by Susanne Blendulf
Although the realisation of the visions and objectives of the founders of the South African National Museum of Military History as it has been known since 1974, have largely been affected by the lack of adequate financial support by the State since the Museum's establishment fifty years ago, the present members of the Council of Trustees can rightly be proud of the Museum's many achievements. Our collections, which since February 1997 are housed in a specially constructed store, have during the last decade been greatly expanded as a result of important donations by the South African National Defence Force and an active collection policy. Today our collections are internationally acknowledged as being some of the most important and complete in the world. The handsome and practical buildings and modern structures erected without financial assistance during the past ten years have greatly enhanced the appearance of the Museum and have contributed to its ability to conserve and study the military history of our nation.
The Museum and the public owe a debt of gratitude to the past Chairmen and past members of the Council of Trustees who, with admirable foresight and diligence, raised funds for the development of the Museum at a time when the State's financial support was lacking. The outstanding service rendered to the Museum by my predecessors, the directors of this Museum, as well as the dedication of all members of the staff who have laboured under difficult circumstances since the establishment of the Museum, are acknowledged with gratitude.
I trust that the current process of the restructuring of the national museums will be to our advantage and not in any way affect our identity and our ability to fulfil our mission.
Maj Gen P Pretorius SD, SM, MMM
Maj Gen P Pretorius SD, SM, MMM, Director of
the South African National Museum of Militay History
'.... This is indeed a very special occasion. We are gathered here today to open what may not unfairly be looked upon as a memorial to the greatest united effort our country has ever been called upon to produce.
Memorials, of course, have more than one use. They serve to remind us of what is past, of great deeds of heroism and sacrifice; they also serve as a pointer, and sometimes as a warning, to the future.
It is in these senses that the South African War Museum may be regarded as a Memorial. It will remind us, I hope, not only of the part we played in the recent great struggle to save civilisation, but also of the horrors, the loss of life and the devastation, and serve as a warning to us to create a world in which we shall never have to use again the weapons of death and destruction we see here today, or those more dreadful weapons to follow them.
When I look around at these machines, these armaments, all this equipment we needed for the fight, I am astonished that our small country - completely unprepared as it was at the beginning - could produce so much in so short a time. The gigantic effort we put in those six years is even today not fully understood or realised.
It is reported that Hitler laughed when he heard that this young nation, so small in population, and possessing few great industries, had declared war upon mighty Germany. One can hardly blame him, for there were many, even in our own country, who openly scoffed at the idea that South Africa could throw into the struggle anything of sufficient weight to influence the decision. But these people had forgotten our history. They had forgotten the indomitable spirit of those who built South Africa. In a short span of years, a few generations, our country had been rescued from the wilderness and placed among the nations of the world by the courage, the determination and the enterprise of its own people. People had forgotten, they had also forgotten that more than once in our history we had taken up the fight against great odds without counting the cost.
It was this stout spirit - the same spirit that animated the Voortrekkers and the Pioneers - that enabled us to establish a war potential in our country that was, under the circumstances, almost unbelievable.
When, in 1939, we declared war on Germany, the Union had only a small permanent force and hardly any equipment. There were, in fact, only obsolete tanks, a handful of antiquated aircraft and only the barest minimum of other war necessities. Yet, within a couple of hours of Mussolini's declaration of war on the tenth of June, 1940, South African Air Force aircraft were on their way to bomb military installations in Abyssinia, and the 1st Infantry Brigade, trained and equipped, was ready to move for service in East Africa.
Six months after, by January, 1941, the 1st Infantry Division was assembled in East Africa, and during the next few months it played a prominent part in tearing the Italian Empire in East Africa and Abyssinia to shreds and tatters. By July of that year the 1st Division was in Egypt, together with the 2nd Division recently arrived from the South, to fight in the defence of the vital Middle East.
Casualties were heavy. The 5th Brigade was virtually destroyed at Sidi Resegh. Another two brigades were lost at Tobruk. Other heavy casualties were incurred. After thirty months of continuous campaigning, the 1st Division was withdrawn to return to the Union for conversion into armour; but when Von Arnim finally surrendered in Tunisia, thirty Springbok units were still with the victorious armies.
Meanwhile, the 7th infantry Brigade had landed in Madagascar. in the Union itself additional forces stood ready to ward off any threatened Japanese attack. Enemy submarines, operating in southern waters, had been attacked and sunk and the Cape line of communications, so useful in war, was kept open.
For the first time in South African military history, an armoured division had been constituted by February, 1943. It was this powerful division which led the Eighth Army in its vigorous dash from Rome to Florence, some 220 miles (354 km), in under 60 days, and later captured Monte Sole and other impregnable points in the Gothic Line.
Meanwhile the Air Force developed out of recognition. It was, perhaps, our outstanding contribution, it was in battle continuously from early 1940, when it swept the Italians out of the skies in Abyssinia and paved the way for the disintegration of Mussolini's armies. South African light bombers became recognised aces in 'shuttle-bombing'. In Italy, Springbok fighter bombers cut enemy railway communication 129 times in a month and were repeatedly congratulated by the armies for doing so. One of the most hazardous missions of the war, that of flying supplies from southern Italy to the Polish patriots in Warsaw, was undertaken by South African Liberators who, flying at only a few hundred feet, and at almost stalling speed to ensure accuracy, dropped many tons of supplies, at heavy cost to themselves. Hundreds of South Africans flew with the Royal Air Force; many gave their lives in the Battle of Britain.
South African naval forces consisted of scores of 'little ships' which not only helped to keep Union waters clear of enemy mines, but fought in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Some of them helped in keeping alive the Tobruk garrison 1941 and in opening the harbour of Thipoli to Montgomery's advancing army. Others helped to supply Malta in its hour of danger.
General Smuts delivers his speech at the opening of the
South African National War Museum, 29 August 1947.
(Photo: South African National Museum of Military History)
But the exploits of all these fighting men is only half the story. In the Union, history was made by the executives and workers who produced war goods sorely needed to keep the men in the field. The immediate task was to equip tens of thousands of new volunteers.
Then the problem magnified itself when, in addition to supplying her own wants, the Union had to provide for the growing numbers of ships rounding the Cape and for the large armies gathering in the Middle East.
Iscor, the Mint, the railway workshops, explosive factories, the mining industry, and private firms all concentrated their efforts on military needs. 'Adapt, improvise, and substitute' was the slogan and as fast as possible the supply was stepped up.
By the end of 1943, 600 000 tons of steel were being produced each year, although it was only in 1934 that the first ingot of steel had been turned out. Howitzers, field guns, and anti-tank guns had been made in their hundreds. Production rose in some directions by as much as 3 000 per cent. T [sic] Union ports, thousands of ships went for repair. From so small a supply of gauges that they were locked away by night in a 2ft by 3ft (60 x 90cm) safe deposit, over 10 000 had been produced.
All this effort, I would remind you, came from a country of less than three million Europeans and eight million other underdeveloped races, a young country, a largely undeveloped country.
It is not our habit to boast, but we sometimes need to be reminded of these things. it was a wonderful effort, a great chapter in the history of our country; and we can be proud that we played a worthy part in the struggle for our way of life as a civilised world.
It is for these reasons that I welcome this opportunity of opening the South African War Museum. Those who were responsible for its inception, and those who have built it up, have done a real service to South Africa. I hope that means may one day be found to give it a worthy permanent home, so that it may remain forever to remind us, not only of what was achieved, but also of what we are capable, should the necessity ever arise again. But, more than that, I hope that it will come to be regarded as a standing warning, as a constant reminder that we should build a world and create a society which will lead to the end of war, and make such weapons as these, or those more terrible to come, unnecessary for our human advance towards the distant, happier future.
I have great pleasure in declaring this South African War Museum open.'
(Speech by the Prime Minister, Field Marshal The Rt Hon J C Smuts, PC, OM, CH, DTD, ED, at the official opening of the South African National War Museum on 29 August 1947)
Fifty years ago, on the morning of 29 August 1947, the South African National War Museum (now known as the South African National Museum of Military History) was officially opened by the then Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, Field Marshal The Rt Hon J C Smuts, PC, OM, CH, DTD, ED.(1) The opening ceremony was the culmination of a series of events which began some years before, in 1942, and the history of the Museum can be traced back to this earlier date.
In 1940, while South Africa was at war with Germany and Italy during the Second World War, Captain J Agar-Hamilton was appointed Official War Historian of the Union Defence Forces (UDF). Realising the historical significance of the war, he set up a Historical Records Committee and, on 16 July 1941, submitted a report which contained a proposal for 'the preservation of materials and documents of military interest'.(2) It was from this proposal that the idea of the establishment of a national War Museum in South Africa was born.
The proposal received a positive response and was approved by General Smuts. At the time of its submission, certain senior officers in the UDF had also realised the importance of preserving material from the war. In particular, Maj-Gen (later Lt-Gen) Geo. E Brink, CB, CBE, DSO, then commander of the 1st South African Division (which had recently arrived in Egypt), had already urged the forces under his command to collect material and information which related to the history of their particular units. He had also approached the higher authorities and stressed the importance of collecting historical material, especially as this had not been done during the First World War (1914-1918).(3)
Initially responsible for the collection were Captains G C Shortridge and W A Bellwood. Captain Bellwood, a journalist before the war, remained with the collection from its inception in 1942, until the end of the war, and eventually became a member of the Museum's first Board of Trustees.(4) While he was in charge of the collection, he wrote of the importance of collecting material during the war, rather than after it was over, when 'historic material is soon lost sight of, or destroyed... and it is an almost hopeless task trying to recover it.'(5) He also had a very clear idea about the form that the collection should take: 'historic objects [should be] preserved and exhibited to provide a visual historical record of our wars... [in a] national institution which is purely a War Museum'.(6) His motivation for the establishment of this Museum was his belief that, in his own words, 'despite the fact that we have suffered in this war, some more than others, there are few of us who will not in later years wish to see the memory of these fateful days preserved, both as a warning for the future and, perhaps, as a source of sober pride in the deeds and spirit of our people.'(7)
Once it had been decided that the collection should form the basis of a national military history museum for South Africa, a suitable site had to be found. The collection is believed to have been housed originally in the Mutual Buildings in Pretoria, but after an exhibition at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg during the Liberty Cavalcade (23 May - 1 June 1942), the City Council of Johannesburg became very interested in keeping the collection in Johannesburg.(8) The exhibition at Zoo Lake was the first time that the collection was open to the public and gave some indication of the popularity of the exhibits.
For the remainder of the war, smaller items were stored and displayed in the Johannesburg Public Library Building, while larger exhibits, such as aeroplanes and guns, were kept in two large storerooms at the City Engineer's Department at Waterval.(9) In both cases, these were temporary arrangements until a more permanent site could be provided. Nevertheless, some 200 000 visitors are believed to have viewed the military exhibition while it was kept in the Public Library Building, and thousands of South Africans throughout the country were also able to view certain exhibits that toured the country in a variety of military cavalcades as part of the UDF's drive to raise war funds and attract more recruits to the forces.(10) At this time, the Museum remained a unit of the UDF, but it was envisaged that it would eventually be closely linked to (and perhaps even housed in the same building as) the Africana Museum (now known as MuseuMAfricA and situated in Newtown, Johannesburg). During the war years, when both museums were located in the Public Library Building, this was certainly the case.
The Secretary for Defence, Brigadier Blaine, appears to have been quite eager for the fledgling War Museum to remain in Johannesburg. On 26 April 1943, he wrote a rather interesting letter to the Town Clerk in which he stated that, should the Johannesburg City Council agree to the establishment of a War Museum in the city, the Government would not 'establish or subsidise the establishment of one at any other place in the Union'. Needless to say, the City Council agreed to the offer, on condition that, should a suitable site be found and donated by the City of Johannesburg, the Government would agree to 'bear the cost of the building'.(11)
At a meeting held between the Secretary for Defence and the City Council of Johannesburg on 24 August 1943, the national nature of the proposed war museum was discussed for the first time and it was suggested that the museum should be housed in the same building as the Africana Museum and that it should 'not restrict its collection to the present war, but should endeavour to collect objects illustrating past wars in which South Africa had been concerned.'(12)
From its earliest days, the South African National War
Museum was founded on a very definite set of objectives,
which were first recorded on 26 September 1942 as
'To collect, preserve and display objects of historic and general interest, which will illustrate the efforts and sacrifices being made by both soldiers and civilians of the Union in war.(14)
To have a research section which will be of value in future to students of military technology and supply.
To establish a small travelling section of the War Museum so that other places in the Union might see some of the exhibits.
To try to secure items from previous wars in which South Africa has been engaged, in order to show something of South Africa's military history.'
In an article which appeared in The Outspan in 1944, Captain Bellwood added what he believed to be the most crucial objective of the Museum, namely that 'a worthy War Museum [must aid] the cause of future peace... by showing succeeding generations something of the destructive horror and barbarity of war, which threatens to destroy civilisation and all that men and women hold dear. It may have its influence, under proper guidance, in persuading people that those elements which cause wars must be removed as far as possible.'(15) This last objective was firmly entrenched in the official 'objects and functions' of the Museum which appeared in early annual reports: 'To educate future generations towards a realisation of the wastefulness of war and its disastrous effect on civilisation, and to emphasise the necessity of eliminating all possible causes of strife between nations.(16) During the official opening of the Museum, the Mayor of Johannesburg also referred to this aim of the Museum as 'its most important'. Adding to this, he stated that it was his wish that it would 'be kept continually in mind by those responsible for the management of the Museum, and ... a corner of the Museum should be set aside for a special exhibit on this aspect of war, with pictures, posters and charts showing its wastefulness. Perhaps some body such as the United Nations Union could be persuaded to organise such an exhibit for the Museum.(17)
During the formative years of the Museum, 1942 to 1946, no decision was ever made to restrict the scope of the Museum. Indeed, it was continuously referred to as a national war museum. While Captain Bellwood felt that emphasis should be placed on collecting material from the Second World War in particular, there was no suggestion that the new museum should not collect material from earlier wars in which South Africa had been involved.(18) In spite of this, the issue of the scope of the Museum became a serious problem which was hotly debated in many Board meetings during the early years of the Museum's existence and resulted in the initial restriction of the scope of the Museum to the post-1910 period - an issue which will be discussed in more detail below.
The Museum as it appeared in 1948. The two Bellman hangars are clearly visible.
Early in 1944, the Government appointed an Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives from the UDF and the Johannesburg City Council, which was tasked with setting up the museum. On 15 February 1945, this committee decided that the proposed museum would be known as the South African National War Museum and that it would be administered in terms of the State-Aided Institutions Act (Act No 23 of 193 1).(19) This decision had far-reaching implications, because, while it entitled the Museum to receive grants-in-aid from the Government, it also meant that administration of the museum then became the responsibility of the Department of Interior (later amendments to the legislation transferred this responsibility first to the Department of Education and then, in the mid-1990s, to the Department of Arts, Culture, Science & Technology). Since 1945, therefore, the Museum has been managed independently from the Defence Force, although both institutions have continued, to this day, to provide invaluable co-operation and assistance to each other.
The work of the Advisory Committee was completed on 15 October 1946, when the first Board of Trustees of the South African National War Museum was appointed by Government Notice No 2247 to continue the process of establishing the Museum.(20) The Board consisted of representatives of the Department of the Interior, the four provinces of the Union, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and the Johannesburg City Council.(21)
The first meeting of the Board took place on 25 November 1946 and it was then, and in subsequent meetings, that the issue of the scope of the Museum was thrashed out. A disagreement arose between Mr R F Kennedy (at the same time Acting Director of the Africana Museum and a member of the Board of Trustees of the new museum) and other members of the Board, regarding the focus of the Museum. Mr Kennedy immediately identified the possibility of future competition between the new museum and the Africana Museum in the field of South African military history and therefore suggested that the War Museum limit its scope to the Second World War (1939-1945) and that all earlier wars be dealt with by the Africana Museum. After much discussion, the Board decided that a line of demarkation would be set at 1910.(22) Thus, the War Museum was free to collect items which related to the military history of the Union of South Africa, while the Africana Museum would continue to pursue its interest in wars prior to 1910. It was also agreed, however, that the War Museum would assist the Africana Museum in building up small representative collections of South Africa's role in the First and Second World Wars.(23)
The minutes of early meetings of the War Museum's Board of Trustees clearly indicate that the limitation of the scope of the Museum in this way caused some concern. On 25 March 1974, the restrictions were finally lifted, enabling the Museum to collect militaria relating to all aspects of South Africa's military history, from all periods.(24) Later in the same year, on 29 November, perhaps as a result of the decision to expand its scope, the Museum's name was changed to its present one - the South African National Museum of Military History. Ironically, the lifting of the restrictions never resulted in any conflicts of interest with the Africana Museum. Fortunately no limitations were ever imposed on the research function of the Museum. As a result of this, the Museum was able to build up a substantial reference library and archives, which dealt with all aspects of military history, especially South African military history. This section of the Museum has proved invaluable to many researchers in this field of study.
Some of the outside exhibits at the Museum today, with
the Rand Regiments Memorial, always closely associated
with the Museum, in the background.
One of the most urgent issues which had to be dealt with by the Museum's first Board of Trustees was the question of finding suitable accommodation for the Museum. After the conclusion of the war in 1945, the City Council had begun to request the Museum to vacate the space it occupied in both the Public Library Building and the Waterval Compound, and another temporary site had to be found for the entire Museum. In 1946, the City Council offered the Museum a site in the Hermann Eckstein Park, in the vicinity of the Johannesburg Zoological Gardens - an offer which the Board readily accepted.(26) The Defence Force provided a couple of Bellman hangars for the temporary storage and exhibition of the collection and these were erected on the site in the same year. In December, the collection was moved to the new site, again with the assistance of the Defence Force.
The Museum's first Director, Brig G T Senescall, DSO, ED (who had been appointed on 1 February 1947), had his hands full as items had to be unpacked, cleaned, documented and stored or displayed in preparation for the official opening of the Museum later in 1947. Office accommodation at the new location was scarce, and the south-east corner of 'B' Hangar (renamed the 'F B Adler' Hall on 6 February 1953) was screened off to resolve this problem until the Defence Force was able to fulfil its promise of providing an army hut for this purpose.(27)
While the Bellman hangars were certainly not considered ideal for the purpose of housing a national military history collection, and their erection on the site had resulted in some vociferous criticism from local residents, who found them to be unsightly metal structures and ordered their removal (28), they have become the central (and permanent) exhibition halls at the Museum. In the months leading up to the official opening, the hangars were painted and panelled to provide a more pleasant setting for the exhibits and, on 8 April 1947, the Museum gates opened to the public for the first time.
It was against this background that the South African National War Museum was officially opened at its present site in a ceremony which began at 10.30 am on 29 August 1947. Between 200 and 300 invited guests were seated in the open area between the two Bellman hangars and addressed, firstly, by the Chairman of the Museum's first Board of Trustees, Brig F B Adler, who delivered a fifteen minute speech on the history and objectives of the Museum. This was followed by the opening speech by General Smuts (reproduced above), and then a speech of thanks by the Mayor of Johannesburg. After the speeches, the guests were invited to have tea in a marquee that had been erected on the Museum grounds for the opening, after which they were encouraged to view the exhibits.(29)
In December 1947, the Board heard that the long-awaited army hut for office accommodation had been donated by the Quartermaster General through the War Stores Disposal Board. '[The Chairman] had inspected and approved of a hut in Hector Norris Park and as soon as official permission had been given by the City Council for its erection, the hut would be taken down and re-erected by the Public Works Department. The hut was large enough to accommodate the office, library, records, and the caretaker, and he suggested that future meetings of the Board might be held therein.'(30) It is quite fitting that this army hut (which still serves as the administration section of the Museum) and the two Bellman hangars have, over the years, become exhibits themselves, thereby adding to the historic atmosphere of the Museum. The exhibits on display in 1947 formed the nucleus of the collection which exists at the Museum today, which has grown into a fine record of South African military history.
While grand plans were made in the late 1960s and early 1970s to provide a spectacular and more suitable building for the country's first national military history museum, these plans never materialised.(31) Instead, the existing structures at the Museum have been upgraded and put to their best possible use in beautiful surroundings. Displays have changed over the years, additional buildings have been constructed, and today the Museum also serves as a most unusual and interesting venue for conferences and other functions, which are regularly held in the newly completed Capt W F Faulds VC, MC Centre, or in the Dan Pienaar Gun Park.
1. Note by Anthony Speir, the Museum's Public Relations Officer,
dated 10 September 1991, in File 069(68) SANWM, held in the Archives,
South African National Museum of Military History, Saxonwold, Johannesburg.
2. 'Brief history of the South African National War Museum' (1968), unpublished report in File 069(68) SANWM.
3. 'Memorandum setting out historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum; the subsequent limitation of its scope and functions; planning for the future and suggested lifting of restrictions to enable it to cover all aspects and periods of South Africa's military history, 26 August 1968', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony', held in the Archives, SA National Museum of Military History.
4. Copy of the text of a pamphlet for a first day cover produced to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Museum on 29 August 1977, in File 069(68) SANWM.
5. W A Bellwood, Capt 'Our War Museum Will Preserve The Tradition Established By Our Fighting Men' in The Outspan, 21 July 1944.
6. Bellwood, 'Our War Museum Will Preserve The Tradition Established
By Our Fighting Men'.
7. W A Bellwood, Capt 'The South African War Museum: Preserving proud traditions', in The Nongqai, September 1944, p 1045.
8. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'. This document mentions that on 13 May 1942, even before the Liberty Cavalcade, a General Purposes Committee had already resolved to store the collection in Johannesburg.
9. From the speech by the Mayor of Johannesburg at the official opening of the Museum on 29 August 1947, thanking General Smuts for his speech. A copy of this speech is kept in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'.
10. From the speech of the Chairman of the Museum's first Board of Trustees, Brig The Hon F B Adler, MC, VD, ED, during the official opening of the Museum on 29 August 1947. A copy of this speech is kept in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'. See also Report, 1947-1948, 'Origin and History', in South African National War Museum Annual Reports, 1947-1957, held in the Archives of the SA National Museum of Military History.
11. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA
National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin &
History, Opening Ceremony'. A copy of this letter can be found in
File 069(68) SANWM.
12. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'.
13. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'.
14. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'. In a handwritten note, General Brink added that the use of the word 'Union' in this paragraph had been used later by some to restrict the scope of the Museum to the post-1910 period. He was probably referring to Mr R F Kennedy (Acting Director of the Africans Museum), who sat on the Advisory Committee and the War Museum's first Board of Trustees as a representative of the City Council and was adamant that the scope of the Museum should be limited to the Second World War to avoid possible competition with the Africana Museum, which already collected information and material from all the earlier wars.
15. Bellwood, 'Our War Museum Will Preserve The Tradition Established By Our Fighting Men'.
16. South African National War Museum Annual Reports, 1947-1957,
Archives, SANMMH. The 'Objects and Functions' of the Museum are
listed as follows:
'TO provide a permanent and tangible record of the efforts, sacrifices and heroism of the men and women of all its races in defence of the Union of South Africa; to foster national pride in their achievements, and to maintain the traditions which they thus established.'
'TO display exhibits which will record the traditions of past and present units of the Union Defence Forces and other services which assisted in the Union's efforts in time of war.'
'TO collect and preserve material for the above objects and for the use of historians and students of military history.'
'TO educate future generations towards a realisation of the wastefulness of war and its disastrous effect on civilisation, and to emphasise the necessity of eliminating all possible causes of strife between nations.'
17. Speech by the Mayor of Johannesburg at the official opening of the South African National War Museum, 29 August 1947, in File 069(68) SANWM File 4, Origins & History, Opening Ceremony.
18. Bellwood, 'Our War Museum Will Preserve The Tradition Established By Our Fighting Men'.
19. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'. On 12 October 1946, an official notice, stating that the Museum was subject to the State-Aided Institutions Act of 1931, appeared in The Government Gazette.
20. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'.
21. 'Brief history of the South African National War Museum' (1968), in
File 069(68) SANWM.
22. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'. See also the Minute Book which Contains the minutes of the meetings of the Museum's Board of Trustees, 25 November 1946 to 11 August 1952, and South African National War Museum Annual Reports, 1947-1957, both held in the Archives of the SA National Museum of Military History.
23. 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony'.
24. Copy of the text of a pamphlet for a first day cover produced to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Museum on 29 August 1977, in File 069(68) SANWM.
25. Copy of the text of a pamphlet for a first day cover produced to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Museum on 29 August 1977, in File 069(68) SANWM. According to the 'Memorandum: Historical background of the establishment of the SA National War Museum', in File 069(68) SANWM 'File 4: Origin & History, Opening Ceremony', there were various reasons for the name change. In making the decision to change the name, the Board considered the new name to reflect more precisely the educational role of the Museum in teaching military history. Furthermore, it was felt that the old name unfortunately suggested that the Museum was nothing more than a 'bombastic display of the weapons of war' and there had also been instances where the Museum had been confused with the War Museum/Oorlogsmuseum in Bloemfontein.
26. 'Brief history of the South African National War Museum'(1968), in
File 069(68) SANWM.
27. Minute Book, Quarterly Progress Report to the Board of Trustees for the months of June, July and August, 1947 (On this occasion by the Chairman, Brig Adler - the Director of the Museum, Brig Senescall, was off duty as a result of a serious illness).
28. Minute Book, Quarterly Progress Report to the Board of Trustees for the months of June, July and August, 1947.
29. Minute Book, 'Addendum to Quarterly Report [for the months of June, July and August 1947]. Arrangement for Official Opening on 29th August at 10.30 am. For the information of Trustees.'
30. Minute Book, Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Trustees, held in Room 77 in the Public Library Buildings, Johannesburg, on Monday, 8 December 1947, at 2.15 pm.
31. See, for example, G R Duxbury, 'The South African National War Museum celebrates its 25th birthday (1942-1967)' in Military History Journal, Vol 1 No 1, December 1967. Interestingly, this journal was first produced when the Museum celebrated its 25th year of existence and the 20th anniversary of its official opening.
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