The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 7 No 4 - December 1987


During the second half of the year the Society continued with its programme of lectures (a list of which appears below) at the monthly meetings in the J C Lemmer Auditorium at the South African National Museum of Military History. Of particular note was the brilliant lecture by Mr Charles Cohen on 'Singapore, 1942: Symbol and Reality' on Thursday evening, 13 August, as well as the welcome visit of Commandant S Bourquin of the Durban Branch and his lecture on 'Shaka's Heritage' on 8 October.

Through the good offices of Mr M J C Marsh, Honorary Secretary/Treasurer, an additional meeting was arranged on 28 July to hear an address by Professor R V Jones, the author of Most Secret War and right-hand man to Winston Churchill's scientific adviser during World War II. Professor Jones described, in a fascinating lecture, his involvement in the development and implementation of electronic warfare during the War.

Major Darrell D Hall presented a further series of 'Military Magazine' slide shows, whilst the Chairman, Mr Ian S Uys, gave a short slide show on 13 August on a recent visit to Morosi's Mountain in Lesotho and spoke briefly on the actions during the Gun War of 1880.

The Society arranged two further 'do-it-yourself' outings which were well attended. The first was on Sunday, 5 July, to Diamond Hill in the morning, when Professor C J Barnard spoke on the battle. The Sammy Marks House Museum was visited in the afternoon. The second outing was to Rustenburg over the weekend of 19/20 September, when the party was accommodated in the Belvedere Hotel. The Saturday was spent visiting places of historical interest, including the remains of a house burnt by the British during the Anglo Boer War now overgrown by a giant wild fig tree; the Rustenburg Museum which houses, inter alia, one of the old Ras cannons used by the Boers in the War of 1880-1881; the local D R Church used as a hospital by the British during the Anglo-Boer War, and the local jail used as a fort by both the Boers and the British during the War.

On the Saturday evening, Major Darrell Hall presented a slide show on the Military History Society's tour of the Zululand Battlefields on 9/12 October, 1986. On the Sunday the whole party visited the site of the Elands River Siege of August 1900, near the present town of Swartruggens, and the site of the Moedwil clash of 30 September 1901, and adjoining cemetery. At both these stands Mr Nick Kinsey spoke on the actions involved.

Unfortunately, one of the keen members from Rustenburg, who had been responsible for the major planning of the weekend's proceedings was unwell and was, therefore, unable to act as Tour Leader. His place was taken very ably by Mr John Pennyfather, also of Rustenburg, and the Society extends its thanks to these gentlemen for making the trip so pleasant and interesting.

A braaivleis to mark the 21st Anniversary of the founding of the Military History Society on 5 October 1966, was held at the Military History Museum on Friday evening, 16 October, 1987, when Colonel G R Duxbury was invited by the new Director, Mr Clayton Holliday, to present a plaque to the Society to mark the occasion and the close association between the two organizations. As usual, this was a very pleasant social function, enlivened by the piping of Pipe Major Michael Stanton. Thanks are due to Dr Felix Machanik who made himself responsible for most of the arrangements, and to Mr John Keene for his willing practical help which has been invaluable. As always, the Society is also indebted to the Director of the Museum for the use of the premises and the help rendered by members of his staff.

The Society's congratulations go to Commandant Dr Felix Machanik on the award of the Surgeon General's Commendation Award.

The Society also wishes to congratulate Mr Norman Clothier, a member of long standing, on his book Black Valour: The SA Native Labour Contingent, 1916-1918, and the Sinking of the Mendi, the publication of which was launched at a cheese and wine party at the Military History Museum on 17 November, 1987.

H W Kinsey


Date Lecturer Title
January, 8th Lt Gen Denis J Earp 'Experiences with the South African Air Force in the Korean War'
February, 12th Mr Peter Fox 'Mary Rose and other Naval Occasions'
March, 12th Mr Stewart T Stiles 'Napoleon's 1813 German Campaign'
April, 9th   Annual General Meeting and Film
May, 14th Dr Philip Gon 'Carrington and the Rhodesian Field Force, 1900'
June, 11th Mr John L Keene 'Military Rifle Shooting in South Africa from 1860'
July, 9th Maj Darrell D Hall 'The Battle of the Coral Sea'
August, 13th Mr Charles Cohen 'Singapore, 1942: Symbol and Reality'
September, 10th Mr John Mahncke 'Inside the Kaiser's Air Force, 1910/1918'
October, 8th Cmdt S Bourquin 'Shaka's Heritage'
November, 12th Cmdt O E F Baker and Others 'Sidi Rezegh Memories'
December, 10th   Slide Show by Maj Darrell D Hall

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