The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging



History of the Society - PUBLICATION NO. 2./NEWSLETTER NO. 1.

Documents from the archives

PUBLICATION NO. 2.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
NEWSLETTER NO. 1.	ISSUED: JANUARY, 1967.


THE SOCIETY COMMENCED ITS ACTIVITIES WITH THE INAUGURAL
MEETING WMICH WAS HELD AT THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL WAR MUSEUM
IN JOHANNESBURG ON WEDNESDAY 5TH OCTOBER 1966
ON THIS OCCASION COMMANDANT-GENERAL H.B. KLOPPER, D.S.O., E.D.,
A RETIRED HEAD OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENCE FORCE, DELIVERED THE
OPENING ADDRESS. HE POINTED OUT THAT SOUTH AFRICA COULD LOOK BACK
WITH PRIDE ON A LONG AND HONOURABLE MILITARY PAST. HE BRIEFLY
SKETCHED THIS PAST FROM THE DAYS OF THE DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY
UP TO THE YEAR 1912, WHEN SOUTH AFRICA OBTAINED ITS OWN DEFENCE
ACT AND DEFENCE ORGANISATION. WITH A RICH MILITARY BACKGROUND
SUCH AS OURS, IT WAS CLEAR HOW MUCH WORK COULD FRUITFULLY BE DONE
BY THE SOCIETY. UNIFORMS, WEAPONS, BADGES, HISTORICAL BATTLEFIELDS,
COLOURS  DEFENCE WORKS, MEMORIALS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS, REGIMENTAL
HISTORIES, AND A HOST OF OTHER SUBJECTS ARE ASPECTS OF THE PAST
AWAITING INTENSIVE STUDY, HE SAID. BY DOING RESEARCH IN THESE
FIELDS ONE WOULD WIDEN AND BE ABLE TO SPREAD ONE'S KNOWLEDGE.
HE ENDED HIS ADDRESS BY WISHING THE SOCIETY EVERY SUCCESS IN ITS
ENDEAVOURS.
     THE AD HOC COMMITTEE, WHICH WAS ELECTED AT THE INAUGURAL
MEETING MET ON THURSDAY 20TH OCTOBER 1966 TO DISCUSS AND APPROVE
OF A SET OF RULES FOR THE SOCIETY. THESE HAD BEEN PREPARED BY THE
CHAIRMAN. THE COMMITTEE, AFTER DISCUSSION, AGREED TO PRESENT THE
RULES TO THE FIRST GENERAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY
     THE FIRST GENERAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY TOOK PLACE ON THURSDAY
3RD NOVEMBER 1966. THE SOCIETY'S RULES WERE APPROVED AND ADOPTED
AT THIS MEETING AND THE AD HOC COMMITTEE WAS RE-ELECTED EN BLOC
TO SERVE UNTIL THE FIRST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING TO BE HELD IN 
MARCH. THE COMMITTEE NOW IN OFFICE CONSISTS OF THE FOLLOWING:

CHAIRMAN	:     MR. D. FORSYTH
VICE-CHAIRMAN	: MAJOR B. SIMPKINS, J.C.D., N.M.
SECRETARY	:     MR. N. GOMM
TREASURER	      DR. S. KAPLAN
MEMBERS	.         DR. F. MACHANIK, MAJOR S.W.J. KOTZE
                  LIEUT. H. WINDER, MR. P. MELVILLE
                  MR. C. AMM

MAJOR R.J. SOUTHEY READ A MOST INTERESTING PAPER ON THE BATTLE OF
MAJUBA. THIS IS TO BE PUBLISHED AS SOON AS FUNDS PERMIT THE PRINTING
OF A JOURNAL.

ON THURSDAY 1ST DECEMBER 1966, THE SOCIETY HELD ANOTHER
MEETING AT THE NATIONAL WAR MUSEUM. ON THIS OCCASION MAJOR B.
SIMPKINS PRESENTED A SLIDE SHOW WITH TAPED COMMENTARY OF A FACT
FINDING MISSION HE UNDERTOOK TO EGYPT AND LIBYA IN 1958 TO OBTAIN
INFORMATION FOR HIS BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF THE RAND LIGHT INFANTRY.
AT THIS MEETING IT WAS DECIDED THAT THE SOCIETY WILL HAVE ANOTHER
GET TOGETHER ON THE 2ND FEBRUARY.

ON THIS OCCASION CAPTAIN J.A. BALL WILL TALK ON SOUTH
AFRICA'S ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE FIELD OF ENEMY P.O.W. ADMINISTRATION
DURING THE PERIOD 1940-1946. CAPTAIN BALL IS THE HOLDER OF THE
CIVILIAN ORDER OF THE STAR OF ITALY WHICH WAS AWARDED TO HIM IN
RECOGNITION OF THE WORK HE DID AMONGST ITALIAN P.O.W. DURING
1940-1946.	THE AWARD WAS MADE BY THE ITALIAN POST-WAR GOVERNMENT
WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF OF THE UNION
DEFENCE FORCE IN 1947. ThE TALK LASTS FOR 45 TO 60 MINUTES AND
CAPTAIN BALL WILL ALSO BE TOUCHING ON THE HISTORY OF COLONEL
PRINSLOO WHO WAS OFFICER COMMANDING P.O.W. CAMPS AT THAT TIME.
HE HOPES TO HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC AND OTHER MATERIAL ON DISPLAY AT
THE SAME TIME.

	MEETINGS AT HEADQUARTERS HAVE BEEN ATTENDED BY AN AVERAGE OF
THIRTY PERSONS AT A TIME. A MOST PLEASING ASPECT OF THESE MEETINGS
IS THE NUMBER OF NEW FACES TO BE SEEN ON EACH OCCASION.

	TO DATE THERE ARE 44 PAID UP MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY.
CONTINUOUS EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE TO IMPROVE MEMBERSHIP. WE APPEAL
TO MEMBERS TO DO THEIR UTMOST TO ASSIST IN THIS MATTER AND TO LET
THE SECRETARY HAVE A LIST OF NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF INTERESTED
PERSONS.
	AS MENTIONED IN OUR PUBLICATION NO. 1 (INFORMATION PAMPHLET)
IT IS THE INTENTION TO ESTABLISH BRANCHES OF THE SOCIETY
THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND THAT TO A LARGE EXTENT THEY WILL BE
SELF-GOVERNING. AS NO PROVISION IS MADE IN THE RULES FOR THE RUNNING
OF THESE BRANCHES,  IT WOULD BE APPRECIATED IF POTENTIAL BRANCH
SECRETARIES WILL HAVE THE MATTER DISCUSSED AND FORWARD THEIR
RECOMMENDATIONS TO  US.
	OVERSEAS RESPONSE HAS BEEN ENCOURAGING AND MEMBERSHIP FROM
THAT QUARTER CAN BE GREATLY INCREASED ONCE A PROPER PUBLICITY
CAMPAIGN IS LAUNCHED. TO DATE 25 ENQUIRIES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED
FROM COUNTRIES SUCH AS CANADA, ENGLAND,  IRELAND, NEW ZEALAND,
BELGIUM  THE U.S.A	SINGAPORE, RHODESIA AND HOLLAND.
	TH& QUESTION OF FORMING A PANEL OF EXPERTS HAS BEEN RAISED
AND WE INTEND ESTABLISHING ONE IN THE NEAR FUTURE. DETAILS WILL
BE GIVEN AT A LATER DATE
	A FEW OFFERS OF A DESIGN FOR A BADGE AND LETTERHEAD FOR THE
SOCIETY HAVE BEEN RECEIVED. HOWEVER, WE WOULD LIKE AS MANY PERSONS
AS POSSIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS MATTER AND LOOK FORWARD TO
RECEIVING SKETCHES OF YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS. CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED
AFTER THE END OF APRIL WILL NOT BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION.
	THE SOCIETY INTENDS PUBLISHING A JOURNAL. WE CANNOT COMMENCE
PUBLICATION UNTIL SUCH TIME AS WE HAVE SUFFICIENT FUNDS AND
MATERIAL. THIS WILL REQUIRE EDITING AND CHECKING FOR ACCURACY.
YOU WILL REALISE THAT IT IS A HUGE TASK AND WE APPEAL TO YOU TO
LET US HAVE YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS AND TO BE PATIENT IF THE FIRST
EDITION DOES NOT APPEAR AT AN EARLY DATE. REMEMBER THAT MEMBERS'
ADVERTISEMENTS ARE MOST WELCOME FOR PUBLICATION.
	MR. M.P. CONNIFORD, WHO IS A MILITARY VEHICLE HISTORIAN
AND RESIDES AT 12, WESTDENE CRESCENT, CAVERSHAM, READING, BERKSHIRE,
ENGLAND WRITES AS FOLLOWS: "WHILST I HAVE MANY CONTACTS THROUGHOUT
THE WORLD, AND HAVE UNDERTAKEN WORK FOR THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
AND THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, I FEEL IT WOULD PROBABLY BE BEST IF
I REMAINED PURELY IN AN ADVISORY CAPACITY ON THE IDENTIFICATION
OF VEHICLES FOR YOUR MEMBERS, RATHER THAN JOIN THE SOCIETY."
THIS IS A MOST GENEROUS OFFER ON THE PART OF MR. CONNIFORD
AND WE HOPE MEMBERS WILL MAKE USE OF IT.

MEMBERS' ADVERTISEMENTS.

	MR. N. GOMM, 47A, PRINCES STREET  TROYEVILLE, JOHANNESBURG:
HAS COMMENCED COMPILING A SCRAPBOOK OF CUTTINGS DEALING WITH ALL
ASPECTS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENCE FORCE. THESE ARE ARRANGED IN
CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE AND IS TO BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE SOCIETY.
MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED TO CONTRIBUTE ANY ARTICLES OR NEWS ITEMS
THEY MAY FIND IN NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, ETC.

REMEMBER TO INFORM THE SECRETARY OF ANY CHANGE IN ADDRESS.


South African Military History Society / scribe@samilitaryhistory.org