The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 5 No 4 - December 1981


War Art: Exhibitions

Francois Krige

An exhibition of Francois Krige’s works was opened on Wednesday, 8 October 1980 by Mr. L.T. Burrage. Approximately 250 guests — including the Mayor and Mayoress of Johannesburg, Councillor and Mrs C. Venter, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Randburg, Councillor and Mrs A.C. Hattingh — attended.

L.T. Burrage

An exhibition of the works of this war artist was opened on Wednesday, 17 June 1981. The exhibition was officially opened by Maj A.B. Theunissen, MBE. The evening was extremely well attended (approximately 200 guests were present). The distinguished guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of Johannesburg, Councillor and Mrs C. Long.

Philip Bawcombe

Mr Justice C.S. Margo, DSO, DFC, officially opened the exhibition of Mr Philip Bawcombe’s works on Thursday, 29 October 1981. Approximately the same number of guests attended as at the previous two exhibitions, testifying to the continuing and active interest in war art. The distinguished guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of Randburg, Councillor and Mrs O. Van Zyl, and the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress of Sandton, Councillor and Mrs G.P. Bennett.

The organization of the above three exhibitions, and the editing and compilation of the catalogues, were the responsibility of Mr N. Huntingford and Mr R. Hardy of the Museum staff, and they are to be congratulated on their outstanding work in this regard.


A display dealing with the 1st South African War of Independence was completed towards the end of 1980. The display, on view in the Brink Hall, has as its central feature a large diorama, illustrating in relief the sites of the principal battles of the War, culminating at Majuba. A display featuring 6 South African Armoured Division was arranged in the course of 1981, and is now on view in the Adler Hall.

1st South African War of Independence 1880-1881: audio-visual presentation.

Members of the Museum staff produced a series of brief talks dealing with the 1st South African War of Independence 1880-1881. The heads of the various departments in the Museum spoke of the manner in which their collections (e.g. uniforms, small arms, medals, communications) threw light upon the character of the War. The talks were accompanied by slide presentations.

Air Force Week, 8 December - 12 December 1980

5 112 schoolchildren attended the Week and heard lectures on Museum exhibits including aircraft, tanks, armoured cars, medals, uniforms, and edged weapons. As its name implies, the week featured the South African Air Force, which displayed a fascinating range of 'hardware’, including the Cactus guided missile and the Impala jet aircraft.

Museum Week, 26 October 2 November 1981

Museum Week commenced on Monday, 26 October 1981 with a visit to the Museum by Mr W.A. Cruywagen, Administrator of the Transvaal, and Mrs Cruywagen, together with a party of distinguished guests, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Johannesburg, Councillor and Mrs C. Long.

The Director of the Museum, Col G.R. Duxbury, delivered a lecture on the battle of Spioenkop, accompanied by slides. That evening, a lecture was given by Capt Arthur Blake, who spoke on the history of aviation in Africa, 1795 - 1920.

This was a particularly well attended function. Another element of warfare was featured on the evening of Wednesday, 28 October, which was devoted to naval matters.

The evening commenced with a film dealing with submarine warfare (War Under the Sea) followed by a lecture delivered by Dr S. Monick (Senior Professional Officer) entitled Naval Deeds of Valour by Land and Sea. An important feature of Museum Week was the attendance of a large number of school parties. These viewed the audio-visual presentation of the 1st South African War of Independence compiled by members of the Education Department, and were also treated to an impressive and moving talk by Mr J. L. Keene (Chief Professional Officer) on the poets of the First World War.

The evening of Thursday, 29 October was devoted to the official opening of the exhibition of the works of Mr Philip Bawcombe, mentioned above.

New Acquisitions

Particularly noteworthy acquisitions have included Medals Department: The badge of the Greek Order of George 1 (4th Class: Civil); a large number of Italian medals, extending from the campaign in Africa 1896 - 1897 to World War II; a Rhodesian District Service Medal awarded to E. Sondo, and never claimed; and a medal group awarded to Lt Col F.W. Faure, distinguished by the Order of Orange-Nassau.

Uniforms Department: The Museum is most proud to have received the uniforms and accoutrements of Maj Gen J.C. Lemmer, MC, formerly of the South African Police and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum.

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