The South African
Military History Society
Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging
History of the Society - PUBLICATION NO. 8./NEWSLETTER NO. 5.
Documents from the archives
The South African Military History Society in association
with the South African National War Museum.
Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging in medewer-
king met die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Oorlogsmuseum.
Publication No. 8. Sept 67. Publikasie No. 8.
Newsletter No. 5. Nuusbrief No. 5.
Die Historiese Monumentekommissie het op 4 Junie 1967 'n
gedenkplaat onthul by INYOTYOSI om die plek aan te dui waar
die Prins Imperiaal van Frankryk gesneuwel het op 1 Junie
1879. Padaanwysings: Vanaf Vryheid, ry suidwaarts op die
Babanango pad vir 30 myl en draai regs (wes) by die padwyser:
,,Prins Imperiaal-Monument" en ry ongeveer 5 myl na die
Professor F.G. Butler, Department of English, Rhodes
University, Grahamstown, wishes to contact persons willing
to undertake research into the early military history of the
Eastern Province. Mr C.H. Cohen, who is working on a
co-ordinated work programme for the Society has been informed.
Major N.A.C. Clubb, MBE, 56 Windsor Street, Salisbury,
Wiltshire, England - a Dunkirk veteran and stamp collector
- wishes to contact other stamp collectors. He is prepared
to reciprocate with anything in the book field - or military
wise - for assistance received.
Mr D. Whitecross offered to take charge of the uniform
section of the Society. The matter was discussed at a meeting
of the Society on August 10, and it was decided to accept
Mr. Whitecross' proposal. Mr. Whitecross has studied
Scottish uniforms, but is only too willing to study any
uniform. Mr. Whitecross says his sources of information
are beginning to wear thin and members are requested to
let himi have any references to uniforms they come across.
His address is: 508 Arcon Heights, Arcon Park, Vereeniging.
PUBLICATION No. 4.
Supplies of our Publication No. 4 (Newsletter No. 2)
are now exhausted. In all, 66 copies were distributed to
members and allied institutions.
DATES OF EXISTENCE.
The secretary would be pleased to receive the full
dates of raising and disbandment, for one of our members,
of the following S.A. units: Alexandra Mounted Rifles,
Victoria Mounted Rifles, Royal Durban Rangers, Victoria
Rifle Corps and Uhmlali Rifle Guard.
Mr. J.L. Weiss writes as follows: "I have been after
the S.A. service medal for Korea for about 15 years. I
live in the capital city of Illinois, which is the home
of the former U.N. representative and Governor of the
state, Adlai Stevenson. I am preparing to put my collection
of United Nations badges (in his honour) on display at the
State Museum here; the collection to become a permanent
tribute to Mr. Stevenson. Many nations have been most
helpful and I am seeing to it that everyone involved
shall be properly credited." Should any members be able
to assist, Mr. Weiss may be contacted at: 321 E Monroe
Street, Springfield, Illinois, United States of America
Mr. G.E. Williams, LESSA Sports Ground, 15 Rainham
Road, Rainham, Essex, England writes to say: "I have in
my possession a walking stick just over a yard long, of
yellowish brown wood, with a handle carved as a birds
head and on a smooth portion some six inches below this
appears the following inscription: "GEDAGTENIS, H.
OLIVIER, KRYGSGEVANGEN GENOMENDE 27STE FEBR. 1900. GEMAAK
TE ST. HELENA 12.3.1901." Mr. Williams - a badge collector -
was given the stick some fourteen years ago.
Journal (No. 76) and library list of Military Heraldry Soc.
"Five Days of War" - the 1967 Israeli military campaign.
Official Souvenir Brochure - 50th Anniversary of the
Imperial Light Horse. (Now the Light Horse Regiment).
Journal of the Historical Firearms Society of S.A. - Vol.
4 Number 3.
Members may care to know where the word "cornet", as
used in our rank of Field-Cornet, originates from. The
early regiments of horse and the cavalry carried a tapering
pennant which, in Spanish, is called a "corneta." The word
was borrowed by the British Army in the 15th century.
In the British Army the only cornets are now to be found
in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues). In French we find
the word "cornette" which is a kind of standard with points
or horns. "Cornette" was also the name given to the officer
bearing the standard. Equivalent to the cornet, we had
the ensign, the-latter derived from the French "ensigne."
The ensign carried the colour and was the junior
commissioned rank of the infantry and, in early times,
of the dragoons. The cornet or ensign became the 2nd
lieutenant in the British Army in 1871. The Commission or
rank of a cornet was called a cornetcy. (The secretary
would be pleased to receive any further information in
'n Gedeelte van die grafsteen van Hendrik Oostewald
Dreyer is in Mei 1967 op die plaas "Glengariff" van mnr.
Patrick Shannon in die distrik Harrismith ontbloot terwyl
hy besig was om 'n pad te bou. Hendrik Oostewald Dreyer
was 'n bekende en vooraanstaande persoon uit die dae van
die ou Vrystaatse Republieke Hy is in Maart 1866 gedood
toe hy en 'n ekspedieie van sestien Burgers deur Basoetoes
oorval is op hul terugreis van Witsieshoek af met 'n
klomp beeste. Hy was in sy tyd voorsitter van die Volks-
raad en het ook 'n paar jaar in Australie gewoon. Die
datum van sy dood is 1866 en Basoetoe-oorlog is duidelik
leesbaar op die grafsteen. (The above information has
been given to the S.A. War Graves Board.)
At our meeting on Thursday, September 14, 1967, we
had Dr. George Christidis as our speaker. He was born
in Yiannina (the town of John) in Greece and studied
dentistry in Boston, Massachusetts. The Second World War
found him practicing dentistry in Athens and when he was
mobilized, he acted as interpreter of 112 Gladiator
Squadron of the R.A.F. which was operating against the
Italians. Up to April 6, 1941, he had quite a bit of
fun, but when Germany attacked Greece, the Squadron was
wiped out and he was happy to help the ground crews escape
to the Middle East. In the Middle East he joined the Royal
Hellenic Squadron and became the Adjutant of the only
Greek Bomber Squadron operating from the great Gambut
Airfield near Tobruk. Finally, he was transferred to
South Africa where the Greek Air Force was training
cadets in the various training centres of the British
Government. He wound up as the last Greek Liaison
officer in this country. He was demobilized here and
since then he is a business man. His hobbies are speech-
making with the Toastmasters, travelling all over the
world and military history. Dr. Christidis spoke on the
Battle of Waterloo and arrangements were made to obtain
a copy of his talk for a future issue of the Society's
South African Military History Society