Newsletter No. 526
Because of student troubles at the KZN University it was decided to hold the February meeting at Natal Mounted Rifles, Dixie Adams Hall.
The Chairman, Charles Whiteing was away on business so the task of chairing the meeting was left to the Vice Chairman, Prof. Philip Everitt.
The meeting opened at 19h30 and after announcements Philip introduced the DDH speaker , Roy Bowman whose subject was “THE ANGELS OF MONS”.
During the German breakthrough of 1914 the British and French armies were routed and eventually a stand was made at the town of Mons on the Conde Canal. This delaying action allowed the Allied forces to fall back and make for the safety of a new line created closer to Paris.
An author, Arthur Machen, who wrote articles for The Evening News was asked to write a Gothic horror story, in serial form, for the Evening News readers. His articles were published as “The Bowmen” and became the basis for sightings of spectral angels, bowmen and Knights who were accounted for the saving of the retreating British troops from the advancing German Army. Even though Machen later told all who would listen that his stories were fiction, the die was cast. It appears that British Military Intelligence also became involved and propagated the stories until they have become legends of the time.
The speaker for the Main Talk was Robin Smith whose subject was “Spioenkop, Key to Ladysmith”. Robin began with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 through the causes and the events leading up to the Anglo Boer War of 1899 to 1902, through the events of “Black Week” to the Battle of Spioenkop and the Relief of Ladysmith. As is usual with Robin Smith’s presentations it was a well - researched, factual to the point presentation of a very important period of South Africa’s history which needs to be spread further through the school system lest we forget.
The Vote Of Thanks was given by Roger Burrows.
According to the Society's constitution, formal notice of the AGM has to appear in the newsletter at least once before the meeting:
9th April 2020
This serves as notice that the AGM of the KZN Branch of the Society will take place prior to the SAMHS KZN Branch meeting on 9th April 2020.
12TH MARCH 2020
DDH “FLYING FORTRESS” CHARLES WHITEING
MAIN “PIPE BANDS AND THE CHANGES IN THE RESERVE FORCE REGIMENTS” GRAEME FULLER
South African Military History Society / email@example.com