The second half of 1978 has been full of interest for the South African Military History Society. The lecture programme of the Johannesburg Branch, which is also the headquarters of the Society, was as follows:
|13th July||Three talks by staff members of the SA National Museum of Military History:|
|The Kinkead Medal Group||Mr S. Monick|
|Bicycles in War||Mr R. Maree|
|Medal Oddities||Capt A. Blake (Capt Blake is the Honorary Curator of Aviation)|
|10th August||Generaal Christiaan de Wet se Ontsnapping oor die Magaliesberg, Augustus 1900.||Mnr F. Pretorius|
|14th September||The Battle of Britain||Mr P.R. Fox|
|12th October||The Congo Crisis of 1960||Professor P. Beighton|
|9th November||'Sappers in Italy’||Maj A.C.M. Tyrrell.|
|14th December||Film Evening|
The Durban, Cape Town and Western Transvaal Branches also maintained a full programme of talks for their members.
The Society’s activities are not confined to these monthly talks. The Western Transvaal Branch, for example, has concerned itself with the projected move of the remains of Commandant F.J. Potgieter and the burgers killed at Roodewaal in April 1902. The Branch has been able to show that there is not general support for such a move, and, for the time being anyway, the graves will not be disturbed. Before he died, Commandant Potgieter had requested that he be buried exactly where he fell. That was done; and it is felt by many that there he (and his men) should remain.
Lt Mac Bisset SAN, secretary of the Cape Town Branch, continues his researches into the defences of the Cape Peninsula over the years.
Two Johannesburg members, Messrs Ian Uys and David Landels, have interviewed Delville Wood survivors on behalf of a French author, M. Philippe Lerat, who is writing a book which will include the story of that battle. A copy of the tape recordings has been kept, and extracts may appear in this Journal at a later date.
The Durban Branch has been clearing a century of undergrowth from Fort Kwamondi, at Eshowe. Their example has spurred on the local community, and good progress has been made with this excellent project.
Following the successful Itala visit in May, four Johannesburg and two Durhan members rendezvoused with Mr Alf Wade of Vryheid, for a more detailed study of the ground in September. The visit provided an opportunity for a study and inspection of lonely Zulu and Second Boer War graves in the area.
Durban member, Mr Midge Carter, was military advisor for the making of the film 'Zulu Dawn’, which tells the story of the Battle of Isandlwana. The film is due for release on 22nd January, 1979, one hundred years to the day after the battle.
Hardworking scribes in Johannesburg and Durban continue to provide monthly newsletters which keep members in touch with the Society’s activities.
A braaivleis was held in the grounds of the SA National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg, in October. This gave members an opportunity to enjoy a pleasant social event in ideal surroundings. This is a suitable opportunity to record our continuing appreciation of the work done by the Museum Director, Colonel George Duxbury, and his staff, for all their help and co-operation throughout the year. Special mention must be made of this Journal, which provides an outlet for papers on a variety of military topics, and which is edited and published by the Museum.
These are just some of the interests and activities going on, in all branches of our Society. We look forward to another successful year in 1979 —the year of the Zulu War Centenary — and to which this Journal is dedicated.
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