4. SOUTH AFRICAN PRESENTATION SPITFIRES The name ‘Spitfire’ seemed to epitomize Britain’s spirit of resistance in 1940 and large sums of money were raised to ‘provide Spitfires’. In fact, no additional aircraft were originated by the money, as it was not practicable to order aircraft in such unpredictable quantities, and aircraft were already being manufactured to maximum capacity. The money, however, went to the cost of the war effort, and the donors were identified with individual aircraft. Current production models were selected to bear the names of the donors, or the city or town from which they came. Among these aircraft were the following South African connections, and the Editor would be very pleased to hear from any of our readers who know the history and origin of some of the names, such as ‘Joseph Snooka’ and ‘Victor’ (the latter presented by Jas. Kew, Johannesburg).
p 8399 Benoni p 8561 Kalahari
W 3431 Kaapstad III W 3437 Kaapstad II (flew with No. 72 Squadron, RAF)
W 3438 Kaapstad I W 3439 Kaapstad IV
W 3443 Cape Town I W 3445 Cape Town II
W 3447 Cape Town IV W 3448 Cape Town III
W 3450 Dunottar Castle W 3459 Cape Town V
W 3460 Cape Town VI W 3461 Kaapstad V
W 3645 Joseph Snooka X 4666 Kaffraria I
X 4669 Kaffraria II X 4820 Victor (presented by Jas. Kew, Johannesburg)
AA 980 Kaapstad VI
Refer to article in Vol. 1 No. 7 December 1970,
"COMMANDANT P. H. KRITZINGER IN THE CAPE"
5. The party of Brabant’s Horse encountered near Zastron on 13 December 1900 suffered to the extent of four killed, 16 wounded and 120 taken prisoner. One author has described Brabant’s Horse as "noted looters and house-burners". It is not known what happened to the prisoners taken by Kritzinger.
6. At some stage in December 1900 Kritzinger was in the Burghersdorp area at the head of a force of about 700 men. He had evidently been joined by other commandos. The Boer force also had an encounter with the 9th Lancers in this district.
7. In March 1901 Kritzinger, still in command of about 700 men, captured a number of much-needed horses in the Bedford area. Between 12 and 18 March he fought several running engagements with troops under Colonels Corringe and De Lisle.
8. Early in April 1901 Kritzinger attacked and captured troops of the 5th Lancers and the Imperial Yeomanry near Aberdeen.
9. On 25 May 1901 Kritzinger and his men captured a British post near Maraisburg and about 40 British soldiers surrendered.
10. A detachment of Kritzinger’s commando occupied Maraisburg on 13 June 1901.
11. In the second half of June 1901 Kritzinger attacked a force of Colonial Mounted Rifles in the Cradock region. After an encounter lasting about two hours 14 British were killed or wounded. 66 British were taken prisoner but later released.
12. Lord Kitchener sent the following despatch from Pretoria on 23 July 1901: "French reports that Crabbe, with 300 men, was attacked in the mountains, near Cradock, by Kritzinger at dawn. The horses stampeded. An all-day fight followed. Crabbe fell back on Mortimer."
13. In the first half of August 1901 an engagement took place between Colonel Corringe and Kritzinger near Steynsburg. The Boers were reported beaten and several prisoners taken. Commandant Erasmus was mortally wounded in the engagement.
14. About 20 August 1901 Kritzinger was reported to have crossed the Orange River "with 100 followers". The report emanated from British sources but it did not mention what had happened to the balance of the commando which was described as being "800 to 1,000 men strong" when inflicting a "mishap" on a British force.
15. General Smuts met Kritzinger in the Eastern Free State in the second half of August 1901. Kritzinger later again crossed the Orange River after being joined by a reinforcement of 300 of De la Rey’s men who were brought down by Smuts.
16. The attack on Lovat’s Scouts took place at Quaggafontein in the Zastron district on 21 September 1901. A British 15-pdr was captured but it is not known what the Boers did with the gun afterwards.
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