The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 4 No 2 - December 1977


Notes, Questions and Replies

2. British regimental badges outside Harrismith
During a recent visit to South Africa, I happened to pass through Harrismith. I noticed, with some dismay, that the British regimental badges picked out in white stone on the kopjes outside of the town are disintegrating. As they are undeniably an aesthetically pleasing part of South African military history, it occurs to me that it would be a worthy gesture on the part of the Society, of which I have been a member since its formation, to restore the site. I for one would certainly make a donation, and I can imagine that other members would also willingly contribute either cash or their time and effort.

In a broader sense, the attendant publicity would be well received by members of the British forces. In the time that lies ahead, South Africa might benefit from the favourable opinion of such people.

Benjamin N. Brown


2. The Bantams
‘The Bantams’ were a special force recruited by the British Army in the First World War. It was composed of soldiers below average height. I am a professional writer engaged in researching a book about these men. I would be most interested and grateful to receive any information your readers may be able to provide me with on the subject— personal reminiscences, family anecdotes, letters, old photographs, book references, diaries, regimental histories, even ‘pub tales’.

The Bantams were an unusual and valiant brigade, and their story is well worth setting down. Hopefully, your readers will be able to help me to gather additional information about this unique piece of military history. I would welcome such aid, and will take the greatest care in returning any material offered regarding the Bantams.

Sidney Allison

3. 15 Maintenance Unit
I am compiling a history of 15 Maintenance Unit and would be glad to receive any information concerning its activities at any stage of its existence.

Formed in August 1899 as the Natal Volunteer Transport Corps the unit has remained in existence with changes of designation as follows:
1910 2nd Mounted Brigade Train
1914 No. 2 Coy S.A. Service Corps
1935 No. 1 Coy S.A. Service Corps
1939 No. 1 Coy ‘Q’ Service Corps
1954 No. 1 Supply and Transport Coy
1971 15 Maintenance Unit
The Unit served in the second South African War, the Zulu Rebellion and both World Wars and in 1974 was granted the Freedom of Entry into the City of Durban.

N.D. Ashdown

Editor’s note. Would any reader who is able to help please forward the information to The Editor, Military History Journal, P.O. Box 52090, Saxonwold, 2132.

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