On Saturday, 10 April 2010, a party of 22 Military History Society members and guests enjoyed a visit to the home of one of South Africa's most famous regiments, the Transvaal Scottish, or, as they are less formally known, 'The Jocks'.
In 1976 the Transvaal Scottish Regimental Council acquired 'The View' on a long term lease as a headquarters for the regimental family of the Transvaal Scottish, including Council, Association, members of the Regiment and friends, and to house a regimental museum. The beautiful old house in Ridge Road, Parktown, which for many years was the home of the mining magnate, Sir Thomas Cullinan and his family, and host to royalty when visiting the city of Johannesburg. is now dwarfed by the huge developments that have engulfed the suburb. Yet it stands as a proud legacy of South Africa's past and this has been acknowledged by the Lottery Commission, which made a large grant towards the restoration of the fine old house as a part of civic heritage. It is expected that there will be some upheavals and big changes in the near future.
Society members gathered at 'The View' where the bar was open, lunch was ready, and they enjoyed ttle warm hospitality for which the Jocks are renowned. 'The View' houses a wonderful museum of regimental memorabilia, from the Anglo-Boer War years, through the First and Second World Wars and right up to the present day. Curator Captain Peter Digby gave the group an outline of the regiment's history, before leading them on a tour of the rooms crammed full with interesting and historically significant items. Peter is a fund of anecdotes, explaining where items came from, how they were acquired and why they are significant to the Jocks.
Peter's huge breadth of knowledge and his persistence in tracking down 'Jock' items, sometimes from the most unlikely places, won the admiration of all the members of the tour group. He is a military historian of note and has earned the Society's gratitude for the invaluable work he does in looking after and preserving the regiment's history.
The tour was hugely enjoyed by all who attended, and we thank Past Chairman Bob Smith for once again organising a great outing.
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