The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Research - Help/information wanted

The following requests have been received for information for individuals' research projects

Please contact the researchers directly

From: Mr John Bastock
Subject: Re: Expeditionary Force Canteens WWI
Date posted: 14 April 2021

We are researching the Expeditionary Force Canteens that supplied the British Army during WW1. Australia had their own canteen service, supplemented by the EFC on occasion. Did South African forces have their own or did they use the EFC?

From: Dr Karen Horn
Subject: Re: diaries, memoirs or letters by members of the Union Defence Force who fought in World War Two
Date posted: 1 April 2021

  I am looking for any diaries, memoirs or letters by members of the Union Defence Force who fought in ITALY during World War Two. These may include volunteers (rank and file), officers, medical staff or nurses in the Medical Corps. If families would like to keep the sources anonymous, I would gladly undertake to do so.  

My email is or

From: Alan Hitchcox
Subject: Re: Hitchcox M.S.M German East Africa WWI
Date posted: 25 March 2021

  T545 Head-Conductor S.W. Hitchcox M.S.M served with the Army Service Corps, South African Forces in German East Africa, 20 Nov 1915 - 19 Jan 1919.

I am trying to establish which ASC Company he was attached to which, in turn, may enable me to further research how and where he spent those war years.

  Perth, Western Australia

From: Wayne Douglas
Subject: Re: Francis (Frank) Hutton Donaldson
Date posted: 21 March 2021

In connection with my genealogical research, I am looking for assistance in tracking down information on Francis (Frank) Donaldson, a Canadian who travelled to South Africa with the Canadian contingent that participated in the Boer War. According to his 1925 death notice, after the war, he remained in South Africa. In 1914, he enlisted again and the notice says that he participated in the West African Rebellion, and then went to the UK with the South African Heavy Artillery and at one point, transferred to the Canadian Field Artillery, where he served until badly wounded and was invalided back to England and eventually back to Canada.  His Canadian enlistment documents mention that he served two years with the South African Police Force. He died on Christmas Eve, 1924 as a result of his war wounds.

Wayne Douglas
Lieutenant Colonel, Retired 
Royal Canadian Artillery

From: Karl Buhr
Subject: Re: Attack on Chemical Works at Roeux, April 12 1917
Date posted: 21 March 2021

  I'm seeking information on the soldiers of the 4th SAI, the South African Scottish, who were seen from an observation balloon fighting toward the Chemical Works at Roeux on April 12, 1917, during the first phase of the Battle of Arras.  Arthur Betteridge describes it: "Our sausage observation balloons reported that our kilties - the men of A and C Companies - were seen advancing as far as the chemical works at Roeux. Our own Brigade Headquarters said this was impossible for the strong German machine gun posts must have mowed down our men long before they got anywhere near Roeux. But three months later, when Roeux was captured, the bodies of men of the South African Scottish were found near the chemical works."  Other authors say one month later, but several mention the story.  Is there a source for the reports from observation balloons?

    My great uncle was in Coy. C, and recorded first as Wounded, then Wounded and Missing, then Missing Assumed killed, all of that day.  He was either a casualty of the shelling of the village of Fampoux before the advance, when at least four and maybe as much as six battalions of various British and South African units gathered there (not such a great plan), or, he's one of the "kilties" some on the line toward Roeux.  A disproportionate number of the 4th Regiment are Missing from that day, and I'm wondering if this might be them, not identified when they were found later, maybe because the enemy had buried them as Unknowns.  Any suggestions which cemetery the bodies would have been taken to, by which unit when they were recovered?  My quest is to find if not the actual graves, at least the graveyard.


From: Trevor Coombe
Subject: Re: South African POWs in E.724 Schwientochlowitz, Poland in 1944-45
Date posted: 14 February 2021

In July 1944, about 200 South African POWs were moved from the Arbeits kommando E.715 at the I. B. Farben chemical works at Auschwitz-Monowitz to a new camp (E.724) in Schwientochlowitz (?wi?toch?owice), where they were put to work at the Hutte "Florian" steelworks.

On 23 January 1945, a week after the Red Army's Oder-Neisser offensive had begun, the E.724 camp was evacuated. The POWs began a long forced march west, under Wehrmacht guard, through bitter winter conditions. 

For my father, 3367 Signaller Arnold Walter Coombe. and his companions, the ordeal ended at Güntersdorf, near Moosburg an der Isar, Bavaria, on 29 April 1945, when they were found and liberated by a United States army patrol. 

An annotated map of my father's war journeys, including The March, may be accessed at:

I would be glad to hear from any descendant or relative of South African POWs at Schwientochlowitz, or anyone with information about Stalag VIIIB. E.724.

From: Sandra Doran
Subject: Re: 6th SA Armoured Military Division
Date posted: 25 January 2021

Presently I’m writing an illustrated non-fiction book Forgotten Heroes, based on the Italian campaign 1943-45. Forgotten Heroes is told by veterans and family members through letters, regimental war diaries, photos, journals, diagrams and maps.  

I am discovering very little on the 6th SA Armoured Military Division.  As the 6th SA was involved in the Italian campaign I would like it if they could be included in Forgotten Heroes.  

The book includes detailed events from other military regiments, units and divisions around the world. Countries and Government Offices; including endorsements offering support such as: Australia, America, Britain, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, New Zealand and Poland.   Alt e-mail:

From: William Murray
Subject: Re: Old Boer War shell casing?
Date posted: 24 December 2020

This shell casing was given to me by a great aunt back in 1986, saying a friend gave it to her after finding it on a hike (she was born around 1900, so it must have lain on the ground for 20 years or so).

Posted for interest.

From: Des Jennings
Subject: Re: Repatriation of SAAF Personnel - 1945/6
Date posted: 26 November 2020

My late dad, Ronald Mathew Jennings (Service No: 312646), served as an aircraft  technician in north Africa, the Middle East and Italy told me an extended tale as to how he got back to SA after the conflict.

Apparently, when the war ended in Europe, he took what he described as the 'Blue Oath' which volunteered for service in the east (where Japan was still resisting).

He was part of what he described as 4 Squadron - or '7 Wing' (Hurricanes and later Spitfires), and was put on an ocean liner (the 'Bjergensfjord').

They duly headed from Italy, down Suez and through the Red Sea, en route to India.

By the time (August), they reached Columbo (present day Sri Lanka), the US had dropped the 'bomb' and they were turned back (?)

Eventually they were re-directed to Durban and finally demobbed and home to Cape Town in July 1946.

Now my question is; With a time lapse of eleven months, where did they go and what did they do for almost a whole year?

There's no way they stayed on the ship for that time, so there must have been some stopover or detour somewhere. What did the SAAF do with their '4 Squadron' during that time?

Can anyone help???

From: Martin Plaut
Subject: Re: Bechuanaland Border Police
Date posted: 16 September 2020

Martin is busy researching the Bechuanaland Border Police and would like any information or comments which would shed light on this subject.

He recently acquired the following photographs which have connections to Henry William Sitwell who was involved around 1891-3.

Sitwell's hut?

Hunting trophies

Three people two horses

Group photo

Please contact him directly if you can assist.

From: Lauren Jacobs
Subject: Re: SSS Research
Date posted: 15 June 2020

Hi Everyone, I am a published author and historian focusing on women's history.
I am writing a book about the radar girls specifically, and I'd like to interview some of the families, children (or other) who had family members who worked at the radar stations. I'm interested in the stories you are willing to share, and / or even pictures etc.

Please email me

From: Andrew Clark
Subject: Re: Contact Details for Ross Dix-Peek - Regarding Capt Larry Eager SAAF
Date posted: 23 May 2020

Can anybody help me contact Ross Dix-Peek as I believe he knows something about Captain Larry Eager, an SAAF pilot who served with the RAF´s Bomber Command during WW2? I am trying to find out as much as I can concerning this gentleman. Any help will be greatly appreciated.  

Thanks in advance   Andrew Clark
Researching the history of No.1690 Bomber (Defence) Training Flight, RAF  

From: Peter Walters
Subject: Re: Air Sgt Samuel Roy Walters and the "Flying Camel"
Date posted: 18 May 2020

I have an enquiry relating to my Late Father. He served in the SADF – commonly referred to as the UDF – as a volunteer, from 1942 through 1945 when he was invalided out with an honourable discharge. I have always understood that his service was in what was known as the Cheetah Squadron, which I understand was the nickname of 2 Squadron, SAAF. His Army number was 336774 (V) and his invalidity number was 37210.

  To the best of my knowledge he saw active service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy in these years.

  During his service he prepared a regular (probably weekly) hand written and illustrated camp newspaper (or news sheet). He called this “The Flying Camel” and I imagine it to have been a morale booster within the Squadron, with all kinds of war time news including satirical cartoons (which he drew) of Hitler, Mussolini and other military figures in those difficult war time days. I do know that every edition of this news sheet was eagerly read and enjoyed by all members of the Squadron. I seem to remember he told me that it was pinned to the Squadron notice board and read from there.


From: Shirene Dovey
Subject: Re: Appeal for return of G H Moffett's medals
Date posted: 30 April 2020

  I am trying to find my Great Grandfathers medals. I adored my grandfather and love antiques and family history. This would mean so much if I could get them back. I will not be reselling them! 

George Henry Moffett was awarded:
- CGHGSM bar Bechuanaland to 965 Pte. G.H. Moffett, Cape Pce.
- QSA bars Cape Colony and Orange Free State to 965 Cpl. G.H. Moffett Cape D.1
- KSA bars SA 1901 and 1902 to 965 Cpl. G.H. Moffett, Cape Police D1

His name is engraved on the medals! 

medal stack

Side view

medals and ribbons

Medals and ribbons

These medals were sold without family consultation via Rory to Mervyn Mitton, a collector in Durban, South Africa and he died and no one seems to know what happened to the items in his collection/ shop. 

Please contact me if you have them:

From: Jeff Patrick
Subject: Re: Colonel Henry John Charles Stephan and Captain Joe Borden
Date posted: 17 April 2020

"I am searching for any biographical information on Colonel Henry John Charles Stephan, mayor of Cape Town in the 1930s and commander of the Cape Town Highlanders during World War II, and Captain Joe Borden, an American serving in the South African forces at the same time.  Any help will be greatly appreciated."

From: Dr Karen Horn
Subject: Re: diaries, memoirs or letters by members of the Union Defence Force who fought in World War Two
Date posted: 18 March 2020

  I am looking for any diaries, memoirs or letters by members of the Union Defence Force who fought in the East African Campaign or in North Africa during World War Two. These may include volunteers (rank and file), officers, medical staff or nurses in the Medical Corps. If families would like to keep the sources anonymous, I would gladly undertake to do so.  

My email is or

From: Michael Skriletz
Subject: Re: South African Mess Tin Makers
Date posted: 28 January 2020

Update on 11 February:
I actually figured out who the maker was in the interim and outlined my research on the following forum...

My conclusions were thus...
- Stamped tinned steel waterbottles marked "ML. C.T. ~ 1943" were made by Maytham's Limited in Cape Town.
- The similarity in the design of the ML to the MB of the Metal Box Company reflects the amalgamation of the two companies in the 1930s
- The similarity in design to wartime Indian bottles is due to the fact that both companies had affiliations with Metal Box Company and that both India and South Africa were part of the Eastern Group Supply Council during the war.

I recently saw a South African D-shaped mess tin marked "MILLER 1918", but I have not yet been able to locate this maker.

mess tin

Mess tin

mess tin

Date on tin

Also, there have been mysterious green-painted tinned steel canteens marked "ML. C.T. 1943" on the market for many years, which most collectors, including myself, thought were Indian-made. Recently, however, I saw a set of WWII South African-produced mess tins marked "ML. J.". I now believe that ML was a South African steel pressing/stamping firm located in both Johannesburg (J.) and Cape Town (C.T.), but I cannot seem to decipher this maker. I thought it might be Miller Limited, but cannot find any reference to such a company.

mess tin

Mess tin

mess tin

Date on tin

From: (J E) Boet Coetzee
Subject: Re: Artillery Regimental Information
Date posted: 18 January 2020

  I was a member of 7 Medium SAA which was established in Benoni in 1974 and based there until 1991 when it was obliged to amalgamate with the THA. Some of my fellow 7 Medium officers and I want to research the history of our former Unit. The 7 Medium (3TS) and the 3rd Battalion Transvaal Scottish feature prominently in that history. Fortunately, we have found a wealth of information on these two Regiments. However, we are struggling for information on the following artillery regiments which also feature in our Regimental “genealogy”:
·       7 Field Regiment
·       23 Medium Regiment
·       7/23 Medium Regiment
·       2 Medium Regiment
·       Regiment Laeveld

Any help in obtaining meaningful information on these units will be much appreciated.

From: Alan Nowlan
Subject: Re: First Aid Nurses Yeomanry Info request
Date posted: 9 January 2020

I am looking for any information about the First Aid Nurses Yeomanry of South Africa, especially during the Second World war. Was interested due to an article I have recently read where they were mentioned and a brief sub heading about them learning to ride Motorcycles before paying their own fares to go to East Africa. 

From: Maureen Twiss
Subject: Re: Family of Pte C.H. Batchelor 12th S.A.I from WW1
Date posted: 29 October 2019

I have a medal belonging to a Pte C.H. Batchelor 12th S.A.I from WW1. I would really like to return this medal to the family.

I can be contacted on my email address.

From: Ad van Zantvoort
Subject: Re: Family of F/Lt C.W.McGregor: Beryl, Norma, Madge and Sheila
Date posted: 14 September 2019

Since the early ninetees I am researching the loss and fate of Allied aircraft crashes and their crews. Among them a Lancaster ND961 of 97 Sqdn piloted by 26 year old S.African pilot F/Lt C.W.McGregor. He and his crew were detailed for a raid on Ladbergen to bomb the Dortmund Ems canal on the 8th February 1945. They left the base in the UK(Coningsby) and dropped their bombs on target. On their return to England the Lancaster collided in midair with an 83 Sqdn Lancaster. Both Lancasters crashed which killed both entire crews. The crew members including C.W. McGregor are buried at Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery. 

The South African Embassy (Mr Andre Stemmet) contacted me to erect a memorial in honour to C.W. McGregor and his crew and also the crew of the other aircraft. We have already formed a comite and we will trying to get the funding and we will erect the memorial Saturday 8th February 2020 I hope with the attendance of crew relatives and the Ambassador of S. Africa. I am in touch for quite a while with some crew relatives and I am trying to get in touch with the family of C.W.McGregor.

I know that Charles William McGregor was born in Cape Town 12 May 1919 and moved with his parents to Bloemfontein. After a while they moved to Johannesburg where Charles William McGregor went to the King Edward VII school. When the war broke out he volenteered for the army and served under Generaal Dan Pienaar in Abbysinia. Charles dreamed about a carreer as a Pilot so he and some of his friends volunteered for the SAAF.  At Kimberley Charles got his wings and he volunteered for Bomber Command in 1944. After a few courses he went to 106 Sqdn and transfered to a PFF 97 Squadron.

On 8th February 1945 he and his crew flew their last mission. I know that Charles had four sisters Beryl, Norma, Madge and Sheila. Also I know that his sisters have children and I hope to get in touch with them.  That’s why I wrote this small article as we hope that we get in touch with McGregors family to exchange information and hopefully they are willing to attend the Memorial unveiling on 8th February 2020.

From: Wollie Weyers
Subject: Re: Family of William Johannes Kemp, Service No 35121
Date posted: 14 September 2019

Good day, I found a medal of W.J. Kemp between my late grandfather's WW2 medals.
This is an Africa Service medal, service number 35121. How would I go about tracing his family?      

From: Peter Walters
Subject: Re: Air Sgt Samuel Roy Walters WWII news sheet The Flying Camel
Date posted: 31 August 2019

My father volunteered and served with No 2 Squadron in WWII and prepared a regular (probably weekly) hand written and illustrated camp newspaper (or news sheet). He called this "The Flying Camel" and I imagine it to have been a morale booster within the Squadron, with all kinds of war time news including satirical cartoons (which he drew) of Hitler, Mussolini and other military figures in those difficult war time days. I do know that every edition of this news sheet was eagerly read and enjoyed by all members of the Squadron. I seem to remember he told me that it was pinned to the Squadron notice board and read from there.

Does anybody have details or better still a copy of "the Flying Camel" for me to add to the family history?

From: Neal Moore
Subject: Re: SA airman Phil / Handley Page Bomber
Date posted: 11 August 2019

Hello, I am trying to learn the identity of a South African WWI pilot named Phil who I believe flew the Handley Page Bomber. I’ve acquired an original framed photo titled (on verso) “Handley Page Bomber Over Cliffs”. It is inscribed to a friend with birthday wishes from “Phil”.

Speaking to the book dealer in Fish Hoek who sold me the picture, he reckons that Phil would be the pilot and would have most probably given the framed picture as a present to a fellow pilot in the Johannesburg area following the war. The framing tag on the back reads: “J. Vaugn, Rissik Street, Johannesburg, Phone 10 Central”.

It’d be interesting to learn Phil’s surname, thus unlocking the mystery of his military service just pre RAF/SAAF.

From: Karin Serfontein
Subject: Alfred James Smith died 1881 - information please
Date posted: 24 July 2019

I am still trying to find info on my grandfather Alfred Smith.
I came across the following DN for Alfred James Smith married to Annie Cecelia Smith
Alfred died the 14th of January 1881 in the Basutoland war, he was killed in action by the Basutos.

From: Donald Davies
e-mail:Donald Davies
Date posted: 21 July 2019

I´ve been trying to contact Bruce de Saxe without success.
It is with respect to my search for the lost Kittyhawk in the Umkomaas swamp in 1944.
Capt Denny de Saxe searched along with others in the mid 1980´s.  

From: John Hunt
e-mail:John Hunt
Subject: Photo POW Ivan Ernest Hunt WWII
Date posted: 20 May 2019

Looking for any information related to my grandfather Ivan Ernest Hunt of UDF. He was captured in Libya 15/6/42 and spent time as a POW in Modena and Winsberg.

Ivan Ernest Hunt

e-mail: Subject: Photo of Pilot 73 Air School 1940-1944 Date posted: 3 May 2019 I found this photograph in the memorabilia of my late father, Lt. W. B. Miller who was a navigational instructor at 73 airschool, near Pretoria, 1940 to 1944 and would appreciate any advice you can give me to try to find out who this pilot may be.<---> So, please delete the photograph and request.<--->
Subject: Re: South African Airman Chandos Fredrick Lawson
Date posted: 12 October 2016

I read with great interest an article on your site about the "Birdmen of WWI" by Ross Dix-Peek. He mentions a South African Airman named Chandos Fredrick Lawson. I am led to believe that this man also went back to the UK in WWII and signed up again in the RAF. Would anyone on your site have more information on the life of this man?

From: John Seim
Subject: South African Winchester Rifles
Date posted: 22 January 2016

I am attempting to gather information on Winchester Lever-Action Magazine Rifles which may have been used during the Second Anglo-African War.  In particular, I would like to know more about rifles that may have been used by the Canadian Mounted Rifles, especially where these may have been brought with particular serving officers.  I understand that some rifles were directly purchased by the Cape Authorities for military or paramilitary use, and would like to know more details about these rifles.  Finally, if particular rifles were used by Boer forces, either as personal weapons or as weapons captured from Empire forces, and where some written or photographic evidence is available, please contact me.

From: Revd Peter Houston [Diocese of Natal (Anglican)]
Subject: Chaplains / Padres in Border War 1966-1989
Date posted: 22 April 2015

I am doing research on South African Anglican military chaplains who served in the Border War 1966 - 1989. 

One aspect I need help on is how Anglican chaplains were perceived by the soldiers they served? For example, in literature about Anglican chaplains in the First World War there is often a soldierly mockery of the padre with his parade ground and chapel duties but a personal respect for the padre's role in the trenches ministering to the dying or to traumatised individuals.  I am interested if a similar dynamic existed.

I would appreciate any stories (good or bad, funny or sad) of people's experiences of Anglican chaplains on the border.

Cell: 082 433 5464 on Day Off (Monday)

From: lawrence_molai
Subject: Re: Longone Molai - Victoria Rifles
Date posted: 2 March 2015

My grandfather, Longone Molai, a man from Botswana, was an ox wagon leader for the transport division of the Victoria Rifles in the 1890's. I have been battling to find memoirs of the commander of the transport division, or any census data of the black people who accompanied the Pioneer column. I want to find out if anyone has met this name anywhere in their reading. He also worked for EW Morris, the former District Commissioner of Marandellas.

From: Van der Merwe, FJG, Prof
Subject: Re: James Robertson Couper
Date posted: 20 February 2015

According to the Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette of April 15, 1881, James Robertson Couper was promoted to the rank of luitenant in the Basuto Native Levy. I am looking for all the information I can get on Couper's role in the Gun War of 1881. Any help, even if it is only a reference to an archive or records will be much appreciated.

Volgens die Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette van 15 April 1881 is James Robertson Couper bevorder tot die rang van luitenant in die “Basuto Native Levy”. Ek soek alle inligting wat ek kan kry rakende sy rol in hierdie “Gun War” van 1881.

As iemand my kan help, al is dit ook net met ’n verwysing na die regte argief/rekords sal ek dit hoop op prys stel.

From:Simon Green
Subject: Re: Mooi River Blockhouses
Date posted: 30 November 2014

I am concluding my field visits to all the known Second Anglo-Boer War blockhouse sites in South Africa, and to date cannot locate these two on a farm somewhere in "KZN near Mooi River". If anyone can please assist me please get in touch urgently as I need to conclude my writing on this topic over the Christmas holidays this year.


First photo

Simon Green
Cell: 0734248192

From: Jacqui

Subject: Re: Neville Hamilton, WW2 Spitfire pilot
Date posted: 23 September 2014

I am looking for information on Neville Hamilton, a WW2 Spitfire pilot on behalf of my elderly British aunt who served as a WREN. She was based in Cape Town and Simonstown between 1942 and 1944. I’m afraid the information is personal but my aunt is hoping Mr Hamilton is still alive as she owes him an apology. It would be just incredible to help put an elderly woman’s mind and heart at ease and I sincerely hope readers of this post can assist.

Neville Hamilton was either from or trained as a pilot in Bulawayo in the early 1940s and flew in the SAAF towards the last couple of years of the war. He spent time at 70 OTU in 1944 and was then posted to 7 Squadron around March 1945. He flew in Italy and possibly Egypt. The squadron disbanded but I believe when the squadron was reformed in 1951 at Ysterplaat Neville Hamilton taught there as an instructor possibly until is disbanded in 1959.

He is believed to have lived in Cape Town’s southern suburbs at this time.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. My email address is

From: Charl Parkin

Subject: Re: 202 Bn and memorial needle - Rundu
Date posted: 1 August 2014

I was part of 202Bn in Rundu. SWATF Kavango Bt.

We had a memorial needle for our fallen. I am trying to locate it and would like to know what happened to it after 1989.

I would also like to get the names of the fallen to add them to Graham Du Toit's scroll which he posts on a daily basis on the various army / war pages. He has already added 101Bn and 201Bn fallen to the list.

From: Kim McInnis

Subject: Re: SA WWI Canadian born Soldier
Date posted: 1 January 2014

I am researching a South African WWI soldier of Canadian birth, H (Haldane) T Christie, who signed up on the 10 June 1916 (He contracted malaria and as a result became partially blinded, and was discharged from service on the 13 of December 1917). He had sailed to South Africa in 1888 and had a family in Port Elizabeth after having worked in Kimberley and on some goldfields.

Being an engineer he was assigned to 2nd Mounted Brigade, Military Engineers Details Troop (E.A.E.F) the rank of Sapper. I am searching for information on this unit, a description of the battalion? Where this gentleman may have been deployed specifically, where he might have seen action?

From: Trevor Smallman

Subject: Re: Tobruk POW PG62/51 Plemo Italy 1942/43
Date posted: 1 January 2014

I am researching my father Corporal Joseph Smallman's army career with his regiment the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters. Taken prisoner at Tobruk and looking at the notes given by R.H. Halse he was in the Lucca Camp PG60 camp at the same time and he mentioned it was pretty grim but thanks to the information I can now appreciate what he went through.

His camps from his E & E report from Kew:
Benghazi Libya 22.06.42 till12.07.42 (Cut perimeter wire in three places)
Brindisi PG 60 Lucca 27.07.42 till15.11.42
PG70 Fermo16.11.42 till 30.04.43
PG 62 Bergamo 01.05.42 till 24.08.43
PG 62/51 Plemo 24.08.43 till10.09.43 (Worked on a Canal)

I am very interested in the camp at Plemo as he escaped into Switzerland by walking over the Italian Alps entering Switzerland in the region of Campocologno. Most in the Camp were helped by a priest Don Pietro Salari but dad went it alone for the majority of the journey and I have found so far eight [people] from the camp out of a total of fifty approx'.
I post on WW2 Talk so there is more information on there which is still developing and I feel there may have been a South African officer in there?
Dad was interned in Adelboden so if there are any veterans still about it would be nice to here from them and he was in the Hotel Alpenruh and was apparently in charge of it, as some small hotels were just turned over to the escaping prisoners.

From: Tim Brown
Subject: south african 1st reconnaissance commando photos
Date posted: 21 September 2013

i am looking for photos of the 1st reconnaissance commando uniforms (including hats and helmets), guns and ranks. would like photos from during the border war. would use the photos in a possible lego minifig.

From: Michael Hayes
Subject: RE: Rhodesian horse 1890-1930
Southern Rhodesian Volunteers

Date posted: 4 September 2013

Trying to research this early RHODESIAN UNITS, if anybody has any information and / or photographs on the SOUTHERN RHODESIAN VOLUNTEERS and the RHODESIAN HORSE, 1890 to 1930.

P/S Willing to pay for for postage, packing etc. as I live in AUSTRALIA

From: Bruce de Saxe
Subject: RE: 26 Squadron SAAF in WW2 –New website address and info requested.
Date posted: 20 August 2013

The unofficial 26 Squadron SAAF has a new website address.

If anyone has any info, pics, stories etc pertaining to this squadron or any of its crew members I would really appreciate hearing from them.

A big Thank You to those that have made already responded and contributed much valued material.

The SAAF 26 Squadron website is now at

From: Glen Swemmer
Subject: RE: Das wurttemberg kaapsche regiment.
Date posted: 4 July 2013

Does anyone have a copy of :

Das wurttemberg kaapsche regiment.

Hoping for some Genealogy research help!

From: Dave Curry
Subject: Curry family military photographs
Date posted: 1 June 2013

Can anybody help identify the units or any other military details from these photographs?
The first photo marked Ladysmith has 'Jones Photographer Ladysmith' stamped on the back.

two men plus a close-up

First photo

Second photo

Third photo

3men with lion

Fourth photo

Dave Curry
2/ 14 Kurraba Road
Neutral Bay
0412 696 640
+61 2 9923 1819

From: gideon nieman
Subject: RE: 6th SA Armoured Division rugby tour 1945/6
Date posted: 22 April 2013

Can the family member of Jimmy Hearn who lives inAustralia please contact me again. I lost his e-mail in a thunderstorm. Thank you

From: john hurst
Subject: RE: Adolph Gisbert Malan - Group Captain Sailor Malan
Date posted: 5 March 2013

John Hurst writes from - ANY information on Group Captain Adolph Gisbert Malan, please!
- we hope to make a Drama Documentary about this South African hero.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: RE: Major Ted Pavitt M.C.
Date posted: 6 February 2013

Major Edward Pavit, MC, 11 Field Company, S.A.E.C. (Reg. No. 191274V)
I am interested in obtaining information about the late Major Ted Pavitt M.C. who ended the war as Officer Commanding, 11 Field Company, SA Engineer Corps. The book "Salute the Sappers" (Volume II) mentions an incident where Pavitt captured a number of Germans armed with a flashlight. I would be most interested in finding out more about this incident in particular! After the war he joined a mining company and ended his civilian career on the board of Gencor. If anyone has a photograph of Major Pavitt or 11 Fd Coy it would be most appreciated. Thank you

From: Les Benson
Subject: RE: Identification of article
I wonder if you would help me in the identification of the attached item?

First photo

Second photo

Third photo

Fourth photo

082 577 0633

From: Peter Bradshaw
Subject: RE: 2nd Lt Laurens Jacobus Van Staden WWI
Date posted: 15 November 2012

South African Royal Flying Corps / RAF officer 2nd Lt Laurens Jacobus Van Staden is buried in our local cemetery in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. He was killed in a flying accident on 26.4.18, age 24. Before the war he worked at the Treasury Dept., Pretoria.

Recently we have arranged for his headstone to be restored.

Unfortunately we have been unable to find out a great deal of information about him even though he married a local Gainsborough woman. He was married for only about 3 months before he was killed in a flying accident.

The following is some information about him that appeared in the local newspaper paper when he was killed:-


Lieut. Laurens Jacobus Van Staden, a South African officer, has been killed while flying an aeroplane at night in Lincolnshire. He was accompanied by Lieut. Bilson, as observer, and when engine trouble arose he attempted to land, with the result that the machine nose-dived and ran into a flare, setting the aeroplane on fire. Lieut. Bilton was thrown many yards from the machine, and he now lies in hospital. Lieut. Van Staden was killed and terribly burned. He had only been married three months to Miss Emmeline Beilby, daughter of Mr Frederick Beilby, of Gainsborough.

Took place with full military honours on Tuesday, and was proceeded by a service conducted by the Rev. Canon Standen. The chief mourners were Mrs. Van Staden (widow) and Mr. Beilby, Lieut. Mellows and Mrs. Beilby; Capt. Kemp and Miss Winifred Beilby, and Auntie Alice, Major Burge, Capt. Ferris and officers from various Flights in the district were also present. The firing party of the Royal Engineers fired the customary three volleys over the grave, and the bugler sounded the “Last Post.” The coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was borne by six officers of the Royal Air Force. There were a number of beautiful floral tributes received: From his sorrowing wife: Deepest sorrow from father, mother and little Harry: With love to dear Van, from his sorrowing sisters Winnie and Hilda; With deepest sympathy from Uncles Jack and Harry; With love from Aunt Alice: With love to dear Van, from Uncle Arthur and Aunt Harriet: With heartfelt sympathy from Uncle Arthur and Aunt Edith: Deepest sympathy from Aunt and Uncle, Kitty and Edith: Sincere sympathy from Mr. and Mrs. Moxon: With deepest sympathy from Officers, Headquarters Flight, 33 Squadron, R.A.F.; With deepest sympathy from the Warrant Officers and Sergeants at Headquarters Flight 33 Squadron, R.A.F.; With deepest sympathy from Officers, N.C.O.’s and men “H” Flight, 33 Squadron, R.A.F.: With deepest sympathy from Officers, N.C.O.’s and men, “A” Flight, 33 Squadron, R.A.F.; Deepest sympathy from Officers, N.C.O.’s and men “C” Flight, 33 Squadron, R.A.F.; Sincere sympathy from N.C.O.’s and men “H” Flight, 33 Squadron, R.A.F.

Lieut. Van Staden was only 24 years of age, and his parents resided in the Orange Free State, South Africa. He was a fully acquired day and night pilot, and had served one year in the Royal Air Force in England. Previous to coming to this country he served two years in the Army in German East and West Africa. He was an instructor for day flying.

From: James MacKenzie
Subject: RE: Special Forces and Congo Mercenaries
Date posted: 5 October 2012

I would like to make contact with any soldier (or their family) who served with the Royal Marines, Parachute Regiment, Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Squadron (SBS), Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), Special Operations Executive (SOE), Raiding Support Regiment (RSR), Commandos, or with the Congo Mercenaries.

I am also trying to trace the family of Morris Elliott Anderson who served with the South African Marines and later with the South African Navy.

Phone: Home: 021-9499602, Cell: 0836832694, Email:, or J.D.N.MacKenzie, P.O.Box 1893, Bellville, 7535, South Africa.

James D.N. MacKenzie
SAM - Southern Africa Militaria

From: Rob Franks
Subject: RE: Cricket in WW2
Date posted: 10 July 2012

I am researching about cricket played by the New Zealand forces in Egypt in WW2. The NZ teams played South African teams in six matches during 1942 and 1943 - in Cairo. Some time ago I came across several photographs of both teams. Unfortunately, the photos of SA teams do not have the players identified. However, the teams were at a relatively high level, as theSouth African team in August 1943 included former international players H.F. 'Herby' Wade, A.D. 'Dudley' Nourse and the ex-rugby international H. H 'Howard' Watt. Other names in this game were B Roscoe, Henderson, A van Wezel, L Tuckett, S Viljoen, Capt Poultney, F Nicholson, R Collins.

So my enquiry is does anybody have knowledge about cricket or reference sources which would be able to: a) provide any information or sources about cricket matches in Egypt played by the SA forces b) identify any cricket players in the photograph below:

1942 SA Camp Team

From: Edward Joffe
Subject: RE: Mogadishu "Comfort Station" WWII
Date posted: 23 April 2012

I am researching a book and have an interest in Lionel Juel Ostrofksy who spent part of his time during WWII in Mogadishu, reputedly in charge of a comfort station there.

If anybody can comment on comfort stations or better still on Ostrifsky please contact me.

From: John Mitcham
Subject: RE: British/Dominion imperial defense cooperation 1868-1914
Date posted: 10 April 2012

I am working on a book project on British/Domonion imperial defense cooperation 1868-1914.
I am interested in anyone who has letters, diaries, or other materials from members of any of the South African contingents to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee 1897, Edward VII's Royal Coronation 1902, or George V's Royal Coronation 1911.

From: Prof Gideon Nieman
Subject: RE: South African 6th Armoured division's rugby tour of Europe in 1945/46
Date posted: 15 January 2012

I am doing research on the South African 6th Armoured division's rugby tour of Europe in 1945/46.

I would like contact with relatives of players. I especially need information on the European part of the tour and the matches played at Bayonne, Paris and Germany end of Dec/early Jan 1946.

Alt e-mail:
Cell no +27-083-282-7456

From: John Halsted
Subject: RE: Stalag VIII-C POW Death March
Date posted: 3 December 2011

My late father was in the South African Artillery during WWII and later became part of the 8th Army in North Africa. He was interned as a POW at Stalag VIII-C after being wounded and captured at Tobruk.

His internment was a double-tragedy as he and my Grandfather were South African doubles tennis champions 3 times (we have the trophy) and he was planning to play at Wimbledon in 1939.

Next summer (2012) I intend cycling the "Death March" route from Zagan to Bad-Orb (approx 700km) and was wondering if you have details of the exact route.

+44 079 519 52062

From: Tandokazi Manoti
Subject: RE: Boer War questions - Sabalana and Mojela descendants
Date posted: 24 November 2011

My name is Tandokazi Matoti from Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking in Auckland Park.
I am doing a documentary about the Anglo Boer War and want to know if anybody can assist me with the following:

Kleinbooi Sabalana was 15 years old and he was a soldier for the Boers. Sabalana is a slave name - this boy's ancestors must have come from Indonesia to the Cape and then migrated to the Free State as slaves. So, there is a lot about Kleinbooi Sabalana that is a mystery.

Imagine trying to find out more about Sabalana. I am trying to find other Sabalanas in Free State there are a few - and constructing a story imagining the life of Kleinbooi Sabalana, the mystery 15 year-old child soldier of the White Man's War?

Solomon Mojela is another veteran, and there are quite a few other African veterans who should have been commemorated. There are also quite a few Mojela descendents around. The Swazi soldiers must surely have living descendents, too? I need this as well.

I would like to know the name of the white Boer soldier Mojela faught with in the Boer war, and meet their living descendents today - Mojela and Boer - and ask them how they feel about their country's past, and history?


From: Paul Schamberger
Address: P O Box 81190 Parkhurst 2120 South Africa
Subject: RE: Internment of German civilians - World War II
Date posted: 14 November 2011

I am undertaking an intensive study of the German civilians from South West Africa (now Namibia), from South Africa and from the British colonial possessions in east, central and southern Africa, who were interned in the Union of South Africa during the Second World War, 1939-1945. The main camp was Andalusia (now Jankempdorp), but Germans were also interned in Windhoek, Baviaanspoort, Leeukop and Koffiefontein.

I am particularly interested in Colonel L. Strickland and the Directorate of Internment of which he was the head. I am also interested in the German womens' internment camp in Salisbury, S. Rhodesia, under Commandant Lieut (Mrs) Mollie Rule.

From: carolyn thomas
Subject: RE: Captain John Francis Purcell
Date posted: 12 November 2011

I have some ephemera relating to the above including original negatives of the Cape Mounted Riflemen, personal letters from Captain Purcell (Brigadier General). A very interesting original letter from Lieutenant Colonel F.S. Dawson of the Ist South Africn Infantry Regiment requesting more men dated 1917 and discussing the principal lessons from operations carried out so far.
Can anybody help identify the men in the following photographs?

First photo

Second photo

Thank you

From: Simon Green
Subject: RE: Blockhouses of the Second Boer War
Date posted: 18 September 2011

I am living in Johannesburg and researching the Blockhouses of the Second Boer War. I aim to create a definitive reference by recording the key historical details, construction methods, types and creating a register of the surviving Blockhouses with photos. The human component will be included – how the Blockhouses functioned and life within them for the ordinary Tommy. The architects of the Blockhouse system (Rice, Bethell and Elliot – all RE Officers unsurprisingly) will also be covered.

In addition I am seeking to examine the doctrine of the day, how it developed as the war progressed from the siege phase through the Scorched Earth and Drives utilizing the Blockhouses as a web/net. How the lessons learnt in South Africa shaped the early period of the next war will be included and there will be an examination of links with current asymmetric warfare and nascent doctrine.

I would welcome contact from any members who feel they can assist with historical, battlefield or geographical information on Blockhouses. In particular accounts of attacks on Blockhouses seem to be few and far between and any details would be really useful to me.

Thanks to everyone who has contact me so far, getting on really well, but as always the end never seems in sight…
Does any one know where this painting is hanging??


My contact details are:
Alternative e-mail –
Mob: +27 7342 8192

From: Todd Wilkinson
Subject: RE: First City (Regiment)
Date posted: 18 September 2011

Looking for any information regarding the First City (Regiment), especially photographs of the FC in Highland kit. Would welcome any and all correspondence from current and former FC members about regimental customs and traditions.

Todd Wilkinson MA
Springfield, Missouri, USA

From: JEFF
Subject: RE: Daughters of the Transvaal
Date posted: 5 September 2011

I am in the process of tracing my family tree and have found that several of my family members lived in S.A. I am particularly trying to find one, Florence Jervis-Butter, who was a lieut. in the "Daughters of the Transvaal", but I can find no record of this organization. I would be grateful for any information.

From: Gordon
Subject: RE: Boer Maxim Belt ?
Date posted: 22 August 2011

I have these images of a Maxim 1 Pr. feed belt that is unidentified in a French collection. I believe it is a locally made Maxim feed belt. I have one of the Pretoria made 1 Pr. projectiles in my 37mm collection.

It would make sense that if the 1 Pr. rounds were produced in Pretoria during the AB-War, that belts were also made since there was likely a shortage of those also. Could this be such a belt, it certainly is not a VSM or Mills made type. Is there known examples or images, information of such a belt ? For size a French projectile is shown in the belt.


Pretoria marking

Full view of belt

Belt details

Projectile snugly in belt

Does anybody know if belts were made in the Transvaal during the conflict?

From: Caron Milner
Subject: Boer War Photo
Date posted: 10 July 2011

We are trying to research our collection and have come across a photograph of a group of Mounted Infantry and are hoping that someone in the know, may know something about it e.g. where the photo was taken and the names of the men.

Mystery photograph

Midge Carter commented as follows: ... I have had no luck in identifying the group of men in the photo. We have gone thru most of the photo books of that era without luck. I thought they might have been a Rhodesian unit from the Pioneer Column or BSA Police by the dark coloured collars and pants but they have no badges I can identify but the number 2 can be identified on one belt buckle (5th man in front row). The rifles are all .303 long Lee-Enfields with 10 shot magazines and all the men seem to have bayonets. The sleeve insignia on the sergeant major (centre front row) with crown is correct for all British units at the time.

Anybody able to assist please contact Caron as follows:

Administrator Museum Services
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
Phone: 08 9093 1087
Fax: 08 9021 6113
PO Box 2042, Boulder, WA 6432

From: Natie Greeff
Subject: Town Guards in SA during the Anglo-Boer War
Date posted: 10 July 2011

Natie Greef who is the Curator, Castle Military Museum, Cape Town, asks:

Our museum is currently running a project with private assistance regarding the Town Guards in SA during the Anglo-Boer War. We need someone who can do research for us in Natal of the Town Guards of the erstwhile colony. Is there anyone interested? If so could you please contact him giving telephone number(s).

From: Howard Chinner
Subject: The Great War East Africa Association
Date posted: 19 March 2011

Howard reports the recent formation of The Great War East Africa Association, whose website (still under construction) can be found at

If you are interested, please feel free to subscribe and declare your interest by giving a brief profile of yourself and description of your interest in this little-known campaign.


From: Bernard Brown
Subject: Sgt. Patrick Broderick – Irish Regiment circa 1870
Date posted: 6 February 2011

My great grandfather, Patrick Broderick, was from Ireland. His estimated date of birth was 1845-1850.
He was supposedly a Sargeant in an Irish regiment that was based at the Castle of Good Hope in the Cape Colony.

I do not know what regiment he was with, but from the time period, Patrick Broderick may have been with the 6th Dragoons (Inniskillings) or the Third Regiment of Foot, and he may have been from Limerick.

My grandmother, Louisa Mary Josephine Broderick, was born in Cape Town on 10 July 1875. I know my Gran had a sister, whose surname may have been Gambardelli.

Apart from the sketchy information above, I have no information about my great grandfather or his family. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

From: Mike Steele
Col Lewis MacKenzie
Date posted: 23 January 2011

I am trying to identify a Col (?) Lewis MacKenzie, who was serving in the British army, at the Cape, around 1800. He is mentioned in a letter that I have recently obtained, written by my great x3 aunt. She says that he was Governor at the Cape (although I can find no record of this); that he married a Dutch girl and died out there.

She also relates what happened to his nephew, John Cameron.
“ When John Cameron was Standard correspondent at the Cape, he was taken prisoner on Majuba Hill and was taken to Kruger’s house. One day there was a meeting of the Boer leaders, Jourdan and others. John happened to be among them when a letter was handed to him. She with her sagacity remembered that uncle Louis had been a very popular Governor and much esteemed, mentioned about him in case the knowledge might prove useful. When John came to that part of the letter he called out “By Jove, I’m half a Boer”. When he told them about it, they said “Oh yes, that’s quite true, your uncle was a fine man and we’ll show you his grave”. After that they couldn’t do enough for him, sent him about the country and enabled him to describe it.”

I have established that:

1) There was a Lewis McKenzie who was commissioned Lieutenant in the 6th Dragoon Guards on 28 February 1787. Although this regiment never went out to the Cape, it is thought that this is the same Lewis who became Captain in the 52nd Foot on 8 February 1792, and Major in the 81st Foot on 20 September 1798.

2) There was a Captain Lewis McKenzie who was commissioned Lieutenant in the 72nd Highlanders on 8 June 1792. He was promoted to captain on 12 April 1799. The 72nd Highlanders arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in January 1806, and Captain LMcK was still with the 72nd according to the January 1806 Army List. They stayed at the Cape until 1810, when they went to Mauritius.

3) There was a Lewis McKenzie who was gazetted Ensign in the 2/78th Highlanders on 15 July 1795 and who was on half-pay in 1798. The 2/78th arrived at Cape Town in June 1795, so he may have travelled out to join them after July. As the most junior Ensign, he would almost certainly have been allotted to the 2nd battalion.

Any information that might help identify which of these Lewis MacKenzies he might be, would be gratefully received.

From: Stephen English
Subject: St John Ambulance South African Members:  Roll of Honour 1914 – 1918 Project
Date posted: 16 January 2011

Along with some fellow volunteers of St John Ambulance (England) I am researching the names of all members of St John Ambulance who were killed/died of illness in the First World War with the view to create an electronic Roll of Honour database for public use.

The St John Ambulance museum in London has given us access to its hand written Roll of Honour as an original source which lists all known names by country (see attached example). However while there are useful lists for Canada, Australia, India and New Zealand, there is no entry for members of the South African St John Ambulance Brigade. I have contacted my colleagues at St John Ambulance HQ in Johannesburg but they have no records or names.

Readers whose relatives received St John awards can confirm their details at:
  The Order of St John Museum
St John’s Gate
London EC1M 4DA
United Kingdom
Tel country code+207324 4082

Pamela Willis is the curator of the museum and is very knowledgeable about the history of The Order of St John and St John Ambulance. We will be giving a copy of our SJA Great War Roll of Honour research to both Pamela and the St John Ambulance HQ in Johannesburg once it is completed. The object of our research is to ensure that all St John members lost in the First World War are recorder and remembered and to make an electronic record available to the public.

From: Andrew Prior
Subject: Captain R H ( "Dickie") van der Poel SAAF WWII
Date posted: 2 January 2011

My wife's granfather Captain R H ( "Dickie") van der Poel served with 40 Squadron of SAAF in Egypt and Italy. In 1943 he was awarded the DFC. We are trying to source as much information as we can about Capt. v d Poel and his escapades.

From: Trevor Snyman
Subject: South Africans at Monte Sole, Finale and Vergato, Italy
Date posted: 29 November 2010

I have been researching the service records of my father, Stephanus Snyman, who fought at, and was decorated for bravery at, the battle for Monte Sole. This research has now expanded to include the battle itself, the progress of the South African troops in the days and weeks leading up to it, and then details of the actual battle.

I will appreciate any assistance from any quarter on this proud moment for South Africa and its troops. A long shot request is for anyone who is aware of the details of the passing in battle of a Lt. Richter at Monte Sole.

From: Sam May
Subject: Natal Naval Volunteers Research Request
Date posted: 16 November 2010

I am looking for information regarding the uniforms and equipment of the Natal Naval Volunteers during the Boer War. I was wondering whether they wore the same kit as the regular navy crews while on campaign in South Africa 1899-1902 (i.e. Khaki tunic and trousers, web gaiters, and sennett hat). I am also looking for what was written on their hat ribbons, and what (if any) kind of rifles the men were issued. Any information or suggestions would be a great help.

From: Ms Vicky House
Subject: New Website - The Life and Times of Edmund O'Toole VC.
Date posted: 3 September 2010

Further to my enquiries (on this iste in 1999 and 2002) for information on Edmund O'Toole VC, I have been researching him for 10 years, with regards to working out if he was a relation of mine or not, as a family tale goes. So far I have not found the right answers to this question, but in the mean time I have found out a lot of personal information about him, which I have now put onto a website.

I am hoping now that this new found information from old and new sources - will help to re-write the old books and help to write new books about him.

All enquiries I will do my best to answer. The website is still work in progress, but for now I hope other interested people will contact me if they require any further information or would like to update their own websites - that list him.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who is interested in updating their information on him. I hope my research will now answer so many questions we have had about him for the last 130 odd years since the Zulu War in 1879.

Amature Genealogist - Vicky House.

From: Vincent Phipson
Subject: Maxim cartridge size
Date posted: 17 August 2010

We know that the Maxim was first used in anger during the Matabele wars and we know that in the 450 guise it used a slightly different cartridge to the normal Martini cartridge.

My question is; were the Maxims used in the Matabele wars 450 or 303 calibre?

I have posed this one to various people and got differing answers.

From: Tomas Gustafsson
Subject: Scandinavian ambulance in the second boer war
Date posted: 17 August 2010

I'm a Ph.d. student in history of medicine at university of Lund, Sweden. My latest project concerns the Scandinavian ambulance in the second boer war. Would anybody with information kindly contact me?

From: Maria Pace Lucioli Ottieri
Subject: Battle of Chiusi, June 1944
Date posted: 7 August 2010

I am an Italian writer and journalist, and I am writing a book on Chiusi, a small town in Tuscany where in 1944, on the 21st and 22nd of July, the 6th South African Division was engaged in a terrible battle against the Germans. Many of those brave soldiers were killed, many others wounded. I would like to find some memories of the survivors and a description of the battle from someone who was there.

From: Caroline Barnard
Subject:SAAF 12 Squadron Marauder Z’s sortie 14 July 1944
Date posted: 4 August 2010

I would be very grateful for any information relating to SAAF 12 Squadron Marauder Z’s sortie on 14 July 1944 (the Squadron was fighting in the Italian Offensive).  My late father, later Sqn Ldr D. W “Barney” Barnard (RAF), KCVS, QCVS, was the 2nd Pilot and was wounded in this sortie.  I have been told two different versions of the story and am trying to establish what actually happened.

The story is as follows, starting with my father’s log book entry (14 July 1944):

Log: (brackets are mine)

July 14 Marauder (no) Z, 1st Pilot Lt Parsons, 2nd Pilot self, crew Lt Lagrange (the navigator, I would assume), W.O. Rodgers, W.O. Lees, W.O.  Zerff.  (takeoff at 9.20 am - opp. page)
Raid 46 Rly Y.D.S Prato Italy Posn 2(a - I think), Form 12, Escort 8
Spits, flak intense, very acc., broke away from box, self wounded.
Gunners baled  out. Surmise tail gunner wounded, back of a/c spattered with blood.
Navigator slightly wounded in leg.  Bombs dropped in sea.   Returned to base singly.  Successful landing.

End of log entry

My father told me about being wounded ("shrapnel up the arse" was how he put it - it was a flesh wound high up on the rear of one thigh), and also  that they had broken away and struggled to get back to base, but nothing else.  The thing that seemed to interest him the most was the number of shrapnel  holes in the aircraft - more than 400 if I remember correctly, and I believe it was scrapped.

His younger brother, my Uncle Philip, followed him into the RAF (as a fighter pilot), and after my father’s funeral in 1994, Uncle Philip told me this version:

According to him, the aircraft was so badly damaged that they were convinced they were about to crash, and the 1st Pilot had given the order to bail out (and according to the log it’s clear that the other gunners had already jumped).  The wounded tail gunner was unable to move, &  Uncle Phil told me that my father made his way to the rear of the aircraft, pulled the tail gunner forward to the bomb doors, which were open,  threw him out, and pulled his ripcord as he fell.  The parachute opened, but they were flying over a German machine gun emplacement at the time, and the machine gunner shot the parachute out of the air.  My father and the 1st pilot were so horrified that they decided to take their chances with the aircraft, and managed to get back (just).

   If anyone can provide information which would confirm this, I would be most grateful.

From: Alan Ogden
Subject: Major Hugh Ballard MC
Date posted: 22 July 2010

Alan Ogden, author of 'Through Hitler's back Door: SOE in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria', is currently writing a book about the Special Operations Executive in Italy 1943-1945. One of their members was Major Hugh Ballard MC, a South African from the Union Defence Force attached to No.1 Special Force. His army number was SR597703V and his DOB 02.09.1914. Alan needs to establish what Hugh's status is i.e. whether he is still alive or whether he has died [if so, where and when is most important]. Alan's email is

From: Frank Estment
Subject: Wilfred Denton ESTMENT (Southern Rhodesia Volunteers - participant in Anglo Boer War)
Date posted: 21 June 2010

The above mentioned was my father (born 1878 died 1954) who farmed at Plumtree in Matabeleland where he had arrived with the railway construction personel in, I think, 1895/6.

He lived all his adult life in the Plumtree district and served with the Rhodesian forces in the "Boer" War during which he and others were sent to guard the railway line from Mafeking to Bulawayo. He was wounded in the calf of one leg by an "accidental discharge" during this period and either then or later was awarded the "Efficiency Decoration" (details of this would be welcome).

I would be glad to have any information about him, such as rank, Platoon details, comrades, photos, etc.He died when I was 22 and did not talk much about his time in what was then Bechuanaland.

During the WW2 he held the rank of Captain in the Reserves and was later promoted to Major.

He looked after a nephew (Douglas Randal) in the early 1900's, put him through Plumtree School and was immensely proud of his protege who was one of the early Rhodes Scholars graduating from Oxford.

I will respond to all persons providing any information.

From: Jason Renshaw
Subject: Harrison Oughton Jones - escaped POW on Kos - WWII
Date posted: 30 May 2010

My Grandfathers name was Harrison Oughton Jones - 1st Durham Light Infantry # 4451283. Harrison was in a field hospital after being shot in the leg during the German Invasion of Kos when the Doctor advised they would be surrendering. He told the Doctor no way in hell would he surrender and procured some rations and made good his escape. He was captured and interrogated but escaped and met up with an RAF pilot called Jack Harrison. I would be eternally grateful for any information or photos or memories of his army service (or the Durham Light Infantry service) on Kos during World War Two.

He has written in his diaries that he was given a boat by a Greek fisherman (who used to serve in the British Merchant Navy before the War). Whilst they were readying the boat for the dash to Turkey approx 7 fully armed and kitted out South African air men (including a Colonel and a Sergeant emerged from hiding and endeavoured to confiscate the boat. After a tense stand-off they all set off.

I would also like to know the names (if possible) or if any of those South African Air Force personnel would have any documentation or diaries of their escape with Harrison.

On arrival in Turkey a Turkish soldier led them all into the mountains through to the port of Boderum. From there on in I do not know where they ended up, but Grandfather boarded a small boat and was sent to Egypt to meet up with a British Garrison.

Jason Renshaw
141 Lambton Rd Broadmeadow, NSW, 2292
Ph (02) 4957 0221 Fax (02) 4956 1616 Mob 0438 658 803

Subject: “in the event of my death” letters; Boer War
Date posted: 27 May 2010

I am a British writer and am currently researching a military history book all about “in the event of my death” letters, written by soldiers before and during combat. I’m covering a number of conflicts through history, using letters from all sides, including the Boer War of 1899-1902.

These letters take many forms – thus are difficult to find via archive catalogues! Sometimes there might just be a few lines within a letter home which has information or emotions about what to do “if the worst happens”. Sometimes, the letters are written in advance and posted home with instructions only to be opened in the event of my death. Others are written as a soldier lies wounded on a battlefield or hospital. The idea is that through that last letter I build up a snapshot of an individual soldier’s story within a given conflict, and hopefully tell a very human story of warfare and the ultimate sacrifice.

Does anyone know of any letters that could fit this remit, relating to the Boer War? Or does anyone have contacts where I could search for such letters? Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

From: Linky Smith
Subject: Voortrekkerhoogte
Date posted: 26 May 2010

I lived in Voortrekkerhoogte from 1949 to 1960. I was hoping somebody can help me with photographs of the beautiful victorian wooden houses (with corrugated iron on the outside) that used to line Lyttleton Road. We first lived in number 1 and later in number 7. But any photographs of these particular houses in "Roberts Heights" will be welcome.

Cell: 0826060218
Fax: 0865180518

From: Peter Kassak
Subject: 31 and 34 Sqn SAAF
Date posted: 19 January 2010

I am researching Danube mining operations, in which 31 and 34 Sqn SAAF as a part of 205 Group RAF participated... Can anyone share memories, photos and data about crews, planes that joined these dangerous night operations? Any help would be much appreciated. In replying please replace 2 with @

From: Nicky
Subject: Malcolm Rex Flint - Prince Alfred Guard
Date posted: 11 January 2010

I would very much like to get in contact with anybody who served in the Second World War with the Prince Alfred Guard.

My grandfather, Malcolm Rex Flint (1914-1956) joined the Guard around 1934 where he moved through the ranks, including Company Sergeant Major. He was then seconded to the British Forces during WW2. He served as a Captain and was decorated for his efforts in North Africa, Italy and Poland etc. He was involved in the armoured car division.

I would appreciate any memories, stories, newspaper clippings and/or photographs that people may want to share with me. Due to the circumstances surrounding Malcolm's death, I have never really heard anything about my grandfather, nor are there any photographs.

My snail-mail contact details are listed below:
P O Box 985
H) 021-949-3086

From: Jon Eagar
Subject: The Rangitata contingent of SAAF pilots
Date posted: 13 December 2009

I am hoping for some assistance in finishing my project off. Apologies for the long story below but it may make the task easier or prompt a memory

Major Edwin Swales VC DFC and the Rangitata pilot contingent

My interest in my late father's wartime involvement was sparked by a Dutch military historian who had gone to considerable lengths to corroborate his information with an entry in my fathers flying logbook and, while looking for information, I found the attached photograph mounted in an album with a number of signatures including Edwin Swales, on the page.

The lack of detail relating to the picture was intriguing and created a challenging project which, although incomplete, suggests that the group in the picture, many of whom were seconded to the RAF, made an illustrious if not major contribution to South African military history during WW2.

The 62 SAAF pilots in the picture, taken with the SA Consul General in Montevideo on September 23rd 1943, left Cape Town on September 2nd on the Rangitata bound for Liverpool. One desperately sea sick pilot apparently remained in Montevideo.

To avoid German U boats, the Rangitata sailed via Tristan da Cunha, Montevideo, Freetown and Gibraltar.

Edwin Swales is one of 29 signatures and, whilst it may be impossible to identify all of the individuals in the photograph 66 years later, the signatures provided a base to work off and, one of the signatories, Capt AM Cooke DFC, provided useful but incomplete information regarding names.

Reduced Photograph

The 30 names highlighted on the list below include my late father and pilots who signed the picture.

The “Probable” list is arranged in order of “Force Number” and aside from some minor additions; a logic fit of relative “Force Numbers” has been interpolated with numbers belonging to the 30 known names to generate an expanded list of probable names. Whilst not perfect, the logic fit suggests that pilots with “Force Numbers” commencing with 328 could have formed the largest component of the contingent on the Rangitata as 12 of the 29 signatures are in that number range.

Probable Pilots in Photograph

Force NumberNameRank & Initials
& Decorations
 Signature on
6101SwalesCapt E VC DFCkiay
12110MillsLt NH y
31794McGregorLt CWkiay
78808HowesCapt AES DFC y
79229BegbieLt JEkiay
99986GillettMajor GA DFC y
102194KlinckCapt LC DFC y
102424MeyerLt G DFC  
102532RoweMajor AC DFC y
103600MeekCapt TA y
115433HellenCapt D y
205802D ArcyCapt KF DFC  
205809EagarCapt LPT DFC y
205962MartinMajor RP DFC  
205959HeidenCapt RWFkia 
206321LensCapt Akiay
206996MeterCapt MH DFC y
1CliftonMajor RH DFC  
2Capstick DaleE  
3Capstick DaleSkia 
4Carling Thompson   y
5Wright   y
6Swanepoel   y
7Piggot   y
8Pullin   y
328276ArmstrongLt S DFC  
328308NevinCapt DJ   
328314CookeCapt AM DFC y
328346ConnellLt JO DFC  
328349AndersonLt JK  
328375ClulowCapt P  
328383ColahanCapt WE DFC  
328394HigginsLt FLkiay
328419BeckerLt PAkia 
328425QuickCapt DE y
328429ThomasLt DH y
328470van HeerdenLt EJkia 
328473AckermanCapt MT DFC  
328474MeyerCapt TP y
328483CollettLt AEkiay
328490GaleLt WAkiay
328500GoodmanCapt BE y
328502BodleyCapt EW y
328503SchebluschCapt JW DFC  
328530DrewCapt TV y
328535GoddenLt GF y
328554GreenCapt AF DFC  
328578GrieveLt WDD  
328621HillLt AGkia 
328631JenningsLt RGkiay
328686FisherLt AN  
328735SilvaLt GD DFC  
328772AndersonLt HP DFC  
328928BatchkelderLt AAN   

The probable list identifies 54 names, 13 of whom were killed in action. Edwin Swales was awarded the VC and a DFC and 19 other pilots earned DFC`s. Full detail for eight pilots is missing although all are confirmed as being in photograph. Notwithstanding any possible inaccuracies on the list, it is clear that the entire contingent must have made an illustrious contribution to the SAAF`s wartime reputation and history

Four of the confirmed group in the picture; Begbie, Eagar, Howes and Mc Gregor attended KES, a school that had over two thousand masters and Old Edwardians in the fighting forces during WW2. The schools WW2 Roll of Honour was identified as the highest in the Commonwealth for one school.

A number of the “Force Numbers” on the “Possibles” listed below correlate with numbers on the probable list but as these would obviously add up to more than 62, corrections may be necessary to the probable list and, there may be names missing from both lists.

Possible Pilots in Photograph

Force NumberNameRank & Initials
& Decorations
 Signature on
1105LaceyLt GRkia 
31949RorvikLt HR  
41334WilliamsCapt CAD DFC  
69821WoodsCapt ER  
72872PecheyMajor CPC DFC  
88566ReynoldsCapt DCB DFC  
94317HuntMajor TA DFC  
97769van RensburgLt PMkia 
102150RobertsCapt WR  
102164TyndallCapt D  
102339ClaytonCapt J  
102441KuhlmannMajor KC DFC  
102914Breeze CarrMajor AB  
103150AndrewMajor WD DFC  
103288MillarCapt BD  
103504DymondCapt KFJ  
103627ReaCapt WJ DFC  
103782WilliamsLt HC  
103929HirschfieldCapt GWkia 
126419WattLt EW  
144736TurnerCapt DS DFC  
203138ShortCapt MH  
205919WatsonMajor IF DFC  
206152JacksonLt CH  
206950RumseyCapt HM  
207227WalkerLt KB DFC  
207240HattinghLt JHP  
207299JacksonCapt JF  
224443VinesLt DN  

Given the passage of time, very few members of this contingent are probably still alive. (Messrs AM Cooke and AES Howes?) But there are hopefully others, including relatives or historians able to add pieces to this incomplete puzzle and, corrections or additions to the list of names, as amongst others, if there are any other signed photograph album pages in existence; they are likely to have a unique set of signatures.

I hope that someone has additional information in one form or another to enable an illustrious page of SAAF wartime history to be preserved with accuracy.

From: Chris
Subject: Volunteer Corps Kaffir War 1879
Date posted: 22 November 2009

I am interested in knowing more about the Volunteer Corps for the Kaffir War. My husband's Great Grandfather, Lauritz Emile Nielsen emigrated from Denmark to Capetown/ Kimberley area in 1879 at aged 19yrs of age. His obituary states that he was in the volunteer corps in the Kaffir War. As this war finished in 1879 he must have been in it for this year. Thanks.

From: Matt Davie
Subject: Hartebeestfontein on the 18th Feb 1901
Date posted: 14 November 2009

I am after any information regarding the battle at Hartebeestfontein on the 18th Feb 1901. Can anyone provide any maps, narratives (especially from the Boer perspective), pictures or generally any further information on this confrontation. Thank you all for any help that can be provided.

From: John MacMahon
Subject: North Irish Horse - South Africans who served in World War I (or horsemen who subsequently settled in SA)
Date posted: 9 November 2009

We have an interest in the North Irish Horse in World War I, the unit in which my father served. I rather imagine that a fair few of the survivors or their relatives ended up in South Africa. My nephew has created a very comprehensive site ( which presents a great deal of the story of the men of the North Irish Horse in the First World War. The site is well regarded and is even recommended by the NIH regimental history site. It contains unit dairies, war stories, casualties and roll call including photos of then-serving personnel and scenes from their time in France which my nephew, Philip Tardif, has been able to gather from the relatives of those who served.

I would be most appreciative if there is anyone who has any detail of the NIH in WWI, who would be willing to make this available. We are especially interested in photos to supplement those already on the site. Anyone who is able to assist could get in touch with me or directly with Philip at

From: Norma Patrick
Subject: World War II Prisoner of War Camps in Durban
Date posted: 8 November 2009

My great grandfather, who was a German National living in South Africa, was interned as an enemy of the state in Durban : I have the following information:


M HAMM. RE-INTERNED 22/2/1917 UNDER NO 4288.

I am wanting to know where/how he would have been interned? Are there any records of prisoners anywhere?

From: Dan Lyon
Subject: James Harper Lyon ; Native Barotse Regiment
Date posted: 7 November 2009

I am trying to put together some notes on this man, whose University Roll of Honour says died of wounds at Kasama on 10 December 1916, while serving as a Captain with the Native Barotse Regiment. (Another website has the same information but shows him as a Private, which I very much doubt could have been the case). there is no trace of him on the CWGC website, nor in the Medal Index Cards.

I would like to know a little more about (a) the Native Barotse Regiment : was it the same as the Rhodesia Native Regiment ? What was it involved in up to December 1916 in general, and in early December 1916 in particular ? and (b) the man himself : I know that he was born in Leith in 1869, which would have made him 47 when he joined the Native Barotse Regiment. But I wonder if he is the same James H Lyon who had already earned a 4-clasp Queens South Africa Medal, which was sold by DNW in London last year, and who had served with Brabant's Horse, Driscoll's Scouts and the Border Scouts .....

I would be very grateful for whatever help you can give, either about his military career or indeed about his civilian life - residence, occupation, marriage, children. Of course, if anyone has a studio portrait photograph of him...!

From: Edward Commins
Subject: GROTHAUS, Heinrich Christian Wilhelm; Leutnant im Johannesburger Fort, 1899
Date posted: 7 November 2009

Subject: Anglo-Boer War , Kaptein Heinrich Grothaus

I seeking information (incl. photographs) of GROTHAUS, Heinrich Christian Wilhelm; Leutnant im Johannesburger Fort.

Latter Grothaus Heinrich Christiaan W.Kaptein Staatsartillerie DTD, LVW & ABO.

It is my understanding he retired from the SA military as a Colonel.

From: Stephen Bowker
Subject: Looking for an old Airman of 24 Squadron 1942: ABRAHAM HERMAN GEYSER
Date posted: 29 October 2009

I am looking for the following gentleman and am hoping he is still alive. He was shot down on 24 October 1942 over El Alamein together with my late father Hubert Bowker. Their aircraft, a Boston of 24 Squadron was damaged when another aircraft collided with them. Their plane had to peel off and leave the formation. Unfortunately a German fighter was lurking around and shot them down. My Dad and this gentleman were fortunate enough to bail out but the pilot and observer died in the impending crash.

Date of Birth: 25/12/1921
Airforce No: 205892
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Aircraft : Boston Bomber, SAAF, 24 Squadron.

From: Derek Turner
Subject: Major Nick (Nicholas Gerhardus) Wessels P. 17728 of the 5th Brigade 2nd AA
Date posted: 25 September 2009

My grandfather was Major Nick (Nicholas Gerhardus) Wessels P. 17728 of the 5th Brigade 2nd AA. Unfortunately all I have left of him are his medals (MC and various campaign medals). I would love to know more about his history. I know that he was taken by Rommel after Tobruk, but have no idea to which camp he was sent, or indeed of much else. Any help would be appreciated, including any reference pointers or former comrades reminiscences.

From: Iain Wilkinson
Subject: Oldham Volunteers - Battle of Bergendal - Anglo-Boer war
Date posted: 22 August 2009

Research Enquiry.
I am writing the history of the Oldham Volunteers and also their role in the Anglo-Boer war. They were attached to the 1st Manchester Regiment and took part in the Battle of Bergendal.

From: Mark Scott
Subject: Lyn Wood - Diary of Frances (Frank) Walton Lister
Date posted: 22 August 2009

I would like to get in touch with Lyn Wood who forwarded you the information published as Diary of Frances (Frank) Walton Lister. This person is my great grandfather and Lyn Wood would be able to help me with certain genealogy issues I have.


From: Alex Kandel
Subject: Rumania Bombings - SAAF airmen
Date posted: 22 August 2009

I am currently writting a book on Rumania Bombings of the 15th AF and on 205th RAF GP For this book we need to gather info on the fallen SAAF airmen of the 31st Wing flying B-24's etc

From: Graham Lindsay
Subject: Richard Beverley
Date posted: 7 August 2009

I am trying to contact Richard Beverley, who I note from a 1985 newsletter of the society posted on the internet, was a survivor of the "Sebastiano Vernier"? I am trying to track down the location of the transit camp the men were held in on the Peloponnese following this tragedy.

From: Bruce de Saxe
Subject: 26 Squadron SAAF in WW2
Date posted: 24 May 2009

I have set up an unofficial website to commemorate 26 Squadron SAAF and it’s crews. If anyone has any info, pics, stories etc pertaining to this squadron or any of its crew members I would really appreciate hearing from you.

The SAAF 26 Squadron website is at

From: Victoria House
Subject: Edmund O'toole VC
Date posted: 28 April 2009

I am still on the hunt 10 years later for further info on Edmund O'toole VC from 1879 at Ulundi. I know alot of the basic info that is out there now but if anyone knows anything new I would be glad to hear from them.

It's been 10 years since my last message on this notice board (see below) and due to email change I may not of heard from you before. I would welcome any details or contact from anyone who feels they may have a connection to him. Regards Vicky House, England.

    Subject: EDMUND O'TOOLE V.C.
    Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 21:22:41 -0000

    I seek further information on Sergeant (later Capt.) Edmund O'Toole V.C. winnner (Date of Gazette: 9th October 1879).
    First Couth African-born man serving with a South African Unit under British Command to win the VC (9th Lancers in the Cape Frontier Light Horse, South African Forces.

    Deed on 3rd July 1879 at Ulundi, Zululand along with Capt. W.L. de la P. Beresford saved a NCO's life. O'Toole was possibly born at Grahamstown, South Africa, aged unknown and died Sailsbury, Rhodesia in 1891. In thebook by Ian S. Uys it says that in 1890 Edmund is recorded at being a Trooper under Capt. Heany at a Pioneer Coloumn in Mashonaland, Rhodesia.

    Any information welcome and any details above.

From: René Winters
Subject: Stephanus Francois Marais WWII
Date posted: 26 April 2009

BELGIAN officials are trying to trace relatives of a 22-year-old South African airman shot down during the Second World War. Son of Marthinus Wessels Marais and Maria Fredrica Jacoba Marais; husband of Audrey Joyce Marais, of Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa.

Flight Sergeant Stephanus Francois Marais was one of a six-man crew aboard a Wellington on June 16, 1941, when it crash-landed in the city of Hamont-Achel. All six men died and their bodies were laid to rest in the local cemetery. At that time, only five crew member was positively identified by the German authorities. The local Belgian people paid tribute to the airmen's sacrifices, flowers were laid on their graves and crosses erected. After the war all six of the bodies were identified, and they are now at the Commonwealth War Cemetery of Heverlee, Belgium.

On June 20, 2009, the Oorlogsherdenkingen RAF Memorial group will unveil a memorial plaque in Hamont-Achel. René Winters, committee member of the group, is keen to hear from relatives of Flight Sergeant Stephanus Francois Marais He said: "We hope to trace any family members because we would like to invite them to attend our dedication service on June 20. "The service marks our work with this long overdue, but never forgotten, historical project." Stephanus Francois Marais was the Flight Sergeant Observator aboard the Wellington from 103 Squadron. He and his crew took off on the night of June 16/17, 1941, from RAF base Newton, Nottinghamshire, to bomb harbour installations at the Rhine in Duisburg.

René added: "In the target area the visibility varied from good to moderate. A thin ground fog hampered the accurate aiming for the bombing load. "Because bomb-aiming was not yet accurate in 1941, not one Wellington could drop its bombs right on the target. "As a result of this, civilian targets in the city of Duisburg were also hit and there were civilian casualties. "The Wellingtons were caught in search lights and they encountered heavy flak. Beside that, they were attacked by several German night fighters. "The Wellington went out of control and crashed at 2.25am. It is highly probable that the plane broke apart."

Anyone with information about Sergeant Stephanus Francois Marais should email René at

From: Mollie Kruger
Subject: South Africans at Stalag Luft 6
Date posted: 16 Feb 2009

I am doing research on Stalag Luft 6, Heydekrug. Has any SAAF aircrew member been interned at Stalag Luft 6 during WWII? I do not need specifics on personnel, but a clear indication of the fact and numbers involved will assist me a great deal. More detail will be welcome as well.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: 37 (Forestry) Company, SA Engineers. WW2.
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

I am researching this unit that served in East Africa during WW2 and was later sent back to the Union. I have compiled a nominal roll and have various bits of information from War Diaries etc. but would like to make contact with any survivors of 37 Coy. or their families as I would like to put together some more personal tales, and am also looking for photographs of any of the members of 37 Coy or the equipment they used.

From: Mark Naude
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Looking for further information & especially photograph of this officer. Veld-kornet in Anglo-Boer War, later awarded DTD ("Boer DSO") for Boer War. First World War: Captain in Naude's Scouts (1914-5), later re-attested as Private in 2nd SA Infantry. Wounded at Delville Wood and awarded the DCM.

From: Mark Naude
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information (incl. photogrpahs) of Fort Napier during WW1 especially regarding which South African and/or Imperial units were stationed there to guard prisoners.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: Comdt Jacobus Christoffel Naudé DTD - Vredefort
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information on Lt-Col JC Naude DTD who commanded Naude's Vredefort Commando in 1914-5.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: Comdt Charl David Naudé DTD - Bethlehem & Lindley Commandos
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information on CD Naude DTD who commanded Lindley Commando in 1914-5. Previously a veldkornet in Bethlehem Commando in Anglo-Boer War.

Comdt SW Naudé - Anglo-Boer War Seeking information on this officer.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: Comdt JH Naudé - Bethlehem Commando - Anglo-Boer War
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information on this officer.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: Colonel DSS Naudé - SAOC/Q'SC - Inspector of Defence Stores
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information on this officer who was Inspector of Defence Stores c.1940.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: Capt Immins de M Overbeek, MC, Naude's Scouts & SA Service Corps
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information on this officer of First World War.

From: Mark Naude
Subject: Cape Command / No1 Military District
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information on Cape Command history c.1920-1940 e.g. Officers Commanding (e.g. Cols Harvey, Bouwer, Brink, Armstrong), names, dates, photos etc.

From: Mark Naude
Subject:JJ Naudé - KPM, SA Police
Date posted: 5 Feb 2009

Seeking information on this officer who was awarded the King's Police Medal.

From: Eliza
Subject: Ashley Murgatroyd
Date posted:2 Feb 2009

I am looking for someone that was in the army in the late 1960s - he was in Durban in late 1968. His name was Ashley Murgatroyd. I'm not sure if he was in the South African army or perhaps from the UK.

From: Bruce Cherry
Subject:South Africans who fought in the First World War
Date posted:2 Feb 2009

I am researching as part of a PhD into to the social class composition of South Africans who fought in the First World War either as members of the South African Brigades, or in individual British Army regiments. If any one has either information or suggestions of where I might find such I would be very pleased to hear from them.

From: Peter R Dreyer
Subject:Basil Melt Dreyer
Date posted:28 Jan 2009

Does anyone have any information about my late father, Basil Melt Dreyer, staff sergeant SAAF in North Africa during World War II? We have a photograph of him as one of the men lining the route at the victory parade in Tripoli in January 1943 as Churchill, Montgomery, and Alexander drive past in an open car. At some point--it may have been in Sicily--he suffered minor wounds. I know little of his military service and would very much like to know more.

From: Joan Bailie
Subject: Commandant Gen Frederick Senekal
Date posted:19 Jan 2009

Commandant Gen Senekal was my great-great- grandfather. I met some members of the Senekal family many years ago in Senekal. I would like to obtain information on his family-tree and also of his descendants. If possible I would like to make contact with any living descendants of his. My name is Joan Bailie, my late mother was Mrs Pienaar, nee Visser and her grandmother was Martha Senekal, who married Edwin Arthur Visser. Any information would be most appreciated.

From: Hélène wanadoo
Subject: Mayotte during WWII
Date posted: 6 Jan 2009

I work for the departmental archives of Mayotte, a little French island on the Mozambique channel.

I am working on the subject about Mayotte during the second world war. I had informations from the R.A.F. museum that the South African army was maybe on this island between 1942-1945.

Do you have any information or/and document about Mayotte on this period?

From: Kathy Gatenby
Subject: Battle of Delville Wood 50th anniversary
Date posted: 6 Jan 2009

Does anyone have information on any commemorative services/events that may have been undertaken in South Africa in 1966 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Delville Wood? Information required in respect to a book being written on a soldier who fought, and survived, this battle.

From: Dr Mauro Almaviva
Subject: Rifle identification?
Date posted: 12th November 2008

While hiking on Sondeza Range in Northern Swaziland close to South Africa border, we came across a block of melted lead with bullets and cartridges incorporated within. It was in the middle of a bush forest without signs of human presence. We believed that, during preparation of bullets, an unwanted fire somehow melted the lead and cartridges and bullets. The bullets are about 1.2cm diameter and 3cm length (sorry we know they are measured in inches). Although not experts, we think that these are old rifle's bullets and cartridges (it was gold mining area at the end of 19th Century). We would like to know if there are weapon history experts who, sending pictures of bullets and of remaining of cartridges (with size markers next to them) can tell us which type of rifle was and possibly the period?

From: Harold Raugh
Subject: SUBJECT: 1879 Anglo-Zulu War Bibliography Project
Date posted: 1st November 2008

Please permit me to introduce myself. I am a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry with a deep interest in British military History. I hold a Ph.D. in European history from the University of California, Los Angeles, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2001, and was elected a member of the British Commission for Military History earlier this year. In addition to over 700 published articles and book reviews, I have written or edited six books. The most recent is British Military Operations in Egypt and the Sudan: A Selected Bibliography (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008), covering the period 1882-1899.

I am now compiling a comprehensive bibliography of the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War, and have completed over 225 pages so far. Many members of the South African Military History Society are experts and very knowledgeable in this field. I would be greatly appreciative to learn of any Anglo-Zulu War related officers' or other ranks' Zulu War unpublished or published diaries, journals, letters, or other related accounts or documents in South African archival collections or libraries, plus the bibliographic details of any Zulu War-related articles that have appeared in South African and other regional journals (including author's name, title of article, name of regimental journal, volume/series numbers, date of publication, pages).

My goal is to compile the most comprehensive and useful Zulu War bibliography as possible, and I want to highlight the contributions of the British Army and "colonial" soldiers involved, and include books and journal articles written in South Africa and by South African historians. I would be grateful, and will acknowledge by name in writing in this book, the excellent assistance and any information one can provide. Thank you.

Harold E. Raugh, Jr., Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S.
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)

From: Dick de Scally
Subject: Boer War - Thomas Dominicus de Scally & Willie Klesse
Date posted: 17th October 2008

In my family genealogy research I am trying to find out the role my grandfather THOMAS DOMINICUS DE SCALLY played in the Boer War. He was born in King William’s Town (South Africa) in 1869 of Irish parents. He died in Benoni in 1945. In 1902 he ended up in Europe where he married a girl from Holland, my grandmother. I have a picture postcard printed in Germany showing ‘Zwei Transvaal Buren’ in Boer uniforms. One of them is my grandfather Thomas de Scally from Klerksdorp and the other one is a certain Willie Klesse of Lydenburg. In 1907 Thomas de Scally went back to South Africa. His wife had passed away in the meantime and his son, my father was left with his maternal grandparents. I would be very interested to find out the reason of Thomas de Scally’s departure to Europe at the very end or just after the Boer War. Any information will be gratefully acknowledged.

From: William Gould
Subject: Jack Filby of SAAF 6th Squadron
Date posted: 11th October 2008

I am looking for any information re a Jack Filby who was a pilot with the SAAF 6th Squadron killed in Italy in April 1945. He came from Rondebosch, lived in Sandown Road.

From: John Hart
Subject: South African Military Nursing Service (SAMNS)
Date posted: 18th September 2008

Regarding the role of South African forces in the Second World War, much has been written on the drama of 'front line action units' but less on non-combative units. In particular I've battled to find information about the role of the South African Military Nursing Service (SAMNS) especially in the Western Desert and Italy. Does anyone know of any references concerning this topic?

From: Marilyn Honikman
Subject: Lt. Alexander (Pebble) Stone No. 2 Squadron SAAF WWII
Date posted: 15th September 2008

I am looking for information about my Uncle, Lt. Alexander Stone from No. 2 Squadron SAAF.
His nickname was Pebble.
I think he was seconded to the RAF at some point as his address on letters was sometimes given as c/o RAF HQ, Middle East Command.
The last letter we have from him was written in December 1941.
I think he was shot down shortly after this letter was written. My grandparents were told he was missing presumed dead.
I was born after his death but have a box of his letters. I would like to write a story about him for my grandchildren and great nephews and nieces and would like to hear from anyone who knew him or knew of him. Thanks.

From: Felicity Phelan
Subject: 34th Regiment of Foot
Date posted: 21st June 2008

Looking for information about the 34th Regiment of Foot around the period of 1867 to 1874 when the Regiment was at Port Natal and King Williams Town.

From: Angus Trumble
Subject: William Porter Finlay
Date posted: 21st June 2008

I am seeking any information that your members or interested correspondents may be able to provide about a young Northern Irish soldier, William Porter Finlay (b. 1831), who some time between February 1851 (when he was expelled from the East India Company's Military Seminary, Addiscombe College, in South London) and early 1853 (by which time he was in Calcutta), is said to have fought creditably in at least part of the Eighth Kaffir, Cape Frontier, or Xhosa War.

William Porter Finlay's uncle (his mother's brother) was The Hon. William Porter, attorney-general at the Cape from 1839 to 1865.

William Porter Finlay led an extraordinarily interesting life, and eventually ended up as a sergeant-major in the U.S. Army fighting the Mormons in Utah. He eventually published a short series of cheerful despatches in the Saint Louis Leader in December 1857, in one of which he recalled that on Christmas Eve, 1851 "I was on the banks of the Kel [River], far in the interior of southern Africa, in the British army, engaged in the Caffre war."

From: Stephen Lally
Subject: Talbot Cars German SWA WWI
Date posted: 29th May 2008

I am researching the Talbot car and its factory in Kensington, London during the First World war. It was here that the RNAS developed the RR armoured car and first tests on tanks were carried out. Talbot was the main vehicle supplier to the RNAS. The Royal Naval Armoured Car Division was based at the Talbot factory.
In March 1915 a squadron of armoured cars and support vehicles sailed for Walvis Bay to help Louis Botha in German SW Africa. I am looking for information on the activities of this squadron. Is this written about anywhere? Are there any photos (I have a photo of them leaving Kensington)? Any help will be much appreciated.

From: Janet Szabo
Subject: Berlin Airlift
Date posted: 29th May 2008

With the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift coming up in June, and given South Africa’s contribution to the airlift, SABC News is interested in getting hold of members of the aircrew involved for possible interviews.

  News Research - International and Military Researcher
Tel: +27 (11) 714 2284
Fax: +27 (11) 714-2179/5605
Cell:+27 (84) 763 6220

From: Bob Seals
Subject: 5 Commando 1964-66 in the Congo
Date posted: 27th May 2008

I am currently conducting research upon 5 Commando 1964-66 in the Congo and am interested in contacting veterans from the unit for interviews to be included in an upcoming book.
I am a retired US Army Special Forces Officer and all replies will be treated with the utmost confidence. I may be contacted via surface mail at:
Bob Seals
245 Diane Lane
Raeford, NC 28376

From: John Hodges
Subject: Research into Chateau Impney/Impney Hall during WW2
Date posted: 18th May 2008

Does anyone have any information/photographs on Impney Hall, Droitwich (Chateau Impney) during WW2? Please e-mail me at:

From: Mark Anderson
Subject: gunmakers J. Wheatley, J. Hayton
Date posted: 13th May 2008

I am researching the Cape Gun, and will be in Grahamstown during the last week of June. I'd be interested in speaking to people with a similar interest as well as descendents of the early gunmakers J. Wheatley, J. Hayton and others who may have some family history and knowledge on the origin and development of the Cape Gun, which was centred around Grahamstown in the mid 1800s.
I can be reached on 0836980086 or

From: Peter Green
Subject: Oflag IX A/Z Rotenberg
Date posted: 5th April 2008

I am researching the march east taken by the POWs from Rotenburg in March and April 1945. The nominal role for the camp of January 1945 has the South Africans below present.

I am trying to find personal notes, diaries, letters and photographs from the march. I am also interested in learning where they were captured. Finally any photographs of them, which will help me identify people in the photographs I already have of the POWs.

Bishop J, Corporal, UDF
Hamilton H, Lieutenant, UDF
Longden H W D, Lieutenant, UDF
Page J G, Lieutenant Colonel, UDF
Page A, Corporal, UDF
Shrosbree B, ? , UDF
Tsoucas G, Captain, UDF
Payne A G, Lieutenant, UDF, 1st South African Irish
Pole A J H, Lieutenant, UDF, 1st South African Irish
Goldby A J T, Captain, UDF, ILH
Chadwick W G, Lieutenant-Colonel, UDF, Rand Light Infantry
Wuth N C Lieutenant, UDF, Signals
Barends C M Lieutenant, UDF, TSC

I would be grateful for help in tracing the families of these men.

7 Prospect Hill
Old Town
Swindon SN1 3JU
+44 7866 727141

From: Johann Hanekom
Subject: Hanekom Combatants
Date posted: 4th April 2008

I maintain a website dedicated to the Hanekom family at

I would like any information about the following people so that I can post a tribute to them on the South African History section of that site. If I can somehow find contact details for any of their families, that would be an added bonus

HANEKOM J C. Corporal. 64186067E 5 MW U. Army. 26-Apr-1975. 27. Died in freak accident, at Rundu, drowned. Stepson of Mr. J. C. Kotze

HANEKOM JOHANNES WILLEM. Trooper. 75556993BG 2nd South African Infantry. Army. 8-May-1981. 22. Killed in action, in Sector 10, landmine. Son of Mr. & Mrs. H. A. Hanekom

HANEKOM PIERRE. Rifleman. 81228116BG 8th South African Infantry "E" Coy. Army. 12-Nov-1983. 18. Special Memorial. Killed in action, Ops Askari, claymore mine detonated. Son of Mr. & Mrs. P. B. Hanekom

Hanekom, BP. Civilian, Died 16 Mar 1922. Rand Rebellion
Hanekom, Johannes Petrus. Civilian, Died 16 Mar 1922. Rand Rebellion.
Pieter Albertus. Burgerlike,(Civilian) Died 16 Mar 1922. Rand Rebellion.

On the South African War Graves website it is claimed that they were shot in the back while trying to escape police custody (all killed, none wounded?), but Rodney Warwick claimed that they were summarily executed in his talk to the Cape Town Branch on 13 September 2007. He also mentioned a fourth brother while all the other sources I could find only mention three.

I would like to try and find out everything I can about the men mentioned above.

From: ianmackersey
Subject: Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC, William Jordan, Samuel Kinkead and John Tudhope
Date posted: 17th March 2008

For a London publisher a New Zealand aviation biographer, Ian Mackersey, is researching a book about the lives of the military aviators of WWI as reflected in their correspondence from France to their families and friends back home. A number of these pilots and observers, who served with the Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service or WWI RAF, were South African. Four of those who specially distinguished themselves were the famous Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC, William Jordan, Samuel Kinkead and John Tudhope. Ian would welcome hearing from anyone who knows the whereabouts of any private diaries and papers that these men may have left. He can be contacted at:
12 Kakariki Avenue
Mt Eden
Auckland 1024
New Zealand

  PH:  64-9-638-7585
FAX: 64-9-630-0964

From: Eugene Campher, Chairman Ladysmith Siege Museum Trust
Subject: Italian prisoners of war in KwaZulu-Natal
Date posted: 12th March 2008

The Ladysmith Siege Museum Trust is documenting the legacy of the Italian prisoners of war who spent time in Natal during 1941 to 1946
Several structures remain today, built by these skilful men, as a permanent reminder. Notable is the Mission Church at St Joseph's in the Sand River Valley
In March 2008 the Italian Ambassador to South Africa will unveil a plaque at St Joseph's Church. The wording of the plaque will read:
1941 - 1946
The Ladysmith Siege Museum Trust kindly requests people who have knowledge, anecdotes and artefacts pertaining to this chapter of local history to contact us. It should be recorded as part of our heritage.

Contact details: Eugene Campher, Chairman Ladysmith Siege Museum Trust
Fax: 086 654 2727
Mobile: 082 801 6524

From: JD Hobson
Subject: John Hare
Date posted: 12th March 2008

Wanted: further information concerning Lieutenant-Colonel John Hare who was the Acting Lt.-Governor of what was then called British Kaffraria January 1837 to August 1839. He became the Lt.-Governor of the Eastern Division of the Settlement of the Cape of Good Hope on 21 October 1839 according to the London Gazette.

He was in command of the army in the frontier region from 1846 to 1847. In early 1847 he resigned his post and died on St. Helena on 6 March on his way home to England.

From: Kathy Gatenby
Subject: Flu Pandemic and Venereal Disease WWI
Date posted: 5th March 2008

I am currently undertaking research on the life of a South African man, who was enlisted with the 1st South African Infantry in the First World War. He was a Delville Wood survivor, joining in 1915 till his discharge due to illness in 1919.

My request may seem a little unusual, but it is important that I have the correct context for the events of this man's life. What I need to know is how the Army would have treated soldiers who contracted Gonorrhea in the First World War. This man's Medical File shows he was hospitalised for almost 4 months while in Egypt in 1915 for "VDG" which I understand is the abbreviation for "Venereal Disease Gonorrhea". (The hospital was the "Con. Dep. Mustapha"). I have learnt that Australian and British soldiers used to be sent home if they contracted a Venereal Disease, primarily to shame them and set an example to other soldiers. But it appears it may have been a different situation for South African soldiers serving abroad, given this man's records which indicates he did get treatment and was then dispatched to fight in Europe.

  I am interested to know if anyone has researched and written anything on the   incidence of VD's in South African service men serving overseas in the First World   War - how they were treated, the army's advice to the troops in respect to VD's, how the army may have dealt with soldiers who contracted the condition, etc.

I am also interested in the impact of the 1818 Flu Pandemic on South African troops during the war as this man also succumbed to Flu a few times, and it ultimately brought about his discharge due to ill health. Incidentally, I did find one medical paper that suggested the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic may have actually had it's origins in Etaples in France, in 1916. The man I am researching did in fact contract Influenza while serving abroad in 1916 and was hospitalised for it in Etaples.

If you have information that could assist me , please contact: Kathy Gatenby by email at:

From: Howard Johnson
Subject: Keith Alexander RAF Pilot Search
Date posted: 12th February 2008

My name is Howard Johnson and I live in Johannesburg South Africa. I am looking for my grand father Keith Alexander (American). He was a RAF pilot stationed in Pietersburg/Polokwane between 1940 -1945. He apparently resided in Los Angeles - we estimate that he is between the ages of 85 and 90years. I am hoping to get in touch with any of his family (should he be deceased). He married my grand mother who is an Oldrieve. (I do not know her name)

If anyone has any information about the RAF pilots in Pietersburg - or how I can get further info regarding my grand father - please email me on

From: Anne Lehmkuhl
Subject: Women in uniform, in SA Forces 1912 to present
Date posted: 5th February 2008

I'm doing research for a book on women who served in South African military anytime from 1912 to the present. This includes any of the services - Air Force, Army, Navy, Medical Services, volunteer organisations. The book will cover the history of women's service and include their own stories.
If you know of any who served, please pass on my request.
I'm ex-SAAF myself (1980s).
Thank you

From: Brian Austin
Subject: South African Corps of Signals (SACS): order of colours
Date posted: 14th January 2008

The South African Corps of Signals (SACS) came into being in 1923 and was affiliated to the Royal Corps of Signals in 1926. This affiliation lasted until South Africa declared itself a republic in 1961. The official colours of both corps at that time were, when viewed from top to bottom, light blue, dark blue and green signifying the sky, the sea and the land - being the regions within which radio signals will propagate. However sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s the SACS changed the order of those colours to green, light blue, dark blue and they have remained in that sequence ever since. All my (and others') efforts to find when and why this happened have produced no definitive answers but a fair amount of confusion/obfuscation.

  It would be most interesting and historically important to discover when the change occurred and the reasoning behind it.

  Brian Austin
110 Frankby Road
West Kirby
CH48 9UX

From: manning
Date posted: 22nd th November 2007

I am the great grand child of Sir Fredrick George Manning who was a brother to Sir William Henry Manning.

I am looking for the descendants of Brig. General William Henry Manning who was also known as Sir William Henry Manning.

If anyone has any information please e-mail me.

From: Hein Geldenhuys
Subject: Carrier/racing pigeons in wars fought on SA soil
Date posted: 17th November 2007

I do have a strong interest in our SA History - especially the "Boer" wars. I am also an avid racing pigeon enthusiast. So obviously, if the two interests meet, I am all ears!

Information on Messenger pigeons in WW1 & ll is plentiful. But what role did carrier/racing pigeons play in the wars fought on SA soil?

With enough information, I plan to write an article for the SA & World Pigeon news magazine - the monthly magazine for SA fanciers
My current, limited information is the following:

Military History Journal - Vol 4 No 1, BICYCLES IN THE ANGLO-BOER WAR OF 1899-1902
by D.R. Maree
The Cape Cycle Corps task of transporting carrier pigeons

Military History Journal - Vol 3 No 2, Secret Service in the South African Republic 1895-1900
by Dr G.N. Van den Bergh
The Secret Service during the Anglo-Boer War
Despite watchfulness in Johannesburg and Pretoria which led to discoveries of caches of arms and explosives and 300 carrier pigeons for communication with the advancing British forces, all efforts in this field were foredoomed to failure.

Any information will be highly appreciated

Postal address: PO Box 3093

From: Dave Mortey
Subject: Lieutenant (Pilot) David Charles Morrison - 26 Squadron SAAF
Date posted: 14th November 2007

I am seeking any information in regard to my Cousin, 92351V Lieutenant (Pilot) David Charles Morrison who served with 26 Squadron SAAF stationed in Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) at Takoradi and who was reported killed on 07/11/1943. In particular I would like to ascertain exactly how he met his death.

If you can help with any further details in regard to Lieutenant Morrison please contact me.

106 Louis Street
Waterkloof Ridge
0181 South Africa
Cell:072 347 4032

From: Ron Clibborn-Dyer
Subject: The Search for the May Jackson - Screw Gun Extraordinaire
Date posted: 7th November 2007

Subject: the May Jackson - Screw Gun Extraordinaire

It was last seen in the Police Military Museum in the Old Boma in Lusaka in 1962-64 prior to Zambian Independence. The Boma has been demolished and the location of the contents are at present unknown.

A history can be seen on the web-site at mjackson.html

From: Caryl Ramsden
Subject: SA soldiers diaries and letters in WWI
Date posted: 30th October 2007

I am currently doing my Masters degree through the University of Pretoria. My thesis is looking at the differences in experiences between the South African troops in France to the South African troops in East Africa from 1916 to 1918.

As part of my thesis I need to look at firsthand accounts of South African soldiers. I would be grateful if anyone that has firsthand papers like diaries or letters to allow me access to them. This would be a great help in the writing of my thesis.

From: Allan Sadler
Subject: HMSAS SWALE 1946
Date posted: 20th October 2007

I was a PO in the above ship on secondment from the Royal Navy in 1946.

I am visiting South Africa at present and would very much like to contact old friends with whom I served in 1946.

I am staying with friends in Honeydew, Johannesburg and can be contacted on the following telephone numbers up to the end of October 011 958 1980 or 076 782 4319 or on this email address.

I am visiting the Cape from the 31st October until the 28th November and would very much like to renew friendships.

Allan Sadler

From: Graham Kent
Subject: Gold Kimberley Star Robert Archibald
Date posted: 13th October 2007

I am seeking a medal awarded to my Great Grand Father Robert Archibald who lived in Kimberley during the time of Cecil John Rhodes and who worked for De Beers diamond mines. According to my records he was awarded one of two Kimberley Star medals in gold; the mayor of Kimberley was awarded the other.

From: morne.strydom
Subject: Rubgy match Stalag POWs
Date posted: 1st October 2007

I am doing some research on the Springbok team (selected from the POW's) that played Wales on the 21 May 1944 at Stalag 4 or 5b. Does anybody know about this? I have memoribilia. (We beat Wales 17 - 03).
Any info welcome!
Morne Strydom

From: Clara Thomson
Subject: photographs - South African Nursing Service
Date posted: 26th September 2007

My great aunt, Miss Margaret Stoney, was appointed Matron in Chief in 1946. I am researching my family tree and am proud to find out that she travelled from Lancashire in England to be a nurse in South Africa. In a Journal article are some lovely photographs of nurses from the South African Nursing Service - I was wondering if anyone knew if there was an archive/personal collection of other photos that may show my great aunt?

From: Phillip Scheepers
Subject: South African communal grave at El Alamein
Date posted: 28th August 2007

Upon entering the Commonwealth Cemetary at El Alamein you are immediately confronted with 5 tombstones placed tightly together containing the names of 10 South African soldiers. It is my understanding that this form of tombstone placement is used by the CWGC when soldiers died together in a single incident and where it was not possible to identify individual bodies. The soldiers in question all died on 14 October 1942.
They are:
M/15646 Private J Davids
14918 Private JJ de Villiers
C167463 Lance Corporal PC Gallant
40668 Gunner R Gerardy
17826 Private CR Honey
8777 Corporal J Rennie
19455 Private JAC Smith
19244 Private JW Spence
19505 Private DMJ Sullivan
19621 Lance Corporal AC Williams

Does anybody have any information about the circumstances surrounding the death of these soldiers? Losing ten soldiers in a single incident would probably have sent shock waves through the South African contingent in the Western Desert and I am sure that an account of how they were killed must be available somewhere, I just haven't been able to lay my hands on one as yet.

The information is needed for an upcoming book and any help will be gratefully received and properly acknowledged.

Dr. Phillip Scheepers

From: David Goshen
Subject: WW2-Rescue of US Seamen from life raft in Southern Indian Ocean 1942-3
Date posted: 10th August 2007

My family name was Geshen (today Goshen) & my late father Issy or Israel Geshen was in business with Major Edgar Isaacs the firm name being J.H.Isaacs, Geshen & Co., Real Estate Agents. My father had an aunt Milly who emigrated from London to the USA. She had a son by the name of Julius. Unfortunately I do not have the family name. Julius served in the USA Navy and was on a ship torpedowed in the Indian Ocean, presumably off the coast of Southern Africa. He & some other crew members were on a life raft for some time & were picked up by the SA Forces & brought to Addington Hospital. When he started recovering from his long stint on the life raft he told the authorities at the hospital that he had family in Durban & asked that they be advised. My late father, his brother Ben Geshen (a lawyer from the firm Nicolson Stiller & Geshen) and their sisters Anne Kolitz & Hessie Lazarus visited Julius & contact was maintained till he was shipped back to the USA. Contact was also maintained with Julius after he returned to USA but all that generation has passed away. I was a small boy at the time and do not recall exactly what year it may have been.

I am hoping to trace Julius's ship & from there get to his family.

David Goshen(previously Geshen)
8/40 Hakeshet Street,
Kiryat Ono 55401

From: Allan Bird
Subject: Claude Earnest BIRD, Royal Merchant Navy, 1939
Date posted: 27th June 2007

My name is Allan Bird and I'm a published author doing research for my next book. I wonder if someone still alive remembers my late uncle - Claude Earnest BIRD?

He joined the Royal Merchant Navy and sailed off to Britain in 1939.

From: Leona Geeves
Subject: Les Richards, SA officer in Alexandria, 1941
Date posted: 19th June 2007

I am an Australian librarian trying to sort my late father’s letters from WW2.

I am seeking Les Richards, a WW2 officer from Johannesburg, whom my late father, Lieut. Philip Geeves 2/5th Field Regiment (Australian Infantry Force), met in Alexandria in 1941.

In one of the letters home he writes "A charming South African officer from Johannesburg took me under his wing and entertained me lavishly. He provided me with a truck and driver, took me to the exclusive Sporting Club where we sat beneath the palms and drank American tinned beer. He and his troop were just fresh from victories in Abyssinia: finally I went out to his camp and gave a talk to his lads. Altogether I had a marvelous time combining pleasure with work."

I am seeking either Mr Richards or his family or colleagues in case they may have anecdotal or pictorial information.

From: Warren Loader
Subject: No. 6 Remount Depot, Weston Agricultural College, 1899-1914
Date posted: 16th June 2007

Janneane Tait (our history teacher) and myself would like to erect a memorial dedicated to the horses that lost their lives at No. 6 Remount Depot, which was situated on and around Weston Agricultural College from 1899-1914. The school hosts two National Monuments; The Doctors Residence and The Residence of the Commanding Officers. The Officers Mess and the two stable blocks and the hospital quarters are now the boys dining hall. Artifacts are virtually found on a daily basis and are housed in the schools unique museum.

The school boys have collected literally hundreds of horse shoes over the years and we think that it would be a good idea to weld them together into an obelisk and dedicate it to all the horses that met their fate here.

This whole idea came about when I read some literature written by the Commanding Officer and chief veterinary officer, James Carless. He estimated that it was possible that up to 30 000 horses were buried at Weston Commonage between 1899-1904. He states that horses offloaded at Durban were shipped to Mooi River where they were destroyed due to glanders and mange. After the war, captured horses were delivered to Mooi River and thousands were destroyed due to their pathetic condition. In the 1960's 8 lorry loads of bones were exhumed and taken away to make bone meal. There are still vast mounds near the river where horses are buried. Horse shoes and bones are found scattered all over the veld.

We would like to plan the unveiling of the memorial sometime next year, but would like to co-ordinate it so that as many interested parties as possible would be able to attend. Any interested parties who may like to attend can contact me at the above e-mail address.

Any other information on No. 6 Remount Depot or No. 4 General Hospital Mooi River, would be greatly appreciated. Please at any time come and visit this unique school and its Museum. Tour groups would also be most welcome. Maybe someone could solve the mystery of the stolen British gold which is said to be buried here at Weston!

From: Leena McCombe
Subject: David McCombe
Date posted: 16th June 2007

I am looking for information or family of Captain David McCombe. An article was written on him for The South African Military History Society however as a relative of his, I am keen to find out as much about him as possible especially his life in South Africa. He was born in Alexandria, Scotland on 26th February 1906, moved to South Africa in 1936 and died in 1972. I know he was married to Doris and she was last known to have lived in Harare, Zimbabwe.

From: Lance ROTH
Subject: GTWG Roth, Anglo-Boer War
Date posted: 13th June 2007

Could someone please help confrim that one GTWG Roth was the Chief of Staff for General Beyers during the Anglo-Boer war?

From: Maxine
Subject: Edwyn Leslie Massey, (World War I) and Edwyn Ridley Massey, World War II
Date posted: 12th June 2007

I am writing from Alberta Canada and am hoping someone could help me. For years I have been trying to locate a great uncle, and his son. (The uncle would be deceased of course now), but the family completely lost track of him and his descendants. Here is the information I have:

My uncle’s name was EDWYN LESLIE MASSEY. (He usually went by the name "Leslie"). He was born in April 1881 in Buckinghamshire England. He graduated from university in England and in 1903 he went to South Africa and worked for the Civil Service in the Union of South Africa.

He served in the Great War 1914-1918, and served in France and was a Sergeant in the South Africa Brigade. I believe he continued in the Civil Service after that. He married Caroline "Vera" Ann Rosenzweig in June 13, 1912, and their only child (that I know of) EDWYN RIDLEY MASSEY was born on June 16, 1913 in South Africa.

Edwyn Ridley Massey served in World War II and was a Major in the South African Rifles and was present in the Battle of Ortono, in Italy. He married Nora Mary Ludwig. Nora died in 1977.

This is all the information I have and I have been completely unsuccessful in finding out any more. Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

From: Clint
Subject: 1942 WLA Harley Davidson required
Date posted: 6th June 2007

The 1942 WLA Harley Davidson was the War edition - South Africa bought about 6000 of them for the army. I would like one or some old remains of one I could use to start my restoration project with - condition does not matter.

Mobile/cell in SA: 0829256147

From: Steven Gardiner
Subject: Postal Matters of Basutoland pre - 1933
Date posted: 1st May 2007

I am a postal historian interested in the Postal Matters of Basutoland pre - 1933. I am trying to find more information on the Berea Campaign between March & June 1858 & the Sequiti Wars between the Free State & Basuto between 1865 & 1868. I have the Roll of Honour details but nothing of the skirmishes, strengths of the forces involved, nor the results of the battles.

I am also looking for old letters, documents or envelopes connected with these campaigns as well as the Moirosi Campaign of 1879 & the "Gun Wars" of 1880-1.

From: Francois Greeff
Subject: Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst - GJ Greeff
Toegeken aan Greef, G. J., Kaptein en Adj
De dekoratie kan toegekend worden aan officieren van de strijdmachten van de Zuidafrikaanse Republiek en de Oranje Vrijstaat, wier diensten gedurende de Anglo-Boeroorlog, 1899-1902, van zo een Voortreffelike aard waren dat zij, naar oordeel van de Minister van Verdediging, speciale erkenning verdienen (Source:
I am researching the entire family Greeff, and would be glad to hear of any other medals awarded to Greeff people.
0044 20 8543 6966 (Home)
0044 79 6372 2345 (Mobile)
Skype: Greefffrancois

From: Fiona Searle
Subject: Gordon Burn-Wood DSO
I'm looking for information about my BURN-WOOD family. I'd be grateful for any reply regarding Dr John Burn WOOD of Dunedin Star/Skeleton Coast fame. His son was Gordon BURN-WOOD DSO SANF. All replies welcome. Many thanks Fiona SEARLE, London UK nee NICHOLSON

From: Dave Miller
Subject: WWII stories and memories
Date posted: 11th May 2007

Author seeks your stories: coincidences, dramas, humour etc from those who were involved in WW2 with a tale to tell. If not from yourself, then an incident from a friend or family member.

My collection thus far has contributions from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA and Palestine. Naval stories will be gratefully appreciated.

Please submit "to the point" details of about 1000 to 2000 words to :

Dave Miller
32 Victory gardens
Victory Park
2195 Johannesburg

Tel: +27-011-782-6442

From: Andrew Horton
Subject: Major Eric Bolingbroke Walker 1SAI WWI
Date posted: 4th May 2007

I am researching Major Eric Bolingbroke Walker MC MBE who served in the 1st South African Infantry Btn in the 1st world war. I have had a lot of success in his post war career as registrar at Rhodes University but have drawn a blank on his military service, could any member please point me in the right direction (I have tried the national archives in Kew, England with no success).

From: Marius van Zyl
Subject: South African arms and munitions manufacturing trade
Date posted: 31st March 2007

I am researching the South African arms and munitions manufacturing trade and have extended my research to include all efforts attempted in our country. I would appreciate the opportunity to request readers, fellow history buffs, etcetera to keep their eyes peeled for the following:

I am in urgent search of the following: BOOKS and DOCUMENTS:

“A Record of the Organisation of the Director-General of War Supplies, 1943 -1945.”
The Dynamite Company. A.P. Cartwright
ICI. A History. Have no clue as to the author.

Some ANSWERS needed:

Any details of the history, dates and location of one “Delfos Ordnance Works”
Was there ever a “Defence Ordnance Works”? Where and when?
Other than the Royal Mint/ S.A. Mint/ PMP and RMC/SP of which other efforts should I be aware of? Who, what, where and when, please.

PARTICULAR information:

Can anybody add to my list of calibres that PMP produced? My information stops at the .50 BMG and .50 Spotter rounds.
On the same track, I am in need of a complete military headstamp breakdown of all of PMP’s calibres. My list ends at 1983.
I need more info on Begbies Foundries. Can anybody help?

Marius van Zyl,
18 Prima Village,
925 Beyer street,
0084 South Africa

From: Patricia Vercuiel
Subject: Vercuiel Family Register
Date posted: 28th March 2007

Any information on the Vercuiel's that entered South Africa in the 1860s and lived in Cape Town will be appreciated for inclusion into the Vercuiel Family Register. You can forward or contact Patricia on

From: Janet Smith
Subject: Thomas Brennan - 1907?
Date posted: 25th March 2007

Looking for information on Thomas Brennan who was photographed in the Cape in about 1907.
Captain Conner is on the right and Thomas is on the left.
The writing at the back is too faint to decipher. Any information, please!

From: "Midge"
Subject: Trooper Gooding - Shangani Patrol 1893
Date posted: 7th February 2007

When Major Allan Wilson found his patrol of 12 men surrounded by Matabele warriors, with orders from his column commander Major Forbes to press on and not retreat, he sent back a Captain Napier with 2 men in the dark with an urgent message to come to his aid immediately and bring their 2 maxim guns while it was still dark as the Matebele would never attack in the dark. Forbes, an indecisive man and "By the book" soldier, refused to move till daylight but sent 21 men under Capt Borrow as reinforcements. As far as I can establish Gooding was among those reinforcements led by another American Scout, Pete Ingram. Most of these men came from the new settlement at Salisbury. All were to die because of Forbes' ineptitude.

Contrary to popular belief 3 men did escape death before the remaining men were finally killed and these were sent in a last bid to get help and if that failed to tell of the stand being made by Wilson and his men. These 3 against all odds broke out and got back across the flooding Shangani River. They were 2 American scouts named Burnham and Ingram and an Australian Trooper Gooding. I have information on the 2 Americans and am looking for information on the Australian, Gooding.

From: Uwe Wild
Subject: movies - Majuba and Shangani Patrol
Date posted: 5th February 2007

Where can I get copies of these movies? "Majuba", about the war of 1880/81, as well as "Shangani Patrol", which I've been looking for for several years.

From: Jan Britton
Subject: 111 club - KAR 1950s
Date posted: 28th January 2007

My father wore a 111-club tie on special occasions - but we cannot find anything about this club. It almost certainly relates to his military service in the 1 Bn. Kings African Rifles and the Royal Rhodesia Regiment in the 1950s and early 1960s.

From: June Kurtz
Subject: RAF Joint Air Training Scheme in South Africa during World War 2
Date posted: 19th January 2007

June Kurtz is starting to research the RAF Joint Air Training Scheme in South Africa during World War 2 for a PhD thesis and would like to hear from anyone who had any links with these Schools: RAF, SAAF, WAAF and civilians who may have worked at the Schools or hosted personnel.

From: Colyn Brookes
Subject: Springbok/Upington areas Military Burials
Date posted: 7th January 2007

In April I will be in the Springbok/Upington areas to photograph Military Burials. If anyone has information on the location of the following places, please let me know.

Known Farms located along the N7, N14 and R27 Northern Cape that contain Military Burials:
Calvinia district Rivierplaas farm Burial Ground

Kammieskroon Rietkloof farm Burial Ground

Keimoes Bethlehem Farm Burial Ground

Pofadder Bladgrond Zuid Farm Cemetery

Pofadder Nousmond Farm Cemetery

Pofadder Schuitdrift Farm Burial Ground

Pofadder Witwater Farm Cemetery

Lutzputs Cnydas West Farm Cemetery

Kakamas Krantzkop Farm Burial Ground

Garies Modderfontein Farm Cemetery

Upington Rooidam Farm Cemetery

Upington Steenkamspan Farm Cemetery

Loeriesfontein Spitsberg Farm Cemetery


Colyn Brookes
Project Director
MIBISA (Military Burials In South Africa) Archive Project
Tel: 021-930-2752
Cel: 083-252-0450

From: Thierry MONE
Subject: SA Marmon-Herrington Mark 3 Reconnaissance Car in WW II
Date posted: 27th December 2006

I am a retired French Army (Armor) colonel, writing a book about a Free French unit issued with armoured reconnaissance cars Marmon Herrington Mk 3a during WW II.

I am looking for help in obtaining plans, drawings or information regarding the vehicle itself and more precisely the interior : Ford V8 engine under the bonnet, WS 19 and WS 109 radio, driver's place, turret, etc...

I know there are, at least, two Marmon-Herrington Mk 3 remaining in South-Africa : one in the SA Military Museum and one at the SA Armoured School. I would be most grateful for any information, contact point (other than the official one, which never replies), pics of the two vehicles mentioned above, ISCOR plans of the hull, Dorman Long assembly lines, etc...

I would gladly reimburse anyone for this type of material and would be most grateful for any sources of information readers might be able to refer me to.

From: Ian Meadows
Subject: J.H. Haskins War Medals
Date posted: 19th October 2006

My wife has been given 2 medals by her mother, one is the 1914-15 Star from WW1 with pte J.H. Haskins 10th infantryon the back, and the other is the 1939/1945 WW2 medal, with 185477 J.H. Haskins on the rim.

No-one in the family knows this man or how we have his medals, but I am trying to find out about him because if he has any family, maybe they would like his Medals back.

I have tracked down that the 10th Infantry in S.A. was formed on 1st May 1903 at Jo'burg, by the Amalgamation of the Railway Pioneer and Rand Rifles, absorbed into Transvaal Light Infantry 1907, and in 1913 the 10th Infantry (Witwatersrand Rifles) was transferred to the Active Citizen Force of the Union Defence Force.

From: Gideon van Eeden
Subject: South Africans in the British Armed Forces - Iraq or Afghanistan
Date posted: 19th October 2006

A call to all South Africans in the British Armed Forces!

Are you currently serving or a veteran of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan? Would you like to share your experiences with the people back home? We want to know your story!

I am a writer and an avid supporter of South African soldiers, where ever they may be. I would like to tell your story to other South Africans as I believe you are often misunderstood and act as emissaries on our behalf in a plight that affects the entire world, perhaps in a manner and degree that is yet to unfold. Will you give us an opportunity to hear your side of the story and gain a better understanding?

We can communicate via email or snail mail. Please understand that it is my intention to represent you in a truthful and compassionate manner and that your anonymity is assured if you prefer it so. I am also more than willing to discuss the work with you in detail.

Cell +27 82 945 2493
Snail - 96 Wagenaar Street
Monte Vista
7460 Cape Town

From: john mathieson
Subject: Corporal Robert A. Dieterlen, French Army, born in Henriou-Bassouts, died 1915
Date posted: 18th October 2006

The City of Aberdeen has a Roll of Honour for the men who were either born or lived in Aberdeen and died during the First World War. I am researching the following man and I am trying to establish his connection with Aberdeen.

Corporal Robert A. Dieterlen, French Army
Died : 25th Sept 1915
Barotseland, Northern Rhodesia

I am interesred to know why a French soldier was in that part of Africa. To the best of my knowledge, the Allied force during the East Africa campaign comprised British; including African regiments, Indian Army, Belgian and South African troops.

I have contacted the Ministry of Defence in France and the information card for Robert Dieterlen gives his place of birth as Henriou-Bassouts - Colonie du Cap, which I take to be Cape Colony. I cannot find the location on any atlas, possibly Henriou-Bassouts is the French version or spelling of the place-name?

I am keen to identify his birthplace, also any comments on the role of a French soldier in that theatre of operations would be appreciated.

* * * * *

Update by e-mail on 12 November -
I have struck gold. The University of Aberdeen launched a web-site yesterday to coincide with Remembrance Sunday, dedicated to students, graduates and staff who died during the First World War. There was quite a detailed obituary for Robert Dieterlen, including a photograph. He was born at the French Mission at Hermon, Basutoland (Henriou-Bassouts!). In 1910 he was a Divinity student at Aberdeen and in 1914 he was serving as a missionary in Barotseland when he returned to fight for France. It is not often research ends with such a result. Brilliant.

From: Rod Pratt
Subject: Robert James "Boomerang" GORDON
Date posted: 17th October 2006

I am an Australian researcher trying to gather information about an Australian soldier (from Queensland) named Robert James GORDON (later Sir Robert) who settled in Rhodesia after the South African War & was active in raising volunteer forces in WWI to serve in East Africa against the Germans. All I can tell you is that he was born 22 Dec 1866 & was often known by the nickname, "Boomerang Gordon" or "Boomerang Bob" due to his Australian origins. I would be happy to exchange information with any other researcher & to meet any costs in the supply of any relevant information.

From: Louie Greeff
Subject: Parabats, Luanda, Recces: operation Savannah
Date posted: 16th October 2006

I am trying to do research for a book on operation Savannah and need help with parabats who were north of Luanda as well as connecting with fellow Recces who knew me.

Beyond Xtreme Productions cc
PO Box 5937
Weltevreden Park
1715 South Africa

Phone: +27 11 477 6003
Fax: +27 11 477 6003

From: Terry Harrison
Subject: South African Ammunition Manufacturers.
Date posted: 12th October 2006

I am doing research for a book I'm writing on South African ammunition manufacturers and need as much info on SA Mint Ammunition plant in Pretoria. Old photographs of the first factory, dates, headstamps, history of when factory started when first supplied or manufactured civilian and military ammunition.

From: Matthew Hooper
Subject: Frederick William Ulbrich of 4th Victoria Imperial Bushmen South African War.
Date posted: 26th September 2006

Looking for family information on my Great Grand Father Frederick William Ulbrich born in 1861. Frederick’s son John Baden-Powell Ulbrich's godfather was Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell.

Frederick was a Lieutenant in the "4th Victoria Imperial Bushmen".

From: Simon Lord
Subject: Ralph Eliot Murison BLAKEWAY of 30 Squadron RAF WWII.
Date posted: 17th September 2006

I am trying to trace any relatives of Ralph Eliot Murison BLAKEWAY who served on 30 Squadron (RAF) flying Blenheims at the beginning of WW2.

He survived the war and returned to his native South Africa and (I believe) became a director of a company 'Rand Mines Properties'.

From: Joe Everett
e-mail: or
Subject: Raiding Support Regiment in Yugoslavia Greece Albania and Italy WWII.
Date posted: 17th September 2006

I am researching my late father's British service with the WW2 specially formed Raiding Support Regiment. This regiment, formed in 1943, comprised mainly British, South African and the then Rhodesian volunteer troops.

As their name suggests they raided and supported raiders mainly in Yugoslavia, Greece, Albania and Italy. As most of the official regimental records were destroyed when the regiment disbanded in 1945, establishing the ops they took part in is proving to be very difficult.

As the years pass their story is being lost and these chaps in my view have not had there deserts as other, special forces e.g. LRDG or SAS.

Telephone 44 (0)161 972 0034

From: Harry Fecitt
Subject: 2nd Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in East & South Africa 1914-1918.
Date posted: 9th September 2006

I am researching the activities of 2 Loyal North Lancashires (2 LNL) in East Africa during WW1.

The Bn landed at Tanga in November 1914 then quickly withdrew with the rest of Indian Expeditionary Force B to British East Africa, where it served on operations until sent to South Africa for three months recuperation in the Spring of 1916. The Bn returned to serve in German East Africa until January 1917 when it was sent to Egypt for further recuperation & medical upgrading (which took a year to achieve).

However when the Loyals went to South Africa they left all fit men behind in East Africa manning the Loyals Machine Gun Company & the Mounted Infantry Company as well as No 6 Field ("Logan's") Battery plus various Lines of Communication posts. These sub-units supported the South African push into German East Africa.

When the Bn left for Egypt it left behind the Machine Gun Company which was soon re-titled 259 MG Coy MG Corps.

Have any of your members any images, documents or diary notes & comments (good or bad) relating to the 2nd Loyal North Lancashires whilst they were in East & South Africa?

If so then I would really like to see them & I will pay the costs for digital images to be taken & emailed.

Harry Fecitt MBE TD
(Major Retired, with service in British, Zambian, Omani & Dubai infantry units)

From: Colyn Brookes
Subject: Military burials in Northern Cape
and Boer War Blockhouses, Forts and Bridges.

Date posted: 14th August 2006

Having recently had my first book published related to the Military Burials in the Western Cape, I am currently busy with the Northern Cape.

After two trips to Kimberley including several places within a 150 kilometer radius of the city I am planning to visit Namaqualand etc in April 2007.

I am looking for ANY information related to Military burials of any description in the area covered by Springbok, Port Nolloth, Pofadder, Upington and Calvinia. I already have the information on WWI and WWII graves, and some Boer War graves, but any further information would be most welcome.

Additionally, I am compiling a list of Blockhouses, Forts and Bridges related to the Boer War. I have a large number of photographs on file and any information relating to these constructions would be most welcome.

Colyn Brookes
Project Director:
MIBISA (Military Burials In South Africa) Archive Project

Tel +27-21-930-2752
Fax +27-21-409-2828
Mobile 083-252-0450

From: Malcolm Kinghorn for Des Kopke
Subject: Leonard Horatio-Slatter.
Date posted: 7th August 2006

Dale College in Kingwilliamstown is looking for information on the early years of Sir Leonard Horatio-Slatter, who was at the school from 1907 to 1913 and who served in WWI, inter alia as a pilot in the RFC.
Contact Des Kopke at +27 (0)46 624 3280.

From: Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe
Subject: Ceylon and the Boer War.
Date posted: 7th August 2006

Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe, a researcher in Sri Lanka’s military history, is presently conducting a research project on Ceylon’s role and military contribution to the Boer War. He is interested in corresponding with people who can provide any information or assistance to his project and can be contacted on email or at PO Box 251, Batman VIC 3058, Australia.

From: Brian Small
Subject: Horses, Mules, Zebras, Oxen.
Date posted: 24th July 2006

I am looking for anyone who can tell me more about the breeding of mules (from horses & donkeys) in South Africa for military use in India in the 19th & early 20th century.

I also seek information on the movement of any military animals, imported or country grown, from South Africa to India after the Boer Wars.

I am also interested in learning more about the cross-breeding in South Africa of zebra & horse or zebra & donkey with the same export purpose. (Experiments were apparently stopped because the cross breed did not create a strong enough back.) There is evidence that research into cross breeding with zebras was started in South Africa for farming reasons. The tse-tse fly made it difficult to keep horses alive while the wild Zebra is not infected.

There are very few of us focused on the history of Military Animals & would welcome an opportunity to communicate with anyone with similar interests.

Brian Small
10 Queen Square,
North Curry,
Somerset TA3 6JR

From: Jeremy Swanson for Denys Simmons
Subject: Italian POW query - October 1943
Date posted: 19th July 2006

On about October 3rd 1943 having with two other officers jumped from a cattle truck taking POWs from Sulmona to Germany, we were walking south-east in the Abbruzzi mountains east of Rome. That afternoon we saw a man taking a bath in a small pool further up the valley and after some thought decided to investigate. He turned out to be one of a small group of South Africans from a POW camp further North who were occupying a small hut near the pool. They very kindly kept us near their fire over night, fed us bread and potatoes, and supplied liberal amounts of red wine. They told us where we were and, vitally, explained that the Italian civilians would generally be helpful - we had not then made serious contact. If anyone remembers the event or knows who the South Africans were I would be very happy to contact and thank them again. I was a Lt in the British Army at the time. Denys Simmons

From: rob droogleever
Subject: Research on the Victorian Bushmen in the Boer War
Date posted: 11th July 2006

I am busy working on the 3rd & 4th Victorian Bushmen Contingents to the Boer War and would welcome any private material such as letters, diaries and photos from descendents of the lads that served with these two units.

I have completed my work on Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry but would always welcome any correspondence regarding this unit. Please note that my email address regarding the TMI has changed to this address.

From: Rachel Jelly
Subject: Norman James Wesley Anderson
Date posted: 28th June 2006

I am looking for some information on a Norman James Wesley Anderson whom I am told went to South Africa and was associated with Cecil Rhodes when he was there. He may have been Rhodes physician at some point, although this is only a family rumour at the moment. He is said to have fought in the Boer war but whether this was a combative role or served as a doctor I do not know.
He was born in Belfast, N.Ireland, I am sorry I do not have his date of birth. He later emigrated to Canada where I understand he married and had at least one son - Jacky.

From: Martin Knoetze
Subject: Knoetze and Henery
Date posted: 21st June 2006

I'm looking on info on the following two people:

First person: His last name was Henery and he was involved in the Boer War.
Second person: Georg Knoetze. He was part of the South African forces during the second world war. I have no idea which unit he was in or what rank he had.

From: Robin Taylor
Subject: George and Daniel Rumbell/Rumble
Date posted: 18th June 2006

Vic Rumbell of Australia wants information regarding the service of two brothers, George and Daniel Rumbell/ Rumble who arrived in SA aboard the S.S. Adelaide in June 1862 as assisted immigrants.

George joined the 'Frontier Armed and Mounted Police' in the Eastern Cape and was discharged in August 1867, when he returned to UK. Vic has found no trace of Daniel.

From: Annamarie Folkus
Onderwerp/Subject: FOLKUS family history/Familie Geskiedenis
Date posted: 27th May 2006

Ek is tans besig met navorsing oor die Folkus Familie wat in die jare rondom 1895 in Lichtenburg (NW) gewoon het. Die ander vanne wat aangetroud was, was van Wyngaard en du Plooy. As iemand kan help met inligting, sal ek baie bly wees.

From: Brian Culross
Subject: Italy's participation in WWI
Date posted: 16th May 2006

WORLD WAR ONE - Italy, 1915-1918:
I am gathering material on Italy's participation in WWI, of which there is quite a dearth (in English) once Caporetto and Vittorio Veneto are dealt with. Accounts of small unit or individual experience in particular seem difficult to come by. Do you have any information (published or otherwise) that you could share with me? Ways and means (via a loan, the internet, a visit to your address, etc) could be discussed if you contact me on 083 649 6164 or 011 477 7381 or at . I would also appreciate information on sources that I may have missed.

From: Jan Serfontein
Subject: WWII Ammunition Factory explosion in Pretoria
Date posted: 16th May 2006

I am trying to solve a family mystery which seems to be linked to a tragic accident in March 1945, being an explosion in a ammunition factory known as the "Explosion at the Loading Field plant of the Pretoria Mint".

All information welcome.

From: David Waddilove
Subject: Boer War Research - Freedom Trail - Stormberg
Date posted: 2nd May 2006

"The Freedom Challenge" is an initiative in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to set up a mountain biking route that runs across South Africa. As part of this, we are looking to establish a narrative on the Stormberg region that focuses inter alia on the Anglo Boer war. Broadly described, the route that we are looking at runs from Rhodes up the Sterkspruit through Bottlenekspruit and up the Rytjiesvlakte, down the Vaalhoek valley to Clifford, through Rossouw to Dordrecht, along the escarpment towards Penhoek Pass (which would take in Smuts Pass) up towards Jamestown, across to Brosterlea, through to Molteno and then on to Hofmeyr.

We would welcome assistance in identifying in the Stormberg region sites of conflicts, graves, memorials and places of interest and receiving anecdotal information linked to specific locations.

David Waddilove
14 Aberdeen Road
Newlands 7700
Cape Town
+27 (0) 84 567 4152

From: Anthony von Zeil
Subject: Boer War Research - Rimington's Guides / Damant's Horse: Arthur Owen Vaughan
Date posted: 16th April 2006

I am researching the track record of Arthur Owen Vaughan (sergeant to captain) for a book [near complete]. Have tracked all his medals and honours - Queen's (usual 8 bars) and King's, and a DCM (citation lost) and his misdeamours. But as an operative for various units as a scout attached to various units - French, Driscoll, Ian and Bruce Hamilton, and particularly Hutton (circa May 1900) he is quite elusive.

I would appreciate help from someone who has researched the scouting units of Rimington, Damant and Canadians. Specific interest - Wittebergen and further north July to October 1901, and if ever attached to Driscoll's Scouts.

From: Shelley Harris
Subject: Sgt. Wilfred Joerning Signals Corps 1941
Date posted: 16th April 2006

I'm trying to learn more about my grandfather, Sgt. Wilfred Joerning, and his time in the Signals Corps during WW2. He drove north with a convoy of trucks to Somalia and Ethiopia in 1941, arriving in Mogadishu in late March, and Addis Ababa at the start of June. I'm keen to learn several things:

As much as possible about the journey he might have taken (I have diaries which start just before Mogadishu and end when he enters Addis, but I have no idea how and where he may have travelled before then, or after, though my mother thinks he went to Egypt eventually).
Who would have been in that convoy with him? He was a signalman, and he clearly had mechanics with him, too. What would be the make-up of a convoy like that? My knowledge is very sketchy so any information would be a real help.

I also wonder whether there's a chance anyone out there might remember him? He mentions the following names in his diary: Major Roxburgh, Capt. Harper, Capt. Thompson, Capt. Budd, Lt. Roberts, Sgt Maj Henriod, Sgt. Joubert (a mechanic), Staff Sgt. Strange, Cpl. Heighway, Dominy, Lazarus, Pte Hunter (a mechanic), Visses (who had worked in a bank in Cape Town). My Mom says he used to mention a buddy called 'Bill'. Many thanks!

From: Chris D Baragwanath
Subject: Leslie Davey died on active service 1941
Date posted: 16th April 2006

From the inscription on the plaque of the Leslie Davey Memorial Clock:

"Leslie Davey Memorial Clock, presented to the Parkview Golf Club by Steve Pitts in fond memory of Leslie Davey, Club Champion 1940, who died on active service in North Africa on 01/11/1941 aged 21"

Leslie Sidney Davey, Private, No: 126430, Transvaal Scottish 1Bn and is buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery.

I have recently been involved in the restoration of the Clock and would like to assist the Club with some information relating to Lesley Davey.

Tel: +27 (0)11 791 1594 (H)
Fax: +27 (0)11 792 1646 (H)
Cell: +27 (0)83 700 5057

From: D. Niehaus
Subject: Cmdt HCW Vermaas Lichtenburg commando Boer war.
Date posted: 13th April 2006

I am particularly interested in the Lichtenburg commando during the Boer war and am currently looking for additional information on commandant HCW Vermaas.

From: Clive Dicks
Subject: Major T.R.J. Taylor DSO,DFC.
Date posted: 3rd April 2006

103704 Major T.J.R. Taylor. DSO, DFC: SAAF, Attached RAF 94 & 93 Squadron RAF

Can any person assist me, with information of a South African Pilot and other SAAF pilots who crashed on 17 April 1947. SAAF Ventura 6501 crashed between Malakal and Khartoum killing all aboard. The Pilots and crew killed in the crash included the following:

Major. A.C. Bosman
Capt. F. Welgemoed - Pilot of the Ventura
Capt. H.C. Liebenberg
Capt. T.R.J. Taylor
Lt. H.G. van Rooyen
Lt. R.C. Hirst
Lt. H.J. Kritzinger
Lt. P.H. Nicolay
Lt. J.S. Gericke
Lt. J.J. Landran
Lt. N.P. Prinsloo
Lt. P.D. Nelson
Lt. R.L. Crisp
A/Cpl. L.D. Case
A/M. P.A. Burger

60 Squadron was allotted the task of supplying the aircraft and crew to ferry the Spitfire pilots of 7 Wing to Fayid, in order to collect Spitfires Aircraft from the RAF.

I require any information pertaining to the mentioned crash, written by Newspapers, any other articles, or photographs of those killed on this tragic day.

+27 (0)31 5644 354 – Home
083 776 7766 - Mobile

From: Colin Walker
Subject: Siege of Mafeking/Mafikeng
Date posted: 29th March 2006

Following up on my previous postings on these pages re The Siege of Mafeking (18 May 2005), readers may like to know that I have now launched a website which lists all the available resources on the Siege and gives contacts for access to my Mafeking Siege Register etc. The site, 'The Siege of Mafeking' can be found at

From: Mrs Diane Rilley
Subject: Collins's Scouts in South West Africa WWI
Date posted: 27th March 2006

I am interested in what 'Collins Scouts' did in World War I and where they served. I cant seem to find anything except a reference to a Boer Soldier's son serving in Collins's Scouts in South West Africa.

Military History Journal - Vol 3 No 6

"Bloustroom was a 'bitter-einder', having fought until the end of the war. His sons served with Collins's Scouts in South-West Africa during the First World War"

Can anyone shed some light on this?

From: John R Jones JP
Subject: C.J. Van Shalk Wyk Mauser Rifle
Date posted: 22nd March 2006

My name is John R Jones JP. My age is 60. I am an Australian Vietnam Veteran.

When 16 yrs. old I received a Mauser Rifle which had been passed down thru' the male members of the family and had come back from the Boer War to Australia. On the Wood Work-stock there was an inscription.
C.J. Van Shalk Wyk.

My ancester would have possibly taken this rifle as a keepsake.

I am most interested in knowing whether there is family still alive or a veterans organization who could help me in my search to find who owned the Rifle. It is in good condition still. Rifle no. 3214. Bolt no. A9660. Made in Berlin. Deutsche-Waffen-und Munitions-Fabriken.

From: Rieme Botha
Subject: metal shoulder flashes
Date posted: 8th March 2006

I am a serious collector of metal shoulder flashes of the South African Defence Force (Commando's etc) and would like your support in collecting them all. I would like to hear from anyone who has a metal shoulder flash to contact me and I will gladly help them. I am willing to pay for the ones I do not have in my collection.

My contact details are:
Rieme Botha
343 Gen Beyers street
Pretoria North

Cell - 083 407 1306
012-3152447 (Work)
012-3152817 (Fax)

From: Paul Els
Subject: Roberts Heights/Voortrekkerhoogte/Thaba Tshwane
Date posted: 5th March 2006

I am writing a book on now called Thaba Tshwane and am looking for any kind of information (reports, testimonies, photos, maps, Unit files, happenings, parades, etc.) on any Military Units (South African and specially - British), buildings, churches, schools, road names, cemetery, people, dogs and horses, water supply, Hospitals, Prisons, DB’s, POW, etc. It is with alarming to see that old buildings are neglected and units been closed in the town, I would like to records its history before it is too late.
Thank you in advance,
Paul J Els (WO1 Ret)

From: Tracey Sisson
Date posted: 5 Feb 2006

I wonder if anyone has any info at all with regards to my South African grandfather Reginald Douglas Murfin who I think was part of the RAF during WW2. He mentions in letters that 'He only made 1 jump'. He was stationed Algiers, Cairo, Sicily, Aden & Haifa.

He has passed away but did mention a Captain Wilson in letters to me.

From: Richard Adams
Subject: John Lawrence Adams 12 squadron SAAF 1941-1942
Date posted: 26 Jan 2006

I would love to hear from anyone knowing anything about my father John Lawrence Adams 12 squadron SAAF 1941-1942. He was a radio operator/gunner at this time, later becoming a pilot on light bombers (Mitchells, Marylands and Baltimores).

He served with: Lieut Kourney. P. air/sgt Dryden.O. air/sgt van Rensburg G.,,Ned Kelly (not the original) Dick Welshman and in 24 Squadron --Doug Miller Fred Crompton Noel Nichol Bob Savage Ted Ware Cpt Ascham Lt McPherson and Sailor Robertson.

PO Box 222
Nth Tamborine 4272

From: Robert
Subject: Herbert Henry Fowler; horseshoe framed clock; AngloBoer War
Date posted: 23 Jan 2006

Sergeant Herbert Henry Fowler after serving 7 years in the 2nd Middlesex Regiment during which promoted very rapidly to drill sergeant, became a reservist. Called up in 1899, sailed on the Sumatra in November from Tilbury docks to Cape Town for Christmas then on to Durban. Entrained to Pietermaritzburg and on to Escourt, at this point his trail stops and six months later he returns to England invalided.

The clock was one of thirteen presented to sergeants of the Middlesex regiment by Lady White and Lady Balfour. The clock face depicts a lake with a sailing ship, a castle in the background and a naked figure surveying the scene in the foreground. The hour numerals are black and set in ivory and the whole face is framed by a horseshoe enclosed in a brass stirrup, held together with a leather strap and buckle. Any information about the reason and circumstances of the clock's donation most welcome.

From: Simon Lord
Subject: Herbert 'Lofty' Lord 12 Squadron SAAF WW2
Date posted: 21 Jan 2006

My Grandfather Herbert 'Lofty' Lord was posted to 12 squadron SAAF in July 1941 and was part of a crew flying Martin Marylands in North Africa. His pilot on the majority of raids was a Lt. Ascham and other crew members were 2/Lt Armstrong and Sgt.Langton.

Unfortunately he was wounded on 27th September 1941 whilst on a raid at Mersa Luceh and was out of the war for 18 months.

My grandfather was English and was originally on 30 squadron RAF.

I am hoping to contact anyone who may have known him for the short time he was on 12 sqn or knows of any members of his crew.

From: Michael Salomon
Subject: Lutz.L.Salomon POW in Stalag 8c
Date posted: 16 Jan 2006

I am trying to find information on my late father Lutz.L.Salomon a sergeant in the 10 Field Ambulance.
He was deported from Germany in 1934 and moved to South Africa in the same year. When the war broke out he volunteered his service and went to the 10 Field Ambulance.
He was taken prisoner at Sidi Rezegh and when transported to Europe to a POW camp the ship he was aboard was torpedoed. He ended up at Stalag 8c where he was an interpreter and medic.
I have a photo copy of 2 pages from a book (pages 422 and 423) in which an article states that he moved a Russian POW who had typhus into the British section of the camp and then informed the Germans that there was typhoid in the camp and that the British POWs could not be moved. This ploy worked and they were left behind, to be released a few days later by the advancing Americans.
My youngest son and I would dearly love to hear from anybody who can throw any light on my late dad and maybe even have the name of the book mentioned.

P.O. Box 591,
Lime Acres,
South Africa.

From: Bridget Ellwood
Subject: RUTH wife of Murray Bailee Eaton
Date posted: 15th November 2005

My late father, Murray Bailee Eaton, during the 2nd World War, was at home on leave, he was a pilot, boarded a train from Durban main station, with the intention of visiting family in Pietermaritzburg. On the train, he met a Canadian Nursing Sister...they obviously admired one another during the "trip" enough, to be extremely brave, bold, and spontaneous, as they disembarked in PMB, found a Justice of the Peace, and got married!! He then took her "home" to where his father and mother were visiting their parents, and broke the astounding news!!

My father was only married to this precious lady for 1 year or so, cousins have told me.... I only know her name was "RUTH", and she would have had my dad's surname, Eaton, for that year

I know this all sounds very "romantic" and "strange", but I really would love to find out if she is still alive and make contact.

Alternative e-mail:
local cell number is 416 627 7180

From: Celeste
Subject: Dick Jeffrey (or Geoffrey) LEHMANN
Date posted: 5th November 2005

I am looking for any information about my husband’s grandfather, about whom we know only that he was a 2 Lieutenant Pilot in the SAAF during World War 2. He must have been stationed in Vereeniging at some time, and in Cairo. He was born in England or New York, and may have returned to his country of birth during or after the war. His name was Dick Jeffrey (or Geoffrey) LEHMANN.

I would be so grateful for any information.

From: Stefano Paolucci
Subject: 205th Group RAF operations in Grottaferrata, Italy, 1944
Date posted: 3rd October 2005

I am writing a book and am looking for any kind of information (reports, testimonies, books, diaries, photos, maps, etc.) on the bombing runs made by the 205th Group to Grottaferrata, Italy, in 1944.

Thank you in advance,
Stefano Paolucci, Town Historian

Stefano Paolucci
Via del Seminario, 24
00046 Grottaferrata (Roma)

From: Philipe Canonne
Subject: 16 Squadron SAAF WorldWar II
Date posted: 26th September 2005

I am writing a book on The bombings on the city of Chateauroux in 1944. I found in French archives that Allied Prisoners of War were settled in the German airodrome of La Martinerie (nearby Chateauroux). This airfield was bombed by 8th Air Force on 5 February 1944. Even if this air raid mission was excellent we found wounded (15) and dead persons (4). Among these human casualties I found 8 South African prisoners (one of them died two days after, on 7 February 1944).

I have just one South African name: VIKWANE, JAN. I learnt too that he was "Son of Windvoel and Sarah Vikwane, of Rustenburg, Transvaal, South Africa".

I would like to obtain some informations about him and his comrades in arms: age, regiment, when and how they came in Chateauroux - La Martinerie area.

Mr Philipe Canonne
1, rue Laure de Balzac
37.700 Ville-aux-Dames

From: Keith Kendal
Subject: 16 Squadron SAAF WorldWar II
Date posted: 26th September 2005

My father, Lt B E Kendal served in the above unit as part of the Baltic Air Force. I am led to believe that someone is writing a book on the squadron and would appreciate further details about this. Many thanks, Keith

From: Allen Squires
Subject: Frank Watson Royal Artillery Fort Napier in 1866
Date posted: 26th September 2005

I am looking for information about a Frank Watson he was a Bombardier, 2nd Brigade, Royal Artillery serving at Fort Napier in 1866 and before this served at Dover Castle 1863.He had a son Issac Thomas Watson baptized 18 April 1866 at Fort Napier.I am also interested to know anything about the 2nd Brigade Royal Artillery and also their movements in this country or any other.
Frank Watson was born in 1838 in Newcastle Upon Tyne and was married to a Mary Ann Ridley who must have been with him in all the military postings.

From: Paula Wiegmink
Subject: 237 (Rhodesian) Airforce Squadron in WWll; PH Fick
Date posted: 20th September 2005

My name is Paula Wiegmink nee Fick and I am doing research about my father Paul Hendrik Fick as a pilot who served with the 237 (Rhodesian) Airforce Squadron during WW2. I am interested in hearing from anyone who could supply me with any anecdotal or other information about my Father during this period. My Father will be 92 this year and he shared a tent with Ian Smith in Cairo at this time. I can be contacted by email: or snail mail: 1 Quail Rise, Willetton, Perth, Western Australia 6155

From: Janet Whyman
Subject: Boer War Artillery Regiment - Robert VERNON
Date posted: 29th August 2005

I have a photograph of an Artillery Regiment taken during the Boer War, one of the men on it is my fathers Great Uncle, surname VERNON possibly Robert. the photograph features a canon surrounded by all the men of the regiment no insignia are visible as they were not wearing coats. It seems the regiment mascot was a donkey which was lying down with its head on a mans knee, horses and a building are in the background.

Robert VERNON would probably have been a volunteer as there are no career military men amongst my ancestors. He lived in Staffordshire but was born in Derbyshire, he may have been in his forties, I need help in ascertaining which regiment he could possibly have served in as I would like to find out what happened to him, apparently he survived but of course he is missing off the 1901 census.

From: Chris D Baragwanath
Subject:Rhodesian Mine Resistant Motorvehicles VW Leopard
Date posted: 29th August 2005

I would like to correspond with anyone who has any information or remembrances, however insignificant it may be, of the VW Leopard to assist in a research and restoration project.

Tel: +27 (0)83 700 5054 or Fax: +27 (0)11 792 1646

From: Steven Reitzer
Subject:Italian Prisoners of WAR
Date posted: 22nd August 2005

A farm dam on my recently acquired property has the following inscriptions:

Eugenio Tunno
Angelo Salerno
Filippo Perri

Any information about these people gratefully received.

From: Ronnie van der Weide
Subject: South Africans Paterson Wuth and Cole interned in Campo 5 at Gavi in Italy during WWII
Date posted: 22nd August 2005

I am trying to trace three South African Military personnel from the second world war who were involved in an escape with Captain RB "Buck" Palm (SAAF) from the Italian prisoner of war camp in the fortress of Gavi, known as "Campo 5", and used as the "punishment camp" for repeat escapers or otherwise dangerous or important prisoners. Their names were Lieutenant Paterson - SAAF, Lieutenant Charles Wuth - SAI, and Lieutenant Alan Cole - SAI. This was an exceptional escape, described in one of the various accounts of it as "a break-out which exceeded all other attempts of both wars for hard work, sheer determination, and detailed team work..." and should be well remembered by anyone involved or their immediate family. Any information or leads will be greatly appreciated.

Bölli 5
8197 Rafz

+41 44 869 0184
+41 79 728 4036

From: Marc Banghart
Subject:2nd South Africa Horse during WW1
Date posted: 5th August 2005

I am currently doing research on a Major that served in the 2nd South Africa Horse during WW1. Any information about the regiment (battle engagements etc.) would be helpful. Please email with info. Also looking for insignia.

From: Chris McQuellin
Subject:Vryburg Cemetery for Boer War Veterans
Date posted: 20 July 2005

Has any member researched the Vryburg Cemetery for Boer War Veterans. I am researching the first Soldier from our city killed in the Boer Conflict in 1900. He was reported as being buried in the Vryburg Cemetery. 2610 Gunner Bernard Gowing was from Royal Australian Artillery. Any assistance or lead to a local contact would be appreciated. (Australia).

From: Mark Naude
Subject: 37 (Forestry) Company, SA Engineer Corps
Date posted: 17 July 2005

I am researching this unit that served in East Africa during WW2 and was later sent back to the Union. I have compiled a nominal roll and have various bits of information from War Diaries etc. but would like to make contact with any survivors of 37 Coy. or their families as I would like to put together some more personal tales, and am also looking for photographs of any of the members of 37 Coy or the equipment they used.

From: Rosa Jardine
Subject: Italian POW in SA WWII - Manuel Jardim
Date posted: 9 June 2005

Please could you assist me in finding information on the Italian prisoners of war that arrived in South Africa during WWII. My father was one of these prisoners. I was fostered from the age of two and never knew my father. I’m tracing my genealogy and would appreciate any help.

His name: Manuel Gonsalves Jardim. He might have passed away in the early 1960s.
Date of birth: 18 October 1889 (yes, he was about 56 when he came to RSA with the Italian prisoners of war).
My mother's name was Mary Jane Thomas nee Kruger and her father was Jacobus Johannes Kruger.

From: David Sheldon
Subject: Commandos - De Put, OFS - 25 October 1901
Date posted: 9 June 2005

I am interested in any information on Boer Commandos who may have been engaged in conflict with the Royal Sussex Regiment on 25 October 1901 in the OFS, at a place known as De Put which is near Klein Sewenfontein and Ventershoek along the Ospoort Ridge, I think Commandant Brand of Edenburg had a commando of 600 men in the area?

My wifes grandfather was a boer who took a pair of fieldglasses off a "Tommy" in an incident at De Put - I am trying to trace his movements during the war.

From: David Sheldon
Subject: Lt Daniel Victor Sheldon ( 206489V ) 60 Sqdrn SAAF- WWII
Date posted: 8 June 2005

Buried in Klagenfurt Military Cemetry Plot 4 Row A Grave 6
Attested as Pilot ( Flight 2 - George ) - 14/04/1941
Emplaned for Middle East - 15 /04/1944
Deplaned in Middle East - 18 /04/1944
Posted to 60 Sqdn - 16/09/1944 ( 30/08/1944)? - 2 dates not sure which is correct
Death Presumed 13/10/44

From: David Sheldon
Subject: Trooper Algernon Victor Sheldon - Naudes Scouts WWI
Date posted: 8 June 2005

Trooper Algernon Victor Sheldon ( No 44 ) - South African Defence Force
9/10/1914 Joined Naudes Scouts
2nd Lt Algernon Victor Sheldon ( 184552)
Royal Flying Corps
No 2 Cadet Wing - 7/01/1919
Blandford - 13 /02/1919
Commissioned as 2nd Lt on 15/02/1919
Hospitalised - 4/03/1919

From: David Sheldon
Date posted: 8 June 2005

Age 33 Born 31October 1867.
Fieldcornetcy VECHTKOP
Captured at HOPETOWN 1901/02/23
Sent to Ahmednagar INDIA on board the HAWARDEN Castle

From: Mark Naude
Date posted: 5 June 2005

Looking for further information & especially photograph of this officer. Veld-kornet in Anglo-Boer War, later awarded DTD ("Boer DSO") for Boer War. First World War: Captain in Naude's Scouts (1914-5), later re-attested as Private in 2nd SA Infantry. Wounded at Delville Wood and awarded the DCM.

From: Mark Naude
Date posted: 5 June 2005

Seeking information (incl. photogrpahs) of Fort Napier during WW1 especially regarding which South African and/or Imperial units were stationed there to guard prisoners.

From: Paul Dutton
Subject: Nyasaland Imperial Service Contigent 1915-1917
Date posted: 5 June 2005

I'm trying to find out more about the part played by the Nyasaland Imperial Service Contigent (raised in South Africa in July 1915) in the Rhodesia-Nyasaland Field Force in 1915-1916, and about the movements and activities of the 1st South African Rifles in 1917. My wife's grandfather's Service Record indicates that he served in the NISC from July 1915 until he was transferred to the 1st South African Rifles in January 1917. He was demobbed to South Africa at the beginning of 1918.

From: Jaco Viljoen
Subject: S. O. J. De Waal
Date posted: 27 May 2005

I am looking for information about my Grandfather, Stefanus Ockert Johannes de Waal (known as Fanie), Service Record 106415. According to my Grandmother he was known at "Ossie" to the people in his regiment. My grandfather died when I was 6 years old, he didn't talk about the war much. We have photos of Egypt and his medals. But I would like to get hold of someone who knew him. He served in the S.W.I.B. (South West Africa Infantry Brigade) in South Africa and later in Egypt.

From: Al Cook
Subject: "Totsiens Sarie Totsiens"
Date posted: 18 May 2005

I am looking for the words and music of this song sung by the South African soldiers of World War 2 when they were leavingto go "Up North" It was a good song, and you could buy it on records during the War. The words went on: "We're going away and we've lots to do, but we're going to see things through".

It must be on a master pressing in one of the South African record companies' archives, and on a sheet music publication as well, which were also widely on sale in those days..

There was a mention of General Smuts in the words, as I remember. It also brings to mind a song sung by the popular British singer Anne Shelton, about South Africa, called "Land of Sunshine", which I have also never heard since. I now wonder whether this might have been the "A" (or "B") side of the same 78 r.p.m. record, in fact maybe it might even have been on a British label, such as "Regal Zonophone" which was a big label in those days, featuring bands like Joe Loss, but seemed to totally disappear after the War.

From: Colin Walker
Subject: Siege of Mafeking/Mafikeng
Date posted: 18 May 2005

I am embarked on private research into the people who were besieged in Mafeking, both black and white. I have compiled a 'register' of over 1800 names detailing occupations, regiments, medals and activities etc. The info is maintained on database and so is easy to add to and to interrogate. I have researched all published current or not, and have had access to many unpublished diaries, information stemming from the world's best collection of Mafeking Siege Mail, and from correspondence with living relatives. You may like to read the results of some of my research about the Mafeking Cadets on

I would really welcome any info you may have on any of the besieged and would hope to be able to share my existing information with you. I have access to Mitchell's and Hibbard's Medal Rolls and I would be pleased to add to the register the present whereabouts of any of the DoM bars.- but this is not military research project as such, any details of the besieged - their life before or after Mafeking for example, would be most welcome.

I am particularly anxious to obtain sight of copies of any out of print or unpublished accounts

Should you have a specific enquiry regarding a person who you want to research who you think may have been besieged in Mafeking I would be pleased to check my register and help if I can.

From: Sebastian Nelson
Subject: Enslins Horse
Date posted: 16 May 2005

I am interested in learning about the unit history of the Enslins Horse. My great-great grandfather Maximilian Aronson was a trooper with "Enslins Horse, in German South West Africa and the Rebellion, in the Free State, for a period of eight months" from October 1914 to May 1915, according to copies of his discharge papers I have.

I am not interested in researching his genealogy as much as I am interested in learning what the Enslins Horse did from October 1914 to May 1915. I'd like to know what my great-great grandfather did during the First World War.

From: Jennifer Schwartz
Subject: Roger Bushell and Parktown School
Date posted: 16 May 2005

I'm an American writer, conducting research on RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, who was born in Springs, and is best known as the instigator of what became known as the "Great Escape" from Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany, on 24 March 1944. I'm writing a full-length book biography and am interested in hearing from anyone who may have additional information about him. I also seek someone who can kindly help me conduct a bit of research in South Africa on Parktown School in Johannesburg, where Roger was a boarder from 1917 to 1925.

Postal address: Jennifer Schwartz, PO Box 1724, Ames IA 50010, USA

From: Mark Anderson
Subject: British Regt Enquiry : 38th and 59th
Date posted: 11 May 2005

I'm interested in these regiments around 1795-1808, including the Battle of Blaauwberg (1806), and the details of their founding and would like to be in contact with people who may have information or a similiar interest.

Tel.: +27-21-557-6438 (w)

From: Paul Giffen
Subject: James Campbell "bull" Giffen - P.O.W at Stalag IVB - World War II
Date posted: 25 April 2005

My father now deceased 2 yrs was a P.O.W at Stalag IVB. He was captured at Tobruk. He was in C company and originally enlisted with the 2nd Scottish Transvaal. My father was South African and his name was James Campbell "bull" Giffen. I am keen to see if there are any people out there who know him. I have his diary and records. I miss him dearly and want to connect with someone who endured this profound time with him.

From: Prof Jose Luis Caivano
Subject: Lieut. Rex Distin Martienssen World War II
Date posted: 25 April 2005

J. Caivano, a professor at Buenos Aires University, Argentina, is doing research on Rex Distin Martienssen, who was an architect in Johannesburg, enrolled in the Air Force, and died in August 1942, at the age of 37.
Martienssen is included in the article by P. K. A. Digby in the Military History Journal, vol. 1 No. 4, 1969, in the Roll of Honour of the Second World War.
Prof. Caivano would like to obtain a photograph and biographical data of Rex Distin Martienssen.

From: John \(Ian\) Murray
Subject: 55 (SR) G.T. Coy East African Army Service Corps in World War II
Date posted: 21 April 2005

I am trying to piece together details of a unit of the Southern Rhodesian Army I served with for a period during World War 2. The unit was the 55 (SR) G.T. Coy East African Army Service Corps. The Unit was involved in the ferrying of Lease Lend transport from Juba (Sudan) to Nairobi (Kenya) for onward transmission to Mombassa and the Far East Campaign. The route taken was part of the Nile Valley Route from the Cape to Cairo. Would be pleased to hear from anyone with information on the Unit or the Route.

From: Glenn L. Dawson
Subject: Black soldiers in World War II
Date posted: 19th April 2005

My late father, Jesse Henry Dawson and his squadron were sent to Egypt during WW2. I have a single black-and-white photograph in very poor condition. With him on the photograph are 6 other soldiers whom we know nothing about. I have no clue to which squadron they belonged to. Any information whatsoever will be greatly appreciated.

From: Lynda Coates
Subject: Sgt RT Pither - SAAF Lib EW250 - 16th October 1944
Date posted: 10th April 2005

I have had a request for information for a chap in Poland who is trying to contact the family of Sgt RT Pither, the sole survivor of the SAAF Lib EW250 crash on 16th October 1944, shot down by German fighters. This man's father rescued Sgt Pither and looked after him! Now he would like to know whether Pither is still alive and/or contact of his family.

UPDATE: Lynda advised the site that by using the telephone directory and searching by post-codes, she was able to trace the family of R Pithey who, sadly, had passed away less than a year ago!

From: Marcus Turukeinoff
Subject: Swedes fighting for South Africa 1900-2005
Date posted: 4th April 2005

I´m looking for Swedes that fought for South Africa in any war. Preferd time era: 1900-2005

From: Colyn Brookes
Date posted: 2nd April 2005

Due to requests from certain quarters I am including the details of 3 other Military associated vessels that were sunk off the Cape coastline. The CHARLOTTE, the SCEPTRE, the BIRKENHEAD and the ARNISTON have all been nominated.

I am desperatly seeking ANY information on the ARNISTON.

On the memorial stone at Arniston itself there are the names of the 4 GIELS children. They were visiting their father in India, Lt-Col GIELS of the 73rd Regiment, who had been tranferred there from Australia aboard the WYNDHAM in 1814.

Of the 7 regiments mentioned on one of the plaques, communications with 3 of the museums have come back negative. Responses from curators of the museums state 'no archive information (but please let us have anything you find)'.

Any information at all regarding the ARNISTON, would be most welcome.

Additionally, any information regarding the SCEPTRE or the CHARLOTTE, would also be most welcome.

If anyone knows of any other vessel that may qualify under 'Military Burials' please contact me.


Tel/Fax +27-21-930-2752
Mobile 083-252-0450

From: Istemihan Varisli
Subject: C-47 crew - Kos Island - Sept 1943
Date posted: 23rd March 2005

I am making a research about the Allied internees in Turkey during WWII. I am trying to identify the names of C-47 crew which ditched off Turkey on Sept 17, 1943 (some resources quote as Sept 16) during the operations over Kos island.

From: Keith Oliver
Subject: British Chivalry Lifeboat Durban April 1944
Date posted: 21st March 2005

I am President of Merchant Navy Sub-Branch of Returned Services League of Victoria. All our members are veterans of WW11.

Tom Noonan, now deceased, wrote an article "39 days in a lifeboat". Tom was a survivor of the sinking of tanker British Chivalry, Feb 22 1944 torpedoed on voyage to Abadan by Japanese submarine which subsequently bombarded the sinking ship with 17 shells from its 4.7" gun causing further deaths among the crew and destroyed some of the lifeboats and rafts. The sub then closed up to the two lifeboats which had been launched and machine-gunned them at intervals over two hours until the supervising captain was satisfied that there were no survivors left. The sub then sailed away still on the surface.

Only one lifeboat was capable of being restored. Fortunately the sea was calm. Those who were able plugged the holes while others baled out water and soon the boat had risen and had enough freeboard for the survivors to board. 39 in total were crammed into it, some with horrible wounds. They were packed liked sardines. For the sake of brevity I move to 39 days later they were sighted and picked up by a ship bound for Durban. Their lifeboat was hoisted aboard and repaired by the crew during the remaining 14 day's voyage to port. There were approximately 430 holes in the boat's timbers arising from machine gun fire. On arrival the local Red Cross took survivors to hospital or Seaman's Mission.

Sometime later a farewell session was held at the Rand Hotel prior to survivors being returned home.

The purpose of this letter is to find out if the lifeboat was retained in Durban, perhaps as an exhibit it one of the museums. I would like to get a photograph of it for our Branch records and also to present to Tom's widow and family. Alternatively if the rescuing ship retained the lifeboat could my enquiry be referred to the appropriate authority which would have the shipping records? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

From: Ermanno Perrotti
Date posted: 20th March 2005

I was a schoolboy during the 40ies. I am doing an historical research about my home town and I am searching for anyone that served during WWII in the ALLIED AF stationed at San Severo, near Foggia-Italy. Is there somebody who can help me to find photos, maps, memories or related documents about it ? In my mind's eye I can still see me waiting in the afternoon for the planes returning from the missions and remember the unique thunder of the fighters. Thanks for any help!

From: Melanie Herman
Subject: WOII Harland Benn - 26 and 12 Squadrons SAAF 1943/44
Date posted: 14th March

I am researching the life and war-time disappearance of my uncle WOII Harland Trevor Benn (20) from Port Elizabeth and am looking for information, reminiscences and/or documentary/photographic evidence regarding

* 26 Squadron SAAF during its deployment to Takoradi in Gold Coast (now Ghana) March to September 1943 I believe the squadron was involved in anti-submarine patrols and may have formed part of the RAF "ferry service" assembling and flying aircraft to the N African theatre.

* 12 Squadron SAAF from Dec 1943 to September 1944 in Telergma (Algeria), Tortorella, Biferno (Campo Marino) and Pescara during which time the squadron converted to B-26 Marauders and commenced operations against targets in Yugoslavia.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Snail-mail: 17 13th Ave, Walmer 6070 Port Elizabeth SOUTH AFRICA.
Phone +27-41-581-5471

From: Melanie Herman
Subject: WOII Harland Benn - 34 Sqn SAAF - disappearance of EW 207
Date posted: 14th March

In the very early hours of the morning of 3 March 1945, a 34 Squadron SAAF Liberator took off from Celone airfield near Foggia in eastern Italy.

EW 207 K, with 8 young crewmen on board, was never seen again, and no trace has ever been found of aircraft or crew.

Other aircraft on the operation, all from 205 Group RAF, went on to complete their mission, the bombing of railway marshalling yards at Porta Vescovo on the outskirts of Verona, encountering only moderate anti-aircraft fire and the attentions of a few enemy fighters which were not seen to attack. Weather conditions too, although somewhat overcast, posed no major threat.

Enquiries and searches undertaken by the RAF MRES after the war yielded no information. The SAAF Death Register records the "presumed grave" as Comacchio. Persistent rumours of the crews' capture and execution at the hands of unknown forces were brought back to SA by many SAAF personnel.

Trying to find out more about this incident is the niece of one of the Air Gunners on board that night - 542859V WOII Harland Trevor BENN (20) of Port Elizabeth who was on his third tour after previously serving with 26 and 12 Squadrons in W Africa, N Africa and Italy.

The rest of the crew comprised:
W/O II Robert James FAULL Air Gunner SAAF from Cape Town
W/O II Ronald Esme WICHT Air Gunner SAAF from Durbanville
Sgt Edward Moody STOVES W/Op-Air Gunner RAF from Co. Durham
whose families have all been traced,

Lt Joscelyn Albert Tudor STEELE Observer SAAF from Duiwelskloof
Air Sgt Derek Knight AUSTIN Pilot SAAF from Basutoland
Lt Philip Anthony KLAPPER Pilot & a/c Commander SAAF from Durban
Fl/Sgt Alfred MATTHEWS Bomb Aimer RAF from Essex
whose families are still to be found.

If anyone has any information or memories of this incident
OR can help trace relatives of any of these airmen,
OR remembers any of these men
would they please contact me
Snail-mail: 17 13th Ave, Walmer 6070 Port Elizabeth SOUTH AFRICA.
Phone +27-41-581-5471

From: Paul Els
Subject: OPERATION SUPER (March 1982), 101BN and THE HUNTER GROUP
Date posted: 28th February 2005

I am doing research on the above Operation and Units for my next books.
Any information or photos will be appreciated.
My new book ONGULUMBASHE DIE BEGIN VAN DIE BOSOORLOG will soon be available.

From: Abduraman Adan
Subject: MYALE - East Africa - WWII - photographs wanted
Date posted: 21st February 2005

I am doing research on ww2 in East Africa at border between Kenya and Ethiopia, the Town called MYALE, if any one has pictures taken during the occupation of this Town by Italians(1940) and reoccupation by British in 1941. There is war memorial erected until today, I would love to have the photos or black and white shot on 16mm film, of moving image taken during those years. I know at some point, the South African Air Force had a greater role in bombarding large number of planes. In Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) before take off, thanks.

From: Tom Mullins
Subject: French Merchant Marine Internees in South Africa - WWII
Date posted: 3rd February 2005

During October 1941 a number of French merchant ships attempting to escape from Madagascar and return to France were intercepted off the South African coast in an operation named "Bellringer". All these ships, one of which was the "Bangkok", were brought into South African ports and the crews interned.

However the officers were apparently not regarded as a security risk and were released on parole, and billeted at various hotels in the Eastern Cape and Natal. I have the envelope of a letter posted from France addressed to the Captain of the "Bangkok" in the Koffiefontein Internment Camp, which was re-addressed to him at the Graaff-Reinet Hotel Graaff-Reinet. Has anyone any further information regarding these French merchant marine internees, and their eventual fate. What were the circumstances of their parole, and were they eventually repatriated?

From: Cliff Lord
Subject: SACS Citizen Force 1960-80
Date posted: 31st January 2005

Cliff Lord is writing a supplement to The Royal Corps of Signals Unit History, published by Helion UK in 2003. It is a 208 page book on Commonwealth Signal Corps Unit History. He would like to be in touch with people who can advise him of the various units of the SACS Citizen Force during the time period 1960 to 1980. Cliff has been a contributor to the MH Journal and specialises in world wide army signal corps history and heraldry.

From: Ann Crichton-Harris
Subject: Deelfontein IYH; Capt Loraine-Grews
Date posted: 30th January 2005

I've just downloaded Military History Journal Vol. 3 no. 5 - the Letter box. Can someone kindly put me in touch with the letter writer, Captain Loraine-Grews please? He says his father in law, Donald Munro, was a doctor at Deelfontein with the IYH. I am writing the biography of another physician who was there and would like to have some discussion. Many thanks.

From: Giancarlo
Subject: CAVARZERE, River Po, River Adige
Date posted: 22nd January 2005

Interested in what happened during WWII in this area of Italy: information about Cavarzere or Po and Adige (rivers) will be appreciated

From: Charles William Stead
Subject: Trace attempt - Captain Coralee M Hyams, PA to C-in-C (Air) Middle East,
Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Medhurst 1944-1946

Date posted: 15th January 2005

Attempting to locate above friend and colleague with whom I was stationed in Bombay during WW2. She was a Captain in the SA Air Force. She married in Bombay 1945 (? 1944?) to an RAF Squadron Leader - name unknown.
I believe that she returned to South Africa after cessation of hostilities in 1946. I was the ACM's No.1 driver and had special responsibility for his personal safety.

L.A.C. Charles William Stead RAF (1939-1946)
Location: Mirfield, West Yorkshire

From: Francois Jarvel
Subject: Saldanha Military Area; Philip Bateman
Date posted: 11th January 2005

I am doing research on Cultural Resource Management in the SANDF and my study area concerns the whole Saldanha Military area that consist of SAS Saldanha and the SA Military Academy. It includes all buildings, sites or objects of historical/cultural heritage value.

My main concern is to trace the history of two 6inch WIRE mark XI Naval guns mounted on Malgaskop that were manufactured at the Royal Gun Factory in 1905.

Secondly I would like to get hold of anyone who served at the 8th heavy battery on Malgaskop during WW2 (or any place in Saldanha for that matter) since I am interested in the history and photo's of the place in those times. I am also looking for a Philip Bateman who was stationed as a Sub-Lieutenant there in the 1940's and wrote a report on the archaeology of the area. if he is still alive I would like to contact him; and if not, his family.

I need information, documents and photographs on the history of this area since there is so little information on it. Anything will do.

Francois Bernard Jarvel
Lecturing Assistent
School of Geospatial Studies and Information Systems
SA Military Academy
South Africa
Tel: +27 22 - 702 3108
Fax: +27 22 - 702 3060
Cell: +27 829271029

From: John Davies
Subject: George Moss
Date posted: 9th January 2005

I am trying to trace the history of George Moss who was my wife's Uncle. He was born in St Pancras, London, UK in 1879. He went to South Africa with a British Regiment during the 1899 to 1901 war and settled in South Africa afterwards. He was a member of the South African War Veterans Assn. and the MOTHs. He visited UK in 1966 and attended the Queen's Garden Party as well as a parade at Chelsea Barracks where he met the Queen mother. He was then 87 and there were said to be only 70 members of the Assn. surviving at that time. I believe that his wife had died a few years before this and he was then was living in the Old Peoples Home in Benoni. I do not know when he died but it could not have been long after his return to South Africa. There was very little contact between George and his family in UK, so we do not even know which Regiment he was in, about his life in South Africa or whether he had any children. I have a picture of George wearing 4 medals and another above, without a ribbon. He is wearing a MOTH blazer. I would be most grateful to have any info about George or his life.

From: Mark Wilkie
Subject: Far Eastern POWs WWII - J. Henderson and W. Reid
Date posted: 30th December 2004

I am a South African living in Taiwan and doing research on Far Eastern POWs(1942-1945).Some South Africans did become prisoners of the Japanese and I am looking for any information on them.

The names of two members of the British Army with South African home addresses appear on Japanese POW camp rosters.Their names are given as J.Henderson of Springs,Transvaal and W.Reid of Woodstock, Capetown. No rank or unit is given. They were at Heito Camp on Taiwan and then sailed on the Hellship, Dainichi Maru to Japan (Nov 42). They were interned at the camp at Yokohama. Their POW numbers were 593 and 595. They are not listed on the Yokohama War Graves Cemetery records, so I assume they both survived the war.Does anybody know them?

From: jorrie jordaan
Subject: "Verraaiersnek" near Lydenburg
Date posted: 29th December 2004

I am a tourist guide who regularly travels on the road between Lydenburg and Orichstad, as part of a predetermined tour for visitors from the Netherlands. Alas, we always travel in coaches at max speed to meet the deadlines on our itineraries.

I have noticed a reference to "Verraaiersnek", a distance out of Lydenburg, with a board on the right hand side providing some information. The "Vierkleur" seems to be on this board. Can anybody help me establish the history and background of this site? There is a Swart family website with some information, but what else do people know about the origin of the name?

From: Russell Smith
Subject: Andrew May, b. Buckie, philatelist
Date posted: 11th December 2004

I live in Aberdeen Scotland. I am attempting to locate the whereabouts of an old friend of mine with whom I lost touch many years ago. His name is Mr. Andrew May and was born in the town of Buckie in Banffshire Scotland. He sailed as ships carpenter with Clan Line Steamers of Glasgow before emigrating to South Africa. Mr. May had a very deep interest in military history and became I believe a curator of the "South African Army Museum," some years ago. He was also a very talented artist specialising in military uniforms and was commissioned by the then government of South Africa to produce a set of first day postage stamps which were then issued by the South African postal service. His wife's name was Ingrid.

I believe that he was first based in Johannesburg and then moved to Pretoria after which we lost contact.

From: Mark Instone
Subject: Norman Scott/D Mullen 17 Sqdrn SAAF Malta September 1944
Date posted: 29th November 2004

I am researching a Norman Scott, who was a SAAF Air Mechanic apparently killed with 17 Squadron SAAF on 19th September 1944. I believe, but am uncertain, that the squadron was operating out of Sardinia at this time. Scott's service record states that he was "Killed in flying battle". He is commemorated on the Malta memorial and appears to have no known grave. This suggests that he was aircrew but this seems unusual as he was previously groundcrew with 40 Sqn RAF in Italy. I have cross-referenced the Malta memorial and found that several Air Mechanics were killed that day. I understand that Scott was, at that time serving as D. Mullen.

If anyone has any information on this crash/accident or even any suggestions about where to go for further research, I should be glad to hear from you.

From: Tom Miles
Subject: 1942 Harley Davidson motorcycle and sidecar
Date posted: 24th November 2004

I have a 1942 Harley Davidson motorcycle and sidecar imported from South Africa. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who can tell me anything about the sorts of things they were used for. I have information on technical specifications etc. but 'real life experiences' of using these outfits would be gratefully received.

From: Lynda Coates
Subject: Frederick (Freddie) George Coates
Date posted: 18th November 2004

My wonderful late father, Frederick (Freddie) George Coates, was in the SAAF Group 205, Squadrons 31 and 34 during WW2. Does anyone remember him? Please e-mail me. Thank you.

From: A n other
Subject: Lancastria June 14 1940 St Nazaire
Date posted: 15th November 2004

Anybody who would like to contribute their personal memories of the wreck of the Lancastria on June 14 1940 and especially those people of St Nazaire who helped the victims, please contact the e- mailer who is compiling a website to the memory of ordinary folks involved in this tragedy.

From: Johan vdBerg
Subject: Captain Alexander Lipmann-Kessel, MC, Armhem WWII
Date posted: 29th October 2004

Does anybody know what happened to Capt Lipmann-Kessel, a South African, who became famous for the valiant service he performed as a surgeon at Arnhem in 1944? Below is all I know of him.

He aroused my interest after doing research for a number of talks I gave during the course of this year:

"Captain Alexander Lipmann-Kessel
Unit : 16 Parachute Field Ambulance
Service No. : 227647
Awards : Military Cross

Captain Lipmann-Kessel was a South African surgeon, awarded the Military Cross for his work at Arnhem:

Captain Lipmann-Kessel commanded one of the surgical teams of 16 Parachute Field Ambulance which established a Dressing Station in the Elizabeth Hospital, ARNHEM, after the capture of the main bridge. The hospital was subsequently recaptured and came under German control. Captain Lipmann-Kessel must have saved many lives by his skill as a surgeon working under most difficult conditions. On several occasions the hospital came under both German and British fire. The windows of the operating theatre were blown in and, apart from these difficulties, the Germans often interfered and attempted to remove the personnel from the surgical teams. Later when most of the wounded had been evacuated, Captain Lipmann-Kessel was left behind with 30 seriously wounded cases. He continued to perform his duties as a surgeon with the greatest skill and, at the same time, forestalled the Germans in any attempt they made to interfere with the working of the hospital. Finally, Captain Lipmann-Kessel showed great initiative in escaping from captivity. This officer has a great reputation for his gallantry, skill and devotion to duty while carrying out his work under the most difficult and dangerous conditions on many occasions. Brigadier Lathbury recommend him most strongly for the immediate award of the Military Cross.

Lipmann-Kessel escaped from German hands on the 16th October. Amongst the many people on whom he operated at Arnhem, was Brigadier Hackett, and he is credited with saving his life. Lipmann-Kessel died in 1986. He was buried, as his request, near Arnhem, to be near his airborne friends."

From: Ian Meadows
Subject: Military rations and foodstuffs: 1899-1920
Date posted: 2nd October 2004

I live in Oxford, England, myself and 12 likeminded others are all Re-enactors, we do lots of shows but saw no one did the S.A.A.F. so we decided that we would. We are looking for badges etc.

We also don't know much about what the S.A.A.F. People would have been like, (Attitude towards other services, people they didn't like, etc) we want to try and be as near as possible to the WW2 people.

We have at the moment:-
1 C.O. / Pilot
3 Pilots
3 Navigators
1 Warrant Officer
2 W.A.A.F.s
3 Ground crew

We also want to do this properly, for the Memory of those Brave Young Men and Women that fought, and died, for the freedom that we now ALL take for granted, we feel that they should not be forgotten, as they played an important role in North Africa, Italy, and also were with the R.A.F.

Most people over here only think of D-Day as the war, and most re-enactors only do units that took part in it(I know a lot of units took part in it, but my grandfather was in North Africa, at the time of D-day, so the air support he and his fellow comrades got could have been S.A.A.F.?!). we want to make people ask "why is your uniform an Army uniform, but marked up like an air force one?" - then we can say we are South African Air Force then explain!

I think we are the only S.A.A.F Re-enactors in England (I have looked at most re-enacting web sites, and asked at shows), as we have only just started.

From: Geoff Carefoot
Subject: Military rations and foodstuffs: 1899-1920
Date posted: 2nd October 2004

I wondered if anyone had any information on the rations and foodstuffs supplied to British and South African troops during the Great War? In particular, any form of South African produced items such as canned goods (meats, fruits, etc.) used in the S.W. Africa and E. Africa campaigns and for troops on the Western Front. Most of these would have been commercially produced for the home market and I am particularly interested in canning labels, etc. Similarly, I also wondered if anyone had examples of labels of canned goods or other packaged rations issued to British troops during the Anglo - Boer War.

Thank you

From: Bob Tyson
Subject: Paddy Green
Date posted: 19th September 2004

I am editor of the 600 (City of London) Squadron Association of which Paddy Green was one of our more illustrous commanding Officers. Recently I received an enquiry from a member who flew under Paddy asking if he was still alive and there is no-one still surviving from that period who seems to be able to answer the question. So can anybody please advise if Paddy is still alive?

From: Raymond Petit
Subject: Jean Petit in Anglo-Boer War
Date posted: 17th September 2004

I am seeking information on my Grandfather, Jean Ariside Petit, a French citizen who fought in the Anglo-Boer War on the side of the Boers. He was taken prisoner and was interned in a camp on Burmuda. POW information: Prisoner number 20432
Home address in South Africa: Brandobred; Town or District: Lydenburg;
Field Cornetcy or Commando: Klipfontein
Captured: Lowveldt Date: April 29, 1901
Date of Receipt: June 26, 1901
Remarks: Frenchman, Bermuda from Ladysmith

Can anyone provide information regarding his war service, the name of the ship on which he was transported to Bermuda, or the name of the island where he was interned on Bermuda. Also date and destination of repatriation.

From: Alessandro Carlini
Date posted: 26th August 2004

I'm writing a book for the Parliament of Tuscany about allied soldiers that fought in Italy during World War Two. I'm looking for personal stories, letters and photos (better if unpublished) of soldiers that fought in Tuscany during the war. Should you decide to contribute a story to the "Allies in Tuscany Project", your story will be recorded for posterity and possible published on the book relating to World War II. You can send your stories, letters and photos via e-mail or postal service at this addresses: e-mail:   address: Alessandro Carlini - Press Officer C/O Consiglio regionale della Toscana Via Cavour, 2 - 50129 Firenze - ITALY

Tel. +39-055-2387616
Fax +39-055-289928

From: Penny East
Subject: Sgt N.C. (Colin) Dean, 2nd Field Reg. SAA (NFA) North Africa WWII
Date posted: 24th July 2004

I am trying to trace my father’s war experiences and would appreciate any information at all. I currently know the following:

He joined up in 1940 and went from Pietermaritzburg to Potchefstroom for training with the 6th Battery.
They embarked on HMT Dilwara 22/07/41 and reached Port Tewfik 12/08/41.
After that the trail becomes hazy until June 1942 at Knightsbridge where he was on the No. 1 Gun in E Troop.
His gun team comprised;
Bdr D.G. (Danie) Strachan Gnr. W.A. (Bill) Nye (later Knight)
Gnr. E.J. (Eddie) Keiser
Gnr. D.I. (Dennis) Else
Gnr. MacI. (Jack) Goldstone
Driver Gnr. J.A. Stephens

They were held in POW camp in Italy, and perhaps, later in Germany.

I don’t know the names of the camps or the dates! He escaped, got to the UK, and finally returned to PMB where he was discharged in October 1945. He died in 1971.

I would be most grateful to receive any information at all that would fill in some of these vast gaps! (I will gladly pay any costs incurred)

My Postal Address is:
9 Princess Rd

My thanks in anticipation.

From: Achille Rastelli
Subject: SAAF 31 & 34 Squadrons photos Ravenna - Autumn 1944
Date posted: 6th July 2004

I am doing research about the actions of RAF 205th Bomb Group in Italy during the Second Wold War. The 205th Group was organized with the following squadrons:
37 th - 70 th - 40 th - 104 th - 178 th - 462 nd - 142 th - 150 th - 31st (SAAF) - 34th (SAAF)

I am searching photos (night) and records about the actions done on Ravenna in the following dates 25/26 august 1944 - 4/5 september 1944 - 9/10 september

Dr. Achille Rastelli
Via Gaspare Aselli 20
20133 MILANO

From: Arvo Vercamer
Subject: SAAF Avro Anson Mk. I, K6211
Date posted: 17th June 2004

I am trying to locate a photograph or two as well as some operational information on one of South Africa's Avro Anson Mk Is, K6211.

My research shows that K6211 was originally to have been transferred to Estonia in 1937, but the RAF instead sent K6211 to 220 Squadron, citing an "emergency need" for the airplane. Another Anson was then given to the Estonian military.

As things turn out, K6211 was transferred to the South African Air Force (SAAF) on 12 December 1940. K6211 was then allocated the SAAF serial number of 1184 with Code X-B5 and was on the books of 47 Air School. I understand that this particular Avro Anson was painted in overall silver dope, with trainer yellow undersides.

My goal is to be able to make a color plate of this airplane in South African Air Force colors for my research project on Baltic civil and military aviation history.

Thank you kindly in advance for any assistance.

From: Richard Gillies
Subject: Legion of Frontiersmen
Date posted: 10th June 2004

I am a Sergeant in the Legion of Frontiersmen, I read with interest the artical in your Military History Journal Vol 2 No4 "The Demise of the Legion of Frontiersmen in Africa - North, South, East, West and Central" by Major Tom Cushny LMSM.

I was introduced to the Legion through a friend of mine who used to work for the UK government, he told me of the Legion of Frontiersmen and asked me to help rebuild the Legion so that we could once again come to the aid of our coutry in its time of need. I was enthralled with the Legion's History and could not believe such an establishment could be left to fall in to disrepair. I am among a small group of Frontiersmen who aim to bring about the rebirth of Captain Roger Pococks/Captain Driscolls' ideals.

If anyone in Africa might wish to help rebuild the Frontiersmen in Africa, please contact me and I will put you in contact with the appropriate people.

Tel +44 (0) 7742 056 154

From: Duncan Mattushek
Subject: 4th Field Regt Angola 1975
Date posted: 27th March 2004

I live in New Zealand and have been trying to contact a Bdr. R. Van Wyk and a Lt.A.Brand. They both served in 4th Field Regt. and took part in one of the first attacks in Southern Angola in Nov 1975. We lost some good friends and comrades that day. Anyone who can help, it will be appreciated.

From: Michele Becchi
Subject: 11 Squad SAAF Italy April 1945
Date posted: 6th March 2004

My name is Michele Becchi, I'm an historical researcher about WWII in my province. During my research I've found a crash site of an SAAF plane in my province (Reggio Emilia, north Italy). The plane went down on 14 april 1945 near Baiso/Monte Valestra area, according to Partisan Police report, was a P-40 with serial number FX537, hit over Formigine (Modena province) by german A/A fire. Apparently must be an 11 Squadron SAAF plane, the pilot was rescued and hidden by Italian partisans. Anyone know the pilot's name and other information about his mission? Many thanks in advance.

From: Howard Ray
Subject: Kings African Rifles
Date posted: 5th February 2004

I am attempting to establish when my great uncle served with the Kings African Rifles and with which regiment. I know it was between 1912 and 1919. Can anybody possibly tell me whether there is any centralised record of British NCOs who served with the KAR? Any assistance will be gratefully received. Thanks.

From: Robin A Woodruff
Subject: Boer War POWs
Date posted: 3rd January 2004 amended 22 May

Walking Stick collector in UK with special interest in sticks made by POW's of the Boer War would like find out more detailed information of carvers from relatives or interested parties of the following:

St. Helena
Prisoner No. - Name - Address
6001 - Andries Stephanus Mijberg - Koellenhoff, Ladybrand
3390 - Commandant Sarel Johannes Ellof (Eloff?) - Johannesberg
5260 - Jan Hendrick Cloete - Boshof
2095 - Matthys Johannes Jacobus Stydon - Klerksdorf,Potchefstroom
4193 - Marthinus Andries Strydom - Schweizer Reineke

5083 - Jan George Bender - The Prairie, Ladybrand
7003 - James William Parker - Driefontein, Kroonstadt
27622 - Piet Viljoen - Morgenzon, Lydenberg
21606 - Cornelius Petrus Van Vuuren - Gatsrand, Potchefstroom
2341 - Petrus Venter - Wolven Kop, Wolmaranestadt
20544 - Piet Venter - Leeuwfontein, Carolina
20545 - Pieter Venter - Moddersfontein, Rustenberg
20136 - Jacobus Arnoldus Pienaar - Doorndam Farm, Boshof
26479 - Matthys Johannes Swart - Silvergrove, Middelberg
Bhimtal, India
27652 - William James Walsh - Fordsburg, Heidleburg
29597 - Claassens Petrus Jacobus - Zandrivierpoort,Winberg

Also Mr Henry Lederle from Pretoria whose Grandfather Philippus Johannes de Bruyn Steyn was on Bermuda as mentioned on Page 31 of the book "Boer prisoners of war in Bermuda" by Colin Benbow.

From: Annette Badenhorst
Subject: Historical info needed: St Lucia KZN - WWII
Date posted: 3rd January 2004

Can anyone out there help me gather information regarding the above as well as Historical info on Dukuduku Forest with the local tribe (under correction, the Nguni Tribe?), the legends from old-timers and the effect the war had on the region and its communities.

I have taken on the mammoth task of trying to write a novel about the region in an effort to capture and pass on the legacy of these wonderful legends. Places such as Charter's Creek, Fanie's Island, Hell's Gate, Honeymoon Bend, Eastern Shores and Mission Rocks are but a few names that lends to their origin. The locals have either moved since or passed on. I do speak a little Zulu, but am prepared to work with an interpreter as well.

Any info will be greatly appreciated.

012-348 6852
082 386 8749

From: Paolo Farina
Subject: Pontedera Airfield (Italy) WWII
Date posted: 9th December 2003

I am an Italian aviation historical researcher and need information about South African Air Force pilots or crew that flew RAF or SAAF Spitfires on Pontedera Airfield (Italy) during 1945.

From: Clive Holt
Subject: Angolan war (Operation Hooper and Calueque Dam) - photographs
Date posted: 5th December 2003

I was involved in the final stages of the Angolan war (Operation Hooper and Calueque Dam) and I am in the process of writing a book detailing these events from the perspective of those who were involved - those who were 'on the ground'. The book is based on a diary which I kept of my time in Angola and the various battles that took place. The historical research component of the book has already been completed and I am now transcribing all the information. What I am keen to do is get in touch with anyone who has photographs of these operations that they would like to see published in my book. I already have quite a few pictures, but would like to see what else is out there.

Clive Holt
P.O. Box 10427
Western Australia

From: Chris D Baragwanath
Subject: Transvaal Town Police
Date posted: 30th November 2003

Does anyone please have any information on, or references to, a formation known as the Transvaal Town Police ? (TTP) Any info on this Formation would be gratefully received.

From: Chris D Baragwanath
Subject: Firearm markings etc
Date posted: 30th November 2003

The Southern Africa Arms and Ammunition Collectors Assn (SAAACA) Gauteng Chapter has started a reference page on it Web Site, on which we are trying to record and date as many South African and other African Markings, Stampings, etc found on Firearms, accessories or equipment of either a military or civilian nature.

The Page can bee seen at: and any input, information or contribution received would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

Chris D Baragwanath
(Johannesburg, South Africa)
Tel: +27 (0)11 791 1594 (H)
Fax: +27 (0)11 792 1646 (H)
Cell: +27 (0)83 700 5057

From: Roger Preston
Subject: Photographic Interpretation - Sqn 60 SAAF - WWII
Date posted: 13th November 2003

One of the most notable recce squadrons in the Middle East was No 60 SAAF PR Squadron. Its name appears in many references and they seem to have operated from mid 41 to mid 45, all the way from Egypt to Italy (San Severo) at the end of the War. I would be grateful for details of their operations and locations. I know they operated Mosquitoes from early 43 onwards but would like to know more in particular about camera fits, where the PI was done, were the PIs South African, did they come from a common pool etc. Snail-mail and e-mail welcome!

Fern Cottage
21 High St
Sussex BN6 8SY
01273 846566

From: Roy Isacowitz
Subject: East Africa Campaign 1941
Date posted: 29th October 2003

I am looking for information about the South African campaign in East Africa - Kenya, Italian Somaliland and Abyssinia - in 1941 for a book that I'm writing. My interest runs more to "colour" - personal experiences, diaries etc. - than to strategy. But everything pertaining to the subject will be gratefully accepted.

From: Charles Macchini
Subject: Medal: Vive l'Afrique et Bonny
Date posted: 16th October 2003

Information required about this medal: inscription as above then
Capt. W.I. Clifton Browne
Nov 11th 1878

AR 49mm x 33.7
Silver with Gold Gilt

Figure 1

From: Peter Mason
Subject: 172 Tunnelling Coy RE/ Friends of HMS Forward
Date posted: 17th September 2003

In May 1941 a group of Sappers from 172 Tunnelling Coy RE started work on a 5 month project at South Heighton (Newhaven) Southern England. 172 is believed to have been made up of miners from all parts of the UK and Commonwealth. We (Friends of HMS Forward) are restoring the site and need any information /memories. Is there anyone in SA that this means anything to? The unit was working in Kent before this and moved on to Portsmouth, Gibralter and Malta. 577 Army Fd Coy RE were also involved in fitting out. If anyone has any knowledge could they please contact me, or see our website for more.

From: Michele Becchi
Subject: Plane crash June 1944 North Italy
Date posted: 29th August 2003

I'm an aviation enthusiast and historical researcher. With my friend, we have found a crash site of an allied plane, crashed between 2 and 11 of June 1944. Some witness says the whole crew (4 men) bailed out before the crash, over the Mount Costa Violla, in the area Cervarezza - Frassinedolo - Castelnuovo Monti - Secchia river - Poiano, province of Reggio Emilia, north Italy. All the crew was helped to reach the partisans across the Secchia river. With the pieces recovered from the crash site (wright-cyclone cylinder), I think they must be an American-made plane (Baltimore, Boston, Ventura or Hudson) with RAF painting (dark earth and green) and RAF or commonwealth crew. Can anyone tell me if any of the crew is still alive? Many Thanks

From: Zoltán Tálosi
Subject: SAAF Plane went down in Hungary in 1944
Date posted: 16th August 2003

I am looking for an airman called Rudolf Hancock (or maybe Hankock). Sergeant Hancock was a wireless Operator and he was flying with 34th Squadron of 2nd SAAF Wing assiged to the 205th Bomb Group. It is very possible that he was South African. His Plane marked Liberator VI "EW 165 F" went down in Hungary in the night of 28th of August, 1944. Sgt. Hancock as the only survivor of the 7 crew members was captured and imprisoned.

Killed in action:
1. Munro, J. F. 203001V SAAF
2. Creux, P. A. 580652V SAAF
3. van der Spuy, R. D. 205866V SAAF
4. Alexander, P. St. I 328692V SAAF
5. Grice, W. H. 128649 RAF
6. Lever, B. E. 1800182 RAF
(Budapest War Cemetery at Solymár)

I would like to find out whether Mr. Hancock is still alive and if yes to get in contact with him.
His photo can be found at the following link:

Tálosi Zoltán
H-7100 Szekszárd
Gróf Pál u. 4. IV./13.

From: Helmieh
Subject: My Name
Date posted: 15th August 2003

I was given my name from my father who named it after his mother. She was given her name by an uncle in the war who was stationed in Egypt. I am interested to know more about Helmieh and also if anyone knows the meaning. THANKS

From: Brian du Toit
Subject: Gen. G. D. Joubert
Date posted: 8th August 2003

I am in the final stages of a manuscript and need some critical help. In 1903 a number of Boer ex-generals were planning settlements in North America and Mexico. One of these was a man Gideon D. Joubert (who was traveling with an Irishman O'Donnell who fought with the Boers)

My question: is Gen. G. D. Joubert the same as Gen. David Joubert (nephew of old Gen. Piet Joubert). David fought in Estcourt and Mooi River as the Boers retreated from the siege of Ladysmith. G.D. Joubert was (I think) a Free Stater.

Could anyone supply me with any DOCUMENTED information regarding this person or these persons?

From: Peter van der Linden
Subject: Flying Boats
Date posted: 6th August 2003

For the past 2 1/2 years we have been developing an exciting adventure and historical flight, which involves a 1944 Grumman G-21 Goose. We are planning to fly this magnificent Flying Boat from New York to Cape Town via 24 countries over a period of 3 months in the second half of 2004, and hopefully be the first Goose ever to reach the South African Coast. The main emphasis of the flight is to re-generate interest in the Spirit of Flight - especially in the bygone era of these magnificent aircraft. We have been given a set of original maps used by the Sunderlands from Cairo to the Cape and will be trying to re-trace this old flight route down the Nile.

Our route will obviously pass by the whole SA coastline and our last stop outside of our borders will be Mocambique - then down to Cape Town via St Lucia, Richards Bay, Durban, East London, PE, Knysna, Bot Rivier (old Catalina stop) and finally Table Bay.

I would appreciate any and all input and advice that could be offered - especially from anyone who might have flown the route from Egypt. A "Coffee table" book will also be published - not only to document the route and stunning scenery that will obviously be captured - but also to remember a forgotten era - so all the input with regard to the history of the Flying Boats in Africa and South Africa would be greatly appreciated.

Basically any information about Flying Boats that were used by SA or that just came for a visit is needed. Although we've already identified a lot of the old landing/base areas of the Catalinas, we still need more info on the rest of South Africa as well as the coastal area up to the north of Mocambique.

Peter van der Linden
Cape Town
+27 21 461-7151
+27 21 462-1930

Subject: 16 Squadron SAAF WWll
Date posted: 4th August 2003


From: Denys Simmons
Subject: ITALY - escaped POWs - October 1943
Date posted: 15th July 2003

On about October 3rd 1943 having with two other officers jumped from a cattle truck taking POWs from Sulmona to Germany, we were walking south-east in the Abbruzzi mountains east of Rome. That afternoon we saw a man taking a bath in a small pool further up the valley and after some thought decided to investigate. He turned out to be one of a small group of South Africans from a POW camp further North who were occupying a small hut near the pool. They very kindly kept us near their fire over night, fed us bread and potatoes, and supplied liberal amounts of red wine. They told us where we were and, vitally, explained that the Italian civilians would generally be helpful - we had not then made serious contact. If anyone remembers the event or knows who the South Africans were I would be very happy to contact and thank them again.

I was a Lt in the British Army at the time.

From: Alex McKay
Subject: Worcestershire/Sherwood Foresters Regiments in the Boer Wars
Date posted: 14th July 2003

I am interested in any information on actions that either the Worcestershire or Sherwood Foresters Regiments might have taken part in during the Boer War. As a member of what is now the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot), I am interested in filling 2 or 3 spare days from walking in the Drackensberg Mountains with some battlefied touring.

Any good ideas would be most appreciated.

From: Brian Clarke
Date posted: 5th July 2003

If anybody knew BASIL GODFREY VERONIE when he was in the service in the South African Army in WWII, please contact his son at the above address. I know that he joined up in May 1940 and served until 1946.

From: Neville Clarence
Subject: SAAF Air Defence Radar During SWA/Namibian Conflict
Date posted: 2nd July 2003

I am seeking members of 140 Squadron who are willing to discuss their experiences as radar operators or fighter controllers during the SWA/Namibian conflict during the 1980s.

Neville Clarence, SAAF (Ret); Lt. Col

From: Neville Clarence
Subject: SAAF HQ Car Bomb Explosion 20 May 1983
Date posted: 2nd July 2003

I am seeking persons willing to discuss their involvement as civilian, SADF member, ANC member or SAP investigator in the car bomb explosion outside SAAF HQ on 20 May 1983. This is required as supplementary information for my personal account of my own involvement for an autobiography. Respondent's true Name will be changed for publication if so requested.

From: Kasha Potgieter
Subject: Scandinavian Corps at Magersfontein
Date posted: 11th June 2003

Any information regarding the Scandinavian corps fighting with the Boers at Modder River, especially the Norwegian father and son Olen (or Olin) will be greatly appreciated. Also on Naas Ferreira (liaison officer between Gen. Cronje and the Corps)

From: Steve Lunderstedt
Subject: Greg Payne/Siege of Kimberley
Date posted: 10th June 2003

Greg Payne requested information on his maternal ggf Alfred Moss who was killed during the siege of Kimberley. This was in Feb 2002 and his email then used is now defunct. If he wishes to get hold of me I shall be happy to pass on info to him.

From: Doug Tidy
Subject: South African Pilot C A G Clark WWII
Date posted: 7th June 2003

I am now living in England and not having all my previous SAMHJs with me I wonder if we ever published anything further on Battle of Britain pilot Colin Anthony Gordon Clark (RAF number 49192) from Johannesburg, who was lost as a Flt Lt with 137 Squadron flying a Whirlwind aircraft on 30 Oct 1941. He was 28 and his grave is in St Michael's Churchyard at Geldeston in Norfolk. Kindest regards to any in the Society who may remember me (are there any as I am now an octogenarian?)!

I have discovered that a gentleman named Peter Hobbins of 35 Cedar Drive, Worlingham, Beccles,Suffolk,England NR34 7EW is tending the grave. If any descendants in Johannesburg are found and are interested perhaps they will contact me?

Doug Tidy; Squadron Leader RAF (Ret); Major SAAF (CF) (Ret); Once Editor of SAMHJ

From: Malcolm Snape
Subject: WWII 19 Squadron South African Air Force
Date posted: 2nd June 2003

Does anyone have information regarding the service of this unit during 1944 & 1945. My father, then Pilot Officer George Henry Snape,flew with this unit from its inception when 227 Squadron Royal Air Force was renumbered in August 1944. I have one Squadron photograph taken at, I think, BIFERNO Italy and some aircraft photos of their Beaufighters. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who knew my father or has information on the squadrons operation, personnel or aircraft and particularly extracts of the operational record book.

From: Tim Orosz
Subject: WWII SANDF Information Needed
Date posted: 1st June 2003


I need help researching the South African TO&E during WWII. I have the higher level stuff, like which regiments were in which Brigade. What I need, is the much smaller detail. How many rifles and what type in a squad, how many machineguns [Brens?] per Squad. Platoon type weapons, Piats/mortars, etc. Also need to know what at guns per at gun platoon, and all the platoon information for vehicles, how many and what type of tank/Armoured Car. I need a breakdown for the entire war, from 1941, to the fighting in the Po Valley in 1945. I know there was a major overhaul of forces in 1943. Also, for all formations, ie: Engineers, Infantry, Armoured Infantry, Tank Platoons/Companies, Armoured Car Platoon/Companies.

Why do I need all this? If you visit, you will see we release computer games based with historical accuracy in mind. Combat Mission:Beyond Overlord covered fighting in western Europe from June 1944 till the end of the war. We also have released Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin, featuring fighting on the Eastern Front from 1941-1945. Both games received the Wargame of the year awards. We are now creating Combat Mission:Afrika Korp to feature fighting at Crete, North Africa, and Italy. I can get the to&e detail for British, Australian, Indian, Kiwi, Italians, and Germans. However, there is just NOTHING to be found here in the United States on South African forces, who I am pushing to be included in the game. I want to create the battle of Sidi Rezegh, and fighting in the Po Valley. I have the excellent book on Sidi Rezegh, but it does NOT go into low enough detail. Anyone helping will be named in the credits of the game, and those that go above and beyond, I will send a copy of the game to, once it is complete. We will release in Q3 of this year, so time is of the essence.

Please, feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.

From: Rob Droogleever
Subject: Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry
Date posted: 24nd May 2003

I am writing up the regimental history of Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry; is anyone able to help me with memorabilia they may have related to the TMI? I am particularly interested in diaries, letters and photos and would gladly pay for any costs associated with reproduction of same.

From: Nicole Laroche
Subject: Nurses in SA during WW2
Date posted: 22nd May 2003

My Aunt was one of the 300 nurses that went to South Africa 1941-42. She was 41 when she went over. I am looking for further information on her. Reading the Journal article "Canadian Nurses in South African Military Nursing Services: Some Reminiscences forty years later." by C Girard only further whetted my apetite. If anybody has any further information on Margaret Grant Allan I would greatly appreciate hearing about it.

From: Pat Gallanders
Subject: Radars in SA during WW2
Date posted: 23rd April 2003

During a recent visit to SA and Cape Point I was most interested, as a retired RAF fighter controller, to see the display at Cape Point about the role of radar in SA during WW2. I live near to the Air Defence Radar Museum at RAF Neatishead, Norfolk, England and I would be interested in contacting any one with a connection/memories. I managed to photograph the display but are there any old books on the subject?

From: Chris D Baragwanath
Subject: Rifle No.1 Mk III & No. 4
Date posted: 19th April 2003

Any information, details, photographs, etc. for any small arms parts, Rifle No.1 Mk III & No. 4 parts manufactured in South Africa. All parts generally marked: DOW (Delfos Ordnance Works), DELFOS, SAR (South African Railways), may have the Union Defence Force ownership mark - Broad Arrow in 'U'.

Tel: +27 (0)11 791 1594 (H)
Fax: +27 (0)11 792 1646 (H)
Cell: +27 (0)83 700 5057

From: Ann Crichton-Harris
Subject: Mafeking Convent
Date posted: 31st March 2003

I have recently been given a photo of the convent at Mafeking, showing some nuns and my great uncle (Dr. John B. Christopherson). He wrote on the back:
"The convent Mafeking showing effects of a 100 lb bombshell Sister Mary Patricia (acting) Mother superior Mother Mary Magorie(?) Postulants not there during siege."
There are two male figures besides my gt uncle and four female.

Has anyone anything to add to this? I'd like to learn more. Dr. Christopherson was British.

Prof. J.W. Senders
Ms. A. Crichton-Harris
295 Indian Rd.
Toronto, Ont
M6R 2X5 Canada
TEL: 416 769 5071
CELL: 416 294 5224
FAX: 416 769 6155

From: Bill Hanna
Subject: MV Mendoza 1942
Date posted: 2nd March 2003

The MV Mendoza was sunk off Durban in November 1942 by U178, I am seeking any information about this event and in particular a photo of the Mendoza

From: David A Saunders
Subject: WW2 Aircraft ID plates
Date posted: 1st March 2003

Has anyone any data (Identification) plates from the many Spitfire or Hurricane aircraft that were wrecked here in South Africa in the 1950's for sale? We are rebuilding a number of aircraft and true ID's would be of benefit to us in our restoration. Also if anyone has any spares we would also like to offer good money for them. If no e-mail phone 0827336211.

From: Ron Chambler
Subject: POW labour in Italy WW2
Date posted: 18th February 2003

Mrs. A Strydom Box 13626 Cascades 3202, 'phone 033 3470155 wants to find out who her father worked for as a POW in Italy around 1942. His details are: Priv. G.G. Oosthuizen No.234570 V Nit. TSC.Att UDF. Admin H/Q. Initially he was reported missing for 6mths & then was hired out as a labourer. He returned from the war but never discussed his ordeal. He died about 4yrs ago.

From: Kevin Browning
Subject: Armstrong Elswick 12 1/2 pounder 7 cwt BL
Date posted: 12th February 2003

Armstrong Elswick 12 1/2 pounder 7 cwt BL. Seeking information on Mark II carriage which had a spring recoil cylinder that absorbed four inches of recoil. Tasmania purchased two of these in 1892. We are presently restoring one gun but the recoil mechanism and trunnion holder is missing. Details which would allow the items to be manufactured would be appreciated. Please contact Kevin Browning Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company or National Artillery Museum

From: Bev Morrison
Subject: S.A. Military Nursing Service WW 2
Date posted: 10th February 2003

I am writing on behalf of a dear friend who served with the South African Military Nursing Service during WW 2. She is now 85 and lives in Comox, British Columbia Canada. We would like to know if there are any associations existing for this Service, links or books written. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

From: Stefan Hallberg
Subject: Peter Brown VC
Date posted: 3rd February 2003

I am currently trying to help some VC researchers to track down the only Swede that ever recieved a VC, Peter Brown 8/4-1879 in South Africa.

Peter Brown started his service in the Frontier Armed and Mounted Police. This happened around 1865. The FAMP later converted to Cape Mounted Rifles in 1878. It was in this unit that Brown recivied his VC.

To be able to track down Peter Brown here in Sweden two pieces of information are vital. The birthdate, or at least the birthyear, and the birthplace. The research done so far has fairly well established his birth year and month, November-1832.

This information comes from South Africa where a lot of the work done so far has taken place.

I´ve also checked all available Swedish resources, including the Military Archives of Sweden. I can tell you that nobody in Sweden knows anything about Brown.

Any further information about Peter Brown would be most welcome!

Subject: 8 inch breech loading disappearing guns
Date posted: 27th January 2003

I am currently researching coastal defences in my city.The coastal defences are called North Head and are located in the city of Auckland New Zealand. I am looking for help in obtaining plans,drawings or information regarding the layout of the gun pits,magazines,etc. I have exhausted all known sources here and in the u.k.The plans appear to have vanished. Three 8 inch breech loading disappearing guns made by W.G.Armstrong in 1886 were installed in North Head in about 1886. One still remains in good condition. I am sure there was a general layout for the gun pit and magazine issued at that time. Perhaps a specific one for North Head exists?

Date posted: 27th January 2003


From: Peter Kelly
Subject: WW2: SA U-boat survivors, little ships, Coastal Radar ops.
Date posted: 22nd January 2003

Between 1942 and 1944 a number of ships were sunk off the SA coast be U-boats operating in offensive groups or on their way round the Cape to the Far East. I am looking to find survivors of any of these ships sunk off the SA coast or members who served aboard SA's little ships that operated off the Cape. Coastal Radar Stations were manned by ladies and any contact with these interesting people would also help. Any information regarding German and Italian submarine activity off the SA coast would be greatly appreciated.

From: Alan Boyd
Subject: Submarine Insignia
Date posted: 18th January 2003

I am a submarine insignia collector. I am looking for the various South African submarine insignia. If you are interested in trading or selling insignia, then please contact me.

From: Linda
Subject: A.S. Botha of Heidelberg
Date posted: 8th January 2003

My father had a 7m.m. Mauser rifle neatly stamped A.S..BOTHA HEIDELBERG
This man is pictured twice in the book "Heidelbergers of the Boer War" by Ian Uys (once on page 212, photo taken in 1897, and secondly inside the front cover 2nd row 3rd from right holding a white cane. He was told by Mr Uys that this photo was taken in the Heidelburg kloof)

S.A. State Archives told my father that "A.S. Botha acted as registrar in the Heidelburg Landdrost office, was the Arsenal Keeper, secretary of the Liquor Commission and shortly after war broke out he applied for the position of Public Prosecutor"

But that is where the story ends. Can anyone assist with any further information? I would like to know what his Christian names were and any other information that may be relevant to his possible ABW service, in order to follow up on my late father's research..

From: Iain Arnold
Subject: Lt Gasson & Capt MacLean - Hurricane Pilots WW2
Date posted: 01 January 2003

3 years ago I founded the Hawker Hurricane Society here in England, the aim to commemorate the aircraft and all those involved with it. Be they Pilots, Groundcrew, Relatives or Enthusiasts.
In March 1944, 81 squadron flying Spitfire mk8's sent an attachment of 5 aircraft to Broadway in Burma, two of the pilots I believe were South African namely Lt Gasson & Capt MacLean. Looking for any information on these two pilots.

Iain Arnold
Secretary & Founder
The Hawker Hurricane Society
69 Caswell Close
GU14 8TD

01252 541317

From: Paul Els
Subject: SA Armoured Corps (1946-2003)
Date posted: 01 January 2003

Looking for any information on the SA Armoured Corps (1946-2003). I am contracted to do the history of the Corps. Any information or help will be great, all used will be acknowledged.
WO1 Paul J Els (ret) - author of WE FEAR NAUGHT BUT GOD

From: Amanda Pyper
Subject: Salmon Stephanus Schnetler - information please
Date posted: 01 January 2003

I am searching for any information and/or photos regarding my father's world war II experiences. His name was Salmon Stephanus Schnetler and he was in the Natal Mounted Rifles from 1940-1945. Please email to: or write to: Amanda Pyper 144 S Oakland Ave Pasadena CA 91101 USA

From: David Guss
Subject: Capt. R. B. Palm
Date posted: 26 December 2002

I am interested in receiving information on Captain R.B. "Buck" Palm of the South African Air Force. Captain Palm was one of the most intrepid escapers of WWII, leading the only escape ever to take place from Gavi POW camp in Northern Italy and finally escaping from Moosburg, Germany.
He eventually crossed into Spain with the Australian flier Allan McSweyn. Although Capt. Palm is mentioned in several books, particularly those of George Millar, I know nothing of him before he arrived at Gavi or after he entered Spain.

From: Paul Dubois
Subject: Operation Kodak/Leo
Date posted: 16 December 2002

I'm currently doing some research on Operation Kodak, 19 May 1986 and am trying to get details of the SAAF involvement during this raid. I would be most grateful if anyone could assist me.

From: Paul J Els
Subject: Ops Blouwildebees
Date posted: 15 December 2002

Hi I am looking for information and anyone that took part in Operation BLOUWILDEBEES in 1966. It was a SAP operation with the Parabats in support.

Snail-mail to:
49 Olive rd
Valhalla 0185
+27(0)12-651-3188 Tel/faxs

From: David Appelbee
Subject: submarine insignia
Date posted: 5 December 2002

I am an Australian submariner looking for people to trade submarine insignia from around the world with. Do you know anyone who would be interested?

From: Isabel Job
Subject: Peter Job, North Africa WWII
Date posted: 29 November 2002

I am trying to trace for my father Brian Charles Job a cousin who he met while in Egypt. The cousin's name was Peter Job and he was in the (Dad thinks) 2nd Division South African Army because it was after Tobruk, possibly about 1943. Dad remembers that Peter had something to do with education in the Army? Dad is now 79 years old, so Peter if still alive would be a few years older.

From: Joseph Macaluso
Subject: Lt Marshall, SAAF, North Africa WWII
Date posted: 15 November 2002

My father-in-law served in the US 12 Army Air-Corps in North Africa in 1942. He then followed allied advances through Europe with the 12th (79th FG).

Recently, he gave me some items and articles he picked up during his service. One item that touched me was a bracelet he found in North Africa in 1942. It is inscribed with:

Lt. Marshall A.D. 206186 S.A.A.F. On the reverse is an engraving "From your darling MICK".

Over the years my father-in-law had forgotten about these items, and until recently, hasn't even looked through his diaries and pictures. I have found some references to a 2 Lt Marshall of 1 Sqn SASF, specifically covering actions from July of 1942 in the Alamein line. I have also sadly discovered that a Lt. Les Marshall ( I believe this is the same Lt Marshall, although most articles don't give first names and serial numbers) was lost on November 27, 1942 while piloting a new Spitfire.

Can anyone help me in finding Lt. Marshalls family? I would very much like for this item to be with the family of Lt. Marshall.

From: Peter Wood
Subject: WW1 Memorial Plaque research
Date posted: 15 November 2002

I have been carrying out research on the bronze memorial plaques (and the scrolls that accompanied them), issued to the next of kin of those who died in WW1.

My research has led me to believe that plaques sent to the next of kin in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, were produced much later than those made for British relatives. The plaques were first sent to UK next of kin from January 1919 (plaques to Australia were not sent until 1922).

I would be interested to hear when memorial plaques were first issued to the relatives of South African soldiers. I have found many instances where plaques were given to relatives for a soldier that was still alive(!) when the plaque was received. There are also examples of where soldiers who had died, long after the cut off date of 1920, had a plaque made for them as late as 1926. Have any of your readers come across similar circumstances?

From: Wilfred Wilms
Subject: Item id - PTCEB+A and RBHB
Date posted: 12 November 2002

A friend of mine has a walking-stick which he inherited from his grandfather. It has a silver handle (a knob) on which is engraved:
We are interested to know the origins of this item and since the engraving seems to have something to do with the military, we are hoping you can be of assistance.

From: Claudio Biscarini
Subject: 6th SA Armoured Division in Tuscany during World War II
Date posted: 30 October 2002

I've just written 3 books titled "Tra Umbria e Toscana", "Le sigarette sono arrivate" and "Arno-Stellung", about the history of the military operations of the 6th SA Armoured Division in Tuscany during World War II. I'd like to know if it's possible to correspond with South African Veterans that were in Tuscany, particulary Florence, Siena and Arno-line (June to September 1944) during WWII. Thanks

From: John Lister
Subject: Tobruk POWs
Date posted: 30 October 2002

I am trying to trace the journey of my late father, Gnr Jack Lister # 61671 who was with the SA 4th Field Force Regiment at the time of his capture at Tobruk along with approx. 33,000 others on 21 July 1942.

He was taken to Italy, Campo 62, and then on to Campo 65 before being on the loose from 10/09/43 at the time of the Italian capitulation before being recaptured and sent to Germany (Stalag VIIA, near Moosburg) on or about 12 Dec 1943.

His Union Defence Force records don't give me much information, except for a POW Number of "128444" and that he was transferred to Campo 65 in Nov 1942 - nothing on Campo 62 or Stalag VIIA.

The original internment in Campo 62 is identified from a Post Card that he sent to one of his nephews and the ex POW association in the UK seem to think that he was on the roll of Stalag VIIA in March 1945.

Following his release on 27 April 1945, he spent some time in military hospitals finally being discharged from 109 Military Hospital on 30 July 1945.

As a youngster, I recall that when he spoke of his experiences. he spoke mostly of the East African (Abyssinian) campaign, but never to my recollection spoke of his POW experiences except for the fact that at one stage, his job was to melt down Red Cross chocolate slabs and prepare them for those planning to escape.

I would appreciate any direction as to where I can find out exactly where he was and when, the camp conditions and also anything on his medical records.

From: Fred Heathfield
Subject: STALAG IV-B
Date posted: 30 October 2002

Sergeant Major Gus Ackerman was in charge of the shower unit in Stalag IV-b at Muhlberg in 1944, when Pte Fred Ward, 2 NZEF, MEF, was removed from German custody into the camp on 23 May 1944. I am looking for anyone who has details of how the escape was effected. Pte Ward was due to go to Dresden on 24th May 1944 for Court Martial and faced the death penalty. Stalagmite!

Fred Heathfield
Egerton Church Road

From: Geoff Doherty
Subject: Anglo-Boer War Disciplinary Problems
Date posted: 12 October 2002

I am researching a university thesis on Disciplinary problems experienced by Commonwealth forces engaged in South Africa during the Anglo Boer War of 1899-1902. My main focus is on the Australian troops involved, but I need information on incidents involving troops of the other nationalities involved for comparison purposes - ie, "Were the Australians any better, or worse, behaved than troops of other nationalities?" That sort of thing.

To that end I was hoping people who read this email may have some original letters they are willing to copy and send to me, written by the men involved, describing their own actions, and those of their units, in any matter that might involve discipline. It can be small or large, I am interested in them all.
Things like looting (or "souvenering" as it may have been called to legitimise it) from the Boers, or stealing from fellow soldiers (there was a lot of that going on), insolence towards superior NCO's and Officers, neglect of orders, neglect of equipment, and neglect of their horses (for the mounted units) all the way up to the treatment of captured Boers. Breaker Morant wasn't the only fellow who served out quick and rough justice to the Boers who came his way - he just happened to get caught! Many other men alluded to similar acts in their letters, and I am interested in that - and everything else to do with discipline. I am also interested in what measures the British forces took to encourage their men not to engage in any of the above activities, and where those who were unsuccessful in avoiding being sentenced to some sort of imprisonment, may have served their time.

I am hoping some folk may have original documents - letters, newspaper articles, government (civil or military) documents that pertain in some small or larg way to discipline in the British forces who would be willing to copy them and send them, either by email or surface post, to me here in Australia. My contact details are:

Geoff Doherty
21 Lilyvale St
Mansfield Qld 4122

My thanks to anyone who can assist.

From: Susan Phillips
Subject: Pte. William Bridgeman/Bridgeland
Date posted: 2 October 2002

Does anyone know how I can find info on my Grandfather who fought in the Boer War supposedly in the 16th Kings & Queens Lancers? He had a tattoo of a blue dragon across his chest. Were any photos of the Lancers taken and preserved in a museum?

From: Patrick Shanahan
Subject: Ian Smith's WW2 aircraft details
Date posted: 28 September 2002

WANTED: Information on aircraft flown by Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith in WW 2. I am a model aircraft builder in the USA and I aminterested in finding out the markings of the Hawker Hurrican and Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft flown by Ian Smith, the former Prime Minister of Rhodesia. From what little information I have been able to locate I understand that he was a member of 237 Squadron of the RAF, flying in the Middle East and in Italy. Does anyone know what serial numbers, squadron codes and individual markings (if any) his aircraft carried ? Do photographs exist of any of them ? I do not know whether Mr. Smith is still living, but if someone has a contact address for him I could try to write to him personally.

From: Paul J Els
Subject: HISTORY: SA Armour Corps
Date posted: 28 September 2002

I am doing the history of the SA Armour Corps for the SA Armour Corps League. Any help to complete the book will be welcome. I am looking for short history of all the Armourcorps CF units. But it must be short. Also if any E-mail addressees will be welcome. Thanks

From: Graham Hawker
Subject: 31097 Cpl F Lightfoot
Date posted: 25 September 2002

I am keen to trace 31097 Cpl F Lightfoot who was in hiding in Italy for a time during WWII. He was sheltered in Casina by a man who recently died and the family of that man are interested to contact Cpl Lightfoot or his descendants to fill in the details of the stories their father told.

Any help you can offer would be much appreciated.

Graham Hawker
Marbella Tel/Fax: +34-95-2908182

From: David Cutting
Subject: Oliphant Tank
Date posted: 7 September 2002

I am an American scale model builder, currently collecting information regarding the "Oliphant" tank. As I am sure you can imagine, there is little or no quality information on this vehicle here in the U.S.

I am looking for photographs or drawings of these vehicles as deployed during the external operations during the Angola/SWA campaign. In particular, I am in dire need of views of the seldom photographed areas such as the rear hull plate, engine deck, and turret roof.

I would gladly reimburse anyone for this type of material, and would be most grateful for any sources of information your members might be able to refer me to.

From: Bert Gedin
Subject: Lakeman & Kaffir Wars Query
Date posted: 16 August 2002

Could you possibly assist in these queries? A friend & I (both members of the Crimean War Research Society) are attempting to find out about author, Sir Stephen Bartlett Lakeman. He was involved in the Kaffir Wars, ca 1850's, wrote a book entitled 'What I Saw in Kaffir-Land'. Any sources, other than this book, would be of great interest. Also, perhaps, answers to these questions:

1) What were his connections with Lord Clarendon?
2) What did he do with the Turkish Army - he was then called 'Mazhar Pasha'?

Any information/clues would be very much appreciated. Many thanks!

From: Steve Martin
Subject: Ben Nevis Woods/31st Squadron S.A.A.F./Warsaw airlift
Date posted: 19 August 2002

I am looking for information on Ben Nevis Woods W.O.11 543513V 31st Squadron S.A.A.F. He was shot down and killed over Poland during the Warsaw airlift in 1944. I have put some pages together containing the information I have. These can be found at - n.htm

Ben was the Brother-in-law of one of my Great Uncles. If the information is of any use to other researchers please feel free to use it. If anybody has any info,photos etc please email me at

From: Norbert Schulze
Subject: Atlas Aircraft Corporation logo
Date posted: 14 August 2002

From 1967 - 68 I worked with Atlas Aircraft Corpration in Kempton Park (Bonaero park) as a design engineer on Impala, Buccaneer and Mirage fighter aircrafts. I believe that Atlas Aircraft Corp. no longer exists. But during that time I also was a member of the Atlas flying club learning to fly. I am searching for the Atlas LOGO.

Norbert Schulze Dipl. Ing.
Mosel Str. 35a
65428 Rüsselsheim
Phone: 049 + (0) 6142 - 913065
PC-Fax: 049 + (0) 6142 - 913067
Mobile: 0178 - 7470901

From: Peter Breen
Subject: Ivor Thord-Gray
Date posted: 6 August 2002

I am writing a biography of Ivor Thord-Gray (born Thord-Hallstrom in Stockholm and died in Coral Gables in Florida in 1964) soldier of fortune, spy, archaeologist and anthropologist.

Ivor Thord-Gray joined the Cape Mounted Riflemen (have seen it written as the Cape mounted Rifles?) in 1895 and served in South Africa until about 1906-07. There is no mention that he served in the CMR continuously during this time or whether he served in other mounted units. He might have taken part in the landberg rebellion but certainly took part in the Boer War and the Zulu Revolt in 1906. He is also known to have fought at that time with the Germans in the Herero war in Demaraland.

He served with British forces for a total of about 16 years (Cape Mounted Riflemen 1895-1906 and in the Northumberland Fusiliers in 1914-18 and served in 11 different armies and took part in 13 wars between 1895 and 1922.

He wrote a book called Gringo Rebel which dealt with his experiences in the Mexican Revolutionary Army in 1913-1914 in which he gives only tantalising glimpses of his roles in other armies. He was very much a mystery man, mainly, I suspect, because of his espionage activities. (He also wrote Attack and Defence in Trench Warfare in 1917 - but I cannot find a copy available).

I am looking for any records, unit histories, or information on Ivor Thord-Gray, (particularly for the South African period of his life), (It's a bit much, I suppose, to expect to find people who knew him after so much time has elapsed!)

Postal address:
Sydney Business Review,
The Cottage
11A Betts St
Parramatta NSW
Sydney Australia 2150

PH; 61 2 9890 1022 (business hours)
FAX: 61 2 9890 1066 (office)

From: Stephen Dunkley
Subject: Danny Roxo/FRELIMO/Operation Savannah
Date posted: 8 July 2002

He was a Big game hunter in Mozambique and then turned his hunting skills in chasing down Frelimo terrorists/freedom fighters(depends whose side you were on). He left Mozambique in 75 and was one of the first persons of the SADF to be seconded into 32 Battalion under the then Capt Jan Breytenbach. He was awarded the HC for action at bridge14 and was killed in a landmine explosion During Operation Savannah in late 76

I am looking for persons who may have met him, articles that were written about him , photographs or any person who may be able to give insight into those times as a refugee fleeing Mozambique or Angola.

Any assistance would be highly appreciated

From: Margaret Fowler
Subject: Imperial Representative Corps
Date posted: 12 June 2002

Sam Jones of the Cameronians escorted the 1901 Royal Tour to New Zealand but also received Boer War medals. I had assumed that he was on one of the escort ships which left the UK in February 1901 travelling to New Zealand, Australia and Durban and that he then went on to be involved in the Boer War and receive his medals.

However from the web I found
" saw service, for six months, in the Orange Free State, seeing action at Belmont and Modder River. During this war he went on the strength of the Imperial Representative Corps, accompanying the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V, and Queen Mary) on their tour of Australia during the Commonwealth Celebrations. After the tour he returned to South Africa serving in the later part of the Boer War....

Can anyone help?

From: Pastor [Dr] Willie Booysen
Subject: Regiment President Steyn
Date posted: 5 June 2002

My father served in a South African regiment in Egypt called "Regiment President Steyn" from 15.7.1941 to 21.2.1942. I would dearly like to know more about the movements of the regiment and any battles they were involved in.

Pastor [Dr] Willie M Booysen.MTh, DTh, Full Gospel Church of God, [South Africa and USA-Cleveland, Tenn.]
Tel: (+27-12-362-0821)-[h] Fax (+27-12-362-0010)-[o] Cell [-082-747-6985]
P.O.Box 11243.Hatfield,0028,Pretoria,RSA.

From: cathryn
Subject: A.G."Sailor" MALAN
Date posted: 5 June 2002

Is there any record of Malan receiving as a gift from either Americans (USAAC) or from the Malan Family (Joubert in the Anglo-Boer conflict is related) a WG Model 1896 with the machine-engraved inscription: CAPT. A.G.MALAN R.A.F.

I understand that the proper British reference is GROUP CAPTAIN and many consider the engraving a forgery. However, this gun has been in the US as is for over 25 years - such forgery on the inexpensive British Webley or tampering with it was very slim, and the Malan name not fully appreciated in the US. Are there descendants of "Sailor" Malan who can shed light on this? There are other such machine-engraved Webley WG Models with different RAF Officer Pilot names in the US. Did the RAF allow private purchase of theses 40 - 50 years old Webleys and sanction their use for self-protection by pilots?

From: Greg Kirk
Subject: HUSTON family
Date posted: 2 June 2002

I am looking for any information on three Queenslanders who participated in the Anglo-Boer War and who remained in S.A., two of those married in S.A. I believe all were buried in Johannesburg. They were Nurse Beatrice HUSTON, her brothers Farrier Sergeant Robert Ernest HUSTON and L/Corp. William John HUSTON. Any information on these family members would be much appreciated. Snail-mail to Greg Kirk, RMB 1562, Benalla, 3673 Victoria, Australia. Thank you.

From: Ian Watson
Subject: Captain Kenyon/Cape Mounted Rifles
Date posted: 31 May 2002

Looking for any information about Abraham parkinson Kenyon, who served as a captain in the Cape Mounted Rifles and died in Graham's Town in 1854. I know that prior to that, he served in the West India regiments and was a cornet in the dragoons at the battle of Waterloo.

From: Peter Pocock
Subject: Legion of Frontiersmen
Date posted: 31 May 2002

The 25th Service Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) Saw active service in East Africa in World War 1 and fought alongside South African Units

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has an interest in them.

From: Andrew Archer
Subject: Fl Lt David Walker - WWII
Date posted: 24 May 2002

I am writing a book about the life of the Norfolk and Oxford University cricketer David Walker.

In 1941, after flight training in Rhodesia, he attended a navigation course in South Africa. Unfortunately I have not been able to discover where this was, could anybody point me in the right direction?

From: Bruno Bassetti
Subject: WWII - Gothic Line - Tuscany, Italy - Sept 1944
Date posted: 13 May 2002

I'm a member of the Historical Research Group "Linea gotica" in Montemurlo, Prato, Tuscany, Italy. We are looking for documents about fightings sustained by 6th South African Armored Division on gothic line, especially those dated september 1944 in Pistoia and Prato (Monte Pozzo del Bagno, erroneously named "Porro del Bagno"; Monte Acuto; Poggio Alto). We are looking also for documents about war facts in Montale and Montemurlo (September 1944).

To our knowledge, during fightings on Poggio Alto, South African troups supported indian assault detachments of 4/13 Frontier Force Regiment.

If possible, we would obtain informations about those indian troups (on the web, also).

We already have the publication "Victory in Italy" by N. Orpen.

We would appreciate detailed informations about german troups who fought there. We also would appreciate description of minor fightings in this area.

From: Paul Carolus
Subject: UFO shot down in SWA
Date posted: 13 May 2002

I have heard about an incident that happened in SWA, where a UFO was shot down by a South African pilot. I would like to include this happening in a book that I am writing,and would appreciate it if anyone with any knowledge on the subject who was on active duty in SWA in the 1970s and 1980s,could mail me.

From: Federico Peyrani
Subject: Tiger Tanks in Sicily 1943
Date posted: 6 May 2002

I am an Italian researcher, and at the moment I am writing the history of a German Tiger Unit that fought in Sicily in July August 1943. As I read that your 5th Division was employed in Sicily, I would like to know if there are some reports of fighting against Tiger tanks, or found of destroyed Tiger tanks in the area the Division passed.

The 2nd Company of the German Heavy Tank Battalion 504 was employed with the Hermann Goering Division in the area of the Simeto Valley, at Gerbini Airport, at the Villages of Nicolosi, of Paternò, of Trecastagni, and Vico Pisano. I am in contact with the German Veterans of this Unit, and I have found many Tigers' images in various books.

If you are in contact with former members of the units that fought in Sicily, or you know a site of Italian Front's Veterans, can you please keep me informed?

Federico Peyrani
Via Arena 19,
I 20123 Milano, Italy

From: Mike George
Subject: British German Legion
Date posted: 6 May 2002

I am researching the history of Shorncliffe Army camp, Kent UK. The BGL was stationed there after its recruitment during the Crimean war. Any info would be gratefully received on this subject.

From: Alex Crawford
Subject: SAAF Gladiators
Date posted: 4 May 2002

I am researching the operational use of the Gloster Gladiator by the SAAF in East Africa. I have quite a lot of information but little in the way of photos. If anyone can help in loaning/or copying me photos of SAAF Gladiators I would be most grateful. Photos will be copied and returned and full credit will be given.

Thank you.

Alex Crawford
38 Durris Drive
United Kingdom

From: Alwyn Killingsworth
Subject: GSWA 1914-15
Date posted: 4 May 2002

I am researching the service of Lt. D.W. Mills of the Tank Corps. Prior to his enlistment in the corps he was serving in the South African Midland Horse, the 8th mounted rifles. He was concerned with both the S.A. Rebellion and the GSWA Campaign. I need to know the movements of the 8th mounted rifles for the period August 1914 to May 1915. Also is there anyone out there who has photos of the unit during this period?

I have details of Mills service whilst in the Tank Corps and his movements. I aim to put on a display for the OMRS convention in September.

From: David J.Perrin.
Subject: South African Constabulary
Date posted: 2 May 2002

I am researching Great Uncle one Frederick Perrin who served in the SAC between March 1901 and March 1905. His service No.E1361,posted to 12 Troup at Valsch River S/D and Heilbron District. He died in the SAC hospital at Sydenham on the 23rd March, 1905.
I would be very greatful for any information regarding the role of 12 Troop at this time and anything relating to the activities in the SAC.

From:Ross Jackson
Subject: Jameson Raiders
Date posted: 2 May 2002

Can anyone put me onto a list of Jameson Raiders, I am writing the history of South Gippsland's ( Australia, Victoria ) participation in the Second Boer War and have newspaper articles that state local participation in the Raid. I am keen to verify these names.

Ross Jackson
PO Box

From: Sandra Gurney
Subject: Cape Mounted Rifles/Cape Police 1881
Date posted: 2 May2002

I am descended from a serviceman, Jesse Marchant from Kent, England. He joined the Cape Mounted Rifles around 1881 and Caape Police sometime later. Need guidance to possible reference sources to find enlistment papares and any other details which may help.

From: Philip Reinders
Subject: SAAF Capt Campbell - Arnhem
Date posted: 30 April 2002

I am looking for information and relatives of Capt Colin H Campbell Age? SAAF 1211V killed on 21 September 1944 when his Dakota of 48 Sqr crashed off the British coast returning from a supply mission to Arnhem. Any information please to the Arnhem Battle Research Group. Website at

From: William Marshall
Subject: Aircraft/Vehicle photographs
Date posted: 30 March 2002

We are two researchers who have printed three books called "SA Colours and Markings, Vol 1 No 1, 2 and 3".

The books deal mainly in aircraft and armoured vehicles, the colours painted on them and also various emblems, badges, etc.

We have also included some uniform data and there colours.

Our request is:

We are on the lookout for any photo's taken (by people military and non-military) which depicts aircraft, armoured and softskin vehicles and even uniforms. These may be pictures in albums or even individual pictures. We would like to scan them and include them in our research database. Full credit will be given to the copyright owner. We want to try and preserve as many examples of our military heritage as possible. All periods, i.e.. WW1, WW2, Korea and the Bushwar would be most welcome (even airshows and exercises). All photo's will be scanned at the owners house and he retains the original.

Any person with old picture albums depicting SA military can contact me.

From: Jerry Lord
e-mail: nightwilf
Subject: SAAF in Balkans
Date posted: 27th March 2002

i placed a reqest for info about my father 1627055 stan lord who served with the saaf in the balkan airforce in 1944-45. he was an airgunner. unfortunatly i forgot to leave my e mail address.any info on this squadron would be much appreciated..with thanks

From: Ian Smith
Subject: Finding Old Royal Signals Friends
Date posted: Thursday 21 March 2002

My name is Ian Smith, I am ex RADC, and I run two web sites to help old friends contact each other.

www.exrugbyplayersreunited for former rugby players for ex soccer players
Friends of mine were trying to get in touch with old friends from their days in the armed forces, and all the sites they looked at didn't help them find who they were looking for, because of the way they were set up.


Registration is free, searching is free, and email addresses are kept confidential. There are spaces to enter UNIT, with DATES, and PLACES, and also a database to list old COMRADES who you have lost touch with through the mists of time.

I know this site will work and supply an invaluable service to many former SERVICE PERSONNEL. It obviously needs lots of entries, the more it gets, the better it becomes.

From: Diane Johansen
I am trying to research my great uncle, Thomas BELL, who was born in East Rounton, North Yorkshire, one of twins, in l878. His father was George BELL and mother Ann (GIBSON). I know very little about him other than he went to South Africa some time after l898 to fight in the Boer War, and never came back. After the war he married a Boer and settled in S.A. where he had a farm. I gather he had several daughters - one of them Yvonne, but no sons. I believe he was still alive during WW2 because my father's brother, George BELL, went to see him around that time and Thomas asked George to stay and take over the farm - which he didn't. George had been a signaller in S.A. with the 8th Army in WW2.

From: Paul Els
Subject: SA Special Forces
Date posted: 18 March 2002

Anything on the SA Special Forces published in magazines, news papers, books etc.

Anything on DANIAL ROXO HC - a Portuguese who was in Mozambique and in the SADF and died in 1976 on the border.

Also I would like to obtain any information on the following FREEDOM FIGHTERS:
BIG FOOT - SWAPO member during the SWA border War.
MOSKOU - SWAPO member during the SWA border War.
ONE EYE - Rhodesian war.
I am Paul J Els WO1 (Ret) Author of WE FEAR NAUGHT BUT GOD The historian for THE SPECIAL FORCES LEAGUE.

From: Neville Du Piesanie
Subject: WWII accident Bari
Date posted: 13 March 2002

I am searching for information regarding the accident in which my uncle was killed at Bari Italy on 28/11/1943. He was a flight sargeant.

from other sources I was able to ascertain that his SQN was based at Tortorella at the time of the accident.

Any info from colleagues would also be greatly appreciated

From: Brian Shields
Subject: Rare Book search: Notes and Instruction for the South African Constabulary (pub T. Maskew Miller Capetown 1901).
Date posted: 11 March 2002

I am trying to find some information relating to Baden-Powell's involvement with the formation of the South African Constabulary. I've read just about everything I could find over the past 20 years but usually there is no more than a brief mention. Surely there is more out there if no more than an article in a SA history journal or better yet a research paper by a scholar. A dream of mine has been to locate a copy of the very scarce book, Notes and Instruction for the South African Constabulary, by R. Baden-Powell (pub. T. Maskew Miller, Capetown 1901). Any information would be most welcome. Thank you.

Brian D. Shields
204 West Brown St.
Glasgow KY 42141

From: Lucy Ellicott
Subject: Hospital ship ABA
Date posted: 6 March 2002

please could anyone tell me more info on the hospital ship the "ABA".my grandad was aboard this hospital ship during the 2 world was converted from a banana boat to a hospital ship.i have photos and a book my grandad wrote during his time in the war,he was also involved in the battel of crete if any one could help, thank you

From: Andrew Phedonos
Subject: RAF - Aegean & Cyprus WW2
Date posted: 3 March 2002

Searching for Sth Africans (or their surviving family) that served with RAF Squadrons 227, or 252 (Beaufighters) during 1943, or any other unit during the Aegean campaign, also 7 (SAAF) Sqn. Need to trace any photos whilst they were on Cyprus for a future book. Anyone know the whereabouts of Lt Alan E. Hounsom (ex 227 Sqn), or his surviving family ? I have contact with his ex navigator Wally Duncan, who would like to hear news of him. Sadly past response to this appeal has been non existant. Survivers or families are out there somewhere, please this is most important. Andrew Phedonos, P.O.Box 53105, 3300 Limassol, Cyprus

From: Nigel Watson
Subject: WW2 vehicles
Date posted: Thursday 28 Feb 2002

I was wondering if you or anyone else using your site may be able to help me on two research items concerning WW2 vehicles.

The first one is the Bren Gun Carrier. I am currently putting together a history of this vehicle and its use with the Commonwealth forces. I am also compiling a world register of all known surviving carriers. If anyone has any information about which SA divisions etc used carriers, where, when and how many or if any one knows of any existing carriers in Africa, I`d appreciate knowing so I can obtain their serial numbers...hopefully!

The second item concerns a Ford (Marmon Herrington conversion) 6x4 truck which was converted in East Africa by we think REME to carry light tanks and Bren carriers. Any details of this vehicle would be much appreciated.

I would also like to hear from any veterans of WW2 who had first hand experience with these two vehicles. I hope to publish a book on the Bren carrier in the not too distant future and intend including these veterans accounts.

From: Ron Maidment
Subject: ABO medal/Plezier Mausers
Date posted: Thursday 28 Feb 2002

1. An Anglo Boere Oorlog Medal named to a BURGHER J.C. ROGGEBAND - I would appreciate knowing just what the initials J.C. represent. If at all possible, any information such as his commando(s) and some indication of his service in the ABW would be most welcome.

2. Regarding Plezier Mausers, are there records in existence that may allow the original owner to be identified? I have an excellent condition example, Serial Number 306, with the arm named to D.R. de WET. Elria Wessels from the ABW Museum at Bloemfontein has kindly provided me with five (5) possibilities from POW and Medal rolls. Any information welcome.

From: Trevor J Allen
Subject: Marauders in WW2
Date posted: Monday 18 Feb 2002

During World War II,the South African Air Force operated 3 Wing in the Mediterranean theatre of Operations.3 Wing consisted entirely of Marauder equipped squadrons,Nos 12,21,24,25 and 30 Squadrons. Has anyone any information on these squadrons?

From: Tony Jaques
Subject: WW1 - Hauptmann von kleist
Date posted: Monday 18 Feb 2002

I am currently undertaking a research project involving the first world war in southern Africa and I have come up against a complete brick wall trying to better identify one of German officers from those campaigns.

Specifically I am interested in Hauptman von kleist who was in command in the battle at Gibeon in southwest Africa 26 April 1915 against Major Duncan Mckenzie.

Is there perhaps someone who specialises in this area who might be able to tell me, for example, Hauptmann von Kleists first name and any other detail about him??


Tony Jaques
Melbourne, Australia
phone 61 3 92263603
fax 61 3 92263694

From: Greg Payne
Subject: Siege of Kimberley
Date posted: 14 February 2002

My maternal great-grandfather, Alfred Moss was killed during the siege of Kimberley on 9th Dec 1899. I have a little information. Does anyone have more?

From: Karen Roth-Nicholls
Subject: Cape Town July 1942
Date posted: 30 November 2001

Can anyone help?
I am looking for further details of the welcome given in early July 1942 to a major convoy from Great Britain, which stopped in Cape Town for some days at the beginning of July 1942 before continuing on to Egypt. My father was one of the many soldiers who enjoyed a respite before taking part in the North African Campaign, where he died. Any details or recommendations, even of a general nature, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

From: Patrick A. Koller
Subject: Sword for sale
Date posted: 30 November 2001

When I was in Europe in 1993 I purchased a South African sword. On the reciept it says in 6 languages "Do not export this object." I have traced this back to the 1700's. I was told the handle was replaced in the 1800's. This is a one of a kind sword with worrier markings. With much regret I am interested in selling this object. The sheath is in leather, snake or lizard skin and Ivory. If you are interested please email me.

From: Craige Vollmer
Subject: Anglo-Boer War Campaign medals
Date posted: 21st November 2001

I am trying to locate the campaign medals of Albert Pendlebury who served in the Anglo-Boer war. A set of some six medals appears to have been sold to a collector in South Africa in the late 1990s. The medals related to campaigns under Kitchener - Modder River, Paardekraal, amongst others as I remember.

I would appreciate any information

Subject: Anglo-Zulu-War, 1879.
My name is Graham Mason, archivist of the 1879 Group, a bunch of people interested in the Anglo-Zulu-War of 1879.The group was formed in Brecon, WALES in 1998 by our founder "MO JONES". I have his E-mail address should anyone want to contact him for further details of our aims and functions.

My purpose as record keeper and archivist is to gather as much information about events at ISANDLWANA and RORKES DRIFT as possible. My "snail-mail" address is as follows:
Any help on ANY matters regarding this period of military history would be most welcome. Thank you.

From: Cameron Simpson
Subject: Natal Volunteers in the Boer WAr 1899-1902
Date posted: Wed 14 Nov 2001

I have put together an biographical A-Z Nominal Roll of Natal Volunteers (Natal Mounted Rifles, Durban Light Infantry ext) who served in the Boer War 1899-1902 based on Medal Rolls held at the London PRO. I am including any previous or subsequent service in the hope that when I get my work to print It will be a comprehensive record. The under mentioned biography is an example of the format of my work. BARTER. E.W. E-29.9.99. TSM NC (49) 'Rietfontein' 'Lombards Kop' 'DoL' 'Laing's Nek' Lt 30.9.00. E-1.10.00. Lt NVCR. TVL 30.11.00-31.5.02. Zululand Frontier Sept-Oct 01. Capt. D-31.7.02. Capt 28.9.04. 'Right Wing' NC, Zulu Reb 06. Maj 15.5.07. Brev-Lt-Col 19.5.11. 1MR (NC) 1.7.13.

If any medal collectors or historians know of any Natalian who served on strength of a Natal Formation during the Boer War who served later in WW1 or previously in the Zulu War and indeed any other campaign I would love to here from you. On the other hand I may be able to help someone else out with a problem. I have available details on all Australians who served in the Boer War including those who served in the Irregular Formation.

From: Mark Breen
Subject: Special event STAMPS - South African Forces
Date posted: 12th November 2001

I collect Stamps and in particular special event covers from the SA Navy, Defense Force, Airforce, Army, Police etc. I have tried contacting several stamp dealers in SA, but it seems that no-one really knows who issues these things, and who has a master list of what was issued and when. Can you help at all in pointing me in the correct direction? The only good lead I have so far is for the Airforce Covers - I have been in contact with the Airforce Museum and they have helped with those.

303.334.8457 (voice)
720.837.7199 (cell)

From: G.B. Hall
Subject: East Africa WW1 - KONIGSBERG GUN
Date posted: 1 November 2001

Does anyone know of the whereabouts of any surviving gun from SMS Konigsberg used in the East African Campaign? A European Society is anxious to trace one. I should be grateful for any help you could give.

From: Captain G. F. Leibbrandt
Subject:WW-II South Africa A spy called "HAMLET" (Mr. Johannes Elferink)
Date posted: 29 Oct 2001

This is Captain Gotlieb Frederik Leibbrandt in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Would like to pursue our research in the data eventually available on: WW-II South Africa A spy called "HAMLET" (Mr. Johannes Elferink) During the period of Robey (S. R.) Leibbrandt. (Yes, here is my "link") I am from the Guendelbach pedigree and S. R. was from Ilsfeld - Germany.

We know enough (?) about S. R. but hardly anything about "Hamlet" Who can help, even a hint "on the way".

From:Sheryl Cooke
Subject: Women in SA during WW11
Date posted: 25th October 2001

I'm currently working on fiction which involves WWII. I am particularly interested in the role that South African women played in the war in South Africa - I've read about the SWANS, and would like to know more about the organisation or similar ones. I am also interested in whether there was much opportunity for them to get in contact with British soldiers, perhaps on R&R from other areas in Africa?? What I am most interested in is the daily life of the women, what tasks they had to do for the war effort, whether they had the same rationing there was in Europe, etc. I would appreciate it if anyone with some knowledge (especially first-hand) would get in touch with me.

From: Mark
Subject: Bethal East Comdo.1922 Rand Revolt
Date posted: 21st October 2001

Seeking information on this unit, it O/C and its role during 1922 Rand Revolt. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

From: Chris Boonzaier
Subject: Major Hendrik Stephanus Pretorius
Date posted: 10 Oct 2001

I am looking for information relating to Major Hendrik Stephanus Pretorius. I have some information, but it is rather confusing. He was awarded the DSO in WW1 as a member of the 4th Mounted brigade, for actions in South West Africa. Gerald L´anges book on the campaign does not mention the 4th being there at all. He was awarded the DTD for boer war services, according to the listing he was Kapt. H.S. Pretorius on General Bothas staff. Does the rank of Kapt. in the Boer forces mean he was a regular officer ? Is there anyone who may be able to help in finding any information on Pretorius and where and in what units he may have served, as well as details on the 4th Mtd Brigade in WW1. He must have seen at least some action to get the DSO.

Thanks in advance for any help.

From: Karen Gaffney
Subject: Nurses in the Anglo-Boer Wars Date posted: 17th September 2001

I am looking for information on my British great-grandmother, Kathleen Lucia Green who was a nurse in the 2nd Anglo-Boer War. Does anyone know where I can find the names of nurses who served in the war? I can be contacted on either email address below. Thanks!

From: Tanya Jonker-Bryce
Subject: Captain Gordon "Lippy" Lipawksy
Date posted: 17th September 2001

I am researching the life and mysterious death of Capt Gordon "Lippy" Lipawksy, who joined the SA Air Force in Juny 1940. He saw action as a second lieutenant in 43rd squadron in North Africa. In 1944, he reached the rank of temporary major and saw action in Africa and Italy during the Korean war. For most of the war he was with the SA Air Force No.1 fighter squadron. Any assistance and information, either about Lipawksy or his family, would be appreciated. P.O. Box 263, East London, 5200

From: Alex Smart
Subject: Rupert John Stevens/12 SAAf Squadron
Date posted: 3 September 2001

I am trying to find out the serial number and code letter of the Martin Maryland flown by Stevens on his last flight with 12 SAAF Squadron on 14/11/1941 when he was shot down near Bardia to become a POW and be shot as one of those taking part in the Great Escape. I have all the others last aircraft flown details but his.Please help.

From: Charlie Turner
Subject: Spitfire EP 689
Date posted: 27 Aug 2001

601 Sqdn left Malta for Sicily on 14th July 1943 and arrived at Tortorella one of the Foggia airfields Italy 1943.
I think the Spitfire EP 689 could be the one which crashed at Lentini (near Catania) whilst giving the Bofors gunners some practice against low flying a/c. On about the third dive on one gun he hit the gun barrel,killing one gunner and himself. The pilots straps broke and he hit his head on the gunsight resulting in his death.
I witnessed this accident but I cannot remember the date or the pilot's name,Sept.22 could be correct.

I am also interested in No 1 and 40 Saaf Sqdns they were with us on 244 Wing at one time.

Charlie Turner ex 601 Sqdn Fitter 2E.

From: "Eric De Jager"
Subject: 32 Battalion
Date posted: 19th August 2001

I'm searching for all information i can get on the Buffalo Battalion, 32 battalion.

From: Col. Mike Haas, USAF, ret., author
Subject:Capt Christopher Schulenberg
Date posted: 19th August 2001

I am attempting to research anecdotal information on a South African from Lichtenberg, the Transvaal, who fought with distinction in the Rhodesian War; a Capt Christopher Schulenberg who served at different times with the Rhodesian RLI, SAS, and Selous Scouts. As I already have copies of the books "The Elite" and "Selous Scouts: Top Secret War," I am particularly interested in locating magazine articles on this impressive individual, or perhaps individuals who knew Capt Schulenberg. Thankyou in advance!

From: Willem Kasselman
Subject: Cape Province battles
Date posted: 14th August 2001

I grew up in the district of Riversdale in South Africa and my family are still farming in the area. As children, we were told stories about a battle that took place between rebels and English soldiers, and I remember how scared we were of the room where some of the soldiers were rumored to have died.

I have since searched the archives of British information, and it appears that this battle may have taken place about 20 kilometers from Riversdale on the way to what is today known as Still Bay, on 12 September 1901. Parties that may have been involved included the Riversdale Town Guards under Lt. Smalberger and some soldiers from Cape Town under a Major Kavanach.

If anyone knows more about this event, I shall be grateful if they would contact me at

From: Peter
Subject: Delville Wood medals - MISSING
Date posted: 16th July 2001

Do any of your members know how to recover lost/sold medals of my father Frederick Moodie who served in the 2nd SAI in WW1. He was wounded in Delville Wood and received a French campaign medal and then many years later, went to France to receive an anniversary commemorative medal of Delville Wood. Both these medals were lost/sold and I want to try and recover them. Any help will be appreciated.

tel Canada 416-408-7474 bus and
tel Canada 705-324-6734 res.

From: Mark
Subject: 37 Forestry Coy. SAEC
Date posted: 16th July 2001

I am interested in obtaining more information about this unit which saw service in the East African campaign, WW11. Apparently recruited in Knysna and commanded by (1) Capt FS Laughton (2) Capt AD Mitchell. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

From: Simon Lillywhite
Subject: Patrick ('Paddy') Green
Date posted: 3rd July 2001

My question is - could anyone tell me how to get in contact with Group Captain C. Patrick (Paddy) Green DSO DFC, a South African air ace who was a friend of US sportsman, aviator and adventurer, Billy Fiske, the first American to die fighting with the RAF in WWII and about whom I am researching a biography. Billy learned to fly with Paddy and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this time in Billy's life with Paddy or his relatives.

From: Mike Heavey
e-mail: "m.heavey"
Subject: Spitfire EP689
Date posted: 3 July 2001

I am researching the history of EP689 to accompany a model I have of her. She was transported to the middle east on 8th September 1942 arriving on 30th October 1942,transferred to Malta on 1st July 1943, ending up in Sicily on 30th November 1943 as part of 601(F) squadron and met her fate on 22nd September 1943 during practice strafing attack at Catania. Can any one please help to fill the gaps with pilot details, service record and a photo would be out of this world!!! Many thanks

Subject: Grenadier Guards
Date posted: 21 May 2001

My grandfather served with the Grenadier Guards from 1896 to 1903 he was awarded the Queens South Africa medal Orange free state and the Kings South Africa medal 1901 & 1902. I saw a programme on British t.v. a few weeks ago and there was a man talking about the Boer war whilst standing by a large rock on which were carved the names of some Grenadier Guardsmen. Does anybody know where that rock is?

From: valerie garton
Subject: Walter R HIGGINSON
Date posted: 10th May 2001

I would like to find out when and where this man was born, who his parents were and when and where he died. Can anyone help please.

Findings so far.

English Army List 1875
HIGGINSON Walter R, Infantry Militia - Ireland, Royal Dublin City, Queens Own Regiment, 23 June 1875.

Colonial Office List 1888
HIGGINSON Walter Robert - Formerly lieut. in the Dublin City Militia; served through Cape war of 1877-78 in the F.A.M.P.; lieut. and adj. 3rd regiment., Natal native contingent, Nov., 1878; present at the attack on ? kraal, at the battle of Isandhlana; mentioned in the dispatches having endeavored to save the colours of the 1/24th regiment; appointed capt. 3rd troop, Natal horse; present at Ulundi, and during the siege of Pretoria (medal and clasp for 1877-8-9; assistant inspector, G C C , Aug 1881; government secretary and superintendent of police, Gambia, Dec 1886.

From: Eileen Walmsley
Subject: Boer War
Date posted: 10th May 2001

My husbands great uncle was Samuel Lewis he was born in England in 1873 and was in the Boer War but didn't return to England, he married a black lady and the last time my husbands mother heard from him was in the early 1940s, we don't know if he died at that time he would have been in his seventies so it is quiet possible.

They did have some children but my husband doesn't know how many, he says that his mother told him he worked in a diamond mine but where we have no idea.

I know we haven't much to go on but we would love to try and find out about him, his parents were David and Betsy Lewis they were living in Sheffield Yorkshire at the time he would have gone in the Army.

From: Andrea Berchowitz
Subject: East African campaign
Date posted: 7 May 2001

I have many photographs of 41 squadron in action. If you are interested please contact me.

From: Alan Dezzani
Subject: Second World War POWs
Date posted: 4 May 2001

I'm trying to locate four former POWs who were prisoners of the Italians during the Second World War. They escaped following the surrender of Italy in 1943 and made their way to Switzeland. Their party also included a single Russian. Enroute they were proved with aid by my mother and her family. Through my research, I determined that they were South African. Their names and ranks are as follows:

Louw.W.P Rank: PTE No. 195939
Cloete.L Rank: PTE No. 39897
Rose.G.E Rank: L/CPL No. 25738
Wallace.N.A Rank: CPL No. 32127

Can you direct me an agency ot organization which help me locate and contact these gentlemen? Any response would be appreciated.

Alan Dezzani
169 Claremont Ave
Santa Clara, California, 95051, USA

From: Malcolm Wren
Subject: AFRIKAANS books for England: SA-bib-UK
Date posted: 4 May 2001

Daar is na raming enegiets tussen 200 000 en 500 000 Afrikaansspreukendes in Engeland. Hier is groot smagting na dinge Boers.

Ek wil bittergraag hier 'n Afrikaanse Biblioteek stig, vir gebruik deur die smagtendes hier; Om die boere kultuur hier te behou en bevorder. Dus word boeke verlang van enige en alle aard, van Kinderboeke tot Geskiedenis, deur die kleur-ryke letterkunde.

Uit die aard van die saak, is dit vir my ontmoontlik om self soveel boeke te koop, dus hoop ek vir skenkings van die bôgenoemde. Vir die wat wel 'n boek of meer sal skenk, maar sien nie kaans vir die posgeld tot Engeland, is 'n sentale adress in SA beskikbaar, waaruit ek dan die boeke in vraggte kan invoer, en dan self die posgelde betaal. Dit sal onprakties wees om die posgelde van honderde enkele boeke by verskei individue dit te proebeer doen.

Weens my eie smagting na dinge boers, het ek reeds 'n klompie Afrikaanse boeke 'n tydjie geleede gekoop. Ek is op 'n paar Afrikaanse poslyste, en doen vertaaling van nuusbrokkies uitgestuur deur een lys vir ander Engelsspeukendes wat 'n behoefte het vir Boerenuus, en ook ander vertalins............ soos ander reeds weet, is my hart is opreg.......

Boeke wat u wel bereid is om direk aan my te pos, kan aan die volgende adres gestuur word;

Malcolm Wren
22 Abbott Close
OX11 8HX

Andersins, boeke wat u bereid is aan my te skenk, maar nie Engeland toe te pos nie, kan aan die volgende SA adres gestuur word;

Malcolm Wren
c/o Posbus 46079

From: Dave Ward
Subject: 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th S A Infantry regiments WWII
or photo Jack Walsh

Date posted: 26 March 2001

Would you be able to advise: I am trying to locate a photograph of the late Capt J.D. Walsh (Jack) who served. My great Aunt who lives in the UK has not one photograph of her father and I would like to find out any information in regard to obtaining such a photograph.
Capt Jack Walsh was killed in action near Hlazin( North Africa) 02/01/16.

From: Alun.PEDLER
Date posted: 12 March 2001

I am ploughing through the internet trying to find information on a Merchant Navy ship owned by the South Africa Docks and Railways (?)[Probably SA Railways and Harbours - Ed]called the COLUMBINE which was sunk in the last days of World War 2 whilst running cargo from the east coast to Freetown.

This is for a friend's surprise party for her 80 year old father who was rescued from the sinking. I would be grateful if anybody is able to throw light on the incident - as we are relying on the memory of a war veteran who served out of SA in the latter part of the conflict the facts above may be hazy.

Many thanks if you can help.

From: Michael F. Bac
Subject: Clock given to W.A. Watts on occassion of his marriage
Date posted: 5th March 2001

I am seeking information about one W.A Watts. I have a mantle clock that has a plaque on it which states:
Presented to W.A. Watts
by the Band of the
6 & 9 Cos R.G.A. Vols
Poole & Parkstone
on the occasion of his marriage
June 10th 1905

Any information that would help me locate the ancestors of W.A. Watts would be appreciated. I may be reached by e-mail at or by mail at:
Michael Bac
423 Prospect Apt A
Bridgeport, PA 19406 USA

From: Ron
Subject: A.S. Botha of Heidelberg
Date posted: 5th March 2001

I have a 7m.m. Mauser rifle neatly stamped A.S..BOTHA HEIDELBERG
This man is pictured twice in the book "Heidelbergers of the Boer War" by Ian Uys (once on page 212, photo taken in 1897, and secondly inside the front cover 2nd row 3rd from right holding a white cane. I was told by Mr Uys that this photo was taken in the Heidelburg kloof)

S.A. State Archives have told me that "A.S. Botha acted as registrar in the Heidelburg Landdrost office, was the Arsenal Keeper, secretary of the Liquor Commission and shortly after war broke out he applied for the position of Public Prosecutor"

But that is where the story ends. Can anyone assist with any further information ? I would like to know what his Christian names were and any other information that may be relevant to his possible ABW service.

Date posted: 5th March 2001

In July 1901 Colonel Crabbe's column was pursuing Kritzinger in the mountainous country to the South of Cradock. He in turn was ambushed by Kritzinger at a farm called Jackalsfontein half way between Cradock and Somerset East, on 21st July 1901. Incidentally the farm and the old buildings still exist. My uncle who was in the Prince Alfred's Guard was scouting for the column and was severely injured. I have in my possession three different histories of the Guards all of which describe the event in fair detail. However it is obvious that they have all been either drawn from the same source or the two later accounts have been purloined from the first. Consequently I am a little dubious about their accuracy particularly as Kritzinger's own description of the event is somewhat different.

Would anyone know the composition of Crabbe's column, please, so that I can try to get a different angle on the fight from other regimental histories. Better still would there be an official record of it hidden away somewhere.

Any help that you could give would be very much appreciated.

From: Bertie Jensen
Subject: jackson walfred
Date posted: 5th March 2001

He died in egypt.(Rommel)
Was known as Wallie
Had something to do with planes(flying/ing/etc)
Looking for his relatives in RSA
Relatives lived in Uncle Charlies-Vereniging area years ago

Please E-MAIL AT or phone Bertie Jensen 0828823560

From: Prof Okkie De Jager
Subject: South Africans in 92nd Coloured Division in France 1917
Date posted: 19 February 2001

I have a letter addressed to Private Douglas Tanner from Transkei. Written on 30 July 1917, addressed to Army Post Office, France.

At Cape Town (?), it was readdressed to 92nd L. Operating, B.E.F., France. The mail was accepted in Bolton (Hampshire).

On the net I see that the 92nd Division was an African American/coloured division.It seems as if South Africans also served in this division.

Any information?

From: Mark
Subject: 1 Mtd Cdo Bde
Date posted: 17th February 2001

I would appreciate any info re First Mounted Commando Brigade / Division, Ladysmith, 1940. Thanks.

From: Mark
Subject: Comdt JC Naude
Date posted: 17th February 2001

I would appreciate any information on this man. Apparently he led one of the Commandoes in Gen JC Smuts' Commando Group in the ABW.

From: jeffrey fowler
Subject: SADF Special units - mounted
Date posted: 14 February 2001

I am currently completing the Axis Cavalry in WWII title for Osprey Publishing in the UK.
I would like to undertake a proposed Osprey Men-At-Arms series title on the SADF's special units which included horses for long-range patrolling. Are there SA sources which could provide photos and mission information for such a project?
My interest lies predominately in what you call "reconnaissance commandos", equipment, and mounted training.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
My snail-mail address is: Dr. Jeffrey T. Fowler, 4125 SW State Route T, Polo, Missouri 64671, USA.

From: Jeff Schur
Subject: Tobruk POWs
Date posted: 12th February 2001

I am trying to trace the journey of Gnr Ken Breakey #108866 who was a private in one of the Ack Ack regiments of the #2 South African Division.

He was taken prisoner along with +- 33,000 others on July 21st 1942. He was taken to Italy, we think to a camp in Lucca and then to Germany. Before he died in 1974, he talked vaguely about the horror march across Europe. We are not certain which camp he was in but he survived the war and was repatriated to South Africa. Like many of his counterparts he spoke little about his awful experiences.

We would appreciate information from anyone who knows anything about the transport of those prisoners as well as specifics if possible, from others in Kenny's regiment.
(Any help would be appreciated and reciprocated.)

From: Ronnie Cusworth
Subject: HMS Assegai - HMS Kongoni
Date posted: 12th Feb 2001

I'm at present researching my father's service record in the Royal Marines during WWII. His service records show him at HMS "Assegai" and HMS "Kongoni" Through my research I've discovered them to have been shore establishments at Durban. Can any reader give me any information on them whatsoever, and does anyone have photographs of these establishments or where I may be able to obtain photographs of these two shore establishments. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

From: Sid Appleton
Subject: 227th Squadron RAF (Berka 111) and 19th RSAF Members Cyprus / Libya and Italy
Date posted: 29th January 2001

My father was a Flight Sgt Pilot S B Appleton with the 227th (Beufighters) and was KIA on 22nd February 1944. Stationed on his death at Berka 111 somewhere in Libya, his navigator was Flight Sgt Jack Fenton and the CO was S/Leader DENIS B Benett.

Three Beufighters from the squadron were lost on 22nd February 1944 while attacking a convoy off the coast of Crete, it comprised of the Enemy Motor Vessel "LIVENZA" which was accompanied by two escort Vessels Five (5) miles North of Candia. This convoy was also protected by German ME109 Fighters.

One aircraft ditched (reason unknown to me) one aircraft was shot down by heavy flack (I believe from a letter recived from South Africa and written by S/Leader Benett that this was my fathers aircraft). One Aircraft was shot down by an ME109

My Farther often wrote to my mother about South Africa and had every intention of living their after the war, Now after all these years and with the wonders on the internet are their any members of this squadron who has knowledge of the 227th on Cyprus, Libya as the 227th or in Italy as the 19th RSAF? From South Africa and on the death of one of my Farthers brothers I have recieved documents that make me believe that (If still alive) Some of my farthers friends and colleges are South African and may be alive and well. Also Does any one know about the other members of the squadron who were downed that day

F Scarlet
F/S Geoffrey S Hartley (He joined the 227th with my Farther)
F/O John C Corlett
and the only survivor of the three lost aircraft F/O Gwynfor Williams

Please if you can help me to learn more about a man I never had the pleasure of seeing and of any of the men who served with him please respond to this request.

S J Appleton (Son)

From: Allan Jackson
Subject: 7/23 Medium Regiment
Date posted: 28th January 2001

My uncle Bdr. M.S. Salmon served with the 7/23 Medium Artillery Regiment in Italy during WWII. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who is presently researching this unit or who could give me a lead on any published information and pictures about it. A group photo would be a bonus!!! I have already seen N. Orpen's Victory in Italy.

Phone number +27-31-206-0542
Cell: 0893-777-6862
Allan's Article Archive:

From: Mark Neude
Date posted: 20th January 2001

Does anyone have any information on the "Orange River Colony Voluneer Repatriation Scheme"? What it was; Who it affected etc. etc. Many Thanks.

From: Walter Van Opstal
Subject: Wits Rifles/Delarey Reg't
Date posted: 20th January 2001

I am trying to find out more about the cirumstances surrounding the death of my wife's gandfather Corporal G.S. Waud, who served with the then amalgamated Witwatersrand Rifles / Delarey Regiment in North Africa. Cpl Waud died on 7th March 1944 and is buried in a military cemetery in Egypt.

I would appreciate any tips on how to find out more about the activities of this unit around that date and how to track down the service history of our ancestor.

From J R Lees
Subject: Royal Dragoons
Date posted: 17th January 2001

As far as my 1st Royal Dragoons archive is concerned I have medal rolls, officers biographical details, a card index of all? soldiers of the Royals who served in the Great War, casualty details, etc, etc.

From: stephen dunkley
Subject: collecting insignia
Date posted; 17th January 2001

i am at present collecting s.a.d.f shoulder flashes rhodesia insignia and southern africa special units\forces and liberation\geurilla forces insignia.i am also starting to collect para wings of all southern african forces regular\irregular.
if there is anyone who can help me with my intrests please contact me at above e mail

From: Hart Smeeks
Subject: Jameson Raid firearms
Date posted: 6 January 2001

I own an antique gun which I believe was used by one of the invaders in the Jameson Raid. I have been told the raiders' guns were captured and put in storage until they were discovered in police storage during the 1970s. Mine was then bought by a collector. Can anyone tell me of any newspaper articles of the 1970s that would confirm the rediscovery of these guns? Even better, does anyone know where the official records might be found that list the types and serial numbers of these guns, so that I might confirm the provenance of mine?

From: Gary
Subject: Info about Boer War and email friends wanted
Date posted: 4th January 2001

I am trying to find out if there is any way of knowing where 9101 Lieutenant, Joseph Walter DURHAM is buried. He was a New Zealander serving with the 10th Contingent in the Boer War. He died in South Africa on the 13th of April 1904 of a unknown sickness. I would be very thankful for any help.

Also is there any members who would like to email me with the aim of an on going friend ship with the same interest of Medals.
I see a number of Medals mamed to South African's here for sale and I would like to know more about them etc.

From: Gordon
Subject: The Silver Maida Medal
Date posted: 4th January 2001

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am making a request for assistance. Over the past three years I have been preparing a definitive account of the Gold Awards of the Period 1793-1815, viz the Naval Large and Small Gold Medals, the Maida Gold Medal, the Army Gold Crosses, Large Gold Medals and Small Gold Medals. I am at the stage where I am close to completion, there are however a number of items which require fine tuning. This is one of them

There were 17 Gold Medals awarded for the Maida battle, further to those there is the well recorded Silver Gold Medal of Pearce LOWEN. What I am trying to find is anything which can enhance the following entry, service on the Cape Frontier, and anything to do with this man. As you will see he makes Bernard Cornwall's incredibally popular ficitional character Sharpe look like a wimp.

Many thanks in anticipation, Yours Aye G/.

Gordon's 4th Ed states "A silver medal was awarded to Lt Pearce Lowen, 4th Foot, but the reason for this, apparently, unique award cannot be traced."
Balmer records as the "(4th Foot) Medal for Maida 1806. Silver Struck, 40mm diameter. Naming "Lieut. Pearce Lowen, 4 Ft Regt". In the Palmer Collection. This medal is in all respects identical to the Maida Gold Medal.

It would appear that Lowen distinguished himself in the light infantry fighting with the French, leading his Corsican skirmishers, and STUART decided to reward him with a silver copy of the Maida Medal.
LOWEN Pearce, born Dover, 1773. Ensign, Cole's Foot 10May1799 (from its ranks), and with Villette's Albanian Regiment in Corfu until 1800, half pay 1802 Lt 25Jul1805, Royal Corsican Rangers in Malta. Capt 13Jun1811, 1814 Adjutant, name is mentioned on a number of occasions with Church (see Note 4 Chapter 7), being his adjutant/2IC at the capture and defence of Capri in 1808, MID.
He commanded a force in support of operations in Jun1809 against the islands of Ischia and Prochida in the Bay of Naples. From the Sep, Lowen for the next 6 years was a quasi military governor and commander of various ancillary forces paid with British gold, in the islands along the Dalmatian coast. Supporting the local population, and carrying out 'commando' type raids on the French. 130 years later British commando units doing the same role against the Germans, and using Lowen's house as their HQ! His nominal commander HOSTE, Capt, RN, and he worked well together in these minor operations, although at times with a little annoyance. (for these fascinating times, see A British Officer in the Eastern Adriatic, 1812-1815

The Story of Captain Pearce Lowen of Korcula', D.W.King, OBE. FLA; JSAHR pp.2729 1980, and 'The Operations of George Duncan Robertson's Forces from Lissa (Vis) at Trieste, etc", JSAHR pp.174-175). Returned to the Rangers in the Ionian Islands, on the handover of the Dalmatian Islands to the Austrians, half pay when Corps disbanded end of 1816. Capt, Cape Mounted Rifles, 1820, in 1835 as a Bt.Maj (1830) promoted substantively to fill a Maj's vacancy, none of his commissions had been by purchase!. He saw much action on the Frontier over this entire period, especially during the Kaffir War of 1835, described by D'URBAN as "Maj Lowen, a very excellent old officer" (then being 62), but his main attribute was his political ability to deal effectively with the Boers and the southward advancing tribes, after his dealings with the peoples of the Balkans, it would have been easy.
In 1842 serving with William Gonn, the Corps Paymaster, who had also served at Maida in the Rangers, both retired that year. Died Grahamstown, 7May1846. KH 1837.

Incorrectly recorded as having been awarded the Waterloo Medal, of course never claimed the MGS clasp Maida, nor the 1853 South Africa Medal.

38 Bridge Road, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia, 2145
Tel 02 98911716

From: Riyadh
E-mail :
Subject: WWII Italian POW Giuseppe Dabianco
Date posted 4th January 2001

My father was born in August 1945, the son of Gadija, a farm worker in Orchard near Worcester, Western Cape, and a man whose identity remained a mystery to my father and myself until recently. On her deathbed my grandmother revealed that my paternal grandfather was an Italian prisoner of war who was working on the Du Toit's Kloof Pass during his period of captivity here. She said that his name was Dabianco (this is merely a guess at the correct spelling) and that his given name may have been Giuseppe (my father's name is Yusuf, perhaps the Arabic equivalent of Joseph/Giuseppe?).
I have only recently started trying to find out more about my grandfather.
Can anyone please help or guide me in the right direction?
+27 21 658 0033
+27 82 8988 978

From: "Jean Bradfield"
Subject: Linden Bradfield Webster

Two brothers John & Charles Bradfield, my ancestors, volunteered for the Imperial Yeomanry and sailed for Table Bay on the 10th February 1900. Charles was wounded in the leg at Lindley on 3rd July and was helped off the field by John and invalided home. When Charles arrived home in Milton, Berks, England he learnt that John had been killed at Bethlehem on 13th July as part of Gen. Paget's column. Any information about John's grave and/or a memorial would be welcome. Charles later returned to the African continent. In the Military History Journal Vol. 1 No. 7 "Reminiscences of Linden Bradfield Webster concerning the Boer War" were published. I have a lost ancestor call Linden Bradfield who might have gone to S. Africa. Does anyone know the story of how a Webster came to have as Christian names my ancestors names. Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.

Bill Bradfield.

Re. Query: Cape Mounted Rifles.

Posted 19 Feb 2000 by

I have some information for the sender but my mail is returned from the address given. Su Brown should please contact Mike Hardisty at

From: David Green
Subject: Fall of Tobruk.
Date posted: 14 Oct 2000

I am researching Tobruk from 1941-1942 and I would welcome any help about suitable or obscure texts or information sources such as archives etc. I would also like to trace a copy of the original inquiry into the fall of Tobruk. I would like to learn as much as possible about South Africa`s military its role in North Africa. Any and all assistance greatly appreciated.

Date sent: Thu, 21 Sep 2000
From: UCT Student - YNGALI001

I am currently conducting research into Operation Savannah (1975-76) for a Masters in History at the University of Cape Town. I am looking at both the military campaign itself and its impact on life in South Africa. I would be grateful for any recollections/hints no matter how vague, from both soldiers and civilians.

Many thanks,
Nerys John
Cape Town
083 470 3630(cell)

Date sent: Mon, 17 Jul 2000


I would like to comment on the diary of HORACE BELL being on-line, and say how much I appreciate this documented history of my GG uncle. The sister of HORACE BELL is CAROLINE BELL, my Paternal GGgrandmother& I have been researching the family history. His father was DAVID WILLIAMSON BELL of Harrison Co., IN. I have a Bio. on him as well as the siblings. I would be interested in communicating with any living relatives! Thank you, Mary Postma 1030 Old Trail Road Rockaway Beach, MO 65740

From: Betsy Lyde

Date sent: Sun, 2 Jul 2000

Subject: South African WWII POWs - searching for a George Schwartz

Hello, I am seeking information on a George Schwartz who was from Johannesburg, and served in the 9th Corp, fought in North Africa, was captured and sent to a camp in northern Italy. From there he escaped into the mountains in Yugoslavia where he was rescued by a group of Yugoslavian partisans hiding in the woods, caves, barns, etc. They had also rescued my uncle, Corbin "Ben" McPherson who had been shot down over Yugoslavia on an air mission about the same time. For the next 67 days Ben and George were protected by the partisans as they returned them from behind enemy lines to the Allies in Italy on April 29, 1944. The leader of those partisans was Tito, who later became President of Yugoslavia. Ben returned to Yugoslavia in 1983 and met some of the people who had hidden them, and at the Research Institute of Ljubljana, Slovenia saw records of at least 389 Brits, Americans, South Africans, and Free French who were rescued and helped to escape back out. However, he never knew what happened to George Schwartz, the other rescued soldier who shared this experience with him during that time. He would be interested in any information about him. Thank you, Betsy Lyde 520 McKown Sherman, Texas USA

Email address:

From: Mac Williams <>

Subject: SA Military Medals

Date sent: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 03:43:45 -0700 (PDT)

I have in my possession medals belonging to a J J Patton, received during 1945. They have the serial number 10007 on them. Any information that can be sent to me about these I would be very grateful. What I would dearly love to do is gain enough information to be able to return them to the owner or his family. Please contact me on my email address if you have any information at all - W M Williams

Gorringe's Flying Column

Mike Mortlock, grandson of Thomas Frederick Mortlock is looking for information on Gorringe's Flying Column. He wants to know more about their claim to have travelled 100 miles on horseback in 24 hours. Col. C F Gorringe raised the unit in Graaff-Reinet for general service during the war, and it was later broken up and reformed. Anyone with information can send it to Mike, c/o Rose Willis, at Fax: 023-414 3675.


From: "foxes" <>

Date sent: Tue, 30 May 2000 09:05:48 +0100

I am research the life of GEORGE BROOKS BENNETT who served in the commissariat during the period 1850-1871. He was initially stationed at Capetown, later went on to Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown and Fort Beaufort. On his retirement as Chief Staff Paymaster of the Cape Command, he returned to Capetown where he lived to the age of 92. Apart from any references to his career, I am looking for background information about the Commissariat at this period and about the locations mentioned above. Regards the latter, I would welcome info on books, biographies that provide descriptions of life at this time. Also any info on where I can find copies of maps showing roads/topography of the Eastern Cape region. Many thanks

Subject 7 Sqn SAAF

From Andrew Phedonos

P.O.Box 53105, 3300 Limassol, Cyprus

Researching for book on history of RAF on Cyprus. 7 Sqn SAAF briefly on Cyprus during Aegean campaign of 1943, as well as other Sth Africans with the other RAF squadrons. Need photos desparately of the airmen and/or aircraft to record their presence for history. Can anybody help please ? Photos, information, surviving airmen locations, families of departed that may have photos. Many thanks.


Subject: Boer War Unit

From:Richard Perry

I am trying to research a medal to LCpl L Cope C in C Bdy Gd (QSA with clasps South Africa 1901, Transvaal and Orange Free State). I am struggling to find anything about this small unit. Thanks.

Subject: Transkei Signal Corps.
From:Cliff Lord

I am very interested to know the history of the Transkei Signal Corps. Recently I obtained a cap badge to this unit and would like to know more about it. Where was it based, when formed and what did it consist of and so on. Can any one help please.

I am Corps Historian for RNZ Signals and have a keen interest on all matters army signals world wide.

Cliff Lord
(Hon Hist RNZSigs)

From: "terence kinsella"
Subject: Cape Garrison Artillery
Date: Sun, 06 Feb 2000 20:37:18 GMT

Could you tell me if any records survive of individuals serving in the CGA. I have made enquirie with regard to Bandsman Patrick Kinsella, who served in this Regiment.I know this from a commemorative medal I was given.My beleif is that he was my grandfather, however certain things do not seem to fit with what I have been told by his close relatives. I would be grateful if you might 'point me in the right direction'so to speak. If these things are in any way confidential I would be happy to set up a written correspondence with whom it may

From: Public PC Patron
Subject: reenactment
Organization: UCLA Library

Do you know of any military reenactors in your country who would be interested in taking part in a documentary film I will make in your country about the Boer war?I would ask them to recreate battles in uniforms,etc.Thanks;

From: "graham lord"
Subject: 25 saaf squadron balkan air force 1944
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000

i am looking for any one who may have known my father 1627055 stan lord raf air gunner.he was part of the balkan air force at this time. ihave his log book and the pilots most mentioned were a lt dorning and a lt brightman.
here is a page from his log dated 31 3 1945. SUMMERY OF THIS PAGE. a craft marauder hd 594 and hd439 bombing of m yards at ocucani yugoslavia 12 ac led by capt gerneke.2 bombs in target area balance overshot. ht 11000 ft no opposition b load 6x 500 am ,2x250 br. i would appreciate any help in my investigations i have photos of men and air craft also other items such as an autographed 500 lire war issue note.yours sincerely jerry lord.

From: "Mr M Chandler"
Subject:Anglo-Boer War - Australian Unit "A.V.D." Mystery
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000 16:00:20 +1000

I work for the Australian Army Medals Section. Recently, we have received an increased number of enquiries regarding Australians who served in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War. One such enquiry relates to a soldier who is recorded as having served with the Fifth South Australian Imperial Contingent, and in a unit recorded as "A.V.D." Unfortunately, this office has ben unable to identify this latter unit.

It has been suggested that the soldier concerned may have seen service in one of the Colonial units raised in South Africa, and that your organisation might be of some help in identifying that unit.
Query: Cape Mounted Rifles
Sat, 19 Feb 2000 14:04:42 EST

I am seeking information about the Cape Mounted Rifles and their history. Is there a list any where of the men who served there. I am looking for my great grand father William Johnson and the only reference we can find is on his daughters marriage certificate. We know from this that he was deceased by 1907. Any information about the Rifles would be gratefully received.
Su Brown
Query:The Pretoria Highlanders

There seems to be a complete lack of published material on this regiment and I have been trying for some considerable time to find details of its history and uniform but without success..
Anyone who could help me? Any assistance gratefully received.
Alastair Campbell

From: "Tony"
Query:South African Military Nursing Service - 102 South African Military General Hospital - 1941-3
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 01:26:08 +1000

My mother was a Captain in the South African Military Nursing Service (SAMNS) - Capt Jean Nicholson, and she was stationed at the 102 South African Military General Hospital between 1941-3 at a place called Helmieh or Helmeih. On her behalf (my mother is now 83 and handicapped - blind), my father would like to know if any articles have been published on the 102 South African Military General Hospital and if there is any way of knowing/contacting any surviving members of staff (male or female) who would have served there between the years 1941 to 1943.
This would please my father very much as it would stimulate my mothers interest reminiscing about the past.

Date sent: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 18:37:09 -0800
From: smithers -
Subject: Regiment President Steyn

" Cpl. Hartley Smithers, 24061, Regiment President Steyn, my oldest brother, is buried in Catania War Cemetary, grave cross marked 1st March 1943. It is generally believed that he was killed in Italy but the date on the grave predates the allied attack in Sicily, suggesting that he was taken prisoner in North Africa and later died in Sicily. Is there a source of information which would tell me where and in which actions the Regiment was involved in North Africa? Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Is there a list of South Africans taken prisoner in North Africa?" -
Courtenay Smithers.
Please reply to me at

Mon, 20 Dec 1999 10:28:56 +1300
From: Naude -
Subject : Kapt J J Naude' - ZAR Spionasiekorps
Email :

I am seeking information and photographs concerning Kaptein J J Naude' who was apparently Head of the "Spionasiekorps" (Spy Service) of the ZAR from 1901. Any help appreciated. Thank you.

Mon, 29 Nov 1999 11:46:28 +1300
From: "David Reed"
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 21:22:41 -0000

Please add this to your web site South Africa Military History Society.

I seek further information on Sergeant (later Capt.) Edmund O'Toole V.C. winnner (Date of Gazette: 9th October 1879). First Couth African-born man serving with a South African Unit under British Command to win the VC (9th Lancers in the Cape Frontier Light Horse, South African Forces.

Deed on 3rd July 1879 at Ulundi, Zululand along with Capt. W.L. de la P. Beresford saved a NCO's life. O'Toole was possibly born at Grahamstown, South Africa, aged unknown and died Sailsbury, Rhodesia in 1891. In the book by Ian S. Uys says that in 1890 Edmund is recorded at being a Trooper under Capt. Heany at a Pioneer Coloumn in Mashonaland, Rhodesia.

Any information welcome and any details above.

Yours sincerely
Victoria House

From : Mark Naudé
Subject : GSWA Units
E-mail :

I recently came accross the following two units "NAUDE'S COMMANDO" and "NAUDE'S SCOUTS". Apparently both units served with Gen L Botha in the GSWA campaign of WW1. I would appreciate any information regarding these units especially who the Commanding Officers were, also dates of existance, role, recruiting area etc. Any help appreciated.
Thank you.

From: "Gerry O'Neill" <>
Subject: King's Own Scottish Borderers in South Africa
Date sent: Sat, 9 Oct 1999 09:01:36 +0100


I am a serving Sgt in the KOSB who takes a keen interest in the Anglo Boer War. In my collection I have various Vol. & Militia medals to Borderers who served in South Africa.

I also have a wide range of regimental histories and medal rolls over this period for both the Vol. Coy's and the 3rd Militia Battalion.

If any of your members are interested or require research on the regiment then let me know (I do not charge any fee just enjoy the researching of anything to the Borderers)

Hope I can help.
Yours aye

Gerry O'Neill
E-Mail: gerry.o'
Mobile: 07979 75713

From: Graeme Marfleet -
Date sent: Mon, 31 May 1999 17:54:25 +1000
38 Bridge Road, Westmead NSW 2145, Australia

I am in the final stages of preparing a book on the Gold Medals and Crosses awarded to British officers during the Napoleonic Wars. Among the anomalies we always find with awards of British medals was the silver medal for Maida awarded to Lieut. Pearce Lowen of the 4th Foot. Lowen spent the last 40 years of his life in South Africa and I would very much appreciate any information anybody could add to what is already in the book. His son was killed in action in the 1840s while serving as an officer in the CMR. Lowen's entry in the book follows.

Gordon's 4th edition states "A silver medal was awarded to Lt Pearce Lowen, 4th Foot, but the reason for this, apparently, unique award cannot be traced." Balmer records as the "(4th Foot) Medal for Maida 1806. Silver Struck, 40mm diameter."Naming "Lieut. Pearce Lowen, 4 Ft Regt". In the Palmer Collection. This silver medal is in all respects identical to the Maida Gold Medal!

LOWEN Pearce, born Dover, 1773.Ensign, Cole's Foot 10 May 1799 (from the ranks), and with Villette's Albanian Regiment in Corfu until 1800, half-pay 1802 Lt 25Jul1805, Royal Corsican Rangers in Malta.

It would appear that he distinguished himself leading the skirmish line against the French, and Gen Stuart had the Silver Medal commissioned. Capt 13Jun1811, 1814 Adjutant. His name is mentioned on a number of occasions with Church (see entry for Greek Light Infantry, Chapter ??), being his adjutant/2IC at the capture and defence of Capri in 1808 and mentioned in despatches. He commanded a force in support of operations in June1809 against the islands of Ischia and Prochida in the Bay of Naples. For the next 6 years Lowen was a quasi military governor/commander of various ancillary forces paid with British gold, in the islands along the Dalmatian coast.. They were supporting the local population and carrying out 'commando' type raids on the French.

130 years later British commando units were doing the same, and using Lowen's house as a base! His nominal commander was Capt, Hoste RN; they worked well together in these minor operations, but at times with a little annoyance.(See A British Officer in the Eastern Adriatic, 1812-1815 The Story of Captain Pearce Lowen of Korcula', D.W.King, OBE. FLA; JSAHR pp.2729 1980, and 'The Operations of George Duncan Robertson's Forces from Lissa (Vis) at Trieste, etc", JSAHR pp.174-175).

When the Dalmatian Islands were handed over to the Austrians Lowen returned to the Rangers in the Ionian Islands. He was placed on half pay when the Corps was disbanded at the end of 1816.

Captain, Cape Mounted Rifles,1820, Bt.Maj 1830, substantive Major in 1835, none of his commissions had been by purchase!. He saw much action on the Frontier, especially during the Kaffir War of 1835 and was described by d'Urban as "Major Lowen, a very excellent old officer" (he was then 62).

His main attribute was his ability to deal effectively with the Boers and the advancing tribes, after his dealings with the peoples of the Balkans it would have been easy. In 1842 he was serving with Cleeves (the Paymaster of the Corps) who had also served at Maida in the Rangers; both retired that year. Died Grahamstown 27May1846. KH 1837. Incorrectly recorded as being present at Waterloo.

Please reply by e-mail or to the postal address above.

Gordon Mackinlay

From: "Vaughan Holmes"
Subject: Transkeian Military History
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 18:09:52 +0200

I would like to hear from anyone with information and suggestions to assist me in researching military and police activities in the Transkeian Territories. I collect any anecdote on the Cape Mounted Rifles, Transkei Mounted Rifles, Frontier Armed and Mounted Police, Tembuland Mounted Rifles, Fingo Levies etc, and I have information to share with anyone who is interested in the history of the Transkei in general and the military in particular. I would also like any information about Transkeians who died in the two world wars. One such casualty was my great uncle, Lieut Ernest Cameron Holmes, who was killed on 14 November 1916 at Ancre, France. He was in the King's Royal Rifle Corps and I have been unable to establish how he was killed as there appears to have been no fighting at Ancre at that time. He lived at Nqamakwe, Fingoland, and was the son of Captain Louis Stuart Holmes, Cape Mounted Rifles.

My intention is to build a database on everyone who served in any of the above-mentioned organizations and therefore any surviving photographs would be appreciatively copied and returned.

Vaughan Holmes
Durban, South Africa

From: "tomrowe"
Subject: Boer War
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:42:51 -0400

I don't know if you can help me or not. I am trying to find informantion on my Great-grandfather Fredrick Thomas Drew. He was at Ladysmith, during the Boer War, was wounded as the story goes and later died of his wounds.He was an Aide- De Camp to the Victory Of India in 1892. Don't know if that any help or not. Every where I turn , they tell me they can't find him!!!!
Believe he was born in London, Eng around 1865, died 1900-02.

Thanks for your timeand if you can think of any other places I could try. Please let me know.

Vivienne Rowe USA

From: "O'Neil"
Subject: Request for information
Date 10th August 1998

I am researching my grandfathers history, he served with the Lancashire fusiliers in the Boer war. I have a medal of his with clasps for Orange Free State
Laings Nek
Relief of Ladysmith
With the exception of the Ladysmith, I can find no information as to what these other clasps refer. I presume these were campaigns or battles. Could anyone help.
Kind Regards
New Zealand

From: "Dustin Nesbitt"
Subject: Names of people who served in the Cape Mounted Rifles
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 10:28:46 +0200

Dear Sirs

I would appreciate some help in finding a ancestor of mine who served in the cape mounted rifles , they arrived in this country on the ship the HMS Birkenhead on the 7 January 1852 which sank shortly afterwards . He participated in the Eighth Frontier War and was part of one of the following military units , ( 2nd , 6th , 12th , 45 th , 73rd , 74th , 91st Foot divisions , 12th Lancers ( Prince of Wales ? ) , 43rd Light infantry ) . His Surname was NESBITT . I would appreciate any information with regards this enquiry .

Thankyou . Dustin Nesbitt .

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 16:17:26 +0400
Subject: General Clements

Dear sir's,
I would be indebted to you if you could supply me with any information regarding a Brig. or Gen. Clements who saw service during the Anglo Boer war..
Yours Sincerely.

From: "John Watts"
Subject: Lt. Bryant Luttelus Lindley MC
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 01:31:55 +0100

I am currently researching the military career of my grandfather Archibald Roy watts who served with the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, joining as a boy of 15 in 1906.He was commissioned in the 6th Battalion in late 1916 and was awarded the Military Cross in April 1917 for his part in a raid during the Battle of Arras.In April 1918 he transferred to 25th Squadron RAF flying as an Observer in DH4's.One of the pilots he flew with was Lt. Lindley, a South African from Claremont. Lt. Lindley was killed in June 1918 and received a posthumous MC, or at least it was gazetted after his death. He was 19 years old. This officer was held in high regard by my grandfather. I would like to know more about him. I have located his grave near Ypres and intend to visit again next year and place a tribute.I would be pleased to add one from any other interested party or member of his family. All and any information would be gratefully received.

John Watts

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 22:46:11 +1000
From: Eddy

My father has passed away but I would like to build an information file on his tour of duty in Tobruk ,from his arrival to his capture. From what I recall he was in either the 1st or 2nd SA Police Brigade and was in an anti-aircraft unit. He was a member of the SA Police Band under the command of Capt.Ted Kealy.before the band was drafted as a fighting unit.
ANY INFORMATION would be greatly appreciated........thank you

From: "C.B. Marshall" -
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 10:19:44 +1000
Subject: east african campaign 1914-1918

I am seeking information relative to the campaign in East Africa during the 1914-18 conflict. All I can locate on the Internet is a reference to the sinking of the German light cruiser "Konigsberg" in the Rifi (?) River during 1914. From other reading I have noted a reference to the flight of a German naval airdhip from Bulgaria to East Africa - no small achievement in those days- with medical supplies for the German forces, but that it had to return as it could't make contact with the German commander, General von Lettow.
As I understand that South African forces under the command of General Smuts were engaged in that area I would appreciate any advice as to where I may locate further information.
Charles B. Marshall

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 16:33:29 +0800
From: geoffb -
Subject: "Scotty Smith"

Hi, My name is Geoff Blackburn. I am a member of the Military History Society of Australia (w.A. branch) In my spare time I write books on early Australian history of which I have been fortunate to have several published. My latest one is called "Conquest and Settlement - The 21st Regiment Royal North British Fusiliers in West Australia 1833-1840."

My current project involves researching and writing about the Australians who were involved in Equatorial Africa during WW1. I have been progressing this project for about a year now and have a steadilly increasing list of names.

Of current interest are two which you might be able to help me with.

(1) Scotty Smith.
Henry Trew (Botha Treks, 1936) says that he came to SA from Australia Byron Farwell (The Great War in Africa) says that he pioneered in Australia before coming to SA. He apparently scouted for Botha during the campaign in SWA. What else do you or your members know of him???

(2) Henry F. Trew
He was in command of Botha's Bodyguard during the SWA campaign. He was a Lieut. in the 3rd Bushman's contingent, slightly wounded at Wolve Hill 14.02.1901 (where is Wolve Hill)

Do any of your members know what became of him after the SWA campaign??

Geoff Blackburn

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:44:31 -0700
From: nbgill -
Subject: My Mysterious Ancestor, Robert P.Q.BOYD, a soldier in the Boer War

G'day from Australia!
I thought I'd contact you in the hope that you may be able to shed some light on my ancestor.
His name is Robert Patrick Quinn BOYD (Trooper #352 R.P.Q.BOYD) originally with the NSW Bushmen's Contingent of Australia.
According to records that I have found he died at Rhenosterfontn in S.A. on the 18th October 1901.
I think Trooper #359 McCracken also died at the same time as they are both buried, apparently, at Wonderfontein.
Can anyone tell me any info on this incident or what Trpr BOYD was doing there and what Unit he was with?
Thank you very much and looking forward to your reply.
Cheers for now from Australia, Neil
PS.I think your Web Site is very informative and interesting.

Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 18:06:53 EDT
Subject: ANGLO-BOER WAR - British Military Postal Services

I wonder if you could help me I am researching into the British Military Postal services for the Royal Engineer's Museum Chatham UK.

I am particularly interested in the Travelling Post Offices (TPO) which were introduced to service the British troops in Jan 1901 as following: Johannesburgh to Charlestown - Natal Railway
Elandsfontein to Klerksdorf - South Western Railway
Pretoria to Komati Poort - Delagoa Bay Line
Pretoria to Pietersburg - Northern Line
I have intrested to know the frequence of the services. The composition of the trains and any other information which may be available.

Thank you.

Simon Fenwick

Tel: +44 1634 718088


Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 10:51:13 EDT
Subject: Request for assistance - Aegean Campaign, 1943

In my research on the Battle of Leros (12-17 November 43), I keep coming up with references to South African troops who volunteered/were seconded to British units.
For example, a Lt Armstrong (No First Name) serving with 'C' Company, 2nd BN/Royal Irish Fusiliers, was wounded on Mt. Apetici during the early morning hours of 13 November 43.....
Additional information on 7th SAAF Sqdn (Spitfire) stationed on Cos (Sep- 3 Oct 43) would be appreciated.
I suspect that various articles might have been written by or about some of these South African soldiers and airmen. Please keep your eyes open for any tidbits. Thanks.
Particularly interested in additional information on the following individuals.
CLARK, Lt. B.E.H., 42772V, South African Armored Corps, Pretoria, Transvaal, RSA.. KIA 12 November 43, Leros Island.

BLYTH, CPT Cecil John, 1st/KORR of Charleswood, Umtali, Southern Rhodesia, KIA 16 November 43

OELOFSE, Rfn Louis Johannes, KRRC & LRDG, Dordrecht, Cape Province, RSA... KIA 18 November 43

Adam Geibel

From: "Janelle Sommerville"
Subject: Nesbitt's Horse
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 98 18:06:21 PDT

I am trying to get information on my maternal grandfather's (Maurice Arthur Weeks) military history in South Afica.
I believe he was born in Grahamstown in about 1882 of English parents and he moved to Australia in 1908.
In Australia he enlisted in the Australian Army for World War 1 and listed his previous military service as "6 months with Nesbitt's Horse in South Africa".
Family stories say that my grandfather and his older brother (Allen James Weeks) were "involved" in the defence of Mafeking with Baden-Powell and that Allen James Weeks was a semaphore operator signalling to the approaching support troops. I don't know if this was part of his time with Nesbitt's Horse or as a school cadet.
I would really appreciate any information on who I should make contact with to either confirm or disprove the above information.
As I live in Sydney Australia I would prefer to make contact by either Internet or "snail mail".
Thanks in advance,

Janelle Sommerville

Subject: Boer War Records
Date: 4 June 98 12:18:11 AM


I am researching my Grandfathers family tree as well as his personal history. According to documents Harry (Heinrich,Hartwig or Henry)Parow served in the German Army,1894-1898. His occupation was Cook to the Officers Mess, In 1898 he listed his service to the British Army leaving it in 1901. His last residence was Johannesburg SA. Either he was a civilian employee, a POW, or in service to the Crown. In any event he was in South Africa and in the Boer War.

What puzzles me is the transition from German service to english service in the same year. Is there any possibility of direct German military presence in South Africa at the time of the Boer conflict?

Perhaps you can recommend a few books which can detail German involvment in the Boer War if any. Or, where English personnel records may be found of Germans in service to the Crown.

Thank you for any help you can provide. Your sites are truly interesting.

Thanks again.......GAP

PS: the name Parow is also the name of a "City" outside of Capetown. So the name is not unknown there. It is unusual that Parow would be in Capetown and in Johannesburg at the same time. I am looking into it.

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 20:53:12 -0700
From: James Linley -
Subject: Defense of Ladysmith, Boer War

I am trying to find any information concerning my two great uncles who I was told died in the defense of Ladysmith. Their last name was Linley and their first names may have been William and Alexander, but I'm not sure on that point. They were from Enfield, England and their father was the superintendent of the Enfield rifle factory. Any information that you could forward to me would be appreciated. Thank you.
Jim Linley,
1670 S.W. 23rd Avenue,
Fort Lauderdale,

Date sent: Mon, 18 May 1998
From: Thomas de Scally
Subject: Boer War

In my family genealogy research I am trying to find out the role my grandfather THOMAS DOMINICUS DE SCALLY played in the Boer War. He was born in King William's Town in 1869 of Irish parents. He died in Benoni in 1945. In 1902 he ended up in Europe where he married a girl from Holland, my grandmother. I have a picture postcard printed in Germany showing "Zwei Transvaal-Buren" in Boer uniforms. One of them is my grandfather Thomas de Scally from Klerksdorp and the other one is a Willie Klesse of Lydenburg. In 1907 Thomas de Scally went back to South Africa. His wife had passed away in the meantime and his son, my father was left with his maternal grandparents. I would be very interested to find out the reason of Thomas de Scally's departure to Europe at the very end or just after the Boer War.

Any information will be gratefully acknowledged.

Thomas de Scally, British Columbia, Canada

From: HUDOCKJC -hudockjc.ntrprs@NAVAIR.NAVY.MIL
Subject: McCann
Date 1 May 1998

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am a volunteer for the United States Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. We are attempting to locate biographical information on a British sea captain, one E. Armitage McCann. Capt. McCann was born in Scotland in and died in the United States in 1938. We understand that he was a master of both sail and steam, and that he served in the merchant marine during World War One. We have also heard that he served in the Imperial Light Horse during the Boer War, and was wounded in action.

Our interest in this gentleman is that he is considered one of the founders of the hobby of ship model making in this country, having written over twenty articles and several books on the subject from 1926 through 1938. Our museum is planning a retrospective of his model making work for this fall, and we would like to know more of his professional career. Can you help, or refer us to an appropriate source?


John C. Hudock

From: "jjchef1"
Subject: Alfred Constantine Bennett
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 18:08:58 -0700
I have just finished reading your web site. I appreciate the history it includes very much.
I am trying to find any information I can about a distant relative of mine. My Great-Great Uncle Alfred Constantine Bennett settled in South Africa after serving in the British military during the Boer war. this according to the sketchy family connections. His brother George left Britain about the same time and sailed directly to the west coast of the United States where he founded the town of Bandon, Oregon.
I would appreciate any assistance you could give me with this search. Either in direct information or guides as to where to look.
Joseph W. Bennett Jr.
9235 S.W. Center St.
Tigard, Oregon USA

Date sent: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 14:10:47 -0300
From: "constable, horace g."
Subject: Constable, John Montague
Searching for military record for above, believed to be brother of my grandfather, Horace Constable, of Fulham, England, emigrated to Canada in 1900. Have newspaper clipping showing picture and announcement of death of John Montague. Understand at one time he was batman to Genereal "Chinese" Gordon. Would appreciate any information you can give me on John Montague's personal history. Thanks,
Horace G. Constable, 142 Lumsden Road, Riverview, N.B., Canada, E1B 2J9 Hconstab@NB.Sympatico.Ca

From: ACou776755 -
Date sent: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 16:53:05 EDT
Subject: help wanted
Dear sir,
I am researching my family's involvement in the 2 World Wars and was wondering whether your members know if access to personal records of soldiers is possible.I have gained such access to the Australian archives and the U.K. ones that survive are being slowly released.
If not, does anyone know of any books about the South African Medical Corps. in WW1?
One of my research targets,321 Pte P.E. COULTON,from Port Elizabeth,was killed on 8th October 1918 with 2 comrades and are buried together in PROSPECT HILL Cemetery Nr. Gouy,France.
Also does anyone know of any other Coultons who served + survived ? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Yours Faithfully,
Andy Coulton

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 22:30:59 -0500
From: Ruth
Subject: Looking for any Witthofts
My grandfather's brothers were sent to fight in the Boer War. I'm looking for anyone with that name to find a family link. E-mail me at this address

From: Arthur MacRae
Subject: Medals and War involvement
In an effort to find out what all the medals of my father and grandfathers were for, I stumbled onto yor website.

Please let me have any information you have on the following persons, including war involvemnet and madals awarded:

Donald MacRae 1901 and 1902 (Boer War?)

Ian Blair MacRae Second World War

Arthur Edward Donaldson First World War (Mentioned in Dispatches)

Any other inforamtion would be appreciated.

Regards Arthur MacRae

From: Brad Raine -
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 15:10:44 -0800
Dear Sir,
I am writing to you in the hope that you might be able to assist me. I am a collector of naval cap-tallies, of all countries and periods. So far I have not been able to acquire any tallies from the South African Navy, and therefore I am kindly asking you to help me in this matter. Any assistance you might be able to give would be invaluable and greatly appreciated.



Subject: research
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:36:50 -0000
Dear Sir,
I would be very grateful if any of your members could help in any way with two searches I am currently working on.
1. The action at Mcfarlane's Siding(the roll gives 'Sg.') on 16th February, 1900 involving the 16th Lancers. I am researching 4237 Private W.M. Smith of that unit who was permanently disabled from his wounds in that action.
2. The Highlands Rifle Association who sent approximately 15 men to fight in the war of 1899-1902. As far as I know this unit was classed as District Mounted Troops. My interest is in Trooper L.T. Berthon and would appreciate any information on him or the Association. Does anyone know if service papers exist for members of this unit?
Yours sincerely,
Gordon Taylor
Scottish Branch
Orders & Medals Research Society

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:49:48 +1100
From: Eddy -
Subject: South African Police brigade 2nd ackack Tobruk

My name is Eddy Odden .
My father Roland Reginald Edward Odden (TED) was caught at Tobruk. He has since passed away and Iam very keen to learn about his involvement in this theatre of the war I think he was in the 2nd ack ack Police Brigade. I know he was in the S A P POLICE BAND in1939 when he went to war.I remember him telling me the band was drafted as a fighting unit.I know he was on that infamous horror march across Europe in1944/45. He spent some time in GENSAGEN CAMP .I now live in Aussie and would be grateful if you could be of any help in my trying to get together any info on my fathers involvment; if you cannot maybe you could put me in touch with someone who might be able to. I also remember him writing an article on that horror march for one of the Pretoria newspapers, that was in 1945/46 I think.

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 04:36:47 -0800
From: David Menne
Subject: Menne military history

I am interested in sources of information on the Menne Scouts [Anglo-Boer War], also Natal Hussars/Umvoti Mounted Rifles involvements/activities.
Could you suggest sources of information ?

From: Stephanie Revolta-
Subject: Request for information
Date sent: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 10:24:15 -0000
Dear Sirs,
My father is trying to trace his father's activities in World War One and I wondered if you can assist us. We know that his Regiment was at Delville Wood in July 1916, but are unsure if my grandfather was actually there or on leave, sick or otherwise.

My grandfather was Charles Spence Revolta, No. 7507, who enlisted on 28 November 1915 in the 4th Regiment of the 1st South African Infantry Bridgade.

If there is any information you can give us regarding him we would be extremely grateful.

Thanking you in advance.
Stephanie Revolta

From: "Dan Ferland"
Subject: Maintainers
Date sent: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 00:39:44 -0500

I'm looking for information about corps histories related to the South African Technical Service Corps. I believe that is the proper title. I haven't seen anything yet titled South African Electrical and Mechanical Engineers even though they wear or wore similar type badges.
I'm also looking for badges and insignia related to the mentioned corps or the same corps of any other country. Please e-mail me
Thank you

Date sent: Sat, 07 Feb 1998 23:46:58 +1300
From: Rex Trye
Subject: Italian East Africa

I am researching a book on the fall of Italian East Africa. Which will be a companion book to my publication "Mussolini's Soldiers" which was published in the UK in 1995 (and has subsequently been translated into Italian in 1997).
I am very interested to hear from any individuals who have photographs or information pertaining to this campaign, dealing in someway in particular with the Italian forces. I am happy to recompense any expense for the copying of photographs and will credit any individual with the photograph in my projected book.

Rex Trye
102 Mangorei Road
New Plymouth

Date: Sun, 04 Jan 1998 19:56:03 -0800
From: Sunita Allwerdt -
Subject: South African Corps of Marines

To whom it may concern,
I am currently working on a paper of Marine Corps'/Naval Infantry forces of the world. If their is anyone who can supply me with any information on the S.A. Marine Corps from the their "birth" in 1980 to their disbandment in 1990. Particular interest in rank, bages, uniforms and unit historys. Also, any information on operations in Angola.
Semper Fidelis
Karl M. Allwerdt

From: Mthombeni Maurice -
Subject: ancestral research
Date sent: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 15:25:43 +-100
-Hi Folks!
I've just gone through your site and write with an inkling of hope that you might be able to assist me. My great-grand-father: Abraham Sephunyane Moloi had been either a chief or sub-chief of the Batlokoa in Witsieshoek and had been involved in the Anglo-Boer War, In our oral-history, my late grand-mother had told us that her father had been assassinated by a Boer-kommando's son after the war as he had been branded '... 'n rooinek spioen'. To date I've gathered information from all possible sources but lack the specific data that could enlighten me on the particulars of the African participants, in particular my ancestor, and how they had been engaged in the War. I would think that if my forebear had been a senior official of an ethnic group and had been on one or the other side, surely, he couldn't just have been 'lumped' as part of the black mass that had been shot on the spot by both sides; somewhere, there could be some hint of the involvement of such persons as my great-grand-father had been by virtue of their position in their communities. Would there be anyway in which you could render me help in tracing and finding any information on Abraham Sephunyane Moloi? May I thank you in anticipation and, at the same time, re-assure you of my unwavering support in your endeavour.
Yours sincerely,
Maurice Mthombeni a.k.a: Abraham Sephunyane Moloi.

Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 11:09:23 +0000
From: Frank kuah -
Subject: Re: East african campaign

Regarding the War between the German Von lettopw Vorbeck and the South African through Tanzania.........

She would like to find out more about the campaign and how her mother ( "Dolores Lucy Bishop")came about getting the Royal Red Cross ( R.R.C. )as a South African V.A.D. nurse ( known as the Blue Bells )any information about "Dolores Lucy Bishop" would be greatful, and of course most of all how she came to get the RRC.

Francis Kuah

From: Peter McMahon -
Subject: Mc Mahon - McBride's Irish Brigade - Boer War
23 November 1997

My father's uncle Eddie(Ned) McMahon b1865 Monaghan, Ireland is reported to have fought in McBride's column in the Irish Brigade during the Boer War.

Can anyone assist with any facts or references.

Many thanks in anticipation

Peter McMahon
Belfast, N.Ireland

From: William Gazo & Mary Gazo -
Dated 20 November 1997

Do you have any information on Canadian's who were in the boer's war. My great grandfather Capt. Bernard Joseph Dunlevy was in the Boer War with the Canadian army. I'm looking to find any Military records of him being there. He was not a Captain at the time.Any help would be helpful thank you please e-mail Mary at

Subject: Query: SA's last living VC
Dated 4 November 1997

Do you have any information on Gerard Norton VC (1915-??)?

As you might already know, Quentin Smythe VC died last week aged 81 and was billed as the last surviving South African-born VC. However, a June 1996 listing on the Internet ( has Gerard Norton as one of the 32 then living VCs. The author of the site has subsequently contacted me and he believes Gerard Norton is still living - if so, there are now only 29 living VCs

Norton, who emigrated to Rhodesia from South African in 1946, married Lilla Ellen Morris in East London in 1943 and they had three daughters, Elizabeth, Marguerite and Jennifer, who were all educated at Girl's High School, Salisbury.

In 1968 he refused to attend a VC reunion in Britain because it was made a condition that he surrendered his Rhodesian passport.

He was awarded the VC for dislplaying "matchless courage, outstanding initiative and inspired leadership" in Italy on Oct 26, 1944. After the war his old school, Selborne College in East London, renamed its hostel after him. Unfortunately his medal was subsequently lost when his home was destroyed by fire.

I would appreciate any information.

Many thanks
Jon Inggs
>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ;>>>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>
Here is a copy of Quentin Smythe's obituary in the London Telegraph of October 25:
Captain Quentin Smythe, VC Sergeant who won the VC after single-handedly taking a machine-gun post and anti-tank gun crew
CAPTAIN QUENTIN SMYTHE, who has died in South Africa, aged 81, won a VC in Libya in June 1942; this was the first VC won by a South African in the Second World War, and Smythe was the last surviving South African VC when he died.

On May 26, Rommel's Afrika Korps attacked the British Army (which had just been weakened by losing two divisions, an Armoured Brigade and some squadrons of the Desert Air Force to the Far East) in order to pre-empt a new British offensive.

The Germans hoped to capture Tobruk and, ultimately, to drive the British back to Alexandria, although this attempt was finally checked at El Alamein by Auchinleck the next month.

The initial attack caught the British off-balance, but they recovered and fought back, forcing the Germans to take up a defensive position, which became known as 'The Cauldron'. Unfortunately, the British were at this stage equipped with tanks and guns which were inferior to the Germans', and after a number of desperate battles they had to fall back.

On June 5 the South African forces were holding a position in the north of the line (which consisted of defensive "boxes" separated by minefields), and when Rommel launched a heavy attack in the northern sector he encountered strong and determined resistance.

The cost in casualties on both sides was high. Smythe, who was then a sergeant, realised that there was no officer to command his platoon and took charge himself, leading his men in an attack on the enemy's strong point at Alem Hamza, 20 miles south of Gazala. Although handicapped by a wound in his forehead, causing much loss of blood, Smythe managed single-handedly to obliterate a machine gun post, taking all the surviving crew prisoner.

Then, again single-handedly and armed only with rifle and bayonet, he promptly did the same with an enemy anti-tank gun crew, after which he consolidated the position.

However, because of the deterioration of the situation elsewhere, Smythe found himself ordered to withdraw. In spite of a vigorous attempt by the enemy to cut him off, he managed to lead his men back to their lines.

Quentin George Murray Smythe, the son of Edric Smythe and grandson of the 1st Administrator of Natal, the Hon Charles Smythe, was born at Natal on Aug 6 1916, and educated at Estcourt High School. He served with the Natal Carbaneers in the East Africa Campaign against the Italians before moving to the Western Desert.

After the war he was Officer Instructor, Department of Defence, South Africa, a post he held from 1970 to 1981. In retirement he returned to farming. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Durban.

A quiet, modest man, of medium height, Quentin Smythe was always gentle and considerate to others, but determined when the need arose. His recreations were shooting, fishing and bowls; he was particularly good at the last.

He married firstly, in 1945 (dissolved 1970), Dale Griffiths; they had three sons and one daughter. He married secondly, in 1970, Margaret Joan Shatwell, who died in 1980. He married thirdly, in 1984, Patricia Stamper, who survives him.

Subject: research on LT. Thorburn
Dated 19 October 1997
I am doing research on Lt. Robert Brown Thorburn, CO. B 4th Regt. SAI, Killed in action at Delville Wood July 15, 1916. Would greatly appreciate any assistance you can offer. Reply to E Mail or Box 1635, Groton, Connecticut, U.S.A. 06340-1635 or Fax 860-449-4695

From: Rex LloydGreen -
Subject: Re: Tracing a relative
Dated 4 Nov 97
I am try to trace the regiment that my Grandfather was in during the Anglo-Boer War.His name was Osmond Albert Edward Green.I would also like to know anything else about him or his regiment during the war.I do have in my posession a sword which I think posible was used my him,it is about 3 foot long and has quite a big hilt,i dont know if is was an infantry sword.
Here's hoping that you can help me.
Rex Lloyd-Green.

From: Michael Hargreave Mawson -
Subject: Request for Help/Information
Dated 4 September 1997

I wonder if you might be able to help in my search for information on the services of my great-uncle.
The following is all I know, and is taken from a document put together by my grandfather in the late '40s or early '50s: "Basil James Hargreave Mawson, born 18/5/'01, educ. Marlborough College and Leeds University. AMISAE. [Not sure what these letters stand for, but would guess Associate Member of the Institute of South African Engineers]. Left England in 1925 and subsequently lived in Portuguese East Africa and Rhodesia, but mainly at Johannesburg, South Africa. Major in the South African Artillery in WWII, and was on active service in Abyssinia and the Western Desert. He commanded the 1st South African Anti-Tank Regiment, and was later the commandant of the South African School of Gunnery in Egypt." He might have used the full surname of Hargreave Mawson, or just the Mawson part - different members of my family have different ideas as to whether the double-barrel is overly-ostentatious! He died in 1971 (according to a manuscript amendment in my father's handwriting).

Michael Hargreave Mawson

From: "Ernest Metcalf, Jr." -
Subject: Can anyone tell me about the Irish Regiments in S.A. or "The Shamrock and the Springbok"?
Date 22 May 1997

I am trying to compile as much information on the "Irish Wild Geese" that have taken an active part in many countries fight for freedom. South Africa seems to be one country that is giving me a big problem. We know the Irish fought there in British Regiments in the Boer War, in SWA in WWII. From what I understand, there was a book written by a Regiment, "The Shamrock and the Springbok".
The reason for my request, is that I do not feel, that any book about the Irish would not be complete without at least a chapter or two about SA. I have been able to learn about the Irish in Chile, Austria, Spain, Mexico, Argentine, Sweden, and yes, even Russia.
Please, help me tell as complete a story as is possible. There must be someone out there, who can and will share.
Ernie Metcalf
9 Ann Avenue
Stony Point, NY 10980

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