The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging



History of the Society - PUBLICATION NO. 4./NEWSLETTER NO. 2.

Documents from the archives

PUBLICATION NO. 4.

	THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
		-
NEWSLETTER NO. 2.	ISSUED: FEBRUARY, 1967.

                                                                           

HERMANNSBURG CADET CORPS.
	
	HERMANNSBURG IS A VILLAGE IN NATAL SITUATED APPROXIMATELY 14
MILES FROM GREYTOWN ON THE GREYTOWN-KRANSKOP RAILWAY LINE. IN
1868 THE HERMANNSBURG (BOARDING) SCHOOL INAUGURATED THE CADET
MOVEMENT IN NATAL WHEN A CADET CORPS, WHICH RECEIVED A GOVERNMENT
GRANT, WAS FORMED THERE. THE SCHOOL WAS AT THAT TIME UNDER THE
HEADMASTERSHIP OF THE REV. H. MULLER. IT IS THOUGHT THAT THIS
CORPS WAS THE FIRST CADET CORPS TO BE ESTABLISHED IN THE BRITISH
EMPIRE. IN 1870 THE MARITZBURG HIGH SCHOOL CADETS CAME INTO EXISTENCE
FOLLOWED SHORTLY AFTERWARDS WITH A MOUNTED CADET CORPS AT HILTON
COLLEGE. THE ACTING GOVERNOR PRESENTED THE HERMANNSBURG CORPS WITH
TERRY CARBINES, A TARGET AND A UNION JACK ON THEIR FORMATION.
GENERAL BOTHA IS ONE OF THE FAMOUS PAST PUPILS OF THE SCHOOL WHICH
WAS THE OLDEST IN NATAL. THE CORPS CONSISTED OF ABOUT 40 ENGLISH
AND GERMAN MEMBERS WHOSE AGES RANGED FROM 14 TO 18 YEARS. THE WORDS
OF COMMAND WERE GIVEN IN GERMAN AS THEIR INSTRUCTOR HAD BEEN A
NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN THE HANOVERIAN ARMY. THE OFFICERS
WERE MR. SCHMIDT (CAPTAIN) AND MESSRS. F.R.  MOOR AND J. MUIRHEAD
LIEUTENANTS). THE SMALLER BOYS CARRIED STICKS AND THE BIGGER BOYS
WERE ARMED WITH TERRY CARBINES FOR WHICH THEY RECEIVED AMMUNITION
FREE OF CHARGE FROM THE GOVERNMENT. THE CADETS DID NOT WEAR
UNIFORMS. TARGET PRACTICE WAS REGULARLY CARRIED OUT, AND SHOOTING
COMPETITIONS FREQUENTLY HELD. FIRING TOOK PLACE FROM DISTANCES
OF 100, 150, 200, 250 AND 300 YARDS. HIS EXCELLENCY THE LIEUTENANT
GOVERNOR, MR. ANTHONY MUSGRAVE, C.M.G., AND THE HON. D. ERSKINE,
COLONIAL SECRETARY, VISITED THE SCHOOL IN 1871 AND WERE IMPRESSED
WITH THE DRILL AND APPEARANCE OF THE CADETS. THE HERMANNSBURG
CADET CORPS VOLUNTEERED FOR ACTIVE SERVICE DURING THE LANGALIBALELE
REBELLION, AND WAS IN EXISTENCE UNTIL 1878.


	CORRESPONDENCE ON THE CONTENTS OF NEWSLETTERS WILL BE WELCOMED
BY THE SECRETARY, AS WELL AS ANY SHORT NOTES BY MEMBERS FOR
INCLUSION.



HINTS FOR WAISTBELTS.

	TO AVOID ''BELTS, WAIST, 1 1/4 INCHES'' FROM BECOMING FRAYED
AT THE BACK BUCKLE, THE FOLLOWING ADVICE MAY BE OF USE TO THOSE
SERVING OFFICERS AMONGST OUR MEMBERS.
	SATURATE THIS END ON BOTH SIDES FOR ABOUT 3/8 TO 1/2 AN INCH
WITH GREASE DROPPED FROM A BURNING CANDLE. WHEN THE CANDLE GREASE
HAS CONGEALED, SCRAPE OFF ThE EXCESS LIGHTLY.
THE CANDLE GREASE WILL NOT RUN OFF ON THE TROUSERS, AND THE
BELT MAY BE SCRUBBED AD INFINITUM WITHOUT THE END BECOMING
FRAYED. IF NECESSARY THE PROCESS MAY BE REPEATED AT INTERVALS
OF SEVERAL MONTHS.


	DID YOU KNOW THAT


	THE PRETORIA HIGHLANDERS REGIMENT WAS FOUNDED BY MR. PETER
LAWRENCE GOUDIE IN 1939. HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR RECRUITING
1,400 MEN IN SIX WEEKS AND FOR RAISING MONEY TO EQUIP THE REGIMENT
WITH HIGHLAND UNIFORMS. HE JOINED THE ROYAL FLYING CORPS IN THE
FIRST WORLD WAR AND LOST A LEG IN AN ENGAGEMENT WITH BARON VON
RICHTHOVEN'S SQUADRON. HE WAS LATER APPOINTED HONORARY COLONEL-
IN-CHIEF OF THE REGIMENT.


THE SOUTH AFRICAN POSTAL AND TELEGRAPH CORPS.
               --------                      
	IN AN ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH THE ORIGIN OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN
CORPS OF SIGNALS, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED FROM
MR. P. ELSTON, 6 TEES LODGE, HOPE STREET, GARDENS, CAPE TOWN.

	''THE ACTUAL FIRST ATTEMPT BY A SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT
WAS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POSTAL AND TELEGRAPH
CORPS IN 1914. A CADRE OF BRITISH INSTRUCTORS, AT THE OUTBREAK OF
THE FIRST WORLD WAR, WAS LEFT AT TEMPE, BLOEMFONTEIN WHEN BRITISH
TROOPS WERE ALL RECALLED TO THE U.K., TO INSTRUCT AND FORM THIS
BRANCH. THERE WAS  NO HEADQUARTERS SECTION, AS SECTIONS WERE
TRAINED THEY WERE ATTACHED TO ANY UNITS IN THE FIELD FOR COMMUNICATI-
BETWEEN THE COLUMNS AFTER WHICH THE CORPS SERVED IN THE THEN GERMAN
SOUTH AFRICA CAMPAIGN, AGAIN ATTACHED TO ANY UNIT AS NECESSARY.
AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THIS THE MAJORITY VOLUNTEERED AND JOINED
EITHER THE S.A. BRIGADES WHICH WENT OVERSEAS OR THE EAST AFRICA
FORCES AS REGIMENTAL SIGNALLERS, BUT AGAIN WERE USED ACTUALLY
WHEREVER NECESSARY AND SENT FROM COLUMN TO COLUMN. I THINK THE
S.A.P.	AND T. CORPS WAS DISBANDED AS SUCH AFTER THE S.W.A. CAMPAIGN,
WHICH ENDED IN JULY, 1915, AND RESUSCITATED IN THE EARLY 1920'S.
I REMEMBER BEING ASKED ABOUT 1923/24 IF I WOULD CARE TO TAKE UP THE
REFRESHER COURSES UNDER THE UNION DEFENCE FORCE ABOUT THAT TIME.''


COLONIAL UNIFORM.
---
	THE FOLLOWING INTERESTING EXTRACT WAS TAKEN FROM ''THE DUKES,''
A HISTORY OF THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S RIFLES, 1855-1956. BY ANGUS
G.	MACKENZIE. THE REGIMENT IS NOW KNOWN AS THE CAPE TOWN RIFLES.
	''THERE WAS A PERIOD LATE LAST CENTURY WHEN THE CAPE COLONY,
DISINCLINED TO DO BATTLE IN BRILLIANT RED UNIFORMS, DEVISED A
COLONIAL-PATTERN OF FIELD DRESS FOR BURGERS AND VOLUNTEERS: THE
FARMER'S YELLOW CORDUROY JACKET, CORDUROY OR CORD TROUSERS, LEATHER
LEGGINGS, THICK BOOTS AND A LARGE, HARD, BROAD-BRIMMED FELT HAT,
OFTEN ADORNED WITH A DISTINCTIVE FEATHER OR COLOURED PUGAREE,
BUT THE CHEMICALS USED FOR PREPARING AND PRESERVING THE CORDUROY
GAVE OFF SUCH A PENETRATING, SUSTAINED ODOUR THAT THE CRITICS
CONTENDED THE ENEMY WOULD SMELL THE COLONIALS AS EASILY AS HE
WOULD SIGHT THE REDCOATS. IF THAT WAS SO, THE ENEMY MUST OFTEN
HAVE HAD THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: IT WAS A FAIRLY COMMON PRACTICE
TO ISSUE THIS OUTFIT ON THE BATTLEGROUND AFTER A NUMBER OF ACTIONS
HAD ALREADY BEEN FOUGHT IN FULL DRESS.''


	REMEMBER TO LET THE HAVE SECRETARY HAVE YOUR NEW ADDRESS.

	MEMBERS' ADVERTISEMENTS.


MR. DAVID WHITECROSS, 20 ELGEDA FLATS, LESLIE STREET,
VEREENIGING:	HAS COMPLETED THE MSS AND SIX PLATES FOR A BOOK ON
THE UNIFORMS OF OVERSEAS SCOTTISH  UNITS AND WOULD BE HONOURED
IF IT COULD BE PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE SAMHS. HE
IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE UNIFORMS OF SOUTH
AFRICAN UNITS FROM ABOUT 1850 AND WOULD WELCOME ANY ASSISTANCE.

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CORRESPONDENCE.



	THE MILITARY HERALDRY SOCIETY.


7 HARDING PLACE,
KEYNSHAM,
SOMERSET,
ENGLAND.
21ST DECEMBER, 1966.

DEAR SIR,
	I AM PLEASED TO SEE THAT YOUR SOCIETY HAS NOW BEEN
BORN AND ON BEHALF OF US ALL, WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST FOR A
SUCCESSFUL FUTURE.
	WE SHALL BE PLEASED TO EXCHANGE JOURNALS WITH YOU AND,  IN
ORDER TO DO THIS, HAVE ENROLLED YOUR SOCIETY AS A MEMBER OF OURS.
THIS ENTITLES YOU TO RECEIVE OUR JOURNAL FREE, AND ANY OTHER
PUBLICATIONS, AND TO HAVE ONE MEMBER ATTEND OUR MEETINGS ON YOUR
BEHALF SHOULD YOU SO WISH
	IF YOU GET ANY QUERIES ON CLOTH FORMATION SIGNS FROM YOUR
MEMBERS, WE SHALL BE PLEASED TO HELP WITH IDENTIFICATION.
	WITH KIND REGARDS,
YOURS SINCERELY, JOHN WARING.

HON. SECRETARY.



South African Military History Society / scribe@samilitaryhistory.org