SOUTH AFRICAN WAR CENTENARY:
The meeting on 13th March. dealing with this topic. produced some interesting results. Will members and others please inform Rodney Constantine. phone 61 3980 (a/h). of ANY UNPUBLISHED written accounts. diaries. records etc. of this war?
Would the member who asked Mr. King to contact Tony Gordon about a diary please phone Tony?
Members please note that for reasons of historical correctness we will in future refer to the 1899-1902 war as THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR.
CASTLE MUSEUM PUBLICATIONS:
The two new brochures. First British Occupation of the Cape. and Forts of the Liesbeeck Frontier are not easy to come by. Anyone wanting to purchase should telephone Lt. Janet Kok at 469 1207. or the Museum itself at 469 1136. fax 469 1089.
SOCIETY EVENING 13.MARCH.
The Map of Battlefields in The Orange Free State. compiled by the War Museum of the Boer Republics. and published by the S.A. Tourism Board. makes reference to the two successive battles of Belmont and Modder River on 23.11. and 28.11. by only mentioning casualties. The Boers suffered 131. and the British 780. a fair indication of the tactical abilities of the Boer commanders and their soldiers to conduct a fluid defence from well planned. protected positions. In contrast. Lt.Gen. Lord Methuen did not always judge the intentions of his enemy correctly. and his troops had to advance across open, bare veld without any cover, in the face of harrowing. accurate fire. and under a merciless sun, which literally roasted the unprotected legs of the Scottish soldiers.
It was left to fellow member Garth Benneyworth to flesh out the dry statistics through his presentation. With the help of "in-situ" slides and over-head maps. he once again brought the battles to life. Pictures of battle sites. showing the open, featureless veld. memorials and graves supplemented Garth's delivery. and he finished by reading extracts from moving personal letters of participants in the battles.
It was a well researched, first-rate presentation, appreciated and enjoyed by the many members and visitors who had turned up.
WHO LED THE FAURESMITH COMMANDO?
This question was asked by a lady visitor at our last meeting. Fellow member, Rodney Constantine, did some investigative work. and found the answer. It was Cmdt. P.J. Visser. who was the leader at the start of the S.A. War. He was one of a group of men who refused to surrender and broke out through the Brandwater basin in July 1900. In October 1900 he was killed during the attack on Jacobsdal. He was succeeded by a younger man. the hard-bitten Cmdt. T.K. "Charlie" Nieuwoudt. (later General). who led the unit with great distinction until the end of the war. He died in 1912.
John Mahncke Tel: 797 51 67
The AGM will be followed by a talk by SQUADRON-LEADER P. WELLS,D.S.O. Having dealt at the September 1996 meeting with his Battle of Britain experiences as a RAF Hurricane fighter pilot, he will continue the tale of his flying career during the rest of the Second World War, which included service on the island of Malta, in the Middle East and in Italy.
THURSDAY 6TH MAY(MEETING NO. 235)
Display/discussion programme presented by a panel of members of the CAPE MILITARIA COLLECTORS' SOCIETY.
NON-MEMBERS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND
Thursday 19th June (a week later than usual):
Panel programme on the 2nd S.A. Anti-aircraft Regiment (1940 to 1942), chaired by Colonel O. Baker.
The Mayor of Berwick, Councillor Robert Knox, replied:Please tell the Russian people that they can sleep peacefully in their beds.'"
PAUL LANGE (PRO) Telephone 617-441 after hours