The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 17 No 2 - December 2016


9 May 1940 to 29 September 2016

Sadly, Dudley Aitken passed away in September 2016. Dudley was an avid military history enthusiast who worked first as an educator and later as a curator for many years at the South African National Museum of Military History (now Ditsong National Museum of Military History) in Johannesburg. He curated numerous collections including music, religion, gifts and comforts, flags and banners, and, most especially, edged weapons. He had a special interest in military railways and the Delagoa Bay Railway during the Anglo-Boer War in particular. His curiosity went beyond the rail equipment and armament to the colourful assortment of individuals associated with this history. In the early days, he was actively involved with battlefield tours and regaled friends and family with happy encounters and memories from these trips. Mostly, however, he was cherished by those who knew him for his deep humanity, kindness, humour and understanding.

A simple service was held at the St Charles Catholic Church in Linden on Wednesday, 12 October 2016, conducted by Father James Ralston, with eulogies delivered by his friend, Clive Banks, and nephew James. Both spoke highly of a humble and content man with a lifelong interest in military history and a life peppered with humour and frugality. Dudley will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

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