The Southern African History Musings of Ross Dix-Peek

South Africans and the D-Day Landings (June 1944):


Although exact numbers of South Africans (and southern Africans) involved in the D-Day landings of the 6 June 1944 [Operation Neptune] would be difficult to assess (including those who served as enlisted members of the British armed forces as well as those individuals seconded from the [SA] Union Defence Force) they most certainly were represented “in all branches of the Services now engaged in the assault on Western Europe”.

A report in the “South Africa” newspaper of 10 June 1944 states: “ A large number of them are in the Navy, principally in little craft like minesweepers, helping to clear the way for the troops’ landing. Scores are flying escorting fighters and bombers of the Royal Air Force, and some are with the paratroops, including a doctor who had completed his training to drop from a plane together with medical personnel [possibly Leo Kessel]. There is also a large contingent of  [South African] officers serving with the Marine Commandos [the Commandos having, interestingly enough, been founded by a South African-born officer of the Royal Artillery, Brigadier Dudley Wrangel Clarke] .”

And it was D-Day + 10 when the  South African statesman, Field Marshal Jan Smuts, was also to cross over to Normandy, accompanying the British prime minister Winston Churchill. The same “South Africa” newspaper article was also to  report that on the day of the invasion General Smuts  was to accompany “ Mr. Churchill to a British port to wish godspeed to British and Canadian troops embarking for the liberation of Europe. The troops waiting on the quayside gave the two Prime Ministers  a hearty cheer as they went up the gangway.”

In addition “General Smuts also accompanied the King, the Prime Minister, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory on a visit to to General Eisenhower   at Supreme Headquarters on ‘D-Day’ and went to the operations room to follow the progress of the battle. Throughout the day General Smuts received independent reports from the highest quarters, of the progress of the invasion operations.”

It was at Eisenhower’s headquarters that, a few days earlier, Smuts had met the French soldier and statesman General De Gaulle at “a quiet, tree-shaded spot” and that “General Eisenhower, Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden were there as well.” The group had spent “nearly two hours together, largely in the war room tent of the Allied Supreme Commander, where the walls are hung with detailed maps and the planned liberation of France.”

And below are two interesting pictures depicting Smuts with Churchill at the time of the invasion. The first caption reads “Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 12 June 1944, on board a destroyer going to France, with Field Marshal Jan Smuts, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke and Rear Admiral W E Parry (bottom right).”
Smuts Crossing to France, D-Day
                                                                                                                                Copyright IWM (B5354)
The K-Class destroyer is the HMS Kelvin (see below) which reached the French coast at 9.30 a.m. and “steamed through the battle fleet during a bombardment and later joined in the shelling of the German north-east flank.” Churchill and Smuts were then conveyed to the beach via a “DUKW” amphibious vehicle where they then met Field Marshal Montgomery, where-after  they departed in a jeep  for Montgomery’s headquarters.
                                                                                                               (Wikimedia Commons)
While the second caption states “Prime Minister Winston Churchill looking at enemy and British aircraft engaged overhead with Field Marshal Jan Smuts, Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, General Sir Bernard Montgomery and others in Normandy, 12 June 1944.”
Smuts, Monty
                                                                                                                             Copyright IWM (B5364)

And yet, incredibly it would seem, Smuts was rather lucky to survive his visit to Normandy, as both he and Churchill could very well have been killed while visiting Monty’s headquarters at Cruelly. The author Nicholas Rankin, in his book “Churchill’s Wizards, British Genius for Deception 1914-1945” relates on page 406 that while visiting the headquarters and as “senior officers stood outside with the Prime Minister [Churchill], South African Field Marshal Smuts sniffed the air and said, ‘There are some Germans near us now…I can always tell!’” And low and behold, just two days later, “two fully armed German paratroopers emerged from a nearby Rhododendron bush, where they had been hiding all along. Had they used their guns and grenades on Churchill [and Smuts], everything would have changed.”

It is also really amazing when one considers that Smuts, an erstwhile enemy of the British empire, was not only to reconcile himself to his former enemy over the succeeding years, but was also to be greatly respected by two British prime ministers: Lloyd George appointing him head of the war council that was ultimately to bring about the amalgamation of the RFC and the RNAS and the subsequent founding of the Royal Air Force during the closing stages of WWI, while he was also earmarked to have been Churchill’s successor should the British prime minister succumb for whatever reason during the war.

The aforementioned article also states: “General Smuts who has been attending further meetings of the War Cabinet, is pleased with the progress made in Italy and with the way in which his own South African troops have contributed to the success so far achieved. Another achievement specially gratifying to General Smuts, and giving general satisfaction to the military leaders in charge of the Allied operations in Italy, has been the success of widespread air attacks by the South African Air Force [SAAF] in the Mediterranean in support of the land forces.”

It goes on to say: “Last Thursday General Smuts [technically by then a field marshal, but universally known as “General“] had an interview with Colonel J.J. Llewellin, Minister of Food, and was told of the state of Britain’s larder on the eve of the invasion, as well as the steps taken to ensure that the civilian population will have adequate food supplies during the coming operations in Western Europe.”

While one of the  South Africans’ who was to take part during  the D-Day invasion was Sub Lieutenant Anthony Large, South African Naval Forces (SANF). Large had won the BEM earlier in the war while still a rating. Here he’s depicted taking a compass bearing aboard the frigate HMS Holmes while “helping to guard the Allied supply lines to and from the Normandy beachhead.” HMS Holmes was built in Massachusetts, USA, and commissioned in January 1944, and was ultimately sold for scrap in October 1947.
                                                                                                                                Copyright IWM (A4208)

And as mentioned in the report above a sizeable contingent of South African officers seconded from the UDF was also to serve with the Royal Marine Commandos during the Normandy landings. The “South Africa” newspaper of the 24 June 1944, states-

“Springbok Commando Leaders in Action in Normandy

Their Part in Brilliant Exploit by the Royal marines

S.H.A.E.F., Tuesday.- South Africans seconded from the Union Forces to the Royal Marines are distinguishing themselves in Normandy. They helped their British colleagues to capture Port en Bassein, a small but important harbour in the gap between the original British and American beachheads - a performance which is officially described as one of the most brilliant achievements in the history of the Royal Marines. The  names of the South Africans concerned in this report cannot be disclosed for the time being.

The enemy had strongly fortified the port with a triangle of three strongpoints. As these were designed to beat off attack from the sea, the Royal marine Commandos decided it could be taken from the rear. This involved a ten-mile march against tremendous odds through enemy territory. The landing was planned to take place at Le Hamel, but as the ships closed in they came under heavy fire from a German battery. Before they even touched down, a mile to the eastward of their original objective, they almost met disaster, for five of their fourteen landing craft were mined and sunk. Undaunted, they swam ashore with what equipment they could salvage. During their hazardous march inland they fully rearmed themselves with weapons captured from the enemy. Such circumstances had been anticipated; the Marines had been trained to use enemy weapons such as the MG 34, the German light machine-gun.

Under Heavy Fire

As they struck inland they came continually under heavy fire. They advanced against machine-gun posts, manned largely by Polish and Russian troops, and subdued them one by one. The Marines fought their way through, carrying heavy equipment and mortar ammunition - each man carried a load of nearly three-quarters of a hundredweight. To avoid more of these machine-gun nests, which were delaying their progress, the Marines struck across country to a main road south of the enemy battery at Langues. This battery did not attempt to interfere with the Commandos. They reached their objective for the night- Hill 72, immediately south of Port en Bassein - and there distributed more captured arms.

Then the Royal navy took a hand, opening a heavy fire on the port. This was followed by a fierce strafe by R.A.F. bombers and rocket-carrying fighters. Finally guns of the Royal Artillery away in the British beachhead laid down a heavy smoke-screen, under cover of which the Marines took three strongpoints and subdued them after stiff fighting. As they burst into the defences German flak ships in the harbour opened fire, causing enemy casualties. The Marines silenced this attack from the rear with machine-gun and mortar fire. A desperate battle was fought for the third and most powerful point; twice the Marines won the positions and twice they were driven off, but the third time their assault succeeded.    

Counter Attack

Even then they had not finished. While the fight for the last strongpoint was in progress the Germans launched a strong counter-attack from south of Hill 72, the Commandos base. After a heavy mortar bombardment the enemy overran the positions, scattering the Commando headquarters and the support troops there. Most of these troops made their way into the town, where they joined up with the main body. A machine-gun section arrived just in time to support the final attack on the last strongpoint. Late that day the Marines “dug in” to defend the position they had won. They made contact with the Americans to the west and handed over to them the German prisoners they had taken. The enemy did not attack during the night, and when the Marines moved forward in the morning to retake Hill 72 the enemy had had enough and withdrew. The port and Hill 72 were held by the Marines until Army forces destroyed the battery at Langues and advanced to relieve them. - Reuter.”

While an additional article printed in a later edition of the “South Africa” newspaper reports:

With the Commandos on D-Day

Lieutenant “Tommy” Thomas [pictured above], one of the South African officers serving with the Royal Marine Commandos, is back from the old beach-head in Normandy with several little shrapnel souvenirs still in his leg, but otherwise he is none the worse for wear. The chief change his friends have observed is that his well-known Clark Gable moustache is threatening to develop into a Dutch gable.

His most painful recollection of D Day is the stormy passage he and his contingent had in crossing the Channel in their landing craft. The seas were running high, and hardly a man escaped sea sickness. They landed in the second wave at first light. Their boat got a direct hit as they approached the shore, and half a dozen men were killed. Lieutenant Thomas found himself up to the neck in water when he jumped from the landing craft as it struck the beach. The Commando boys, having “dumped” their steel helmets, went ashore in their green berets. ‘It was more comfortable,’ he told me.

They had a specific job to do, which was to connect up as soon as possible with the paratroops who had dropped five miles inland four hours before zero. They found themselves under fire, but did not wait to deal with the resistance at the coast, pushing inland instead with all speed. It was tough going through the mine-fields, but they got there. ‘And were the paratroops glad to see us!’ Lieutenant Thomas remarked. For the next few days none of them knew much of what was happening. They could not be sure whether the invasion was a success or not. All they knew was that in their own sector on the left flank of the beach-head they were kept hard at it. The ‘toughening’ they had had in in advance was more than useful.

According to plan, they kept on the move all the time - ‘frigging about,’ as it is apparently called in Commando language. They snatched some sleep in slit trenches during the day, and every night there were patrols or raids to be carried out. It was while returning from one of these nocturnal excursions that Lieutenant Thomas shared with his sergeant and another man the benefit of a German grenade. I asked him how Normandy compared with the Western Desert. ‘I’d say it was worse,’ he said. ‘For one thing, in the Desert, you could see whom you were fighting, but in Normandy most of the time you couldn’t.’ He had a glimpse of Paris before he came away, and now he is wondering how he will be able to settle down on the family farm in the Maclear district of the Transkei after all this excitement.”

And of those South Africans seconded from the Union of South Africa Defence Force (UDF) to the Royal Marine Commandos at least two were to be awarded the Military Cross for gallantry on D-Day, namely Captain Lyle Louwrens Archibald MacKay and Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Douglas Bircher.

There were also other South African connections during the Normandy operations  68 years ago, and in the picture below one can see the wreck of HMS Durban (D99), a Danae-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy, launched in May 1919 and commissioned in November 1921.  During WWII HMS Durban was to serve in Atlantic and Far Eastern waters, and after various trials and tribulations was one of the ships selected to be scuttled to form a breakwater for the now famous Mulberry harbours that would be used to help facilitate the logistical support of the Allied forces during the Battle of Normandy. This grand old lady was duly scuttled on the 9 June  to form part of the Gooseberry 5 breakwater for protecting the artificial harbour at Ouistreham in the Seine Bay, and there she rests to this day, submerged beneath approximately 11 metres of water.
                                                                                                                               Copyright IWM (A24054)

Interestingly enough, a South African, namely Lieutenant George Charles Mander, Royal Engineers (300428), originally from Calvinia, in the Cape, was to be awarded the MBE (LG 23 March 1945) while engaged in service pertaining to the Mulberry harbours. He was awarded the order “for bravery, when two Phoenix units [reinforced concrete caissons] - parts of the “Mulberry” harbour - were  involved in a night collision last June [June 1944], several men were washed into the sea. Regardless of the swift current and the darkness, Lieutenant Mander dived into the water to rescue a seaman and, after supporting him in the water for three-quarters of an hour, succeeded in getting him into a rescue boat. He then dived overboard again to assist another man to safety.”

And additional South Africans and Rhodesians (No’s 44 and 266 “Rhodesia” squadrons, RAF) would also partake in various branches of the British and Allied armed forces in the subsequent fighting in Normandy [Operation Overlord]  and the advance into North West Europe (NWE) (and ultimately Germany itself), including Major-General Eric Hakewill-Smith, OC 52nd Scottish (Lowland) Division (from Kimberley, Griqualand West); Air Vice Marshal Leslie Oswald  Brown (OC No 84 Group, 2TAF); Brigadier Walter Greenacre, OC 6th Guards Armoured Brigade (from Durban); Wing Commander A.G. “Sailor” Malan, commanding No 145 (Free French)  Fighter Wing (accompanying his squadrons on multiple sorties over the Normandy beaches); Lieutenant-Colonel Bob Crisp, 3 Royal Tank Regiment (3RTR); Squadron leader J.J. le Roux (RAF); Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Mackenzie, 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers; and Lieutenant Donald Gray, King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB).


The last mentioned individual might be better known to some as the South African actor Eldred Tidbury. He was born on an ostrich farm at Tidbury's Toll near  Fort Beaufort, in the Eastern Cape, in 1914, and had won a film contest in 1932, where-after he then left SA for Hollywood and later Britain.  With the outbreak of WWII Gray joined the British Army, and was severely wounded during the fighting at Caen in July 1944 while serving with the King‘s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB).  Gray’s left arm was shattered by an anti-tank shell, the limb having to be amputated a few days later at an emergency hospital near the front line. Gray had also appeared as “Bruce MacIntosh” in the British musical, “We’ll Meet Again” (1943), starring Vera Lynn, and  would later provide the voices of Colonel White, Captain Black and the Mysterons in the 1960s TV series, captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.  He later returned to South Africa, where he passed away in April 1978.
                                                                                     (Wickimedia Commons)

(no subject)
My wife and I often walk our dog "Jack" in the "Skate Park" in Swords, Dublin, and have come across this particular artwork depicting a (Star Wars trooper) on a number of occasions, and it is so incredibly lifelike from far that the first time I saw it I thought it was another person. It still fascinates it is exceptionally well done. Whoever the artist may be he/she should take a bow...brilliantly done. 


A few Photos of the "Salute" Military Display at Swords, Dublin, Ireland, in August 2012
Just a few pictures taken by me during the "Salute" Military Display which took place at the showgrounds  at Swords, Dublin, Ireland, in August 2012. Thought I'd upload them.

Salute Collage



Really enjoyed the show...well done "Salute"!

(no subject)
My Military Research:

Wing-Commander Grahame Lawrence Cruickshanks, RAF (Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape):

Grahame Lawrence Cruickshanks was born in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, and was the son of Alexander Craighead Cruickshanks and Agnes Cruickshanks, and was the  
youngest of four brothers. He and his siblings were educated at Grey High School, in Port Elizabeth, where he excelled at both cricket (fulfilling his role in the First XI, as one of the opening batsmen, as well as a wicketkeeper), and football. 
He later worked for Shell SA, leaving for England in 1933 in order to join the Royal Air Force (RAF). Following his training in Egypt he joined No 14 Squadron, RAF,  in Transjordan, where he was to display his ability as a pilot, and was also to impress his contempories with his resourcefulness. He later qualified as an instructor in England in 1938.  

During WWII he was to take part in many raids on some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany (and “Fortress Europe“), flying with No 9 squadron, and was  promoted to the rank of temporary squadron leader (LG 20 September 1940), taking over  command of No 214 (Federated Malay) Squadron, RAF (part of No 3 Group, RAF), in August 1941 (flying Wellington Mk IIs) , by which time he was a wing-commander (having also been awarded  the DFC), but was killed on the 8September during a bombing mission on Berlin (piloting a Wellington Mk IC, R1784 Bu-?). 

An article in the “South Africa” magazine of 20 July 1940, was to write of him: 

“Flight-Lieutenant G.L. Cruickshanks, from Port Elizabeth, a member of the Royal Air Force, has been training airmen and instructors for the last nine months, but a day’s leave last week enabled him to glimpse South Africa House in battle dress, its stalwart commissionaire almost the only recognisable landmark which recalled his visit of six years ago. Remembered as an Eastern Province cricketer, Mr. Cruickshanks had a season at home in 1937 . 
Since then he has married Miss Austin [Phyllis “Billie” Austin Cruickshanks] from Port Elizabeth [CWGC states that she hailed from Durban, Natal] and with their small son they spent some pleasant years in Egypt. ‘Life in England is changeful,’ he remarked. ‘In nine months we have lived in nine different houses and have made three big changes, but hope to be comfortably settled soon. ‘ He cannot speak too highly of his flying pupils, many of whom have gone from him direct into the fighting to win honour and distinction. He speaks with admiration of the young South Africans and Rhodesians who continue to come forward, all of them ‘first class men’” 

Wing-Commander Cruickshanks is buried at the “Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery”, together with five members of his crew (GR: 4. A. 1.). 

Lt.-Colonel E.V. Whitehead and Major S.H.J. Whitehead (of Johannesburg):

Ernest Victor Whitehead and Stanley Henry James Whitehead  were brothers who were both sadly to be killed during World War II, while serving with the Indian Army. They were the sons of  Major Ernest Kilve Whitehead and Edith Henrietta Clough Raymond Whitehead (nee Mallock), and were educated at St John’s College, Johannesburg. 
Ernest Whitehead was born in 1908 and was educated at St John's College, Johannesburg, and in 1926, together with another South African, T.R. Waller,  was to receive "special recommendation" to attend the RMC Sandhurst, entering the military college the following year. He was commissioned a second-lieutenant on the 30 August 1928, and was transferred from the unattached list to Indian Army on the 16 October 1929, and was promoted lieutenant in November 1930, and captain in August 1937. During the war he was to serve with the Gurkha’s, being awarded the DSO and receiving a MIDs’ twice. Ernest Whitehead was killed fighting in Burma on the 1 March 1945, while commanding the 3rd  battalion of the 8th  Gurkha Rifles, and he is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial (Face 70), in the Taukkyan War Cemetery, which is about 35 kilometres north of Yangon (formerly Rangoon), in what is now Myanmar (formerly Burma).  
His younger brother Major Stanley Henry James Whitehead, Indian Army, born in 1910, was also educated at St. John’s College, Johannesburg, and like his sibling too received a nomination to attend the RMC Sandhurst (1929). He was commissioned a second-lieutenant on the  8 August 1930, and was transferred from the unattached list to the Indian Army on the 24 October 1931. Promoted lieutenant in 1932 and captain 1938, Stanley Whitehead also, interestingly enough,  served as transport officer to a group of German climbers who attempted to scale the Gangotri Glacier, in the Himalayas’ in 1938. Major Whitehead was later  killed in action in Italy on the 8 August  1944 while serving with the 3rd  battalion of the 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles, and is buried at Arezzo War Cemetery, Northern Italy (Grave Reference V.C. 19.).  
It’s actually quite uncanny as to how the lives of these two Johannesburg  brothers almost mirrored each other, both being educated at St John’s College, Johannesburg; both receiving  recommendations'  to  attend the RMC Sandhurst; both transferring to the Indian Army, and, finally, both being killed during WWII, within 8 months of each other…amazing, and ultimately tragic at the same time.  

Service Record of General Sir Abraham Josias Cloete (1794-1886), British Army:

During his illustrious service in the British Army, General Sir Abraham Josias Cloete, born at Cape Town in 1794, was to serve as "Colonel" of Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire) Regiment, formerly the 19th Regiment of Foot (from 1861-1886), and his service record appears in Hart's Army List of 1883, page 259, just three-years prior to his death in October 1886 (see below). 

Service Record of General Sir A.J. Cloete (Hart's Army List 1883)

Rear-Admiral John Luke Richard Stoll (1812-?), Royal Navy (Cape Town): 

Stoll was the son of Joachim Wilhelm Stoll, at one stage Treasurer and Accountant-General at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), and also a member of the Excecutive and Legislative Councils of the Cape Colony, and Catherine Charlotte Liesching. He was was born at the Cape of Good Hope in 1812, and joined the  Royal Navy as a "first-class volunteer" in 1824, and later anglicised his first names. He was to be placed on the retired list as a Captain in October 1870, and was promoted rear-admiral on the retired list on the 22 December 1875 ( LG 24 December 1875, Issue 24278, page 6577), and was very likely the first South African-born man to reach flag-rank in the Royal Navy. His service record was to appear in "A Naval Biographical Dictionary" by William R. O'Byrne, published 1849, pages 1124-1125 (which see below & click to enlarge).  

 Service Record of J.L.R. Stoll, Royal Navy (click to enlarge)
General Henry Daniel Cloete, Madras Army, 1829-1895 (Cape Province): 

Henry Daniel Cloete was born at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) in 1829, and was the son of Henry Cloete  (1792-1870) and Christina Helen Graham. He joined the Madras Army (British Indian Army), and served during the Second Burmese War (1852-1853),  and was present during the attack and capture “of the Pagoda, and its Defences at Pegu, on the 21st of November, 1852“, and was listed as “dangerously wounded“ in Major-General Godwin‘s dispatches (London Gazette, Issue 21403, 18 January 1853, page 137), while serving with the 5th Madras Native Infantry.
The Army List  of 1883 (page 510), states he was “wounded by a musket ball in the chest“, and “was also constantly engaged with the enemy during the ascent of the Pegu river in the leading steamer“, and was awarded the “Medal With Clasp for Pegu“).
He was later promoted lieutenant-colonel (12 December 1875, LG 15 August 1876) and by 1887  was a full colonel, and was subsequently “transferred to the Unemployed Supernumerary List” (LG 10 January 1888, Issue 25775, page 306, transfer dated 12 December 1887, ).
Cloete would thereafter rise to the rank of  general on the Retired List of the Madras Staff Corps, and was to die on the 2 June 1895, at which time he was resident at No 21 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London (See ).
The Cloete family is remarkable in that it was to produce three generals’ and one admiral in the British and Indian armed forces, namely  General Sir Abraham Josias Cloete, British Army;  General Henry Daniel Cloete, British-Indian Army, Lieutenant-General Josias Gordon Cloete, British-Indian Army and Rear-Admiral Edward Balfour Cloete , Royal Navy. 

Colonel John Herschel, Royal Engineers, 1837-1921 (Cape Town): 

Colonel John Herschel, Royal Engineers, was the son and grandson of two of the greatest of England’s astronomers. He was born at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) in 1837, the youngest son of Sir John F.W. Herschel, the first baronet, and grandson of Sir William Herschel. John Herschel was educated at Clapham Grammar School and Addiscombe (the English East India Company’s military academy), and entered the Bengal Engineers in 1856. 
However, he was not to land in India until after the Indian Mutiny, and was almost at once appointed to the Great Trigonometrical Survey, and was to serve in that department for nearly 30 years, being at the time of his retirement in 1886 the Deputy-Superintendent. 
The Royal Society, of which he was elected a Fellow in 1871,  employed him in 1868 and again in 1871 to observe the total eclipse of the sun spectroscopic ally, and Herschel was among the earliest to view the coloured flames through the prism. 
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society  in 1872, and was also a member  of the Senate of Calcutta University. Colonel Herschel had married Mary Cornwallis in 1867, the daughter of the Rev. F. Lipscomb, rector of Welbury, Yorkshire, and widow of D. Power, QC, who died in 1876, and Herschel was himself to die in 1921, when in his 84th year. 

Interestingly enough, another son of a famous English astronomer who was also born at the Cape of Good Hope at about the same time (in 1838) was Admiral John Fiot Lee Pearse MacLear, Royal Navy, who would serve with the “Senior Service” for many years, during the Crimean War and elsewhere, and would also be involved in scientific endeavours, commanding HMS Challenger, the scientific exploratory vessel, on its oceanographic circumnavigation of the world (1872-1876), under the Scottish naval commander and explorer, Sir George Strong Nares. During that voyage “MacLear’s Rat” on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean was named after him, and he is also honoured in the specific epithet of “Dicliptera maclearii”, a plant in the family Acanthaceae which is endemic to Christmas Island. 

Military Cross Award to a South African in Afghanistan 2011: 

A Durban man, Sergeant Peter Keogh, of the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, was recently awarded the Military Cross (MC) (LG 30 September 2011, page 2), “in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2010 to 31st March 2011“. The first South African to be awarded the MC seems also to have been awarded to a South African serving with the British forces, namely Lieutenant George Frederick Pigot-Moodie, born in Cape Town. He was awarded the MC in 1915 (Supplement to the London Gazette, 1 January 1915) while serving with the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) on the Western Front in 1914,  just four days after the award had first been established,  nearly 100-years ago. 

Lt. T.H.B. Oates, Royal Navy (Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia): 

Lieutenant Thomas Herbert Beveridge  Oates, Royal Navy, the son of Sergeant J.V. and Nellie Oates, of Guinea Fowl, Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia, was killed flying with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) over the North Sea on the 8  December 1941, while operating from HMS Condor. He had served as a third officer aboard Discovery II in the 1932-37 Antarctic expedition, for which he received the Polar Medal.   His name appears on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial (Bay 1, Panel 6). 

A South African Indian in the RAF: 

A certain Aircraftman Soobzan Gurunathar, hailing from Pietermaritzburg, seems to have been  one of the first members of the South African Indian community to join the Royal Air Force (RAF) during WWII, and was reported as such in June 1942.  

Flt.-Lt. E.M.C. Guest, 53 Squadron, RAF (Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia): 

Flight Lieutenant Ernest Melville Charles Guest, Royal Air Force, missing believed killed on the 4 October 1943, was the son of Colonel the Hon. Sir Ernest Lucas Guest, K.B.E., C.M.G., C.V.O., and Lady Guest, and  husband of Kathrine Mary Guest, of Pannal, Yorkshire. He was born at Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, in 1920, and was to serve with No’s 206 and 53 Squadrons, RAF, prior to his death. Guest was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) , and was also mentioned-in-dispatches twice. By June 1942 he had completed 1000 hours operational flying, and his citation (reported via “South Africa” magazine) was to say that his “qualities of endurance are phenomenal, his ability as a pilot exceptional, and his devotion to duty of the highest order”. The newspaper article (dated June 6, 1942) also stated that Guest had done his work “quietly and efficiently” and that he set “an excellent example to the younger pilots of the squadron”. Guest was killed while serving with No 53 squadron, RAF, and his name appears on Panel 119 of the Runnymede Memorial (situated 4 miles from Windsor). He was 23 years-of-age at the time of his death. No 53 Squadron flew B24 Liberator bombers at the time, and  were operating from RAF Beaulieu (situated in the New Forest, Hampshire), engaged primarily in anti-submarine patrols over the Bay of Biscay and the Western Approaches.  His father Colonel Lucas Guest served as Rhodesia’s Minister for Air during the war. 

Lt. J.A. Horner (MC),  SA Forces, Seconded Cheshire Regt. (Harrismith, OFS, S. Africa). 

Lieutenant Joseph Alfred Horner, South Africans Forces, was one of many South Africans seconded to the British Army during WWII. He was to be awarded the Military Cross on the 4 May 1944 (Suppl. to LG issue 36497, page 2044 & Nat. Archives, WO 373/5/60) for his endeavours during the crossing of the Garigliano River in Italy in January 1944. Horner hailed from Harrismith, in the Orange Free State, and initially served with the Union of South Africa Defence Force during the war before he was seconded to the Cheshire Regiment.
He was to serve with the 6th battalion, a machine-gun battalion, of the regiment, which formed part of the 56th London Division. An article entitled “a Free Stater Wins M.C. in Italy“ (published in “South Africa” magazine in June 1944) was to say: “The citation states that on the night of January 17-18 [1944] Lieutenant Horner [280429V] was in charge of the advance guard of a machine-gun platoon during the crossing of the river. After getting across he went forward as ordered. Enemy opposition proved to [be] much heavier than was expected, and the situation became somewhat confused. Horner made every effort to keep in touch with the platoon commander but found that the enemy were between the advance guard and the platoon. He himself went through the enemy positions to contact the platoon, but was unable to do so. He decided to push on to the objective with his advance guard and one N.C.O. and one man. This he did, advancing 4000 yards across country in face of heavy mortar and machine-gun fire and arrived at the objective at 4.30 on the morning of the 18th. At that time they were the only troops on the feature. At first light he contacted eight men of a Commando and organised them and his own men into a defensive position. At 07.30 hours the enemy assaulted the position but were driven off. Two other men of the Commando were wounded while attempting to join Lieutenant Horner, who went forward in the open under heavy mortar fire  and carried both these men to safety. Later in the morning he was able to hand over the position to the infantry. ‘Lieutenant Horner showed great  courage and determination, and by his leadership and disregard of danger was instrumental in taking and holding a valuable tactical feature.’ adds the citation.”

South Africans at Arnhem:

There were at least three genuine South Africans present during the actual Battle for Arnhem in September 1944, namely Major Sir Wilfrid Henry Frederick Robinson (the son of the South African mining magnate Sir J.B. Robinson), who was educated at Diocesan College in Cape Town, who served as second-in-command of C Company, 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment; Lipmann Kessel, Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), who under severe circumstances performed the operation on Brigadier John Hackett that was to save his life, Hackett having received a severe stomach wound; and Sergeant Norman Walton, a glider pilot. Of course there were also South Africans involved in the air operations supporting the overall assault, as well those involved in the ultimately unsuccessful Allied push to link up with the “Red Devils” at the bridge, men such as Squadron-Leader H.P. Lardner-Burke, RAF (from Kimberley, Griqualand West) and Lieutenant-Colonel Ian MacKenzie, Royal Scots Fusiliers (from Johannesburg) respectively. 

Reference to Sergeant Walton’s arduous ordeal was to appear in an article of “South Africa” magazine in late 1944, under the heading “South African at Arnhem” and was to relate: “There was at least one South African among the heroes of Arnhem. He is Sergeant Norman Walton, a glider pilot, now back in England after his arduous experiences. In a B.B.C. broadcast to South Africa he has just been telling the story of his adventures. When he reached Arnhem on the first Sunday morning of the invasion his first job was to reinforce the men already holding the bridge. Later he and the other glider pilots were withdrawn to Divisional H.Q. for a further task. They spent the rest of the time there defending the place. ‘We were constantly mortared and shelled.’ he said, ‘and consequently most of our time was spent in slit trenches.’ They had the job of manning the six-pounders after the gun crews were killed, hunting snipers, and scouting for tanks. As the main water supply had been cut, the whole division had to rely on one well which was under mortar fire day and night.
‘Fetching water became quite a suicidal venture,’ Sergeant Walton said. ‘We did manage to collect rainwater in our gas caps, and were thankful for it as it saved us a trip down to the well . Brewing up was rather a difficult proposition. Every time the tea was just on the boil the Germans would mortar the position, and more often than not our tea went to the four winds. On the last day I found I had one cigarette - but no matches. The fellow in the next slit trench had no cigarettes - but one match. When we met we shared the match and halved the cigarette. On the eighth day ammunition was very short, and food was nil.’

[The article continues] When orders came for them to withdraw it was a nightmare experience travelling through the dark woods and dodging German sentries. Crossing the Rhine to safety, their boat broke down halfway and they started drifting in the general direction of the North Sea, but after a quarter of an hour the engineers got the engines going again, and Sergeant Walton and his comrades finally reached Nijmegen, where they had their first real sleep for nine days, and spent a large part of the following day removing ten days’ growth of beard.”  

Captain Larry Eager, SAAF (Johannesburg):

“Twenty-three-year-old Captain Larry Eager, of Somerset Strand, who worked in Johannesburg in 1940, is the second South African to be made a flight commander in the rocket-firing Typhoon wing of the R.A.F. Second Tactical Air Force on the Western front. He is one of seven South African pilots in this wing, which flies in close support of ground troops, the other flight commander being Captain Anton Lens, of Utrecht [Natal, South Africa; Captain Lens  flew with No 183 squadron and was killed on the 22 February 1945, shot down by flack east of Udem while piloting a Typhoon 1b, MN941). 
“I’m delighted,” he said, “but I shall miss flying with the other Springboks - except on big wing shows. I missed the Falaise Gap show, but took part in the knocking out [of] Le Havre and the Channel ports. The most interesting ’op’ was certainly Walcheren [31 October- 2 November 1944]. We were there for the start, and saw the first landing barges go in with the Commandos. [which included at least four South Africans among them]” 
“Captain Eager, who now flies with the British-Argentine Squadron [most likely No 164 squadron] , joined the S.A.A.F. in January 1941. He was educated at King Edward School, Johannesburg. - Reuter [SA Mag. 1945]” Postscript: No 164 squadron flew Hawker Typhoon 1B’s from January 1944 to June 1945. Larry eager later flew with distinction with No 2 “Flying Cheetahs” Squadron, SAAF, in Korea. 

At least 21 South African men were to serve as brigade or general-officers and  the equivalent within the various branches of the British Armed Forces (British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force) during World War II (1939-45), namely:  

Brigadier Eustace Aldford Arderne (Cape Town), British Army, OC 25th Indian Brigade, Italy 1943-45. 

Temporary-Brigadier Ernest Bader (later Honorary Brigadier), British Army, Royal Engineers, Allied Control Mission for Germany 1944-45.

Air Vice Marshal Sir Joseph Christopher Quintin Brand, RAF, AOC 10 Fighter Group, Battle of Britain 1940. 

Air Vice Marshal (later Air Vice Marshal Sir) Leslie Oswald Brown (Durban), RAF, AOC No 84 Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force (2TAF), NWEurope 1944. 

Rear-Admiral Cosmo Moray Graham (Cape Province), Royal Navy, Senior Naval Officer Persian Gulf, Burma & Flag Officer-in-Charge, Humber [HMS Beaver] 1942-45. 

Brigadier Walter Douglas Campbell Greenacre (Durban), British Army, OC 6th British Guards Armoured Brigade in NW Europe 1944-45. 

Major-General Edmund Hakewill-Smith (Kimberley & Cape Town), British Army, OC 52nd Scottish (Lowland) Division, NWEurope 1944-45.  

Brigadier Hugh Llewelyn Glynn Hughes, British Army (RAMC) (Ventersburg, Orange Free State), Deputy Director of Medical Services to the British Second Army, NWEurope 1944-45.

Brigadier Llewellyn Graham Owen Jenkins (Cape Town), British Army, Deputy Director of Liaisons & Munitions (A), War Office 1942-45. 

Lieutenant-General Eric Mansergh (Rondebosch, Cape Town), British Army, OC 5th Indian Division & 15th Indian Corps, Burma & Netherlands East Indies 1945-46.

Brigadier Ralph Marnham (Cape Town), Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), Consulting Surgeon Southern Command 1945. 

Brigadier Felton Arthur Hamilton Mathew, Royal Corps of Signals, British Army, Chief Signal Officer 9th Army (1941-44) & Scottish Command (1944-45). 

Acting Air Commodore Douglas Morris (later Air Marshal Sir), RAF, SASO, HQ  No 84 Group 1945.  

Brigadier George Pigot-Moodie (Cape Town), British Army, OC Pioneer Corps Brigade, DDPL Southern Command 1944-45. 

Brigadier Norman Swift Plummer, RAMC, Consulting Physician to the Middle East Forces. 

Air Vice Marshal Alan Patrick Ritchie (Natal), RAF, AOC No 205 Group 1942, AOC No 93 Group 1943 & Air Adviser to Special Operations Executive (SOE). 

Air Vice Marshal (later Air Chief Marshal Sir) Hugh William Lumsden “Dingbat” Saunders (Johannesburg), AOC No 11 Fighter Group 1942-44 & AOC RAF in Burma 1945. 

Air Vice Marshal (later Air Marshal) Sir Leonard Horatio Slatter (Natal), RAF, AOC 15 Coastal Command Group 1943-45 & Commander-in-Chief Coastal Command 1945. 

Vice Admiral (later Admiral Sir) Neville Syfret (Cape Town), Royal Navy, Commanding Force “H”, North African landings November 1942, Madagascar 1942, Sicily 1943 & a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and Vice-Chief of Naval Staff, as well as 
Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet (appointed November 1945). 

Air Vice Marshal (later Air Marshal Sir) Thomas Melling Williams, RAF, Deputy Commander, H.Q. Eastern Air Command (Air Command South - East Asia), & Assistant Chief-of-Air-Staff, Operations (1944 - 1947). 

Acting Air Vice Marshal Colin Winterbotham Weedon (later Air Marshal Sir) (Natal), RAF, Command Engineer Officer, HQ Base Air Forces, South-East Asia 1944-45.

Major John Greenshields Moodie, Royal Artillery (Johannesburg):

Major John Greenshields Moodie, Royal Artillery, hailing from Johannesburg, and educated at St. John’s College, in that city, served with the Royal Field Artillery during WWI , and was awarded the MC (LG 4 October 1919). During WWII  he was again to serve with the Royal Artillery (112498), serving with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France in 1940, and was awarded a bar to his MC (LG 22 October 1940, page 6114). His 1919 citation  follows: 

(Supplement to the London Gazette, 4 October 1919, page 12319).
Lt. John Greenshields Moodie, R.F.A. (Spec. Res.), attd. 113th By., 25th Bde.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as F.O.O. [Forward Observation Officer] on the 4th November, 1918, near Catillon. He kept in close touch throughout the day with the advancing infantry. On learning that they were held up by machine-gun fire, he obtained observation of the nest of machine guns, and by means of visual communication he brought accurate fire to bear, and effectively silenced them, thus enabling the advance to continue.

Captain J.M. Mervis, A South African Doctor in Burma during WWII: 

J.M. Mervis, from Kroonstad, Orange Free State, South Africa, served with the British Army and was seconded to a Nigerian regiment, serving in Burma. This excerpt pertaining to him appeared in “South Africa” magazine in 1945, and gives at times a frank recounting of his time in Burma during the fierce fighting there:
“ One of the few South Africans with a complete on-the-spot picture of the fighting in the Far East has returned to England after an absence of nearly four and a half years. He is a doctor, Captain J.M. Mervis, of Kroonstad, and he has  just returned from the Burma front, where he has been actively associated with the Fourteenth Army. Captain Mervis was in England when war was declared, and joined the British Army after doig a post-graduate course in medicine. He was posted to West Africa in 1940 and remained there until June, 1943, when he was sent to Burma with the Nigerians. He saw much fighting in the Far East, and was in the Kaladena [sic] Valley, east of the Arakan front, when he was ordered to England. 
One of the most interesting features of the Burma campaign, says Captain Mervis, was the way in which the troops were kept supplied. All supplies came by air, a stupendous task, which was efficiently carried out by Dakota squadrons. The supplies included food, clothing, and various types of arms and ammunition, as well as medical supplies. Captain Mervis considers that the Fourteenth Army now have the upper hand and are speedily destroying the Japanese. In all fighting few prisoners are taken, as the Japanese is a fighter with a one-track mind who continues to fight until either shot or forcibly restrained. 
‘One of the things that interested me most,’ he said, ‘was the Jap breaks down once taken prisoner. There is something child-like about him and, unlike our chaps, he has no idea of security. Almost all prisoners taken give the whole picture away as soon as the interrogator gets to work on them.’ Captain Mervis expects to remain in England until the end of the war, and then return to the Union [of South Africa] - to take up framing. - Reuter” 
Lieutenant G. Mervis, No 60 (Phot Reconnaissance) Squadron, SAAF (207058V), killed on the 13 May 1944, and the son of  Benjamin and Leah Mervis, of Kroonstad, Orange Free State, may  have been a sibling, or relative but I’m not sure. Mervis served as observer to Lieutenant W. C. Joubert (Mosquito PR.IX MM256), and they were shot down by a German fighter at Saint Martin de Crau, a commune in the Bouches-du-Rhone department in southern France. 

Flight Lieutenant Alick Charles Heath, Royal Air Force (Cape Town):

Flight Lieutenant Alick Charles Heath, Royal Air Force, died on the 9 May 1940 while serving with No 254 Squadron, RAF. He was the son of  Eli Paul and Emily Heath, of Bellville, Cape Province, South Africa (and Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, SA). He was born in Cape Town and was commissioned an acting pilot officer on the 16 April 1935 (short service commission), and was to serve with the fighter command section of the RAF from March 1936. Heath (37137) was promoted flying-officer in November 1937, and acting flight-lieutenant in December 1938, and was confirmed in that rank in December 1939. No 254 squadron was formed as a shipping protection squadron and was equipped with the Bristol Blenheim fighter. Convoy patrols off the East Coast of Britain began in January 1940, and reconnaissance missions were added in April 1940, while also providing fighter escorts for anti-shipping strikes.
At the time of Heath’s death the squadron was flying Bristol Blenheim IVF’s, and was stationed at Hatston, north west of  Kirkwall, on Mainland Orkney, in Scotland (a Royal Naval Air Station also referred to as HMS Sparrowhawk).
On the 9 May Heath was to pilot Blenheim L9482-QY?, and together with five additional Blenheim’s of his squadron and eight Skuas of No 806 Squadron, FAA, attacked  Bergen in Norway where the German artillery training ship (Artillerieschulschiff), Bremse, was reported to be berthed (which ship was finally sunk on the 6 September 1941, when rammed by HMS Nigeria in Hammerfjord, and cut in half). His Blenheim was subsequently seen to be hit by flak and plummeted into the harbour. Together with Heath, Sergeant Stanley Arthur Nicholls (of Warwickshire)  and Lieutenant Robin Baillie Nuthall (Royal Navy) were also killed. Heath, who was 25 years old at the time of his death, was at first reported missing and then “believed killed in action”, and his name appears on Panel 4 of the Runnymede Memorial. 

Pilot Officer Anthony Foster Booth, RAF (Natal, SA & Selukwe, Rhodesia): 

Another southern African serving with the RAF and killed just twenty days after Heath’s death was Pilot Officer Anthony Foster Booth (42099). A.F. Booth was born in Natal, South Africa and was the son of Alan Foster Booth and  Maude Ida Booth, of Selukwe, Southern Rhodesia. Mention was made of him in “South Africa” magazine shortly before his death on the 29 May 1940. It reads: “Pilot Officer A.F. Booth, Royal Air Force, passed through London last Saturday with no leisure for anything but a visit to Rhodesia House and a glance at the home newspapers.
Born in Natal and brought up at Johannesburg, Mr. Booth served for six years with the British South Africa Police [BSAP] in Southern Rhodesia, and was in charge of a station. His eighteen months in England have brought plenty of action, especially in the last few months. He admits that in air combats the enemy are usually averse from taking chances. ‘They are funny lads,’ he said, “and prefer to let our fellows do all that.’ For a modest statement of a transcendent fact that could scarcely be bettered. Mr. Booth’s young brother is a pilot with the Rhodesian Air Force.”
Booth was confirmed in his appointment as a pilot officer on the 13 march 1940 (LG 9 April 1940, 2072) and was killed flying with No 235 Squadron (operating under Coastal Command), being shot “down in flames into the sea off France”. He and his crew, sergeants’ Elliot (Gloucestershire) and Scott (Lancashire), had taken off from RAF Detling (Kent), in a Bristol Blenheim IV, and it would seem were involved in the events surrounding the evacuation of Dunkirk (26 may - 3 June 1940). Booth was 26 years-of-age at the time of his death, and his name appears on Panel 7 of the Runnymede Memorial. 

Squadron-Leader N.F.D. Buckeridge, RAF (Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape, & Johannesburg): 

Squadron-Leader Norman Frank Dennis Buckeridge, Royal Air Force, was born at Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He was the son of Major Dennis Buckeridge and Amy Katherine Isabel Buckeridge. His parents were among the first of the Rand (Johannesburg) pioneers, and it would seem his father was involved in the mining business, possibly with South Rand Exploration. Buckeridge served with the 1st Transvaal Mounted Rifles during the 1906 Bambata (or Natal) Rebellion. During WWI he was initially to serve with the 4th  South African Mounted Rifles (SAMR), before joining the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), and was mentioned-in-dispatches, also serving as an Equipment Officer and “Park Commander“ with the rank of temporary major “whilst so employed“(LG 27 July 1917). By May 1919 he held the rank of  major.

N.F.D. Buckerdige remained with the RAF during the inter-war years, and was placed on half pay on the 1 January 1931 (LG 6 January 1931), and on the retired list on the 3 September 1932 with the rank of  squadron-leader. Squadron-Leader Buckeridge was to serve with the equipment branch of the RAF during the early days of WWII, and was to die in England on the 26 April 1940, aged 52, and is buried at North Stoneham (St. Nicholas) Churchyard, Hampshire. One of his sons was to serve with the Welsh Guards during the war, and although the author is not sure he may have been a certain Lt. Raymond Buckeridge, 2nd battalion, Welsh Guards, who had attended the RMC Sandhurst in 1939 before being commissioned, and who seems to have survived the war. 

It seems likely that one Lieutenant Guy Dennis Buckeridge, RFC, who was the son of A.D. Buckeridge of Johannesburg, who died on the 22 August 1917 (when 22 years-of-age), may very well have been his younger brother, and is buried at Swaffham (SS. Peter and Paul) Churchyard,  Norfolk.
(See , Lt. G.D. Buckeridge, RFC)

The Roll of Various South Africans Who Attended Edinburgh University and Served during World War I
The Service and Honour Roll of Various South Africans Who Attended Edinburgh University and Served during World War I (1914-1919)

Transcribed and Collated 
Ross Dix-Peek

                                                               (Pictures: Univ. of Edinburgh Roll of Honour 1914-1919)

* denotes Killed/Died.

Malvern College. Cadet Corps 1900-2. Student of Science, 1918-19. 2nd 
Rhodesian Regiment, 2nd Lieut. 1915; Lieut. 1918. 3rd Royal Warwickshire 
Regiment (S.R.) 

South African College, Cape Town. M.B., Ch.B. 1905 ; M.D. 1919. S.A.M.C., Captain March 1914, R.A.M.C., Captain Dec. 1915; Major 1916. Rebellion in Transvaal and Free State, 1914. German South- West Campaign, 1915. Salonika Oct. 1916. France Aug. 1919. 

High School, Durban. M.B., Ch.B. 1900; M.D. 1908; F.R.C.S. (Edin.); D.P.H. (Camb.). West African Medical Service! M.O., 3rd Scottish General Hospital, Glasgow, May to July 1916. Special List, Captain May 1917. Nyasaland Field Force. Dispatches Jan. 1919. 

Pietermaritzburg College, Natal. First XL; Cricket and Football. M.B., Ch.B. 1901; D.P.H. ; R.C.P.S. (Edin.) 1903. R.A.M.C. (T.), Lieut. June 1915; Captain Dec. 1915 ; Major Jan. 1918. Attached 2/4th Royal Highlanders (Black Watch). 6oth Field Ambulance, Adjutant. France July 1917 to June 1919. M.C. Nov. 1917. 

Grey Institute, Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony. M.B., Ch.B. 1912. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Aug. 1914; Captain Aug. 1915 to March 1919. France 1914. Medaille de 1'Assistance Publique (French) Nov. 1917. 

High School, Oudtshoorn, Cape Colony. Cadet Corps 1904-7, Sergeant. M.B., Ch.B. 1913. O.T.C. Artillery, 1909, Cadet. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Jan. 1916. 

Maritzburg College, Natal. Student of Medicine, 1913-15 and 1917-20. O.T.C. Infantry, Oct. 1914 to March 1915, Cadet 6th Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 2nd Lieut. France May to Oct. 1916. Wounded at Arras Oct. 1916. M.C. 

St John's College, Johannesburg. First XI. Student of Medicine, 1916-18 ; M.B., Ch.B. 1918. ist Battn. Cape Town Highlanders, Corporal Aug. 1914 to Dec. 1915. 

Somerset West School ; South African College, Cape Town. Student of 
Medicine, 1912-14. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1913 to Oct. 1914, Cadet. R.F.A., 2nd Lieut. Aug. 1914; Lieut. July 1915. Royal Flying Corps, Jan. 1916. France ; St Julien, St Jean, Hill 60, and second Ypres. Dispatches. Wounded Aug. and Nov. 1915. Wounded at Cambrai on ?th and died on 11th April 1917. PI. x. [Served No 14 Squadron, RFC., buried Bapaume Australian Cemetery, Grave Ref. B24]

M.B., C.M. Cape Medical Corps, Major. 

Hilton College, Natal. Athletics. O.T.C. 1902-12, Sergeant. University O.T.C. Artillery, Nov. 1915 to Feb. 1916, Cadet. Natal Carabiniers, Trooper Sept 1914. German West Africa. R.F.A., Officer Cadet Feb. 1916; Lieut July 1917. Royal Air Force. 

Pietermaritzburg College. O.T.C. 1904-11, Sergeant-Major. Student of 
Medicine, 1912-14 and 1919-20. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1913-14, Cadet. 
R.F.A. 55th Brigade, 2nd Lieut. Aug. 1914; Lieut. Royal Air Force. 
Egypt and Gallipoli 1915-16 ; East Africa 1916-18. Wounded at Gallipoli. 

Bishop's College, Maritzburg, Natal. M.B., CM. ,1882 ; M.D. 1886; F.R.C.P. & S. (Edin.) ; M.R.C.S. (Eng.) ; D.P.H. South African Campaign, Natal Medical Corps. Native Rebellion 1910. Major M.I. Durham Defence Corps, Major Nov. 1915. 
M.B. (Rons.) (Cape of Good Hope). M.B., C.M. 1887. South African Medical 
Corps, Captain March 1915 ; German South West Africa. Union Central African Imperial Service Contingent, Sept. 1915. Dispatches 1915. Invalided out March 1918. 

Marist Brothers' College, Johannesburg. Student of Medicine, 1913-18 ; 
M.B., Ch.B. 1918. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1914 to Feb. 1916, Cadet. R.N.V.R., Surgeon-Probationer, Feb. 1916; Royal Navy, Surgeon-Lieut., July 1918 to Aug. 1919. 

South African College, Capetown. Student of Medicine, 1909-15; M.B. 1915. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Lost at sea on [15] April 1917. [Mikra Memorial, Thessaloniki, Greece]

South African College School, and University, Cape Town. First XV. Cadet 
Corps 1905-8, Sergeant. Student of Medicine, 1909-14; M.B., Ch.B. 1914. 
O.T.C. Artillery, Jan. 1910 to Nov. 1912. South African Medical Corps, 1914 to July 1915. R.A.M.C, Aug. 1915; Captain 1917. South African Medical Corps, Major Jan. 1918. H.M. Hospital Ship Assaye, 1916-17. Dispatches, German South-West Africa, April 1915 and July 1918. 

Diocesan College, Rondebosch, Cape. M.B., Ch.B. 1902 ; D.P.H. 1907. South African Medical Corps, Captain Oct. 1914. R.A.M.C., Captain July 1915. 139th Field Ambulance, 1917. South African Rebellion, 1914-15; German West Africa; Salonika 1915 ; France 1916-17. Invalided out 1917. 

Durban High School. M.B., Ch.B. 1906; D.T.M. and H. 1909; F.R.C.S. 
(Edin.) 1909. South African Medical Corps, Captain Jan. 1915. 

Durban High School. Student of Medicine, 1912-15. O.T.C. Infantry, Oct. 1914 to Feb. 1915, Cadet. Royal Scots, 2nd Lieut. Feb. 1915. Attached 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, Lieut. Gallipoli and Mesopotamia. Died of wounds on the Tigris Line on loth April 1916. PI. XXIV. [Son of Alfred Egbert Edwards, of 457, West St, Durban, Natal, South Africa; husband of Marie Louise Edwards (nee Aubry), of Avenue McMahon, Paris.; Basra Memorial, Iraq,  Panel 6] 

South African College, Cape Town. First XI. Cadet Corps 1885-7, Captain. M.B., CM. 1891; L.R.C.S. 1891 and F.R.C.S. (Edin.) 1893. South African  Medical Corps, 1913. Mobilised, Major, June 1916; Lieut.-Col. June 1917. No. 2 General Hospital, Maitland, June 1916-18. 

South African College School, Cape Town. First XV. and XI. Cadet Corps  1904-7, Lieut. Student of Medicine, 1909-14; M.B., Ch.B. 1914. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1909 to Nov. 1912, Cadet. R.A.M.C., Lieut. 1915. South African Medical Corps, Captain May 1916; Major Nov. 1918-19. Dispatches May 1919. 
South African College. Cadet Corps, 1895-8, Sergeant-Major. M.B., Ch.B. 1907; L.R.C.P. & S. (Edin.) and L.F.P.S. (Glasg.) 1907. President, South African Union. South African Medical Corps, Captain March 1917. Attached H.Q., Pretoria, May 1919. 

*GRANT, JOHN PETER (b. 1880). 
Dundee High School. Student of Medicine ; B.Sc., M.B., Ch.B. 1902. South African Medical Corps, attached Natal Light Horse, Captain Dec. 1914. With 6th Mounted Rifles during the Rebellion. Died of influenza on ?th October 1919. PI. XXXI. 

Glen Urquhart School. M.A. 1903. Schoolmaster, South Rhodesia. No. 4 Coy. O.R.V.B., Royal Scots, 1900-3. South Rhodesian Defence Force, Captain. R.F.C., 2nd Lieut. Sept. 1917; Royal Air Force, Captain April 1918; Major July 1918. 

South African College, Cape Town. First XV. and XI. M.B., Ch.B. 1910; F.R.C.S. (Edin.). South African Medical Corps, Captain Oct. 1914. 

Pietermaritzburg College. Student of Medicine, 1912-14 and 1916-19. 7th Royal Scots Fusiliers, 2nd Lieut. ; Lieut. Attached Royal Air Force. [Appointed temp. 2nd Lieutenant (Infantry), dated 3 March 1915, LG Notification, 5 March 1915, page 2248.]

Student of Medicine, 1906-11; M.B., Ch.B. 1911. S.A. Medical Corps, Captain. German S.-W. Africa and German E. Africa. Attached 3rd South African Horse. M.C. at Kondoa-Irangi (East Africa) 1916. Died at Johannesburg in 1916. [Husband of B. Creswell (formerly Groenewald), of 35, Union Mansions, Pretoria. M.B.; Johannesburg (Brixton) Cemetery, E.C. 2143]

Towcester Academy. M.B., Ch.B. 1905 ; F.R.C.S. (Edin.) 1909. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Dec. 1914; Captain Dec. 1915. N. Rhodesian Medical Corps, 1917. France 1915-16. India and Mesopotamia 1916-17. 

Grahamstown School. B.A. (Cape); M.B., Ch.B. 1914; D.P.H. 1920. R.A.M.C, 
Lieut. Aug. 1915; Captain Aug. 1916. i6th Manchester Regiment and 2nd East Lancashire Regiment. Croix de Guerre with Palms, April 1917. M.C. May 1918. 

South African College, Cape Town. M.B., Ch.B. 1911; M.D. 1913. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Aug. 1914. Attached British Indians. South African Medical Corps, Captain 1915. France. 

Durban High School and Michaelhouse, Balgowan, Natal. Athletics. O.T.C. 
Feb. 1904 to Dec. 1907, Cadet Corporal. Student of Medicine, 1911-14. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1911 to Oct. 1914, Cadet; Champion Driver. Native Rebellion in Natal, 1906. R.F.A. (S.R.), 2nd Lieut. Aug. 1914. Died in London on I3th September 1914. PI. XXXV. [Son of William R. and Frederica Hindson, of Nonoli Peak, Kearsney, Natal, South Africa. A medical student at Edinbulgh University; Carlisle (Dalston Road) Cemetery, Cumberland, UK, Grave Ref. 7.S.77] 

B.A. (Cape). Student of Medicine, 1906-11; M.B., Ch.B. 1911. S.A. Medical Corps, Captain. German S.-W. and German E. Africa Campaigns, attached 2nd South African Horse. Died of dysentery at Kondoa-Irangi in [25 May] 1916 [1st Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance]. [Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Hofmeyr; husband of B. J. Hofmeyr (nee Wild), of Milner Park, Johannesburg, South Africa. Born at Capetown, South Africa.; buried Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery, Grave Ref. 7.G.16] 

Maritzburg College; First XI. M.B., C.M. 1896. South African Campaign,  Natal Medical Corps, Captain 1900-1. South African Medical Corps, Captain 1916-19. 

Pretoria High School. Student of Science, 1912-13 and 1918-19. O.T.C. 
Engineers, Oct. 1913 to Sept. 1914, Cadet. Scottish Horse, Private Sept. 1914; Sergeant Nov. 1914; 2nd Lieut. July 1915. Seconded, R.F.C., Pilot Aug. 1916; Lieut. July 1917. Prisoner of War two years. 

M.A. 1912. Schoolmaster. 6th Royal Scots, College Coy., Corporal. 2nd Rhodesia Regiment, Nov. 1914; 2nd Lieut Feb. 1917; Lieut. Aug. 1917; Captain April 1919. Military Labour Corps, East Africa. Dispatches Jan. and March 1919. 

Student of Medicine, 1912-14. O.T.C. Artillery, 1912-14, Cadet. South African Mounted Rifles, Field Artillery, Gunner Aug. 1914-15. R.N.V.R., Surgeon- Probationer, Oct. 1915 to Nov. 1919. German S.W. Africa 1914-15. 

Jeppe High School, Johannesburg. Student of Medicine, 1910-15; M.B., Ch.B. 1915. O.T.C. Medical, Nov. 1914 to June 1915, Cadet. R.A.M.C., Captain Oct. 1916. 

M.B., Ch.B. 1906; D.Sc. 1910. Consultant, South African Medical Corps; Cape Peninsula Garrison Regiment, Private. 

Grey College [Bloemfontein, OFS, South Africa]. Student of Medicine, 1909-14; M.B., Ch.B. 1914. R.A.M.C., Lieut. April 1915. France and Dardanelles. 

Victoria College, Stellenbosch. Volunteers, Lieut. M.B., Ch.B. 1905. South African Medical Corps, Captain Aug. 1914. 

Royal High School. M.B., Ch.B. 1902; L.R.C.P. & S. (Edin.) 1902; L.F.P.S. (Glasg.) 1902. Natal Medical Corps, 1906. South African Medical Corps, Captain 1910-19. German East African Campaign, 1917-18. 

South African College. M.B., Ch.B. 1902; M.D. 1906; M.R.C.P. and F.R.C.S. (Edin.). South African Medical Corps, Captain Aug. 1917. Military Hospitals, Mailland, Potchefstroom, and Wynberg. Assistant Medical Inspector of Recruits, Cape Town. 

French Hoek School, South Africa. Student of Medicine, 1913-15 and 1917-19. O.T.C. Infantry, May 1915 to March 1916, Cadet, 9th Royal Scots (T.), Private Sept. 1914 to May 1915. 4th South African Infantry, Private Dec. 1915; L/Corporal Sept. 1916 to April 1917. 
Grey College and University, Bloemfontein. Student of Medicine, 1910-15; M.B., Ch.B. 1915. O.T.C. Infantry, May 1911 to July 1915, Cadet Coy. Sergeant- Major. R.A.M.C., Lieut. July 1915; Captain July 1916. France. Died of influenza at Cape Town on I7th October 1918. PI. XLII. 

Worcester School, Cape Colony. M.B., Ch.B. 1897. South African Medical Corps, Captain Sept. 1917. 

Rondebosch College, Cape Town. M.B., CM. 1888. R.A.M.C (T.), 1889; Major 1902; Lieut-Col. Sept. 1918. 2nd West Lancaster Brigade, R.F.A. ; 1/7th Devon Regiment. Queensferry, Alexandra Palace, and Aylesbury Military Hospitals. 

Normal College and South African College. M.B., Ch.B. 1912; F.R.C.S. (Edin.) 1919. R.A.M.C. South African Medical Corps, Captain Dec. 1914. Dispatches Dec. 1916. M.C. July 1917; Bar to M.C. Oct. 1917. 

Jeppe High School, Johannesburg. Cadet Corps 1910-14, L/Corporal. Student of Medicine, 1914-20; M.B., Ch.B. 1920. Anatomy Staff, 1917. Royal Navy, H.M.S. Aubretia, Surgeon-Probationer. 

M.B., Ch.B. 1910. O.T.C. Artillery, Nov. 1908 to Feb. 1911, Cadet. South 
African Medical Corps, Captain. ?th Mounted Brigade, Northern Force. German South-West Africa, Kanbeb?, 1915. 

South African College, Cape Town ; B.A. (Science), (Cape University). Student of Medicine, 1899-1904 and 1910-15; M.B., Ch.B. 1914. Royal Navy, H.M.S. Queen Mary, Surgeon. Killed in the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916. [Son of Charles Edward and Elizabeth Tryphena Lewis, of 21, Park Rd., Cape Town, South Africa. M.B.; Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 11.]

M.B., Ch.B. 1913. South African Medical Corps, Captain Nov. 1915. M.C. 1916. 

Victoria College, Cape Province. M.B., Ch.B. 1911. Tennis "Blue." South African Medical Corps, Captain Aug. 1914; Major 1917. Twice Mentioned in Dispatches. 

Student of Medicine, 1910-15 ; M.B., Ch.B. 1914. R.A.M.C., Lieut. 

Student of Medicine, 1912-14 and 1917-19. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1914 10 March 1915, Cadet. R.F.A., 2nd Lieut. March 1915. 

*LUCAS, NORMAN CAREY (b. 1893). 
Pietermaritzburg School and University College. Student of Arts and Science, 1911-15 ; M.A. 1913; B.Sc. 1914. Carnegie " Research " Scholar. Athletics. O.T.C. Infantry, Jan. to March 1915, Cadet. Scottish Rifles, attached Connaught Rangers and 6th Brigade Royal Irish Rifles, 2nd Lieut. 1915; Captain. Gallipoli and Serbia 1915. Macedonia 1916. Died of wounds at Lahana, Macedonia, on 2nd November 1916. PI. XLV. [Died of wounds received at Patrol Wood 31st Oct. Son of William and Agnes Lucas (nee Arnot) of Hotham House, 175, Hotham St., East Melbourne, Australia. M.A., B.Sc., Edinburgh University. Winner of Natal (S. Afr.) Government and Carnegie Scholarships. Served at the Dardenelles, Serbia and Macedonia. Previously served with the Scottish Rifles.; Lahana Military Cemetery, Greece; Grave Ref. 1.D.1.]

Student of Law, 1900-2. 2nd Rhodesian Regiment, L/Corporal. British East  Africa. 

S.A. College, Cape Town. First XV. Cadet Corps 1892, Captain. M.A. (Cape) 1896; B.D. 1899. Minister, Dutch Reformed Church. Chaplain to ist Mounted Brigade (Captain) Nov. 1914. South African Exp. Force, German South-West Africa, 1914-15. 

Merchiston Castle and Rossall. Student of Science, 1913-14. 2nd Rhodesian Regiment, Private 1914; Corporal to March 1919. Africa. 

Hilton College, Natal. College Guards, 1872-7, Captain and O.C. M.B., CM. (Hons.) 1883; M.D. 1890; M.R.C.S. (Eng.) 1883. M.O., Durban Light Infantry, 1884. Natal and South African Medical Corps, Major; Lieut-Col. April 1916. South African Campaign, 1899-1902. No. 3 Base Hospital, Durban, 1914-19. 
Durban High School; First XI. Cadet Corps, 1896-1903, R.S.M. M.B., Ch.B. 1909. University Battery, E.C.A.V., 1904-8, Lieut. South African Medical Corps, Captain Aug. 1914; Major Jan. 1916-19. German South-West and German East Africa. Dispatches (East Africa) 1917. 

George Watson's College. M.B., Ch.B. 1902. South African Medical Service, Captain Oct. 1914. M.O., ist Natal Carbineers in German South-West Africa, and 1st Cape Corps in German East Africa, May 1916. M.C. Jan. 1917. 

High School, Durban, Natal. First XI. Cadet Corps 1896-1905 ; Cadet Sergeant- Major. M.B., Ch.B. 1910. University Battery, E.C.A.V, 1905-10, Sergeant, R.A.M.C, Captain Oct. 1914 to Nov. 1917. Free State Rebellion, and German S.-W. Africa. 

Kimberley High School ; First XV. and XI. Cadet Corps 1902-3, Cadet Sergeant- Major. B.A. (Cape); M.B., Ch.B. 1911; F.R.C.S. (Edin.) 1914. President, Royal Medical Society. O.T.C. Medical, April 1910-12, Cadet. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Aug. 1914; Captain March 1915; Acting Major Jan. 1918 to Dec. 1919. ?th Casualty Clearing Station, France. The Rhine. Dispatches 1916 and Jan. 1919. 

Natal and Edinburgh Academies. Student of Science, 1909-10. O.T.C. Engineers, May 1910 to May 1911. Scottish Horse, Private Sept. 1914; L/Corporal. 3rd attached 1st Cameron Highlanders, 2nd Lieut. March 1915. France 1915. Died on 3Oth September 1915 at Rouen of wounds received at the Battle of Loos. PI. LVIII. [Son of Nannie Hester Middleton, of 38, Inverleith Place, Edinburgh, and the late George Hodgson Middleton, St. Sever cemetery, Rouen; Grave Ref. Officers, A.2.2.]. 

Natal and Edinburgh Academies. Student of Medicine, 1911-14 and 1916-18; 
M.B., Ch.B. 1918. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1912 to Aug. 1914, Cadet Bombardier. R.F.A., 2nd Lowland Brigade, 2nd Lieut. Aug. 1914; Lieut. 1915. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Nov. 1918. France 1915-16. Russia 1919. Killed in action in Northern Russia on 10th August 1919. PI. LVIII. [Son of George Hodgson Middleton and Nannie Hester Middleton, of 38, Inverleith Place, Edinburgh. Also served in Egypt; Archangel Memorial .]

Natal and Edinburgh Academies. Student of Science, 1905-6. Lord Strathcona's Horse, Trooper Aug. 1914; L/Corporal. 7th Cameron Highlanders, 2nd Lieut. 1915. R.F.C., Flight Lieut. 1916. France. Forced landing in German lines. Severely wounded; died in Mulheim am Ruhr Hospital on 21st June 1917. PI. LVIII. 

St Andrew's College, Grahamstown, Cape Colony. M.B., C.M. 1890; M.D. 1907. Africa, 1893. Uganda Mutiny, 1898. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Nov. 1914; Captain May 1915. 4th West Kent Regiment. C.M.G. 1898. 

Miller Institution, Thurso. M.A. 1901. Schoolmaster. Normal College, Cape Town, Cadet Corps, Lieut. 1904-6. 9th Cameron Highlanders, Private July 1916; Corporal July 1918. 

*MORRIS, HUGH (b. 1885). 
Diocesan College, Rondebosch. B.A. (Hons.) (Cape). Student of Medicine, 1906-11. O.T.C. Infantry, Nov. 1908 to July 1910, Cadet. 3rd Scottish Rifles (S.R.), 2nd Lieut. 1914; Lieut. Feb. 1915. Died of wounds in France on I4th July 1915. [2nd Bn., Cameronians (Scottish Rifles); Son of the Rev. Henry Elliott Morris and Maria Morris, of The Rectory, Ceres, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.; buried Sailly-Sur-La-Lys Canadian Cemetery., Grave Ref. II. G. 144.] 

George Watson's College. M.B., Ch.B. 1905; M.D. 1919; F.R.C.S. (Edin.) 1909. Northern Rhodesia Defence Force, Aug. 1914; Volunteers, Surgeon-Captain April 1915; Medical Corps, Captain Oct. 1917. Base Hospital, Abercorn, and Casualty Clearing Station, Fife, Northern Rhodesia, 1914-16. R.M.O., Northey's Force, June 1916; Field and Base Hospitals, German East Africa, April to Nov. 1917. Dispatches March 1917 and Sept. 1918. Invalided out Dec. 1917. 

Mill Hill School, Middlesex. M.B., CM. 1889; F.R.C.S. (Edin.) 1893; M.R.C.S. (Eng.) ; L.R.C.P. (Lond.). South African Campaign, 1900; South African Medical Corps, Lieut. 1907; Lieut.-Col. 1912; Colonel Jan. 1917. Surgeon, Cape, 1914-15. No. I General Hospital, Wynburg, 1916. A.D.M.S. Hon. Surgeon, Johannesburg Hospital. Dispatches. O.B.E. (Military) 1918. 

B.A. (Cape) 1898 ; M.B., Ch.B. 1904. South African Medical Corps, Captain Feb. 1916; Major Feb. 1919. No I General Hospital, Wynberg, Cape. 

Riversdale School, Cape. First XV. M.B., Ch.B. 1902. South African Medical Corps, Captain Nov. 1914. 24th Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance. 

St John's College, Johannesburg. First XI. Student of Medicine, 1912-17; M.B., Ch.B. 1917. O.T.C. Medical, Feb. 1913 to March 1917, Cadet Staff-Sergeant. R.A.M.C., Lieut. May 1917; Captain May 1918. 

Pietermaritzburg College, Natal. Cadet Corps 1903-10, Cadet Corporal. Student of Medicine, 1911-14 and 1916-19; M.B., Ch.B. 1919. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1911 to June 1913, Cadet. Forth R.G.A. (T.), 2nd Lieut. 1913; Captain June 1916. 

M.B., CM. (Cape) ; M.B., CM. (Edin.) 1898. South African Campaign, 1899-1902. South African Medical Corps, Captain Dec. 1915; Major Jan. 1916. 4th Field Ambulance. 

Kingswood College, Grahamstown, Cape Colony. Cadet Corps 1902-7. Student of Science, 1916. South African Forces, Heavy Artillery, Gunner 1914-15. German South-West Africa. R.F.C., Cadet. Royal Air Force, Flight Cadet. 

South African College, Capetown. O.T.C. 1907-12, Sergeant. Student of Medicine, 1914-16 and 1917-18; M.B., Ch.B. 1918. O.T.C. Artillery, 1914-16, Cadet. South African Ambulance, Dresser, 1915. 2nd Scottish General Hospital, 1916. South African Medical Corps, Captain 1918. No. I Military Hospital, Wynberg, Capetown. 

Pietermaritzburg College, Natal. First XV. Cadet Corps 1904-7, Sergeant-Major, M.B., Ch.B. 1912. Demonstrator of Anatomy, 191 3-14 and 1919. O.T.C. Infantry. June 1909-12, Cadet. R.A.M.C. (T.), Lieut. June 1915; Captain Dec. 1915; Major April 1918. M.C. March 1918. 
M.B., Ch.B. 1906. South African Medical Corps, Captain 1916. 1st Battn. Cape Corps. 

George Watson's College. M.A. 1893; M.B., C.M. 1898; M.D. 1913. South African Medical Corps, Captain ; Major. German West and German East Africa. The Castle, Cape Town. Dispatches. O.B.E. 
Diocesan College, Rondebosch, Cape Colony. First XV. M.B., C.M. 1891 ; D.P.H. (Edin.) 1895. R.A.M.C., Lieut. Oct. 1916; Captain Oct 1917. 3rd Highland Light Infantry, Sept. 1917, and 4th Royal Scots, 1917-18. 

Dollar Academy. M.A. (St Andrews) 1908; M.B., Ch.B. 1912. O.T.C. Artillery, Oct. 1908 to Feb. 1911, Cadet. South African Medical Corps, Captain Oct. 1914. Attached ist Rhodesian Regiment. R.A.M.C, Captain Aug. 1915. 

*?SHENNAN, JOHN ERIC (b. 1887). 
Edinburgh Academy; First XI. Student of Law, 1908-9. Chartered  Accountant, 1912. South African Defence Force. A.S.C., 2nd Lieut. Nov. 1914; Lieut; Captain 1917. South African Rebellion, German South-West and German East Africa; ist E.A. Exp. Force, Tonga. Died at Johannesburg of malaria on 25th November 1918. PI. LXXIV. 

Kimberley High School, South Africa. Cadet Corps 1903-4, Corporal. Student of Science, 1913-15. R.F.C., April 1917; 2nd Lieut. Aug. 1917. Royal Air Force, Lieut. May 1918. Prisoner of War (four months); escaped from Le Cateau. 

Pietermaritzburg College. First XV. and XI. O.T.C. 1909-13, Cadet Sergeant. Student of Medicine, 1913-15. O.T.C. Artillery, 1914-15, Cadet. R.F.A., 4?5oth Battery, 2nd Lieut. July 1915; Lieut. (Regulars) and Acting Captain July 1917. R.H.A., 1 5th Brigade. France, 29th Division. Palestine, 3rd Lahore Division Artillery. Dispatches Jan. 1918. M.C. Dec. 1917. 

Durban High School, S. Africa. Student of Science, 1918; B.A. (Cape) 1914. 1O2nd Brigade, S. African Field Ambulance, Private Aug. 1915;Corporal Feb. 1916; Sergeant Sept. 1917. R.F.A., 2nd Lieut. June 1917; Lieut. Dec. 1918. 

South African College, Cape Town. B.A. (South Africa). M.B., Ch.B. 1907. South African Medical Corps, Captain 1914, South African Rebellion and German West Campaign. 5th Mounted Brigade, 1914-15. Dispatches 1915. 

Wallace Hall Academy, Dumfries. M.B., Ch.B. 1905 ; M.D. Assistant to Professor of Anatomy, 1906-11. Professor of Anatomy, Cape Town. South African Medical Corps, Captain 1914; Major and Adjutant 1916. German South- West Africa ; Wynberg Camp and Alexandra Hospital, Cape Town, and 
Potchefstroom Hospital. Dispatches (South Africa). 

South African College, Cape Town. First XV. and XI. Student of Medicine, 1909-14 and 1919; M.B., Ch.B. 1919. O.T.C. Artillery, 1910-13, Cadet. R.A.M.C., Lieut. July 1915. South African Medical Corps, Captain Aug. 1916. No. 13 Casualty Clearing Station. Anzac Beach, Dardanelles; Malta and South Africa. 

Graaff Reinet College, Cape Colony. M.B., Ch.B. 1908; M.R.C.S. (Eng.) ; L.R.C.P. (Lond.). No. 4 Coy. Q.R.V.B., Royal Scots, 1906-8, Private. South African Medical Corps, Captain Aug. 1914 to Feb. 1919. M.C. 1915. 

Royal High School. M.B., CM. 1888. South African Medical Corps, Major 1914. Ophthalmic Surgeon to Military Hospitals, Cape Town, and to Warships at Simonstown. 

[Sources: University of Edinburgh Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, Printed London 1921; Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website]

Extracts from The Wolfe Family of Forenaghts, County Kildare (Ireland) and Cape Town:
Extracts from The Wolfe Family of Forenaghts, County Kildare (Ireland) and Cape Town, South Africa (c. 1822-2011):  

When one thinks of the “Wolfe” surname you inevitably call to mind General James Wolfe (1727-1759) of the “Battle of the Plains of  Abraham” fame, and it is also of interest to note that a member of the same family Major Richard Thomas Wolfe, of Irish origin, was to settle at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) in the early 1820s and that some of his descendents still live in South Africa to this day. His son, Major-General George Douglas Dunlevie Wolfe would be born at the Cape in 1826 (in Cape Town Castle), and would serve in the British Army for many years (in India, at the Cape of Good Hope, and in England and Ireland), while another son Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Thomas Wolfe (also born at the Castle in Cape Town) would in turn serve with the Army Pay Department, and write the history of “The Wolfes of Forenaghts, Blackhall, Baronrath, Co. Kildare, Tipperary, Cape of Good Hope &c.”, published in 1893.  

Below are extracts taken from the book (pages 8-9, 10-11, and 76-81) , and which deal specifically with the South African link, and makes for interesting reading. 


Southern African History Snippets 2
Snakes and Things:

If like myself, you were born or brought up in southern Africa then the chances are you have seen your fair share of snakes…and I have to say one of the most enchanting “serpents” I’ve ever seen would be the “Cape Cobra” or “geelslang” (yellow snake in Afrikaans),  in full array and ready to strike, which I saw with a friend of mine, Herbert Kotschy, while in the veld surrounding Lombardy East (near Johannesburg) many years ago (I was about 17 years-of-age then). 

And these photographs which I came across in a book, “Snakes of South Africa”, published by a certain Frederick Fitzsimons in 1910, are truly phenomenal. Fitzsimons had been born in Ireland and when about 11 years-of-age had emigrated with his family to South Africa, where he finished his education and became a notable South African naturalist. 

The pictures (below) show a Mr James Williams (left) who had the misfortune to be bitten by a “boomslang” (a tree snake in Afrikaans), an exceptionally venomous snake found throughout southern Africa, and, judging by the visible damage done, was lucky to survive. But even more fascinating is the picture of a young South African boy (on the right) with a baby python wrapped around his neck and small body, and who seems to be quite at ease with proceedings…incredible, and even though the author states in the book that pythons “become very tame and docile in captivity” the photo is still a tad anxiety-provoking…one just can’t help worrying for the boy’s sake, who now of course must be long gone (and hopefully not because of the snake). 

Obituary Notice of Captain John Wyndham Hartigan, 
2/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, 
A Grahamstown Man Killed Fighting with the BEF, May 1940
(Transcribed from the “South Africa” magazine, June 1940).

Captain  J.W. Hartigan

Killed in Action with the B.E.F.

We announce with regret the death of Captain John Wyndham Hartigan, killed in action. The only son of Lieut.-Colonel M.M. Hartigan, Secretary of the 1820 Memorial Settler’s Association in London, Captain Hartigan was born at Grahamstown [South Africa] in May, 1915. He was educated at Cheltenham where he got his colours for Rugby football, and was an under-officer in the College O.T.C.
He obtained the Headmaster’s nomination from Cheltenham to Sandhurst, where he again became an under-officer. At the age of 20 he received a commission in the Sherwood Foresters. He was a keen and intelligent soldier, who would most certainly have attained high rank in the Army. In athletics he excelled, being an exceptionally fine fencer and a good boxer.  As a Rugby footballer he played for the Aldershot  Command, as well as for the London Irish. His  happy, cheerful disposition made him very popular, and he had undoubted qualities of leadership. 

Additional Details:

J.W. Hartigan (Regtl. No 66153) was the son of Marcus Michael and Eileen Hartigan (at the time of Battle, Sussex) and was  to serve with the 2/5th battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment), and entered the RMC Sandhurst in 1934, and was commissioned in 1935. Hartigan was promoted Temporary/Captain on the 3 December 1939. He was killed in France while fighting the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the 26 May 1940, at the age of 25, and is buried at the Oignies Communal Cemetery (Row B, Grave 8). See

Army List April-June 1940
Sherwood Foresters
(T/Capt. J.W. Hartigan, right-hand col.)

It would seem that the 2/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters were employed as a pioneer duties battalion during the Battle of France, and a small number of troops from the battalion were to hold up the German advance at Oignies so as to allow the rest of the army to escape to Dunkirk, mainly via a canal that connected the town to the port. The battalion was also to assist with the defence of the Dunkirk perimeter during the famous evacuation (26 May - 4 June 1940). 

Oignies is a village 26 kilometres north-east of Arras and 4 kilometres south-east of Carvin, a town located on the road from Arras to Lille. Between 28 May 1940 (just two days after Hartigan’s death) and 2 September 1944, the town was once again occupied by German troops, and shortly after they arrived the occupying forces burned 380 houses and killed 80 civilians in revenge for the fierce resistance they met on the bridge of the Battery. 

His father, Lieutenant-Colonel M.M. Hartigan had served in the 2nd Anglo-Boer War and the First World War , and had been awarded the CMG, DSO and Bar, and was captured in March 1918. See

The Dix-Peek Family and Italy (1941-2011):

One would not normally associate Italy with the Dix-Peek family, which originally hails from England and settled in South Africa in 1865, but it’s rather interesting how often Italy crops up with regard to the family. For one, my sister Rochelle Frances Dix-Peek, lives in Catania, Sicily, and has done so for many years now (and is married to an amazing guy, Carmello Scierre, and has two wonderful daughters, Claudia and Silvia, and a granddaughter), but the link (although a martial one) goes back even further than that, at least 70-years, to the end of 1941, during World War II. 

During the war, a relative, Private Clive Edward Dix-Peek (who had been captured at Sidi Rezegh in North Africa in November 1941) was interned at Camp 107, in North Eastern Italy, about 30 km south of  the city of Udine. He was eventually to escape from the Axis forces and was to traverse a considerable part of  central Italy in his attempts to evade recapture by the Germans, ultimately linking up with the Allied forces in the province of Rieti, roughly 50 kms NE of Rome (and was  awarded a Mention-in-Dispatches for his endeavours). See

While my own grandfather, Alban Charles Lyle Dix-Peek, who was also captured in North Africa (at Tobruk in June 1942) with the South African Forces, too spent time incarcerated in Italy (and later Germany) as a POW during the war, and Redvers Dix-Peek, another member of the Dix-Peek family  was also to serve with the artillery of the 6th South African Armoured Division in Italy in 1945, during the last months of the war. 

And there’s more, as another person with Dix-Peek links still lies buried in Italy today, and he was Private Dennis Newhouse (Regt. No 591274V), also of the 6th South African Armoured Division. Newhouse’s mother had been Norine Francis Dix-Peek, who was my grandfather (Alban Charles Lyle‘s ) sister, and was born at Kingwilliamstown in the Eastern Cape 1898, the daughter of Alban and Florence Dix-Peek. 

Dennis Newhouse had been born in Durban, Natal, in 1925, and was to attend the SATS “General Botha”  from 1941/42 (No 1193), before joining the Natal Mounted Rifles (NMR) in 1944, and serving with the South African Air Force Regiment/Natal Mounted Rifles (the two units having amalgamated in January 1944, and tasked with the capture and defence of enemy airfields)  of the 6th SA Armoured Division in Italy. While in Italy he was to contract an illness from which he did not recover, and died in Genoa on the 18 December 1945,  and is buried at the Castiglione South African Cemetery (Grave Reference: VI. J. 13.),  which is situated in the province of Bologna, about 60 km north of Florence. 

Three Southern African Airmen of the RAF
Decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC),
June 1940: 
                                                                                                                               (IWM Collection)
    A Lockheed Hudson approaches Dunkirk on a reconnaissance patrol
         during the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force
      from the port in May-June 1940

May and June 1940 were rather dismal months for the Allies during the war, with ill-fated campaigns in Norway and France (which was redeemed at least in part by the heroic evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk), and even that early in the war, and just prior to the Battle of Britain,  southern Africans were already making a name for themselves. Three intrepid airmen hailing from southern Africa and serving with the Royal Air Force (RAF) who were to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC’s) in June 1940, and who were mentioned in the “South Africa” periodical at that time include: 
“Flying-Officer Ronald Nicholas Selley, R.A.F. [39689], a South African, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Early  this month he commanded a flight of three aircraft engaged in protecting shipping in which the B.E.F. was being evacuated. A formation of some 47 Junker 87’s was encountered and immediately attacked. He shot down two enemy aircraft with his front guns and by skilful manoeuvring he also enabled his rear gunner to shoot down a third and to damage other enemy aircraft [LG, Page 3622,  14 JUNE, 1940]. He was born at Durban in 1917, educated at Michaelhouse, and entered the Royal Air Force as a pupil pilot in 1937.” 
Selley flew a Lockheed Hudson during the Dunkirk evacuation, and was killed later in the war, on the 5 March 1941, and his name appears on Panel 4 of the Edinburgh (Warriston) Crematorium. He was 25 years of age at the time of his death. 

“Flying Officer Hilton Aubrey Haarhoff, Johannesburg [43156], who has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, was a rear gunner [with it would seem his fellow South African, R.N. Selley, as the pilot] in one of the three aircraft forming a flight which protected the shipping engaged in evacuating the B.E.F. The flight encountered some 40 Junker 87’s which immediately attacked and he destroyed one enemy aircraft and severely damaged another two.”

Actual citation [LG, Issue 34873, 14 JUNE, 1940, Page 3622] reads: “In June, 1940, this officer was the rear gunner in one of a flight of three aircraft engaged in protecting shipping evacuating the British Expeditionary Force. The flight encountered a formation of some forty Junkers 87's, which were immediately attacked. Taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded by his pilot, Flying Officer Haarhoff destroyed one enemy aircraft and severely damaged another two.”

Acting-Flight Lieutenant C. [Caesar Barraud] B Hull, from Shangani, Southern Rhodesia, a former cadet of the Transvaal Air Training Squadron, has been awarded the the Distinguished Flying Cross  for gallantry. After shooting down an enemy aircraft on May 24 he two days later engaged five enemy aircraft single handed. He shot down four  of them and damaged a fifth. Next day he attacked enemy aircraft greatly superior in numbers until wounded and forced to retire.” (Accomplished while flying with No 263 Squadron, flying a outdated Gloster Gladiators ). 

Actual-citation [LG, Issue 34878, 21 JUNE, 1940, page 3784]: Acting Flight Lieutenant Caesar Barrand HULL
(37285). After having shot down an enemy aircraft one day in May, 1940, this officer, two days
later, relieved the Bodo Force from air attack by engaging five enemy aircraft singlehanded. He shot down four of the enemy aircraft and damaged the fifth. The next day, despite heavy air attack on the landing ground, he attacked enemy aircraft in greatly superior numbers until he was wounded and forced to retire.

Caesar Hull was to command No 43 “Fighting Cocks” Squadron during the Battle of Britain and was killed on the 7 September 1940. 

Springbok Pilot Leads Attack on German V1 and V2 Rocket Sites, 1944: 
                                          (Photo: F/Sgt E.P.H. Peek, 504 Squadron)
  1943 Reconnaissance Photograph
  of V2 Rockets at Test-Stand VII

The V1 and V2 rocket attacks on England during 1944/1945 were debilitating to say the least, and were to do damage both mentally and physically, and so effective were they that the attacks on London became known as the “Second Blitz“. One of the many airmen involved in hunting down and destroying the relevant rocket launching sites (known as “Operation Crossbow, November 1943-May 1945) was a South African from Witbank, Transvaal,  namely Wing-Commander Lewis Alan Lynn, Royal Air Force.  Lynn had initially attended the South African Training Ship (SATS) "General Botha" from 1932 - 1933 before joining the RAF, and by 1944 was operating with No 320 (Netherlands) Squadron, RAF, flying B25 Mitchell twin-engined bombers. A contemporary article published at the time was to write of him:  

“A well-known South African bomber pilot skilled in the art of precision bombing was out this morning helping to smash the launching platforms [in Northern France] from which the Germans are sending their flying bombs across Southern England. He is Wing Commander L.A. Lynn, of Witbank, operating with a Mitchell bomber group of the Second Tactical Air Force [2nd TAF]. Described as one of the most experienced pilots in the group, Lynn led to-day’s assault by the R.A.F. and Dutch Mitchell bomber crews on the flying bomb installations; it was his 85th operational trip.” 

“On his return he said: ‘Visibility  was good, and our bombs fell in the target area all right.’ He and his group sought out skilfully camouflaged installations in the Pas de Calais area and the Mitchells hit their targets  squarely despite accurate and persistent flak, some of which tailed the bombers out to the coast on their homeward trip. Flak was thick in the target areas, indicating the importance the enemy attaches to safeguarding the rocket sites. Another “secret weapon” was used against our planes without effect. This consisted of a square box-like missile fired into the air to burst and scatter long strips of silvery and apparently metallic substance, possibly designed to foul the propellors [sic], but it was completely ineffective.”

Wing-Commander Lynn  was  to serve with marked distinction during the war, and was awarded the DSO (1944) and Bar (1944), and the DFC (1942), as well as the Dutch “Bronze Lion” award (November 1944), having flown with No‘s 107 and 320 (Netherlands) Squadrons‘, RAF. His London Gazette citations read as follows: 

Air Ministry,11th February, 1944.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve
the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the  enemy: —

Distinguished Service Order.
Acting Wing Commander Lewis Alan LYNN, D.F.C. (40124), Reserve of Air Force Officers, No. 320 Squadron.

This officer has completed a very large number of sorties and has displayed skill, courage and determination of the highest order. He is a most inspiring and forceful leader, whose personal example has been reflected in the fine fighting qualities of his squadron which has obtained many successes in recent operations over Northern France. Wing Commander Lynn has displayed outstanding keenness and devotion to duty and his achievements have been worthy of great praise

Air Ministry, 14th July, 1944.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy: —

Bar to Distinguished Service Order.
Acting Wing Commander Lewis Alan LYNN, D.S.O., DF.C. (40124), R.A.F.O.

Wing Commander Lynn has completed a large number of day and night sorties during which he has successfully attacked a wide range of strongly defended targets. He has- maintained a high standard of operational flying and his genius for leadership has been outstanding. His achievements have won great praise.

List of Some  South Africans who served on the North West Frontier 
from  1919-1938
                    5th Royal Gurkha Rifles, NWF 1923,
                      in which Capetonian, M.R.W. Nightingale
                      served for many years

                   Ribbon of the 
                       India General Service Medal 1908-1935

IGSM - India General Service Medal 
NWF - North West Frontier
RAMC - Royal Army Medical Corps

In the days of the now erstwhile British Empire, and following World War I, the ever-restless North West Frontier of India was still to resound intermittently with the martial echoes of discontent and general upheaval, most notably the Third Anglo-Afghan War of 1919, and in the ranks of the British and Indian forces could be found a few South Africans, serving with various regiments of the British or Indian Armies, the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), even the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC), or the Royal Air Force (RAF), and listed below are just some of those I have come across in my years of research. 

Dirk Cloete. Major, IGSM with Afghanistan NWF 1919 Clasp (114 Squadron):

Dirk Cloete served with the RFC/RAF during WWI (winning the AFC) and in 1921 was seconded from the RAF to the SAAF to command Zwartkop Aerodrome, and Major Dirk Cloete would also play a part in the formation of the Southern Rhodesian Air Unit, which would ultimately become the Rhodesian Air Force. 

J. Cottle, Flight-Lieutenant, IGSM with Afghanistan NWF 1919 Clasp:

Served on the NWF with No 114 Squadron, Royal Air Force. 

A.H. Eustace, Major-General, Indian Army, 3rd Afghan War of 1919:

Alexander Henry Eustace, born in Rondebosch, Cape Town, in June 1863, and educated at the Diocesan College (“Bishops”) , Cape Town, and in England, joined the Indian Army in the 1880s and was to serve with the 52nd Sikhs, in the Hazara Campaigns of 1888 and 1891, and as a field intelligence officer for the 1st and 2nd Brigades in East Africa (1903 - 1904), being awarded the DSO. Eustace was promoted to the rank of Major - General in 1917 (during World War I) and commanded the Kohat Independent Brigade on the North - West Frontier (1915 - 1919), and was also to serve in the 3rd Afghan War (1919). Major - General A.H. Eustace, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., subsequently retired from the Indian Army, and was made Colonel of his old regiment , the 52nd Sikh’s (1929). 

F.R.S. Gervers, Royal Engineers, 3rd Afghan War of 1919:

Francis Richard Soutter Gervers, born in Kimberley, Griqualand West, had entered the Royal Engineers after attending the RMA Woolwich, partaking in the Mohmand, Malakand and Tirah Campaigns (1897 - 1898) in India, before serving on the Gold Coast on surveying duties (1901).  During WWI Gervers was to serve on the European Front, and in India, while after the conclusion of hostilities served in the 3rd Afghan War (1919), and was awarded the CIE (1919), retiring as Brigadier Richard Soutter Gervers, Royal Engineers, in 1928. 

A. Hope, Lieutenant, 17th Sikhs, Indian Army, 3rd Afghan War of 1919:

Adrian Hope was born at Mossel Bay and educated at the  South African College School (SACS) and Potchestroom High School, and was also  Rhodes Scholar.
After graduating from the RMC  Sandhurst Hope served in the Afghan War of 1919,  fighting with the 17th Sikhs, retiring shortly thereafter in 1920. He would return to South Africa, serving on secondment to the British forces during WWII, operating with the SOE in Italy where he was accidentally killed by Italian partisans. 

G.H. Melck, Captain, Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC),  3rd Afgan War of 1919:

Born at Darling in the Western Cape, South Africa, and educated at Darling Public School, and Diocesan College, as well as Elsenburg Agricultural College,  Melck served with the RAVC during the 3rd Afghan war (1919-1920).
 Melck had  attended the Royal Veterinary College, London, and at the outbreak of the war acquired a commission in the RAVC,  serving in Mesopotamia, and  on the North West Frontier, spending differing periods of time at Rawalpindi (the Headquarter station on the NW Frontier), Campbellpur, Peshawar and Amballa. 
Upon the commencement of the 3rd Afghan War, Melck subsequently commanded the 16th Mobile Veterinary section for the duration, and an extensive period of Melck’s time spent in India was devoted to research against “Surra”, a dreaded disease prevalent in camels.

John Lichtenstein Ritchie, Colonel, RAMC,  3rd Afghan War of 1919:

born in Georgetown, Cape Province, South Africa in 1886, Ritchie joined the RAMC and was to serve in India from 1914, and in the 3rd Afghan War of 1919. 

Cyril Francis Nicholson, Captain, 3rd Gurkhas, NWF 1919:

Born at Carnarvon in the Western Cape, Nicholson was the son of Charles Shaw Nicholson, one time resident magistrate of Paarl. He was educated at Paarl Boys’ High School, and the South African College Schools (SACS). During WWI Nicholson served as a commissioned officer with the 1st South - African Infantry Brigade in France, and was awarded the MC. He then transferred to the Indian Army, being posted early in 1918 to the 2/3rd Gurkha Regiment, and subsequently served as adjutant of the combined depot of the 2/3rd and 3/3rd Gurkhas, after which he was appointed cantonment magistrate and station staff officer of Lansdowne, and  saw active service on the North West Frontier with the 3rd Gurkhas before resigning his commission in the Indian Army and returning to South - Africa. 

K.C. Packman, Frontier Force, Indian Army, 3rd Afghan War of 1919 & Waziristan 1930:

Kenneth Chalmers Packman, Indian Army, had initially served with the South - African Heavy Artillery during WWI,  before transferring to the Indian Army, and served with the 25th Cavalry, Frontier Force, during the 3rd Afghanistan War (1919), and also took part  in operations in Waziristan (1930), retiring after WWII with the rank of  lieutenant-colonel.

J.L. Ritchie, Royal Army Medical Corps, 3rd Afghan War of 1919:

Born in South Africa in 1886, John Lichtenstein Ritchie was to receive a lieutenancy in the RAMC on the 26 January 1912, and was thereafter to serve in India until 1920, partaking in the 3rd Afghan War (1919), and was later to retire with the rank of Honorary -Colonel. 

H.L. Silberbauer, Lieutenant, 5th Royal Gurkha Regiment, NWF Frontier c. 1919 -1922:

Harold Lewis Silberbauer was from Kenilworth, in Cape Town, and was educated at the Diocesan College.
Silberbauer originally served with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Volunteer Rifles (DEOVR) during the German South West African campaign before joining the British Army in 1916.  He served with the Leicestershire Regiment, whereupon he later transferred to the Indian army, seeing action on the North West Frontier with the 5th Royal Gurkha Regiment, and returned to South Africa following his retirement  from the British-Indian Army in 1922.

G.F. Blackburn, Flying-Officer, IGSM with Waziristan 1921-1924 Clasp:

Transferred from Class A to Class C (RAF Reserve Officers) on the 2 November 1926. 

M.R.W. Nightingale, Major-General, Indian Army, Waziristan 1923-24:

Born in Sidmouth, Devon, he was, however, a member of a family resident in South Africa since the 1830s (his father Percy Nightingale serving as an inspecting commissioner in the Cape Civil Service) and was educated at Diocesan College, Rondebosch, Cape Town. Nightingale attended the RMC Sandhurst and was later to transfer to the Indian Army, serving for many years with the 5th Royal Gurkha Regiment. He served with distinction during WWI and thereafter command the 54th Indian Infantry Brigade in Kurdistan  (1919), and Iraq  (1920), and the 5th Indian Infantry Brigade in Waziristan  (1923 - 1924), before being appointed GOC, the Sind Independent Brigade area (1925 - 1929), having been awarded the CIE (1920), and the CB (1923), retiring from the Indian Army in 1929, after almost 40 years of distinguished military service. 

C.E.H. Allen, Flying-Officer, IGSM with Waziristan 1925 Clasp (later AVM):

From Seapoint, Cape Town, Allen served with the RFC during WWI, being  awarded the DFC in 1918, . And during WWII initially served in the Far East, later commanding RAF  Stations’ Henlow (1940 - 1943) and Cosford (1943 - 1946). 
During the post war period he served as SASO, No. 43 Group (1946 - 1949), having been promoted air - commodore in 1947, and air vice - marshal in 1949. 

C.W. Busk, Flight-Lieutenant, IGSM with Waziristan 1925 Clasp (later A/Cdre)

Clifford Westly Busk, was originally from Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, and  served with the RFC/RAF during WWI, winning the MC, and would end his RAF career as an air-commodore, CB, MC, AFC.

H. Ford, Flight Lieutenant, with  Waziristan 1921-1924 Clasp:

Hedley Ford was  born in Pretoria, and educated at Pretoria Boys High School, and  initially served with the Northumberland Fusiliers before transferring to the RFC in 1917, serving in France with No. 49 Squadron, and winning the DFC (Supp. To LG 30 May 1919)  for leading a total of 66 bombing raids on military objectives in France (and allegedly shot down 7 aircraft but there is no evidence thereof). 
Following the cessation of the war, Hedley Ford later served in India, and on the North West Frontier, serving with No.'s. 31 and 28 squadrons respectively. He subsequently took part in  operations in Waziristan, being MID twice, and in 1926 was to relinquish his short service commission due to ill-health but was to retain the rank of Flight Lieutenant (LG 9 Marc 1926, page 1744).    

C.W. Weedon, Flying-Officer, IGSM with Waziristan 1925 Clasp (later AM):

Colin Winterbotham Weedon, born in Durban, initially served with the Royal Navy (1915 - 1919), attending the Royal Naval Colleges, Osborne and Dartmouth. 
He then opted to transfer to the Royal Air Force in 1920, attending the RAF  College, Cranwell, and subsequently served between the wars in the UK and India.
During WWII Weedon held the appointment of director - general of repair and maintenance, in the Ministry of Aircraft Production (1940 - 1944), ending the war on the headquarters, Air Command Staff, South - East Asia. 
He later served as  AOC  No. 41 group (1946 - 1948); Senior Air Staff Officer of the HQ, Technical Training Command, Brampton, Huntingdon  (1948 - 1950); Director - General of Technical Services (1950 - 1951), and Controller of Engineering and Equipment at the Air Ministry (1951 - 1952).  Air - marshal Sir C.W. Weedon retired in 1952, having been knighted the same year, and also in the interim having been awarded the CBE  (1943), and the CB (1946) during his career.  

P.F. Palmer, Lieutenant, Royal Army Medical Corps, NWF c. 1930s:

Born in Kroonstad, Orange Free State, South Africa, in 1903, Palmer later joined the RAMC and was promoted lieutenant in 1926. 
He thereafter served on the North West Frontier (NWF) and during WWII commanded No 71 General Hospital  and also served as ADMS, Headquarters 4th Division (1943-1945).
Following the cessation of hostilities Palmer was to see service in Germany with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), and in Malaya, as well as the Middle East. 
Promoted brigadier in 1955 and major-general a year later , Palmer retired from the RAMC in 1960 , being appointed Colonel-Commandant of the RAMC in 1963.  

H.P. Fraser, Flying-Officer, Royal Air Force, NWF c. 1930:

Henry Paterson Fraser (later Air - Marshal the Reverend Sir H.P. Fraser), hailing from his native Johannesburg, and educated at St.  Andrew’s College, Grahamstown, and Pembroke College, Cambridge, was given a permanent commission in the RAF  in 1929. He first served on the troubled Northwest Frontier, where Fraser produced the RAF’s  first manual of supply dropping, an added advantage in such rugged and inhospitable terrain.  Fraser then attended the RAF  Engineering college, after which he joined the aerodynamic flight at Farnborough in 1934, where he spent the next four years. The work at Farnborough was hazardous to say the least, flying every aircraft to its limit.  He was awarded the AFC  in 1937, for his endeavours at Farnborough, and was also awarded the Taylor Gold Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1939. During the early days of the war, Fraser served at the Directorate of War Organisation at the Air Ministry, producing a completely revised edition of the RAF  Manual of War Organisation. Fraser then again served at RAE  Farnborough, and it was during this period that he is said to have effectively introduced statistical control- a system by which an establishment can accurately measure its capacity in meeting the required work load. He then became a member of the RAF  Element Combined Chiefs of Staff, Washington, and later after a spell at the Air Ministry, was to be involved in the planning and operational organisation of the 2nd  Tactical Air - Force (TAF), the British component of the Allied Expeditionary Air - Force, which gave unstinting  support to ground operations during the campaign in North West Europe. Fraser crossed to France shortly after the invasion to set up airfields for the 2nd TAF  for which he was awarded the CBE in 1945.  Following the war Fraser served as Senior Air Staff Officer of Fighter Command (1952 - 1954), having been promoted air - vice - marshal in 1953. He then served as Air - Officer - Commanding No. 12 Group, Fighter Command, (1956 - 1958). Fraser was promoted air - marshal in 1959, and his subsequent appointments included that of director of RAF  Exercise and Planning (1959); United Kingdom Representative on the permanent military deputies group, Central Treaties Organisation, Ankara (1960 - 1962); Inspector - General of the RAF (1962 - 1964).  Air Marshal Sir Henry Paterson Fraser, RAF, KBE, CB, AFC,  retired from the RAF in 1964, having been knighted in the process, and  later became interested in theological matters, being ordained a minister in 1977, and passed away  on the 4 Augsut 2001.     

L.O. Brown, Squadron-Leader, IGSM with North West Frontier 1930-1931 Clasp (later AVM):

Leslie Oswald Brown, born in Durban, and educated at Hilton College, Natal, served with the RNAS in France and East Africa during WWI, and was awarded the DSC, AFC and MID, and as an Air  Vice -Marshal would command No. 84 Group during the latter part of WWII.

John Mandeville MacFie, RAMC, NWF 1930-1931:

John Mandeville Macfie, from Cape Town, and educated at Rondebosch High School, and  South African College Schools (SACS), Cape Town, had entered the RAMC  during WWI, and was awarded the MC in 1917. 
He remained in the RAMC after WWI, serving in India as Director of Pathology (1926-1929), and on the NWF from 1930-1931.
Promoted brigadier in 1948, he was appointed in 1949 as Commandant and Director of Studies at the Royal Army Medical College. 
Macfie was promoted major - general in 1950, serving as Deputy Director of Medical Services for Western Command (1950 -1952), retiring in 1952. 

Albert Sachs, Royal Army Medical Corps, IGSM with NWF Mohmand 1933 Clasp:

Albert Sachs was born in Pretoria in 1904, and educated at Pretoria Boy’s High School, before journeying to the UK to study medicine, attending Trinity, College, Dublin. He thereafter acquired a commission in the RAMC  in 1927, and was posted to India the following year, and would serve in India from 1928-1934 and again from 1935-1941.  India was to provide many an opportunity for Sachs to indulge his passion for pathology.  It was not long after arriving on the sub - continent that Sachs investigated an outbreak of Meningococcal Meningitis among Indian recruits, and also collaborated in a study of Sandfly Fever.  He saw active service on the ever - restless North West Frontier, taking part in the Mohmand operations in 1933. 
After returning to Britain in 1934, Sachs published observations on relapsing fever and passed the specialist course in pathology with distinction. 
It was not long before he returned to India, however, and served as DADP in Quetta,  following up research on the antigenic structure of the Non - Mannite - Fermenting Dysentry Organisms.           

Frank Hastings Brooke, Royal Welch Regiment, NWF 1935:
Born and bred in the Western Cape, and educated at Diocesan College (Bishops), Rondebosch, Cape Town, Brooke was commissioned in the Royal Welch Regiment in 1929, after graduating from the RMC Sandhurst. Prior to the war, Brooke served on the North West Frontier (1935), and during WWII commanded the 2nd battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment, serving with the regiment in Normandy in 1944, being awarded the DSO in 1945. Brooke would remain in the British Army during the post - war years, serving in Malaya and eventually retiring as a major - general. 

Eustace Aldford Arderne, Durham Light Infantry, NWF c. 1935:
Born in Cape Town, he was educated at Diocesan College in that city, and attended the RMC Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Durham Light Infantry in 1918. Arderne was to serve in Russia, Africa and India during the inter-war years, serving on the NWF with the 2nd battalion, Durham Light Infantry, and  taking the time to visit Tibet, including the town of Pari Jong, which he described as the “highest and dirtiest town in the world”. During WWII he was to serve in North Africa, Syria and Italy, being awarded the DSO and Bar, as well as the OBE, and also commanded the 25th Indian Infantry Brigade. 

J.P.L. Eustace, Lieutenant-Colonel, 11th Sikhs, Indian Army, NWF 1937:

John Patrick Leonard Eustace, born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal (a relative of Major-General A.H. Eustace (qv)) and educated at St Andrew‘s College, Grahamstown, initially served with the South African Forces in East Africa during WWI, before transferring to the Indian Army in April 1918, and was to serve on the NWF, being awarded the MC in  December 1937 while  serving with the 2nd Royal Battalion (Ludhiana Sikhs), 11th Sikh Regiment.

Southern African History Snippets 1
M.I.D. Citation for Private Clive Edward Dix-Peek,
1st South African Irish,
London Gazette, July 1945: 

                                                             The Battlefield of "Sidi Rezegh"
"The Morgue of Rommel's Hopes"
                        (Picture: "Springbok Record")

A relative of mine, Private Clive Edward Dix-Peek (Regt. No 88232), was to earn a Mention-in-Despatches during World War II for his exploits behind enemy lines in Italy, eventually linking up with the Allies, and safety. He had served with the South African Irish Regiment (which was formed in 1939), and had fought with the regiment at Sidi Rezegh in November 1941 (where the 5th South African Infantry Brigade, of which the SA Irish formed part,  was overrun by Rommel’s Afrika Korps after they had put up a most valiant resistance ), and was subsequently captured.  Clive Dix-Peek was to spend almost two-years in captivity before escaping.His recommendation for the award reads as follows (and is also listed below, with the London Gazette citation, dated 26 July 1945):   

“88232 Pte. Dix-Peek, Clive Edward,
1 S.A. Irish, 5 Bde., 1 S.A. Div.

Dix-Peek was captured at Sidi Rezegh on 23 Nov 41, and was sent via Benghazi [Libya], Tripoli, Capua and Genoa to Tor-Viscose [ Torviscosa, NE Italy, 45 km NW of Trieste] (Camp 107) [Camp 107 being situated in NE Italy, near the city of Udine, and during the war most POW's incarcerated comprised South Africans' and New Zealanders'].

Leaving Tor-Viscosa on 10 Sep 43 when the sentries had deserted [Italy having aligned itself with the Allies following the invasion of Italy], Dix-Peek and two other P/W [POWs] spent a month at a nearby farm. Proceeding south with one of his companions, he was recaptured by Germans at Todi [in the province of Perugia, Umbria, in central Italy] on 8 Dec 43. Entrained for Germany on 28 Dec 43, he and ten other P/W jumped from the moving train near Foligna [could be Foligno, also in Umbria], after the door had been broken open by one of the occupants of the truck. 

Becoming separated from the others, Dix-Peek joined a rebel band nearby, but a fortnight later left again. For the next six months he lived near Collalto Sabina [ possibly Collato Sabino, in the province of Rieti, about 50 km NE of Rome] with another escaper, and they reported to a British patrol on 13 Jun 1944 [just nine days after the Allies entered Rome, and eight days after D-Day and the invasion of Normandy].”

The South African Irish had been formed in 1914 and had fought in German South West Africa (now Namibia), before being disbanded in 1919, and were reformed in November 1939, serving in East Africa and Abyssinia, and in Egypt and Libya (North Africa) as part of the 1st SA Infantry Division. They fought on the 23 November 1941 at Sidi Rezegh where they were to lose roughly 50% of their strength, either killed, wounded, or captured, and the rest of the regiment that survived the battle later served with the 4th Field Regiment, SA Artillery at El Alamein. After returning to SA in 1943 the remnants of the regiment were reconstituted as the 4/22 Field Regiment, SA Artillery. The regiment's  motto was “Faugh a Ballagh” (Here’s the Lad).    

I am not entirely sure but I think Clive Dix-Peek was later to serve with the South African Air Force (SAAF) in South Africa during he remainder of the war, and I am also not sure if he is still alive or not, but one thing I do know is that he was a brave and daring man...and his MID award testifies to that.   

(Sources: British National Archives, Award to Pte C.E. Dix-Peek; MID Citation, Supplement to the London Gazette, 26 July 1945, page 3860; "Springbok Record", Harry Klein, published by the SA Legion of the British Empire Service League, Johannesburg, 1946.)


Captain Hendrik Prehn, A South African  in the Seven years War (1756-1763):

 The Flag of the
     17th Braunschweig (Brunswick) Hussars

One would not associate the Dutch settlement of the Cape of Good Hope (which now forms part of  the Cape Province of South Africa) with the Seven years War of the mid-1700s, but it seems at least one individual born at the Cape was to partake in the war, and his name was Hendrik Prehn (1733-1785). 

He was the son of Henning Joachim Prehn and Hendrina Schenk, and was born at Cape Town on either the 31 July or 2 August 1733. His father was a Dutch East Indian Company official at the Cape, and Hendrina was his second wife. 

Hendrik was sent to Holland in 1752 to  continue his education,  and later joined the army of the States-General (Holland). He subsequently reached the rank of lieutenant but resigned in 1755 to join the Hanoverian army, in which he became a lieutenant in the Horse Guards in 1757, by which time the Seven Years War had commenced. 

He seems to have transferred to the Braunschweig (Brunswick) Hussars, and by 1760 was a captain, and as such took part in the war. It was later conjectured that during the war Prehn was to serve as a Prussian aide-de-camp and that a prince probably conferred a title upon him, and although he was to use the form, “Von Prehn”, no proof of his elevation to the ranks of the nobility were to be found. 

Following the war he rejoined the army of the States-General and in July 1768 returned to the Cape, with the rank of major, in the ship De Rijnsburg. 

He was later appointed commandant of the troops at the Cape, in succession to Isaak Meinertzhagen, and such was in charge of the garrison, the burgher forces and the arsenal. Prehn was to return to Holland, sailing with his family aboard De Held Woltemade (The Hero Woltemade) from his native Cape Town on the 13 March 1780. 

Prehn, who may also have reached the rank of lieutenant-general, was not to live too much longer, dying in August 1785 at Heilbronn in Wurttemberg, where his widow settled and also died. It would seem he was a  cultivated and learned man, as he could speak not only Dutch and German, but also English fluently, and also had  scientific interests, taking a collection of dried plants with him when he left the Cape, notes of these together with four coloured plates appearing in A.W. Roth’s “Botanische Abhandlungen” (Nuremburg, 1787), while a phyllosilicate of calcium and aluminium, “Prehnite”, was named for him (c. 1789), and apparently is the first mineral to be named after a person.   

     named for South African-born
           Hendrik Prehn

His wife was Catharina Maria Kirsten, baptised at the Cape in 1751, and was the eldest child of Johan Friedrich Kirsten, of False Bay, Cape of Good Hope. A son, Hendrik (born 11 August 1778), would later return to the Cape, and was to marry a Catharina van den Berg in 1798, and descendent of his still live in South Africa to this day. 

(Sources: Dictionary of South African Biography, Volume II, page 558.)


Captain A.J. Cloete, 21st Light Dragoons and the Settlement of Tristan da Cunha in 1816: 

    A Tristan da Cunha 10p Stamp depicting the A
of the British landing party in 1816, which was commanded by
   South African, Captain A.J. Cloete, 21st Light Dragoons
Although the isolated South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha had been discovered in 1506 by Portuguese navigator, Admiral Tristao da Cunha, it was only in 1816 that the island was permanently settled, by a British landing party commanded by a South African-born soldier serving with the 21st  Light Dragoons, namely Captain Abraham Josias Cloete.

Abraham Josias Cloete was born at the Cape Town in 1794, a member of a Dutch family long settled at the Cape of Good Hope (now South Africa).  At the age of ten Cloete was sent to Holland for his education, and thence to England in approximately 1809, where he was to attend the Royal Military College at Great Marlow, and was subsequently gazetted an ensign in the British Army. 

After transferring to the 21st Light Dragoons he was stationed at Cape Town, and in 1816 was given command of a British garrison sent from the Cape (some 2, 816 kms away) to the small island of Tristan da Cunha in order to forestall any possible attempts by the French to free their erstwhile leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was incarcerated on the island of St Helena.

It was from this settlement under the command of Captain Cloete that future generations of Tristan da Cunhans’ would emanate, and in 2016 the island will celebrate its bicentenary. Cloete himself would go on to serve in India, and at the Cape of Good Hope, and would reach the rank of full-General in the British Army, also receiving a knighthood. 

A letter written by Captain Cloete at the time of his occupation of the island (and published in the “Records of the Cape Colony”,  Volume 11, pages 221-222) and addressed to Lord Charles Somerset, at the time Governor of the Cape, makes   for interesting reading and reads as follows:

“Letter from Commandant A.J. Cloete to Lord Charles Somerset.

Somerset Camp, Tristan d’Acunha [sic], December 7th 1816.

“My Lord, - I have the honor [sic] to report to Your Excellency that the Detachment under my Command landed here the 28th ultimo; not a moment was lodt in disembarking the Stores and Provisions.
The weather being at all times very uncertain off this Coast, I was under the necessity of employing the men the whole of Sunday last, getting the provisions &c. on shore.

I am sorry to state that, owing to the continued boisterous weather we experienced in our passage, together with the wet state of the ship [HMS Falmouth], all the oxen and greatest part of the pigs and poultry embarked for this island have perished. I cannot enough lament the loss of the bullocks, as with their  assistance sufficient land might have been cultivated this season to have  supplied the detachment with all their wants. Great part of the grain for seed has also been destroyed, and I am afraid I shall find the stores much damaged, several boats having swamped in landing them.

I have made a demand upon Captain Festing, commanding His Majesty’s Ship Falmouth, for a boat’s crew, which he has most readily complied with; to have trusted boats in these seas to men incapable of managing them would have been attended with such great risk as could not have justified my ever sending a boat to sea. I trust your Lordship will thus see the necessity of my having made this demand.

Every requisite arrangement regarding Mr. Currey’s (surname sometimes spelt “Currie”) land has been made; by an account given in himself he has had in cultivation at different times 28, 528 square yards, about 5 acres and a half; but as part of his garden ground was required, in order to erect Fort Malcolm, I have measured out to him 7 acres, with which he is perfectly contented. 

Upon my arrival here, I found that Mr. Currey had discharged Bastiano Ponza, the boy who had been in his service for some time; I have induced him to remain on the island, promising him his rations and leave to cultivate a piece of ground; as this boy seems very intelligent and is perfectly acquainted with every part of the island, I have thought it a most desirable thing to engage him upon these terms into the service of the Government. 

The regular supply of this island till it is capable to support itself must be very uncertain. I have thus not hesitated a moment in receiving from His Majesty’s Ship Falmouth every article of provision, refreshment, and clothes, which she has been able to spare us; I have given receipts for the whole, copies of which accompany this. When your Lordship considers that the men will have to live for a considerable time on salt provisions, without even vegetables, the island furnishing nothing of the kind at present, I trust you will approve of my having obtained those comforts for them, without which they must have suffered greatly, and their health so much injured as would have rendered them entirely useless. I feel the more anxious about the men, as they have been most indefatigable in their exertions in landing the stores; every article is forced to be got up a perpendicular cliff of about 100 feet high, which makes their work most laborious, independent of which we have scarcely been a day without rain.

I should feel glad to have your Lordship’s directions regarding the pay of the boat’s crew made known to me. I have informed them that I should recommend the coxswain (who was a quarter master on board H.M.S. Falmouth) being paid as a serjeant [sic], and the othe 5 as privates; should your Excellency aprove of this arrangement, they might be put upon the establishment with the 6 Hottentots at present attached to the island. It has been quite impossible to fix upon a situation for the barracks which would place them entirely out of the reach of an enemy’s fire. An enemy however would be forced to destroy Fort Malcolm before they could materially injure the town. Four six-pounders complete, instead of the two your Lordship was pleased to order for the defence of this place, would greatly contribute to the safety of the island. I have directed Lieutenant Aitcheson to make a requisition to that effect to the officer commanding the Royal Artillery at the Cape. The only place on the island, independent of Falmouth Bay, where a landing might be effected  is a bay (which I have called Exmouth Bay) situated at the S.S.W. extremity; when the reinforcement arrives I shall feel it necessary to establish a military post in that bay; the island in every other respect is quite impregnable. 

There is sufficient pasture for any number of cattle, horses I should conceive not so well calculated for agricultural purposes as oxen. Six horses however will be necessary to facilitate the  movement of the light guns. The soil capable of the most valuable productions seems entirely composed of decayed vegetation, thus of avery spongy nature.

I trust I shall be able to forward to your Excellency plans of such parts of the island as are accessible by the very next opportunity; the constant rains have as yet prevented any of the ground being surveyed. 

I have enclosed a correct return of every individual at present victualed [sic] upon the island. I have &c.

(Signed) A.J. Cloete, Commandant. 

And the following list was to include 5 officers, 36 Non-Commissioned Officers, 9 civilians, 10 women, and 12 children, which made a total of 72.  

And so began the settlement, rather tentatively, of the little island of Tristan da Cunha (that today forms part of the British overseas territory of  St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha) all under the leadership of a Dutch-speaking South African serving with the British Army,  and which today numbers roughly 264, just 190-odd more than the number of souls that originally settled the island way back in 1816.   

The “Dix” Family of Dublin (1779-2011):
The National Library of Ireland in which the Dix Collection of Ireish printing is housed
      The National Library of Ireland,
  in which the "Dix Collection of Printing" is housed

A well-known Dublin, and thus Irish family, is the “Dix” family, whose ancestor seems to have been a certain Ebenezer Dix, who immigrated to Ireland from England in 1779. And as they say “it’s a small world” because I descend from an  English and collateral  branch of the Dix family (via southern Africa) and therefore, it would seem, am distantly related. And given my love for history and books it is also of interest to note that one of the family’s descendents and also one of Ireland’s greatest book collectors and bibliophile’s was Ernest Reginald McClintock Dix who was during the course of his life to publish over 200 articles on aspects of Irish bibliography, and was also, together with, Seamus O’ Casaide, to found the Bibliography Society of Ireland, bequeathing a large part of his collection (8, 000 books and pamphlets) to the National Library of Ireland, and parts to other libraries. In addition he was an Irish language enthusiast, and edited an Irish translation of the psalms of David (1912), and also translated into the Irish the communion service of the Church of Ireland (1913). Yes, it really is a small world. 

South Africans at Dunkirk:

    British Soldiers at Dunkirk,
      where some South Africans were also present

The mass evacuation of approximately 300, 000 Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk in May/June 1940 is well known to many, and there were a few South Africans involved in the “miracle” too. Trooper Attie Louw, of the Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) was posted missing after the evacuation, but was to rejoin his unit “fit and well” and with the unshaken hope of “helping to finish off Nazism on German soil”. Educated at Rondebosch High School, and the South African College School (SACS) in Cape Town, trooper Louw was an only son, and his first thought was to greet his mother by cable. 
He was to speak cordially of English hospitality and wished that “more of his fellow-Afrikaners could see the Old Country for themselves”. He was also to say that earlier in the war, while on leave, he had “discovered a monument to the Boer Republics in the heart of Paris”. 
Trooper Louw also talked of his regiment’s advance into Belgium, and the welcome given them by the locals, and three days later “saw their lovely towns being laid to waste”. And he was also to say that at Dunkirk “the coolness of the men on the crowded beaches was incredible”. Louw’s subsequent voyage to England was safely accomplished “although the ship ahead of his, in which he ought to have sailed, was heavily shelled”. 

Another South African, O. Dodd, from Johannesburg, who served as a petty officer aboard a minesweeper, and was to make "eleven cross-Channel trips, his ship every time loaded to the gunwhale with Allied soldiers" was also to say that he could not speak "enough about the patient endurance and unbreakable courage of his passengers", and that  "they sorely needed food".In addition Dodd was to comment of the men that "Once aboard, they were usually too tired to eat," and that the sailors fed them "pannikins of navy cocoa, and still more cocoa - that wonderful stuff, sold in 7-lb slabs, which is meat and drink,"  and that once "we got clear of the shells and machine-gun bullets, the men were as happy as schoolboys, or else they immediately fell asleep."

Dodd, who was to get married that Saturday to a certain Miss Iris Fisher,  would go on to comment that, " when we got ashore in England many volunteered to go back to Dunkirk to lend a hand with the others", and also how he searched the crowded beaches looking for a South African friend who was in the Scots Guards, but in vain. He was also to talk of how he had been "following the sea for years in the merchant navy" and his running away  "from home in time-honoured fashion", and that he looked forward to "wearing the newly-designed mine-sweeper's badge with its shark impaled on a marlin-spike, and fisherman's nets in the background".  

While an additional South African, John [Butler] Musgrave,  who had first learned duty and discipline on the SATS General Botha (1933-34), and since then had been mining on the Rand (Transvaal, South Africa)., and whose parents farmed in Swaziland, was to talk of his time during the Battle of France, prior to the evacuation. He had served with a demolition company of the Royal Engineers where much of his work “consisted in blowing up bridges,” and was also to say “spies were our big trouble”, and that they “were told to live on the country, and in evacuated towns we would catch a duck or a couple of chickens for supper, or we would milk the cows in the fields”. He was also to say that they were to subsist for “five days on biscuits”. 

And yet more  South Africans or those with SA connections  who were at Dunkirk or served during the Battle of France included,  N.N. Wides, of the Grenadier Guards, who hailed from Durban, and was unscathed during the ordeal, interestingly enough being carried across the English Channel to England by the  “Umvoti”, a vessel named for a river in Natal;  David Divine, the South African journalist, who commanded a small vessel during the evacuation, and was awarded the DSM (and who would later write the book, "The Nine Days of Dunkirk", 1959); John Lourens, RAF, from the Cape Province (and an old SATS General Botha boy), who was mentioned-in-dispatches at Dunkirk (and later killed after a raid over Berlin in February 1944); Captain John Wyndham Hartigan, 2/5th Sherwood Foresters, born at Grahamstown in 1915, and killed in action on the 26 May 1940; Lance-Sergeant Frank Myburgh, from Springs, Transvaal; Lieutenant Gerald Dison;  2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Wilson Laidlaw, of the Seaforth Highlanders; Lieutenant John Moodie, from Johannesburg, who was wounded; Lance-Corporal Gert Johannes Weyers, 1st battalion, Gordon Highlanders, from “Ottery”, Cape Province, who was killed in action on the 4 June 1940, aged 22; Guardsman Nicholas  Christoffel Van Schalkwyk, 1st battalion, Grenadier Guards, of Uniondale, Cape Province, who was also killed in action on the 29 May 1940, aged 25; Flying-Officers' Ronald Nicholas Selley (from Durban) and Hilton Aubrey Haarhof (from Johannesburg), of the RAF, who were each awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for their endeavours in the skies over Dunkirk "protecting shipping in which the B.E.F. was being evacuated", and Squadron-Leader Roger Bushell, of No 92 Squadron, RAF (and born in Springs, Transvaal), who was shot down while on a patrol over Calais, about 43 Km west of Dunkirk (and who would later become famous as “Big X“ during the “Great Escape“ from Stalag Luft III);

The Military is Obviously in My Blood:

Ever since I can remember I have loved all things military, and one of my earliest memories is watching a military parade in Bird Street in Port Elizabeth, South Africa,  from the second story of our  house, and that must have been around 1974 or 1975, and I must have been all of four- or five-years-of-age, but it seems to have left an indelible impression on my mind. And the thing is that one is not always aware of how deep that link or love might run…but it makes a lot of sense, especially in my family, as the military obviously runs in my blood, and I can trace it over a period of roughly 200 years, all the way back to the Napoleonic Wars. 

Like most southern Africans of my generation I did my military service, initially with the 2nd South African infantry (2 SAI) in Walvis Bay, South West Africa (now Namibia), and then 2 Special Services Battalion (2SSB) in Zeerust, in what was then Western Transvaal, while my brother served with the South African Air Force (SAAF), at one stage serving with No. 6 Squadron, SAAF, which was stationed in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, and which flew Impalas’; and in addition my dad, Errol, served with the South African Navy in the 1950s, at Salisbury Island in Durban, and apparently did a stint with the South African Marines at that time; and it goes on and on.

My grandfather Alban Charles Lyle Dix-Peek served with the 1st Field Regiment (Cape Field Artillery), South African Artillery  in North Africa, at Bardia, Sollum and Tobruk, where together with approximately 10, 000 other South Africans he was captured in June 1942; while my maternal grandfather, Felix Hamblin Timothy also served with the South African Artillery in North Africa for a short while before returning to the Union of South Africa as it was then. 
Felix Timothy  (my mother’s father) had of course served with the 4th South African Infantry Regiment of the 1st South African infantry Brigade during World War I, and had been captured during the German “March Offensive” of 1918 (and interned in a POW camp in Germany for the remainder of the war), while his brother, and my great-uncle Bernard D’Ewes Timothy, known as “Boydie” had sadly been killed in July 1918 while also serving with the 4th South African “Scottish” Regiment of the 1st SAI Brigade, and lies buried in France. 

Badge of the SA Infantry Brigade,
In addition, my great-grandfather, Sergeant  Alban Dix-Peek had served for many years with the famous Cape Mounted Rifles (CMR), taking part in the Natal rebellion of 1906, and the South African War of 1899-1902, while his brothers (my great-great uncles) also partook in the latter war, Douglas Dix-Peek serving with Rimington’s Guides; St. George and Arthur Dix-Peek both serving with the Prince Alfred’s Guard Regiment (a famous Port Elizabeth and SA colonial regiment), and Douglas and St George having also seen service with the PAG in Bechuanaland in 1897. 
And that’s not all of it….my great-great grandfather, George Dix-Peek, had also been an avid military man, having been one of the first commissioned officers of the Prince Alfred’s Guard when it was reformed in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape,  in 1874, and who had raised and commanded his own regiment during the 9th Frontier War of 1877-1878, namely the Port Elizabeth Militia Regiment.

Captain George Dix-Peek,
in Prince Alfred's Guard uniform
circa 1874
Moreover, another relative, Captain Edward Dix of the Royal Navy had served with distinction during the Napoleonic Wars,  in West Indian waters and at “Guadalupe”, and against the Americans during the War of 1812. So it obviously goes back a long way, and it’s only when one writes it down like this that you realise how far back it all stretches, and to what extent it has influenced one’s life…or maybe it’s just me, but, one thing is for sure, the military is quite obviously in my blood, and so it will stay.   

                           (Artwork: Douglas Draper)
Captain Edward Dix, Royal Navy


The Delville Wood Memorial
and the Beckwith Family, June 1940: 

 Delville Wood Memorial, June 1940,
  As the German dive-bombers would have seen it
A very interesting article concerning the Delville Wood Memorial and a certain Mr. T.A. Beckwith and his family appears in the “South Africa” newspaper dated June 8, 1940, at which time Hitler’s Nazi forces were sweeping all before them during the Battle of  France. The article was entitled “Delville Wood Memorial in German Hands,” with the sub-headings: “Custodian’s Fortunate Escape” and “Area Heavily Bombed”. 

It reads: “The South African National War Memorial at Delville Wood is in the area occupied by the Germans on the Somme. As far as is known, it has not been damaged - unlike the Canadian War Memorial at Vimy Ridge - although the area has been subjected to heavy bombing.
Mr T.A. Beckwith, the custodian of the memorial, with his wife and family, is now safely in London after a hasty departure and a hazardous journey to the coast.”

It continues: "On May 18 enemy aeroplanes appeared in the vicinity and the local Prefet de Police immediately told Mr. Beckwith that within an hour he should be ready to start for England, or [sic] other zone of safety.     
Hastily collecting a few essential things and leaving the bulk of their belongings in the lovely Cape Dutch cottage, which has been their home for several happy years, the Beckwith family took to the road. 
Driving his own car Mr. Beckwith took his place in the endless cavalcade of refugees. There was presently heavy bombing overhead and enemy ‘plane, swooping down, machine-gunned the car immediately in front of the Beckwiths. The story of the journey through France lends itself to graphic description." 

“From town to town the travellers pressed on and at each halting place the local Mayor was consulted as to the future path of safety. At one town Mr Beckwith met the staff of the Imperial War Graves’ Commission and with them the journey to the coast was continued. It was with feelings of profound thankfulness that Mr. Beckwith eventually reached London, and his first act was to report his presence to the Union High Commissioner. He has been assigned a post at South Africa House and on Monday takes up his duties. 

The article concludes: “Born at Winburg, in the Orange Free State [South Africa], Mr. Beckwith is not only bi-lingual but also speaks fluent French. He served with the 1st Regiment of the South African Brigade in the Great War and was wounded and gassed at Delville Wood. Before embarking for England Mr. Beckwith presented his motor-car to the French authorities.”

And what an amazing ordeal the Beckwith family must have undergone during those most cataclysmic days of World War II, as the Stuka dive-bombers rained terror upon the fleeing British and French soldiers and the general populace, and it is to wonder what eventually happened to Mr. Beckwith and his family,  and if members of the family today are even aware of what transpired all those years back.      

South Africa’s Early Olympians: 

It is quite surprising as to how well a little country like South Africa was to perform during the early years of the Olympic games, having just been through one of the most tumultuous periods of its history only a few years before (the 2nd Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902). Starting with Reggie Walker’s winning of the 100 metres final during the 1908 London Olympic Games, in a time of 10.45 seconds (and the first non-American athlete to do so), and C.A. Heffernan’s second-placed finish in the marathon, South Africa was to perform even better just four-years later in Stockholm in 1912, when K.K. McArthur  was to win the marathon in a time of 2 hrs. 36 min. 54 s. with another South African, Charles Gitsham coming in second, in 2 hrs. 37 min. 52 s.

K.K. McArthur

Actually, South Africa’s performance at Stockholm in 1912 was truly phenomenal, because in addition to McArthur’s win in the marathon (the blue-ribbon event of the Olympics), Charles Winslow was to win the tennis singles tournament, and, partnered with his fellow South African, H.A. Kitson, was also to clinch the doubles title as well, and Rudolph Lewis, was to win Gold in the Cycling Road Race (with a time of 10 hrs. 42 min.) which took place around Lake Malar, over a an incredible distance of 200 miles. Therefore, with 4 Gold medals and 2 Bronze to their credit, the South Africans were to finish in seventh position, out of a total of 28 nations, which is really quite an achievement, considering it was the participating in the Olympic games as a nation. 

And one South African who participated in the 1912 Olympics also bears mention, and unfortunately he has largely been forgotten in the realm of SA Olympic history. His name was George H. Patching, and he was the only  non-American athlete to start the 100 metres final. The Americans thought he was phenomenal, and he had advanced to the 100-metre finals by winning the second of the semi-final heats. 
The 100 Metres Final at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, 
with the Springbok, G.H. Patching, sprinting to take fourth place
Unfortunately he was to finish in fourth place, just missing out on a bronze medal, but he had done his country very proud, indeed. In  addition other South Africans who put up a good performance during the 1912 Olympics were Len Richardson, who was to place a creditable eighth position in the cross-country race, with a time of 47 minutes 33.5 seconds (roughly two-minutes behind the winner Kohlemainen from Finland), and the first of the runners from the British Commonwealth to finish, and Reuben Povey and A.A.C. St Norman, as well as the swimmer, G.A. Godfrey (400 metres freestyle).   

The South African Team
at the 1920 Olympics,
Antwerp, Belgium
Interestingly enough, although  South Africa were to win ten medals in all during the 1920 Olympic Games held in Antwerp, Belgium, just two-years after the First World War, and having therefore accumulated more medals than eight-years previously, they were only to finish in eleventh position.   
But nevertheless what a performance; Bevil Rudd winning the 400 metres men’s final, Clarence Walker the  bantamweight  boxing Gold medal, and Louis Raymond the men’s tennis singles. 
And,  without a doubt, the flying speedster, Bevil Rudd (educated at St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown) was the star of the South Africans' stellar performance during the games, winning a Gold (in the 400 metres), a Silver (in the 4x400 metre relay with the South African team) and a Bronze (in the 800 metres). 

The  South African Athlete,
Bevil Rudd (right)
South Africa were to win a further eleven medals during the next three Olympic games, with the sprinter Sydney Atkinson taking Gold in 1928 in the men’s 110 metre hurdles, and following the second world war were only to compete in four more Olympic games until they were barred from participating in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy, due to the SA Nationalist Party’s (NP) malevolent system of “Apartheid”, and which was only to end with South Africa's re-entry into the international sporting arena in 1992.

Page taken from the Spalding book 
of the 1912 Olympics,
listing SA's medal-winners

And since those far-off and halcyon days South Africa has just not been able to emulate, collectively,  their best medal haul to date…that of 1920, when South African sportsmen and women took home ten medals, but comparisons are indeed odious, and murky waters to navigate, because inevitably sport moves on, people get better, technological know-how and sporting equipment improves, competition intensifies, and so on, and so forth.  But, all things considered, the level of dedication and prowess shown by those Springbok sportsmen and women during the early days of the Olympic games has to be admired, and was  truly phenomenal given that they were essentially just sporting amateurs, and often did not even have the time to train, let alone the immense financial backing lavished on sportsmen and women of today.

British Icons...Or Are They?

As a proud southern African, I find it rather interesting that many people in Britain and Ireland are not even faintly aware of the South African origins of some of the most quintessentially British icons...people who were born in South Africa, but who either grew up in the UK or were domiciled there later in life.
Three major examples of South Africans who have been subsumed in such a manner, and are now deemed to have been 100% British  are  Basil Rathbone (born in Johannesburg), who became famous through his portrayal of that sleuth of all sleuths', Sherlock Holmes, in the 1930s; J.R.R. Tolkien (born in Bloemfontein), the universally acclaimed author of the "Lord of the Rings" and the "Hobbit"; and...Sid James (born in Johannesburg), that irrepressible "cockney" known to generations of British people through the "Carry-On" movies of the 1960s and 1970s...and yet they weren't British, not by birth at least, but South Africans all.  

(fr. l to r) T
olkien, Rathbone & Sid James,
So British They were South African


(no subject)
Rhodesia of Yesteryear:

Rhodesia is a country now lost in the archives of yesteryear, but whether one loved it or hated it, cherished it or loathed nevertheless existed, and whether it’s politically-correct or not, I am indeed  very proud to have been born in that most rugged country. 

Salisbury, Rhodesia, in the 1930s,
about 40 years before I was born there...
which by the 1970s was a thriving City

                                                        (Picture: Graham Bould)
The Famous Jacaranda Trees
which lined Montagu Avenue, in Salisbury, Rhodesia (c.1975).


It’s quite funny, I still have a picture of little ol’ me in my Rhodesian passport (just seven or eight months-of-age), ably propped up by my father’s strong arms, just before we left for South Africa, and where I was subsequently to grow up. 

Ross Dix-Peek:
A Wee Rhodesian "Rebel"

Pictures (above) of the front cover, and the first few pages of  my old Rhodesian passport (which was issued at the Rhodesian Passport Office on the 25 March 1971, situated at the Causeway, in Salisbury, now Harare), printed in both English and French.

Yep, that’s me, with my father (Errol Dix-Peek) behind me…notice “signature waved [sic] due to age of applicant”.  Although the person responsible misspelt  "waived", and wrote "waved" instead, the likelihood is that I probably did wave my arms quite a bit, as most babies are inclined to do. And you'll notice I stood a whopping 2 feet 0 inches tall.
 Actually, if I may say so myself…I was quite cute (but then I would be biased). 

Rhodesia really was a most majestic country, with its faults, I admit…but which country or nation  does not have failings or flaws? 

The amazing picture above, from a old postcard I have, reads “A Rhodesian Railways’ train crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge” (the message itself is dated 20 September 1943), and just serves to exemplify the resplendent beauty of Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe, and it is to be hoped that once Mugabe is finally gone, there will,  hopefully,  still be something left of the nation of my birth…and not just just the dessicated remains of skeletal corpses in the dry African dust. 

A collage (above) of some Rhodesian/Zimbabwean First-Day Covers in my possession, and which just gives slight intimation of not only how beautifully rugged and wild the country was, but also its almost unsurpassable natural splendour and breath-taking truly was once the "bread-basket of Africa".  

And now it's...

                                  (Picture: TwoWings)

30 Facts about Swords Castle, County Dublin
30  Facts about Swords Castle, County Dublin

Ross Dix-Peek
  1. Swords Castle is situated in the centre of  Swords about 15 Km north of Dublin City.
  2. The Castle was built as the manorial residence of the Archbishops of Dublin.
  3. It was commissioned by Archbishop John Comyn, who had been a former Benedictine monk,  and was to preside over the see of Dublin between 1181 and 1212.
  4. And was built in approximately 1200, or a little later.
  5. However, the actual building of the castle was to take place over a protracted period of 400 years. 
  6. Its pentagonal walled area covers an area of nearly 1.5 acres.
  7. The castle was built using local limestone with red sandstone dressings, although there is no red sandstone in the locality of Swords.
  8. Although the castle is said to have never experienced battle there is speculation that it may have been  damaged in 1317 during the ill-fated campaign of Edward Bruce, the brother of Robert Bruce of Scotland.
  9. The damage sustained may have subsequently precipitated the abandonment of the castle by the Archbishop of Dublin in 1324, upon a new palace having been built at Tallaght. 
  10. It then became chiefly an ecclesiastical court, both estate and castle business being managed by a constable, who resided within the confines of the castle. 
  11. Whereupon the archbishop would then only visit when it was deemed necessary to do so. 
  12. Between 1546 and 1547 King Henry VIII (of “decapitation” fame) was to bestow the office of constable of the manor and castle of “Swardys” on a certain Thomas Fitzsimons.
  13. And following his death it was to be “in trust for the use of Patrick Barnewell of Gracedieue and his heirs forever”.
  14. At its largest extent Swords Castle comprised a gatehouse, apartments for knights and squires, a chapel, Archbishops’ apartments,  rooms for friars, a banqueting hall, the North Tower, the Constables Tower, the West Towers, and various mediaeval farm buildings. 
  15. In its time Swords Castle would have been a spectacular edifice, standing most majestic beside the river Ward.
  16. And  from the castle the archbishops’ would have presided as veritable feudal lords, not only overseeing the Swords estate,
  17. But administering temporal justice as well. 
  18. While in front of the castle stood “the village draw-well, beside which are the stocks, intended for the refractory portion of the seneschal's subjects, but now the usual roost of the village poultry”.
  19. However,  by 1583 the castle was lamentably described as “the quite spoiled castle”.
  20. Swords Castle was also at one stage briefly occupied by Dutch Protestants. 
  21. Where-after it was sold after the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland (1871). 
  22. The castle being bought by the Cobbe family, the same family that owned Newbridge House, Donabate; a member of which family was to win the Victoria Cross in Somaliland in 1903.
  23. And catholic tenants, who had leased the  land from the archbishops, now got the opportunity to purchase it, provide they were in a financial position to do so. 
  24. The castle was at that time in a sad state of neglect, and although the massive structure of the curtain walls remained basically intact, the apartments within, including the archbishop’s chapel had succumbed.
  25. The area enclosed by the curtain walls  in fact  being used as an orchard in 1838. 
  26. The once proud edifice  was, sadly,  to appear on the general valuation map and later 19th-century ordnance survey maps  marked as nothing more than an abject ruin.  
  27. It was leased to Robert Savage during the 20th-Century.
  28. And was purchased by the Fingal City Council in 1976.
  29. Renovation was begun in 2008 and a new roof has since been completed upon the ruin of the castle chapel. 
  30. The newly-renovated castle was used as a film location for the production of the TV series “The Tudors” in Spring 2010, starring Dublin-born Justin Rhys Meyers, and now again stands sentinel over the ever-burgeoning  town of Swords, and hopefully will do so for many a year to come.


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