Durban Branch October 1997 News Sheet No 273
Our September meeting took the form of a video evening with some excellent viewing
provided. For our DDH lecture we were priveleged to see our Chairman's, Ken
Gillings' excellent video record of the "Royal Regiment of Wales/121 Battalion
Affiliation Ceremony" held at the Dukuduku base on the 26th January this year.
For those not in the know, the Royal Regiment of Wales is the present day descendant
of the 24th Foot Regiment which fought so valiantly at Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift
during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. 121 Battalion was originally formed as the
fighting unit of the Zulu nation and many of the ancestors of the present members must
have fought in those same battles. Once again our Chairman has managed to capture a
historic moment in the reconciliation of the New South Africa - this time on his video
camcorder. It was a brilliant effort and we hope it will inspire other members in our
Branch to similar heights.
The main video for the evening was the "The Boer War" produced by Castle Visions
which took the place of our advertised programme on the "Buller/Botha Debate" - the
video of which was inadvertently erased in an unfortunate accident while in our
"The Boer War" proved to be a worthy substitute and immediately appropriate to our
Branch's forthcoming "Battlefield's Tour" to the Kimberley Anglo-Boer War Expo
'97. In some eighty minutes of concentrated viewing the producers of the documentary
were able to cover the events leading up to the start of the Boer War, the initial phases
culminating in Black Week, the subsequent reliefs of the besieged towns of Kimberley,
Ladysmith and Mafeking, Robert's victorious march to Pretoria, the last set piece
battle of the War and finally, the deadly guerrilla tactics of the "bitter-einders' and the
systematic destruction of the Boer Republics to the Peace of Vereeniging. It was a
fairly accurate depiction of the events and relatively free of the usual TV artistic licence
that seems to pervade most historical documentaries these days. Those members who
did not attend are advised to view this video as a build-up to the Anglo-Boer War
Centenary which starts in exactly two years time.
- Oct 8th-12th
- Kimberley 2nd Annual Anglo-Boer War EXPO '97.
- Oct 16th
- Visit to Umvoti Mounted Rifles Base at 105 Haig Road, Redhill.
- (Please note this is the 3rd Thursday in October. Time: 19h30)
- Nov 11
- Armistice Day Service at the Warriors' Gate on corner Old Fort Road
and NMR Avenue. The Remembrance Service will start at 10h40.
- Nov 13
- DDH Talk - "Hometown V.C." A talk by fellow-member, Bill Brady.
- Main Talk - "The Bayeaux Tapestry - A Pictorial History of the
Norman Invasion of England in 1066". An illustrated talk by Neil Lee
who will be coming down from Johannesburg to give this talk.
- Dec 11th
- Annual Dinner. This year it will be at the Westville Country Club. The
cost will be R60,00 per head.
- PLEASE LET KEN GILLINGS KNOW
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IF YOU ARE COMING SO THAT
EXACT NUMBERS CAN BE ASCERTAINED.
- No money required
at this stage.
ANGLO-BOER WAR CENTENARY:
Preparations for the Centenary are progressing apace and our Chairman, Ken Gillings
will be going over the London in November this year to promote Natal's side of the
planned activities at the International Travel Fair.
BATTLEFIELDS' TOUR GUIDES:
Training of prospective Battlefields' Tour Guides will be undertaken by Mrs. Pam
McFadden at the Talana Museum in Dundee at a cost of R400,00 per course.
Interested persons should contact her by telephone at (0341)22654 for further details.
The venue for all meetings will be the 1st Floor lecture theatre, Dept. of
Civil Engineering, University of Natal, Durban, which is housed in the
building on the right of the Memorial Tower Building (opposite the entrance
to the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre), commencing at 19h30 on the second
Thursday in the month. Please bring your own refreshments and glass.
VISITORS AND INTERESTED PERSONS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND. Charge R2,00 -
Students and Scholars free.
Tania van der Watt (Mrs)
Secretary: Durban Branch
S.A.MILITARY HISTORY SOCIETY
Box 870 Hillcrest 3650
Telephone: (031) 764 2970
South African Military History Society