To some people, history is something that happened long, long, ago, and great names like Cicero, Nero, Napoleon, Jan van Riebeeck and various others seem to be all that they have ever heard of that "dry as dust" subject. To others history is not only yesterday but also today - the dictionary tells us that history is "a continuous narrative of events"; and so each and everyone of us is a part of history. What we wear, what we do, our language, our food, all this - while it is of today, is also part of the history of tomorrow.
Those of us who are interested in the military history of our world find that although much has been recorded, much has not been published, and we of the South African Military History Society find ourselves learning more and more of previously undisclosed, and even unrecorded, happenings of the past.
In particular our own South African Military History has come a long and interesting way - elsewhere in this publication reference is made to a statement by Major Tylden that for over 200 years South Africans have taken part in wars - wars both large and small.
It is in this history that we, being South Africans, find ourselves most interested.
As we regularly meet we learn how little we know, and we realise that at no time will our knowledge ever be complete, but, as we learn, we find and explore avenues of knowledge previously unknown to us.
In this, the first publication by the Society, some of the findings of our members and of others are set out. This Society can, however, in no way accept responsibility for statements made by the various authors, they having expressed their views In the light of their findings and researches.
We trust that our readers will derive interest from the articles published, and perhaps they will be kind enough to let the Editor know what they think of this journal. Any constructive suggestions will be welcomed by the Society.
Our South African and Overseas members will find articles in one or other of the official languages. This is naturally an accepted practice in bilingual South Africa. If some item is not comprehensible to you a translation can be provided on request.
We are fast approaching the end of 1967 - and it has been quite an eventful year - so whilst we in South Africa are looking forward to a warm summer following a severe winter, elsewhere, especially in the northern climes you will already be thinking of snow. And so, as the year approaches its close, we take this opportunity of wishing one and all the best of good wishes for 1968.
Good health to all wherever you may be. We are happy that so many of you have seen fit to join our yet embryonic society; and to those of you who have a story to tell may we ask that it be sent to us, possibly for our next publication, so that all our readers may derive interest and benefit from your particular knowledge of our Military History.
South African Military History Society / firstname.lastname@example.org