The South African
Military History Society
Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging
History of the Society - PUBLICATION NO. 5./NEWSLETTER NO. 3.
Documents from the archives
THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
DIE SUID-AFRIKAANSE KRYGHISTORIESE VERENIGING.
Publication No. 5. Publikasie No. 5.
Newsletter No. 3. Nuusbrief No. 3.
Issued : March, 1967. Uitgereik : Maart 1967
Since the beginning of the year the Society has had
two meetings - one in February and one in March.
In February Captain J.A. Ball provided some very
interesting information on South Africa's achievements in
the field of P.O.W. administration during World War II.
On 2nd March the Society held the Annual General Meeting
at which the old committee was re-elected en bloc to serve
until 1968. Dr. J. Ploeger (Military Historian from Defence
H.Q.) read a paper, copies of which are available from the
Copies of the Chairman's Report and the Financial
Statement are appended.
From the Chairman's report arises one inportant item
of information; our regular publication. We have at present
enough material to fill one or two editions. This brings
us to a point that has been raised, namely interest sections.
In order to get the maximum activity and contributions for
our journal, we need to have groups of people working
together on subjects such as badges, medals, firearms,
etc. Suggestions are most welcome and we would be pleased
to hear from those who are prepared to undertake the
organisation of any such section.
More copies of our Rules are now available and those
members who have not yet obtained theirs can expect them in
the post in the near future.
Majoor Kotze het goedgunstiglik die Vereniging se
Reels uit die Engels vertaal en afskrifte sal binnekort
gereed wees vir verspreiding.
'n Voorstel vir die jaarlikse aanbieding vir 'n prys,
of pryse, is ontvang vir die beste stuk navorsingswerk
wat aangebied word vir publikasie in die tydskrif. Verdere
besonderhede is nog nie bekend nie en die saak moet nog
bespreek word. Ons sal egter bly wees om lede se voorstelle
in hierdie verband te ontvang.
Met die viering van sy 75ste bestaansjaar gedurende
3 tot 10 Oktober 1966 het Bothaville - in die Vrystaat -
op paslike wyse sy plaaslike kommando vereer deur ere-
burgerekap daaraan toe te ken. Die bevelvoerder van die
kommando is kommandant P.C. van der Merwe. Ere-burgerskap
is reeds aan verskeie ander kommandos toegeken en dit
sal van nou af seker meer gereeld gebeur dat ons lees
van die een of ander kommando aan wie hierdie eer toegeken
The following information is obtained from the book
"Springbok Victory" by Carel Birkby and may be of interest
to our badge collectora.
THE KENYA INDEPENDENT SQUADRON.
During the Second World War this was the smallest
fighting unit in the British Empire. It consisted of
only eighteen selected volunteers.
The Commanding Officer of this unique unit was Captain
E. Mc K. Nicholl and he had as his Second-in-Command
Corporal A. Dugand. The squadron was divided into four
sections, each consisting of a lance-corporal and three
The K.I.S. was originally founded by Major J.J.
Drought and on formation consisted of 85 men. It was
later disbanded; the troopers being absorbed into other
Captain Nicholl advocated that the K.I.S. should be
reformed on a small scale to act as special scouts and
the unit again came into being.
These men were from all walks of life and all parts
of Africa and were of the type who make frontiersmen. They
could ride, knew animals, were at home in tough country and
ready to live hard and dangerously.
Their dress consisted of slouch hats, khaki bush shirts
and shorts or slacks. The unit had a badge of which only
one hundred were struck. It was not worn while on patrol
It was made up of a laurel wreath surmounted by the letter
"D" - for Droughts' - enclosing a diagrammatic representa-
tion of the cardinal points of the compass, with the motto
of the unit below it; "Quod Age Agis"' - "Do what has to be
Due to the small number of badges that were struck,
this is surely a great prize for collectors of regimental
insignia. Further information on this interesting unit
would be welcomed by the secretary.
In our Newsletter No. 2 we mentioned that the
Hermannsburg Cadet Corps was armed with the Terry
Carbine. One of our members, Mr. J.E. Davis, has given us
the following information on the firearm and one is to
be seen in the S.A. National War Museum.
'THE CALLISHER AND TERRY CARBINE.
In 1855 the British Army was desirous of adopting a
breech-loading carbine for cavalry use. For years this
branch of the service was armed with ineffectual pistols and
muzzle loading weapons, difficult to load on horseback and
there always being the chance of lost or bent ramrods.
Many different systems were presented for trial, the
most well known being the Leetch's, Sharp's, Green's,
Terry's, Westley Richard's, Burton's, and Prince's. All
of these worked but were found to be unfit for military use.
The field was narrowed down to the Terry's, Westley
Richard's and the Sharp's, all of which were adopted at
The Terry carbine was manufactured from 1856 by Messrs.
Callisher and Terry of Birmingham and London. This gun,
which incidently was the first bolt action rifle used in
the British Army, was officially adopted in March, 1861.
The bolt was operated by a hinged handle, fitted at
its rear end, which was pulled outwards to the right and
then back. The cartridge was self contained except for the
percussion cap which was placed on the nipple and fired as
in a normal muzzle loader. The cartridge was made of
nitrated paper and contained a greased felt wad behind
the powder charge and attached to the base, On firing the
wad remained behind in the breech, when the next round
was loaded the wad was then pushed up into the chamber.
When this round was fired the wad then was pushed out in
front of the bullet cleaning and lubricating the barrel.
The same sort of cartridge was used in the Westley
Richards Monkey-Tail rifle.
The calibre of the gun was 0.568 in., with five groove
rifling, taking a Metford-Pritchett bullet of 530 gr. and
was propelled by two drams of powder.
Not all of the Terry guns were carbines and not all
of them were for military issue. Some very fine sporting
rifles were made, of many different barrel lengths. Many
years ago in London the author saw a very nice pistol
using the above system, unfortunately these are few and
far between and very seldom seen.
Die sekretaris stel belang in u adresverandering - verskaf
dit aan hem voordat u verhuis.
"The man who commands efficiently must have obeyed others
in the past, and the man who obeys dutifully is worthy
of being some day a commander."
South African Military History Society