank their enemy, they were eventually bottled up in the Pass. The Boers harassed their enemy from all sides but despite this advantage lost 30 killed, while British losses were only 3 killed.

With the help of excellent maps and photographs, even using aerial shots, Ian led us through the day of the ambush and the following two days. His scientific approach and painstaking detail work re-created the scenery of the engagement.

Martin Ayres thanked the speaker for his thorough and engaging presentation.

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N.B. The Lecture Programme for 1994 has been submitted by our Lecture Organizer, Prof. Ian Copley, to the Committee. It promises to be again a year of high-quality talks on a variety of subjects, which will undoubtedly add to the prestige of the Military History Museum in our country.

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SUBSCRIPTIONS for 1994. Due to the rise in postal costs (Newsletters, Journal), your Committee has been forced to slightly increase next year's subscriptions below the inflation rate. This is very much regretted and your Committee hopes that you, the member, will accept this increase.

Even at the new subscr. rates our members receive value for money, especially the Journal, which is read and valued worldwide, and through which your Society and the Museum are acknowledged in the field of military history research in many countries as shown by the correspondence received by your Committee.

The new rates for 1994 are as follows:
Single annual R 32.50 Life (single) R 325.-
Family annual R 40.- Life (family) R 400.-
Entrance Fee: R 2.-

Will members please make a note and submit their cheques to M. Marsh (Hon.Tr.) 234 Regent Str. East, Observatory Ext. 2198, Johannesburg.

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Dr. Felix Machanik has graciously informed your Committee that he wishes to donate a MEDAL on an annual basis to the Society. This MEDAL will be known as the "Dr. Felix Machanik" prize for the year's best lecture topic.

This will be in addition to the well known "Roderick Murchison Memorial Prize" for the best article in the SAMHS Journal during the year.

The Panel to discuss and present the award has been nominated from your Committee members: Jenny/Ian Copley, George Barrell, Kemsley Couldridge, John Bleloch, Hamish Paterson.

The Committee thanked Dr. Machanik for his gesture to our Society.

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Our Society Badge is now available in the form of a Plaque, silver and black, and a sample will be shown at our next meeting/lecture evening.

It can be purchased from our Hon.Tr., Mike Marsh at R 60.-. Although the price may seem acbit on the expensive side, the Plaque is excellently made, and the first batch is well on the way to being sold out.

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Members' Corner: Member David Sheldon, who is doing research into his family's history, would like to contact any former pilot or other members of No. 60 Squadron, who served in Italy during 1944. Kindly contact David at his home. The Tel. No. is: 828 83 35.

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Forthcoming Lecture:

14.10.93 Capt. Ivor Little.
PACIFIC WAR 1879. (The Naval War between Chile and Peru.)
This talk should be of great interest, since it will focus on a little known war.

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A POSTER advertising our Society, is available to anyone wishing to promote the Society and the Museum. It can be obtained from John Bleloch, our Publicity Secretary, at no charge. His Tel.: 646 27 14.

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P.S. The roaming copy of the GAZALA GALLOP appears to be missing somewhere.
Would the member who has the copy at the moment kindly contact the Chairman urgently. There are many more members wishing to photocopy the article.


(Chairman & Scribe)
Tel. (011) 453 63 53

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