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NONGQAI : VOL. 10 NO. 7B Table of Contents Contents ADMINISTRATION | ADMINISTRASIE............................................................................................ 5 Publisher | Uitgewer .................................................................................................................. 5 Contact Details | Kontakbesonderhede..................................................................................... 5 Aim | Doel ................................................................................................................................. 5 Policy | Beleid ........................................................................................................................... 5 WELCOME | WELKOM.................................................................................................................... 6 LT.-COL. HF TREW: OC SAP BODYGUARD ................................................................................. 6 •

Lt.-Col. HF Trew writes in his book, Botha Treks, as follows: ............................................. 6

General Koen Brits and General Myburgh .......................................................................... 6

General Koen Brits.............................................................................................................. 7

General Myburgh ................................................................................................................ 7

Colonel JJ Collyer ............................................................................................................... 7

Gen. Brits: “I am ready. Who are we to fight, the English or the Germans?” ...................... 7

Gen. Brits: “I am not an Englander!” ................................................................................... 8

Mrs. Annie Botha: “Jeuropean ladies waving to the common Tommies” .......................... 8

Gen. Brits: “The Police are Paid to be killed” ..................................................................... 8

Gen. Brits: “Get him some stars!”........................................................................................ 8

Gen. Botha’s view of the future ........................................................................................... 8

Gen. Brits’ Cannon.............................................................................................................. 8

Col. JJ Collyer ..................................................................................................................... 9

1915: Parade in Police Depot ............................................................................................. 9 2


Fat rib of Beef ................................................................................................................... 10

Map in the Sand ................................................................................................................ 10

The Commandant’s Ford .................................................................................................. 10

Trivial Incidents ................................................................................................................. 10

Great patriot devoted to South Africa ................................................................................ 11

GENERAL BOTHA IN PEACE AND WAR: E MOORE RITCHIE ................................................... 11 •

Botha's Struggle ................................................................................................................ 11

In Every Mood ................................................................................................................... 12

Historic Trek ...................................................................................................................... 12

MET GENERAAL BOTHA IN DSWA | WITH GENERAL BOTHA IN GSWA ................................. 13 •

Generaal Louis Botha | General Louis Botha .................................................................... 13

SA Forces Landing | SA Magte sit voet aan wal ............................................................... 17

SA Skepe | SA Ships ........................................................................................................ 18

GSWA: South African Railways | DSWA: Suid-Afrikaanse Spoorweë .............................. 20

Mechanical Transport | Meganiese Vervoer ..................................................................... 29

[The armoured cars in GSWA were run by the Royal Navy] ............................................. 32

Radio, signallers and Surveyors | Radio, seiners en landmeters ...................................... 36

Guns | Kanonne ................................................................................................................ 39

General photos | Algemene foto’s .................................................................................................. 43 •

Inspection: Lord Buxton | Inspeksie Lord Buxton .............................................................. 43

Guard of Honour: Durban Light Infantry | Erewag: Durban Light Infantry ......................... 43

Swakopmund .................................................................................................................... 44

Anti-German feeling | Anti-Duitse gevoel .......................................................................... 44

Imperial Light Horse .......................................................................................................... 45

Marching: Durban Light Infantry | Op ‘n marstog: Durban Light Infantry ........................... 45

Boer maak ‘n plan: Anti-Mine operations | Teen-myn optrede .......................................... 46

Gen Botha’s Scouts | Genl Botha se Verkenners ............................................................. 46

Alert | Waaksaam.............................................................................................................. 47

Windhoek .......................................................................................................................... 47

Chief of Staff: Col JJ Collyer | Hoof van Staf: Kol. JJ Collyer ............................................ 48

Barber | Barbier................................................................................................................. 49

WITH BOTHA IN THE FIELD: ERIC MOORE RITCHIE ................................................................ 50 Generals Smuts and Botha in GSWA ..................................................................................... 50 Jantje Botha ............................................................................................................................ 50 •

Police horses .................................................................................................................... 51

Uniform of Bodyguard ....................................................................................................... 51 3


Galway Castle ................................................................................................................... 53

Regret: Wearing Helmets ................................................................................................. 54

The SAP Bodyguard ......................................................................................................... 56

THE NEED FOR SOUTH AFRICA TO HOLD ONTO NAMIBIA FOR AS LONG AS IT DID: PETER DICKENS ....................................................................................................................................... 85 IN MEMORIAM: GEN LOUIS BOTHA ........................................................................................... 87 •

Louis Botha: Greytown...................................................................................................... 89

Louis Botha: Durban ......................................................................................................... 90

SAP Louis Botha-lughawe | SAP Louis Botha Airport ....................................................... 93

Louis Botha: Cape Town | Kaapstad ................................................................................. 95

THE CONQUEST OF GERMAN SOUTH WEST AFRICA ............................................................. 96 •

The Times History of the War ........................................................................................... 96

INDEMNITY & © | VRYWARING & © .......................................................................................... 135 End | Slot .............................................................................................................................. 135

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ADMINISTRATION | ADMINISTRASIE

Publisher | Uitgewer The Nongqai is compiled by Hennie Heymans (HBH) a retired Brigadier of the late South African Police Force and this e-magazine is published on ISSUU. Hennie lives in Pretoria, ZA. He is passionate about our police-, military- and national security history and holds a MA-degree in National Strategic Studies. Any opinions expressed by him, are entirely his own. Die Nongqai word saamgestel deur Hennie Heymans (HBH), 'n afgetrede brigadier van die voormalige Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiemag en hierdie e-tydskrif word op ISSUU gepubliseer. Hennie woon in Pretoria, ZA. Hy is passievol oor ons polisie-, militêre- en nasionale veiligheidsgeskiedenis en het 'n MA-graad in Nasionale Strategiese Studies verwerf. Enige menings wat hy uitspreek, is uitsluitlik sy eie.

Contact Details | Kontakbesonderhede

Aim | Doel Our goal is to collect and record our national security history for publication in the Nongqai for future generations.

Onthou, skryf u storie, soms kan ons net op u geskrewe weergawe terugval want dit is al wat daar is. Deel u SAP- en SAW-foto’s met ons!

Ons doel is om die nasionale veiligheidsgeskiedenis in die Nongqai aan te teken en so vir die nageslagte bewaar.

Policy | Beleid We publish the articles and stories as we receive them from our correspondents; we only correct the spelling mistakes. It's important to publish the stories in the form and context as we receive them from our correspondents. Policemen and defence personnel have their own language. We are not a scientific or literary journal. We only work with historical building blocks. Ons gebruik die artikels en stories soos ons dit van ons korrespondente ontvang; ons maak slegs die spelfoute reg. Dis belangrik om die stories te bewaar in die vorm en in die konteks soos ons dit ontvang. Lede van die veiligheidsmagte het hul eie taal en ons moet dit ook so aanteken. Ons is nie ‘n letterkundige of wetenskaplike joernaal nie. Ons werk slegs met die boustene van geskiedenis.

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WELCOME | WELKOM Author and railway historian Mr Leith Paxton found photographs about General Louis Botha and his invasion of German South West Africa in an old album. From a cultural historical view, the scans of the photographs in that album make this volume so unique and precious! Our thanks to Leith Paxton for patiently scanning the photographs which takes a lot of time. I added a few extra bits and pieces. Ons persoonlike dank aan Leith Paxton wat geduldig die foto’s een-vir-een afgetas het en met ons gedeel het. Ek gaan ook ‘n paar woorde oor genl. Louis Botha sê. Genl. Louis (destyds uitgespreek “Le-wies”) Botha was ‘n merkwaardige Boer, ‘n goeie plaasboer, uitstaande krygsman, volksleier en leier van die twee ‘rasse’ nl. Afrikaners en Engelssprekendes en vandag nog steeds ongewild in sekere Afrikaner nasionalistiese kringe. Ek het ‘n aantal ander items bygevoeg vir u “kyk-plesier”.

LT.-COL. HF TREW: OC SAP BODYGUARD • Lt.-Col. HF Trew writes in his book, Botha Treks, as follows: “When it was announced that General Botha was to take the field as commander-in-chief of the Union forces, I was sent for by Mr. de Wet, the Minister of Justice, and told that the Government had decided that the general was to be accompanied into the field by a bodyguard of 50 mounted police, and that I was to command it, with Captain Fulton as my second in command. The men comprising the Bodyguard were selected from various districts in the Transvaal, and were encamped in an open piece of ground near General Botha's house. Before we started on our first expedition on the veld, the Minister of Justice again sent for me, and told me that I was to be held responsible for General Botha's personal safety, and I was always to remember that his death would be the greatest disaster that could befall South Africa. He warned me with a peculiar smile that the general was never to be allowed to go into the firing line. Later, when I tried to control the general under fire, I realized why he had smiled.”

• General Koen Brits and General Myburgh “Pretoria was put in a state of defence, and the surroundings held by various infantry regiments. To aid in crushing the revolt. General Botha called in the high veld commandos under his two trusted leaders, General Koen Brits and General Myburgh. It was then that we discovered that the miners' strike of 1913, and the general strike of 1914, had really been blessings in disguise; the commandos had been called out for those events for the first time since the Boer War, and had been armed and their organization fully tested, so that when they arrived in Pretoria they were fit to take the field. I had a proof during the 1913 strike of how the commando spirit had lingered amongst the Boers of the Transvaal. I was on duty in Middleburg and received instructions from the Secretary of Defence to interview the old commandant of the Middleburg commando and ask him to call together his men to assist the Government. Within twenty-four hours a commando four hundred strong was 6


assembled in Middleburg, armed, it is true, with a diversity of weapons, but with each man mounted, and with two days' rations in his saddlebags. This is rather wonderful when one thinks that for the eleven years since the Boer War there had been no commando organization in existence.”

• General Koen Brits “Of General Botha's two leaders, Koen Brits was the senior. He was a very big man with a commanding presence. He had an iron grey moustache and pointed beard, and spoke no English. He feared only one person in the world, and that was General Botha, for whom at the same time, he had the greatest affection. I once asked General Botha why Koen Brits was so devoted to him; he replied, " Oh, I helped him out of a hole once." He refused to give any further details. Sometime later I put the question to "Oom Koen", as we always called the old man. He replied, " He saved my life in the Boer War. We were breaking through a British blockhouse line at night; the English shot my horse, and I got entangled in the barbed wire. When General Botha found that I had not joined the commando, he came back alone, under a heavy fire, and got me out."”

• General Myburgh “General Myburgh was a rather different type, being a well-educated and cultured man. He was a big, very handsome man, who always reminded me of a picture of one of the old Vikings.”

• Colonel JJ Collyer “General Botha appointed Colonel Collyer chief of his staff. Collyer came from the defence headquarters. He had received his early training in that very fine regiment, the Cape Mounted Rifles, and had later had the advantage of serving as staff officer to General Tim Lukin, when that splendid old soldier was commandant of the Cape Colonial forces. Captain Piet Van der Byl was appointed staff captain. Major de Waal, now Judge de Waal, was appointed Provost-Marshal, and Dr. Bok military secretary. Captains Louis Esselen and Louis Botha were appointed A.D.G.'s to the general. On the Bodyguard, I had with me. Captain Fulton, who had received his military training in the 6th Lancers, and South African Constabulary.” “The bullets were coming close over our heads, and I made a grab at General Botha's reins to try and get him out of danger. He hit at me with his sjambok, and said, "Leave my horse alone, we must go and help Smuts." The rebels then fled.” (33) “General Botha halted his horse beside one of them, and said, "This is terrible, that was Commandant ——, he was one of my best men in the Boer War." Then, with tears in his eyes, he went on, "You Englishmen will never understand how hard this is for me." (34)

• Gen. Brits: “I am ready. Who are we to fight, the English or the Germans?” “The English are an extraordinary people. They fought a war with the two republics, devastated the country, and finally annexed them. A few years later they expect their former enemies to love them, and are very hurt because a small proportion of them go into rebellion. The truth was, that the Boers as a people were not anxious to fight the Germans or anyone else; they could not understand why their country was being dragged into a dispute in Europe. They only took to the field because of their faith in their two old leaders Generals Botha and Smuts. This attitude was well exemplified by General Koen Brits, who, when he received a telegram ordering him to mobilize his commando, wired to General Botha, " I am ready. Who are we to fight, the English or the Germans?"” (50)

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• Gen. Brits: “I am not an Englander!” “I told General Koen Brits, one day, that the Germans called all our force, "Englanders". He replied, " Well! I had no quarrel with the Germans before this, but now I will teach them to call me an 'Englander'."” (55)

• Mrs. Annie Botha: “Jeuropean ladies waving to the common Tommies” “We were seen off at the ship (Gallway Castle) by Mrs. Botha and her daughter Frances. The former impressed on me that I was to look well after her man, and see that he returned safely. Frances wrote to me later on, and said that on their return journey their car broke down, so she and her mother took a tram. Two old coloured washerwomen got in, and sat behind them. Presently the Bothas saw Koen Brits at the head of his burghers riding past. They opened the window, and waved their handkerchiefs to him, but were utterly squashed when they heard one of the coloured women remark to her companion, "Just look at them Jeuropean ladies waving to the common Tommies."” (Trew p. 67).

• Gen. Brits: “The Police are Paid to be killed” “In a moment the general was all animation. Turning to General Brits he said, " Do you think you could get your men together, and gallop those guns like we used to do with the English?" Old Koen looked at the long smooth glacis of sand leading down to the guns, and the dark rocks on either side of them, and said, "General, my men are now all spread out among the rocks, it would take too long to collect them. Let Trew try with the Bodyguard and we will support him; the police are paid to be killed." The general looked at me, with a mischievous smile in his eyes, as though to see how I was taking this cool statement, and said, " No, if you cannot take them with a thousand men, Trew has no chance with seventy." (Trew p. 74).

• Gen. Brits: “Get him some stars!” “It was on this trek that the incident about Koen Brits occurred which is told by Colonel Deneys Reitz in his book Trekking On. Old Koen had run out of alcohol, and hearing that a trooper of his had found a bottle of rum, sent an invitation to him to spend the evening with him. His staff officer expostulated, and told the general that he could not drink with a trooper. "That's all right," said Oom Koen; " I promote him now to the rank of lieutenant; get him some stars."” (Trew p. 127).

• Gen. Botha’s view of the future “He asked how many of the men in the Bodyguard were Afrikanders (sic), and how many English. I told him there were 50 of each. He thought for a little while and said, "It should be the same in everything. South Africa will never be great unless both races pull together. Some of the parsons and predicants (sic) make a lot of trouble; it always surprises me how these men of peace love to start a fight."” (Trew p. 119).

• Gen. Brits’ Cannon “General Koen Brits and his burghers arrived in the port while we were in Cape Town. An amusing incident occurred when Oom Koen tried to land a small cannon he had captured at Namutoni. The customs officers tried to prevent him doing this, pointing out that the law stated that only the Government could import cannon, and that they were going to seize it.

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Koen Brits replied, "You lazy hounds, I had to ride hard to capture this cannon. Now it is going to stand on my farm stoep. You say I can't land it; I have on this ship fifteen hundred armed burghers to say I can." Needless to say, the cannon was landed. General Brits went to East Africa later on with General Smuts, and did good service there. I met him several times after peace was declared; although in plain clothes and carrying no sjambok he always went through the motions of hitting me with an imaginary one. The hard-fighting old Boer general has now answered to the last muster-roll. Peace be to his ashes.” (Trew, p. 183.)

• Col. JJ Collyer “Colonel Collyer had one of the most difficult tasks, in the rebellion and South-West campaign, a regular officer was ever faced with. He had to work under a general who, while a genius at the higher arts of war, loathed red tape and paper work. He was required to work generally with an almost untrained staff, and had often to deal with officers of high rank who were unacquainted with the ordinary rules of regular military procedure. That the campaign was a great success shows how well he rose to the occasion.” (Trew, p. 183.)

• 1915: Parade in Police Depot

“After a week in Gape Town we boarded a troop train, and set out on the thousand-mile journey to Pretoria. On arrival there, I was told that General Botha wished to hold a last parade of the 9


Bodyguard at the police depot in Pretoria. On the appointed day the general sat on his horse, on the parade ground, and the Bodyguard marched past him before an audience composed of the leading people in the capital. We then formed line, and advanced towards him, halted, and removing our head-dress gave him three of the heartiest cheers any general ever received. The next afternoon Mrs. Botha and her daughters entertained the whole of the officers and men to tea at the Prime Minister's residence. The general stood with Mrs. Botha, and received the guests. Later on, as I watched him, in well-cut plain clothes, overlooking the comfort of the men who had followed him on so many weary treks, three different pictures flashed into my mind.”

• Fat rib of Beef “The first a halt for lunch on the trek to Otavifontein. On the veld nearby a party of burghers was busily engaged in cutting up an ox they had slaughtered. General Botha called up his servant and asked him to go across to the men and request them to spare him a small, fat rib of beef. His man returned with the rib and the general took it from him and placed it in the coals of the camp fire. When it was cooked, he sat on his camp stool with the rib in one hand and a pocket knife in the other, and started to eat the meat. As he ate, with a mischievous smile on his face, he looked at his doctor, who sat gravely shaking his head at this breach in his rules of diet.”

• Map in the Sand “The second picture was that of a young burgher slightly wounded, riding back from a fight in front. The general called him over and the lad dismounted and walked over to him. The former then crossquestioned him eagerly as to the progress of the action. The boy went down on his knees and started to draw a plan in the sand with his forefinger. The commander-in-chief knelt beside him, and gazed at the map in the sand. Then standing up he patted the boy on the back, and told him to go and get his wound dressed.”

• The Commandant’s Ford “The third picture was on the road to accept the surrender of Windhoek. We were crossing the bed of the Swakop River in motor-cars. The river bed at this point was about two hundred yards wide, and composed of very heavy sand.” “The general's Vauxhall car had stuck in the middle, and he in his shirt sleeves was assisting to push it through. It was a very hot day and we halted for a rest, the perspiration pouring down our faces. Then sailing past us, came an old model Ford driven by a Boer commandant with a long beard. It had no bonnet, it emitted clouds of smoke and steam, and nearly every part of it was tied up with green rimpies (Afrikaans: riempies i.e. string of hide). The old gentleman saluted the general as he drove steadily past. The latter looked at the old Ford, and then at his fifteen-hundred-pound car, and shrugged his shoulders in such a comical way that we all laughed.”

• Trivial Incidents “Why is it that one's mind stores up these trivial incidents when more important happenings are forgotten? I think it is because they showed how very human the general always was. He never posed or changed his manner no matter in whatever circumstances he found himself. He talked to the governor-general in exactly the same way in which he talked to a burgher in the field. Rank and title meant nothing to him, when he said of His Majesty King Edward VII, that "he was a man", that was the highest praise he could have given anyone. The three Englishmen that he seemed to have the most liking for were: - King Edward, - Lord Kitchener and - Sir Henry Campbell-Banner-man. 10


A section of the Dutch and English people in South Africa appear to have formed the opinion that General Botha became Anglicized in his later years.”

• Great patriot devoted to South Africa “This is absolutely incorrect. He was a great patriot who was devoted to South Africa, to the Afrikander people, and to his own language. He respected the English people because they had kept all their promises to him, and had trusted his people by giving them self-government shortly after the Boer war. He felt that there was no future for South Africa unless the two white races learnt to forget their past differences and worked together for the advancement of their common country. It is the irony of fate that he died at a comparatively early age, before he could see the accomplishment of his dearest wish.” (Trew. 185 - 7)

GENERAL BOTHA IN PEACE AND WAR: E MOORE RITCHIE

Just under 21 years ago the British Empire at stretch beneath the strain of the world war received as tonic surprise news of our complete conquest of Germany's vast territory of South-West Africa. And the tonic was the better by reason of the fact that the Great War's first big victory was won by forces under the command of a man who had proved our toughest white foe since the days of Napoleon. As surprising as the feat of arms itself was the attitude of this man, General Botha, in the hour of triumph. He was given to understand that for his achievement he might have any honour in the King's gift. He refused title, decoration, money. Thus, it was that the sole outward distinction of this farmer, who pledged his faith at the Treaty of Vereeniging, were the rank of honorary General in the army he had opposed, and, as Privy Councillor, the courtesy prefix "right honourable" to his name.

• Botha's Struggle Such choice of distinctions with honour as common root was strangely apt: straightness was the key to the character of a natural genius in field and council. Had it been otherwise, it is fair to believe that the outbreak of war would have changed the course of history. Because the South African Rebellion of 1914 on the question of the invasion of neighbouring enemy territory would, if successful, have crippled to an unguessed extent our resources. As it was Botha, at terrible cost to his private feelings, took the field against his fellow countrymen in arms, restored order, and, leading the campaign in person against the Germans then, completely defeated them. Colonel Trew, an experienced soldier in the war of 1899 - 1902, was in peculiarly close and continuous touch with General Botha throughout this double campaign. The Government decided 11


that Botha must have a Bodyguard to look after his safety in the field, and appointed Colonel (then Major) Trew, Commandant of Police, as its head. “Botha Treks" is the Colonel's story of those days. Because of his very different job the soldier does not commonly shine with the pen. This dapper and keen-eyed Australian, so well-known in South Africa, here proves himself a surprising exception, however. Of the campaign which, in common with many others the present writer shared, he has written a plain and clear story, but keeping the high light always on the central figure, he has so successfully introduced conversation, incident, and pithy description that there emerges a new and lifelike close-up of his famous subject. That this is so all who ever knew or met Botha will agree, and, the test of such success, those who did not will be at once convinced.

• In Every Mood It is what a man says that counts, and here we get Botha in every mood and surrounding: by camp fire, at night, in action, sad, jocular, worried; decisive, outspoken, thoughtful, angry; often surprising as are the great, but always in character. Here is an incident during the Rebellion: We came on a place where several dead were lying (after the action that led to the final defeat of his old comrade De Wet. General Botha halted his horse beside one and said: "This is terrible. That was Commandant ------, he was one of my best men during the Boer War." Then with tears in his eyes: “You Englishmen will never understand how hard this is for me." Though he was often silent, sometimes Louis Esselen, who had been his ADC in the SA War, would mention something that had happened in that contest that would excite his interest. Of Lord Roberts, to my surprise, he said: "He was a cruel man, and did not stick to his word. . . He was always issuing absurd proclamations, and then in about a week he would substitute another cancelling the former one." Of Kitchener: - "He is a man. If he says he will do a thing he will carry it out. If he makes a promise, you can rely on it."

• Historic Trek Here is a scene on a starlit night when General Botha and us all camped sitting on the sand in the middle of the great Namib Desert during the historic trek before the action that broke the German resistance: We discussed war generally, and suddenly Botha said: "What an extraordinary thing a man's fate is! There is no man who hates war more than I do. As I sat in Kitchener's saloon carriage at Vereeniging and laid down the pen after signing the Treaty which ended the Boer War, I said to myself, 'Thank God, Louis Botha, you will ride your horse to no more wars, and, now, look, my duty calls me back once more "into the thing I hate. '" And here, finally, is a scene after the action at Jakalswater, on the result of which depended the capture of waterholes which ruled the fate of the whole army:I was awakened by someone touching my arm. Looking up, I found the General leaning over me with a steaming pannikin of coffee in his hand. He said, "Come all, man, drink this; it will do you good." I replied, "General, you should not wait on me.” "Nonsense, man," he answered; "you looked after me all night, now it's my turn." I reproached him for the way in which he had exposed himself the previous day. He replied: "I will not get hit until my time comes; then nothing I can do win postpone my fate." "Do you wonder," adds Colonel Trew, "that we all loved the man." The question will be readily answered by the readers of a book which should find its own definite place in the literature on a personality whose work in war and peace is forever a part of the story both of South Africa and our Commonwealth of Nations. Botha Treks - Lieut-Colonel HF Trew (Blackie, 8s 6d). (The Nongqai 1936.09.726 and further) Kolonel Trew is een my gunsteling polisie-geskiedkundiges! ‘n Man so na my hart. - HBH 12


MET GENERAAL BOTHA IN DSWA | WITH GENERAL BOTHA IN GSWA • Generaal Louis Botha | General Louis Botha

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Genl. Botha te Karibib.

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• SA Forces Landing | SA Magte sit voet aan wal

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• SA Skepe | SA Ships

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• GSWA: South African Railways | DSWA: Suid-Afrikaanse Spoorweë

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• Mechanical Transport | Meganiese Vervoer

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• [The armoured cars in GSWA were run by the Royal Navy]

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• Radio, signallers and Surveyors | Radio, seiners en landmeters

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• Guns | Kanonne

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General photos | Algemene foto’s • Inspection: Lord Buxton | Inspeksie Lord Buxton

This inspection most probably took place in Cape Town - HBH

• Guard of Honour: Durban Light Infantry | Erewag: Durban Light Infantry

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• Swakopmund

• Anti-German feeling | Anti-Duitse gevoel

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• Imperial Light Horse

• Marching: Durban Light Infantry | Op ‘n marstog: Durban Light Infantry

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• Boer maak ‘n plan: Anti-Mine operations | Teen-myn optrede

• Gen Botha’s Scouts | Genl Botha se Verkenners “That reminds me that I have not previously mentioned his (Gen Botha) scouts, and the great use he made of them. Before he attacked, he liked to know the nature of the country he was going to operate over. To obtain this information his picked scouts often took tremendous risks, riding right through the enemy outposts and examining their positions. The general used to say, "Nothing is too good for the scouts, I would be blind without them. They take great risks, and it is harder for a man to be brave when alone than in the company of others." Major de Jager, who was in charge of them, was a veteran of the Boer War, and would have delighted the heart of Baden-Powell with his knowledge of the dangerous game.” (Maj AA Wood: Natal Past & Present p 48.)

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• Alert | Waaksaam

• Windhoek

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• Chief of Staff: Col JJ Collyer | Hoof van Staf: Kol. JJ Collyer

“There were some five thousand kneehaltered horses grazing nearby, when an old burgher came strolling over to Collyer. He was a typical old backvelder, with his Boer pipe in his mouth. He put his hand, in a friendly manner, on Collyer's shoulder and said, "Old brother, have you seen my blue horse?" Collyer turned around and asked him not to interrupt him as he was writing an important dispatch. Grumbling in his beard the old gentleman went off to search for his horse, obviously rather surprised that the chief of staff had omitted to notice his "Blaauw paard". This incident elicited a hearty laugh from General Botha, a rare occurrence since the start of the rebellion (Trew 35). Brig. Gen. JJ Collyer was the subject of our cover during September 2018. He was the third chief of the UDF.

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• Barber | Barbier

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WITH BOTHA IN THE FIELD: ERIC MOORE RITCHIE 0. Photograph of Lieut. E MooreRitchie by EA Berry, policeman and sub-editor of the Nongqai, who purchased his discharge to take up a commission in the British Imperial Army when called to the colours. Loyalty to the Crown was a benchmark of the magazine and staff. He wrote a historical work entitled: With Botha in the Field. The following pictures were published in his book “With Botha in the Field”. The Gutenberg Project also has published the photographs from his book and in this case the photos are taken from http://www.gutenberg.org/1/5/8/0/15802

Generals Smuts and Botha in GSWA 1. It was said that they had a very good relationship like a father and a son. Gen. Smuts was highly educated and very intelligent while Gen. Botha was described a very wise man.

Jantje Botha The general also decided to take his younger son, Jantje with him, who was only seventeen years of age. I heard an old friend of the general's expostulate with him, saying that the boy was too young, and that it was a shame to expose him to the hardships of desert warfare. General Botha replied, “Look here, I am asking thousands of fathers and mothers in South Africa to send their sons with me. How could I afterwards face them and say, ' I thought my second son was too young, so I left him behind in safety '." (Trew p 56)

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2. General Botha's SA Police Bodyguard leaving for the Front.

• Police horses “I made a mistake about the horses for the Bodyguard on this campaign, and I will recount it for the information of young officers who may have a similar job. Each man was allowed to bring his own charger, which he rode on his everyday duty. They were a fine-looking lot of animals, and in splendid condition, but before we left, I never thought of examining their mouths to see what their ages were. The result was, that when we had to make long and fast treks in the Namib Desert, a number of them went lame in the legs, particularly the big horses which had been employed on town work. I could not understand this until, one day, I aged all the horses on our sick lines, and was horrified to find that they were all aged and should never have been brought on active service. As long as they were doing their ordinary slow patrols and were well sheltered, groomed, and fed, they could carry on, but the fast work in the desert sand found them out. It was soon evident that the best age of a horse for a desert campaign was between four and eight, and that a horse of about fifteen hands would outlast all the big fellows. We had a large water bag with a leather sweat flap to be attached to the saddle, supplied to each man, together with dark goggles and fly-net veils. The two latter the men threw away at an early date, as in the great heat they made one feel hotter than ever.” (Lt.Col. HF Trew p 65.)

• Uniform of Bodyguard The question of head-dress for the Bodyguard came up. During the rebellion we had worn soft felt hats, looped up on one side, and they had proved very comfortable and efficient. However, the experts assured us that in German South-West Africa we must wear helmets because of the fierceness of the sun. I had lived for some time in the Mallee Scrub on the edge of the Great Australian Desert, where the shade temperature in summer often ranged between 110° and 115°, and had found a broad brimmed soft felt hat quite efficient protection. (Lt.Col. HF Trew p 56.)

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3. Leaving Pretoria. General Botha's Bodyguard departing. [This could be from the SAP Depot.]

4. Kits aboard. The Troops departing for the Front.

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5. Brothers in Arms. The British Navy and Botha's Bodyguard fraternised aboard.

• Galway Castle At last we were ready to move, and I got orders to embark the Bodyguard in the Galway Castle. (Trew p. 64.)

6. Boxing aboard. En route to German South-West Africa. 53


• Regret: Wearing Helmets The Bodyguard changed into helmets for this campaign, and how we did regret it later on, for I think they are the most uncomfortable and unsuitable head-dress for a soldier on active service. Besides being heavy, when lying down to shoot, they got in the way of one's sights; if one put one's head up over, or around cover, one immediately became an easy target for the enemy. It is extraordinary in close fighting from behind cover how many of the helmet wearers are found with a neat bullet hole in the forehead. We found that the German troops in South-West wore a broad brimmed grey felt hat which could be looped up on either one or both sides. In action, among the rocks, they used to loop up both sides, so that only a small V of grey showed up before they fired, and in consequence they were most difficult to locate. (Trew p. 57.)

7. Awaiting landing from the Transport.

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8. Trekking over the terrible Sand Dunes near the Coast, German South-West Africa.

• The SAP Bodyguard For the campaign in German South-West it was decided to increase the number of the Bodyguard to 100 men, and another officer, Captain Donald, was appointed. Donald had served with a British infantry regiment in the Boer War, in which he had won the D.C.M. and had been afterwards given a commission in the South African Constabulary. The men who were picked to increase the number came largely from the Johannesburg District Mounted Police. (Trew p 65)

10. Before the Advance. General Botha photographed with the Red Cross Sisters. 56


11. General Botha and Staff alighting for an Inspection. The famous Brigadier-General Brits, who trekked to Namutoni, is the fourth figure from the right.

12. Awaiting the Advance. The Commander-in-Chief at tea with the Red Cross Sisters.

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13. Awaiting the Advance. Garrison Sports at Swakopmund. Start for 100 yards race.

14. Awaiting the Advance. Garrison Sports. Winner.

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15. Swakopmund from the Lighthouse - Extreme Right .

16. Swakopmund.

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17. Swakopmund.

18. Man and Beast in the Desert - both absolutely spent.

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19. Man and Beast in the Desert - both absolutely spent – searching for water.

20. A Halt in a River Bed - General Botha has lunch.

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21. Main Guard aboard--en route to hunt the Huns.

22. On the Great Trek--the Chief of the Staff has a hair-cut. 62


23. An unique picture of General Botha, the Commander-in-Chief and his Staff reconnoitring.

24. After Riet water in blessed profusion.

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25. Typical Parade of the Germans in South-West Africa.

26. Typical captured German Infantry.

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27. The Great Trek. Otjimbingwe - its Palms and Wells.

28. The Great Trek. Otjimbingwe - the Commander-in-Chief at the old German capital.

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29. The Great Trek. Getting Milk from a Goat. Milk was priced beyond Silver.

31. A Beauty Spot passed during the last Trek.

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30. The Great Trek. An extempore bath towards the end of the Trek. 67


32. The Last Phase. Conference at Omaruru. German Staff lunching.

33. The General receives his Bodyguard at a Garden Party after return.

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34. German prisoners of war, imprisoned at Karibib.

35. Karibib.

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36. Towards Windhuk. The first troops in Waldau.

37. The first South African Engineer Corps Staff at Windhuk. (Front row 2nd from the left: He became the first SA Station Master at Windhoek)

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38. Towards Windhuk. A quick railway repair after the Germans' usual practice of blowing up railway bridges.

39. The first train to Windhuk. The South African Engineer Corps Construction Party aboard.

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40. At Windhuk. How we treat the German women. Ten minutes after occupation.

41. At Windhuk. The Commander-in-Chief addresses his massed troops from the Rathaus.

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42. A cheer went up as the flag fluttered up in the noon sunlight. Windhuk was naturally regarded as the Mecca, so to speak, of the invading army.

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43. At the Gate of Windhuk. General Botha discusses matters with the Governor of Windhuk. 74


44. At the Gate of Windhuk. The Interpreter.

45. At the Gate of Windhuk. General Botha emphasises.

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46. The great Wireless Station at Windhuk . Note the size of the man as he rests on one of the foundations of the vast derricks.

47. Conference at Omaruru. General Staff lunching (Photo by Sergeant Ramsay).

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48. The Last Phase. The BE2 tuning up in shed before flight over German positions.

49. At the Provost Marshal's office at Windhuk -- all in Law and order.

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50. The Union Jack just hoisted at the Governor's office, Windhuk.

51. The Great Military Barracks at Windhuk.

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52. Difficulties with General Botha's car through the thick sand

53. The Last Phase. The Germans had a hobby of blowing up bridges. Here is a fine specimen.

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54. General Frank's house, Windhuk. Photo of the two first men there taken under the flag hauled down by us.

55. The Last Phase. The German white flag train just arriving.

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56. The Last Phase. General Botha meets Von Franke at 500 Kilometres.

57. The Last Phase. Troops entraining to return home.

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58. The Last Phase. The famous Rhodesian Regiment that did so much in the final brilliant movement.

59. The Last Phase. Isumeh. British prisoners released.

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60. The Last Phase. Opposite the very spot where surrender was made. A vast ant-hill at 500 Kilometres. 83


61. Windhuk. The first British station-master and one of his staff.

62. The German Staff before surrender.

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63. The Body Guard camping in the grounds at Groote Schuur.

THE NEED FOR SOUTH AFRICA TO HOLD ONTO NAMIBIA FOR AS LONG AS IT DID: PETER DICKENS The capture of German South West Africa as part of the start of World War One, by South Africa, had a profound impact on the next 100 years of South Africa’s history. Whilst its invasion was 85


important to the outcome of WW1, its period as a protectorate of South Africa’s after the war had a longer and more profound impact. Politically speaking, the incorporation of the South West African white electorate into the South African electorate after the National Party came to power in 1948, set South Africa on a path which was to see it embroiled in a two and a half decade long war with South West Africa’s liberation movement and Angolan coalition forces (1966-1989). The inclusion of this very pro German – anti British ‘whites only’ South West African voters into South African elections provided the National Party with a very large loyal voting block – it added to the campaign to reconcile constituencies to keep Smuts’ old United Party from getting back into power. Between 1950 and 1977, whites in the territory were represented in the South African Parliament by four Senators and six Ministers of Parliament. It’s also this loyal base of conservative white voters that the National Party found obligated to, so much so it was prepared for a protracted war to keep them. The National Party in some senses saw South West Africa as a 5th province of South Africa and not an independent state. It’s a fascinating period of South Africa’s history, and very ironic to think that it was this military campaign by Smuts and Botha that started it all. Funny how history turns out. South Africa’s World War 1 German South West Africa campaign is best and briefly summarised as follows: An invasion of German South-West Africa from the south failed at the Battle of Sandfontein (25 September 1914), close to the border with the Cape Colony. German fusiliers inflicted a serious defeat on the British troops and the survivors returned to the Cape Colony. The Germans began an invasion of South Africa to forestall another invasion attempt and the Battle of Kakamas took place on 4 February 1915, between South African and German forces, a skirmish for control of two river fords over the Orange River. The South Africans prevented the Germans from gaining control of the fords and crossing the river. By February 1915, the South Africans were ready to occupy German territory. General Botha put General Smuts in command of the southern forces while he commanded the northern forces. Botha arrived at Swakopmund on 11 February and continued to build up his invasion force at Walfish Bay (or Walvis Bay), a South African enclave about halfway along the coast of German South West Africa. In March Botha began an advance from Swakopmund along the Swakop valley with its railway line and captured Otjimbingwe, Karibib, Friedrichsfelde, Wilhelmsthal and Okahandja and then entered Windhuk (Windhoek) on 5 May 1915. The Germans offered surrender terms, which were rejected by Botha and the war continued.

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On 12 May Botha declared martial law and divided his forces into four contingents, which cut off German forces in the interior from the coastal regions of Kunene and Kaokoveld and fanned out into the north-east. The South African column under General Lukin went along the railway line from Swakopmund to Tsumeb. The other two South African columns rapidly advanced on the right flank, Myburgh to Otavi junction and Manie Botha to Tsumeb and the terminus of the railway. German forces in the north-west fought the Battle of Otavi on 1 July but were defeated and surrendered at Khorab on 9 July 1915. In the south, Smuts landed at the South West African naval base at Luderitzbucht, then advanced inland and captured Keetmanshoop on 20 May. The South Africans linked with two columns which had advanced over the border from South Africa. Smuts advanced north along the railway line to Berseba and on 26 May, after two day’s fighting captured Gibeon. The Germans in the south were forced to retreat northwards towards Windhuk and Botha’s force. On 9 July the German forces in the south surrendered. This German surrender was the first major tactical win of World War 1 for the Entente Alliance’s Allies. •

Written and Researched by Peter Dickens. Reference wikipedia.

IN MEMORIAM: GEN LOUIS BOTHA

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• Louis Botha: Greytown

Photos: HBH. 89


• Louis Botha: Durban

Photo: HBH. 90


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• SAP Louis Botha-lughawe | SAP Louis Botha Airport

Hennie Heymans as stasiebevelvoerder, SAP Louis Botha-lughawe met hul klein Opelpolisievoertuig sonder ‘n polisieradio! Maar so was dit in die “ou” dae. Baie van ons was destyds ongewapen.

Sgt Nkosi – Sergeant in Charge of beats. (My red “Volksie” and the green “Volksie” belonged to a long-forgotten colleague who paid me a visit – HBH) 93


Poskaart | Postcard

Let op die SAP by die hek Foto: Richard Vanwyk Greyville (Durban) - the greatest place to grow up ! 94


• Louis Botha: Cape Town | Kaapstad

Photo: HBH 95


THE CONQUEST OF GERMAN SOUTH WEST AFRICA • The Times History of the War

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INDEMNITY & © | VRYWARING & ©

End | Slot Dear reader Please note that in this quasi-historical magazine we make use of various sources and consequently it is obvious that the document contains various diverse and personal opinions of different people and the author of the Nongqai cannot be held responsible or be liable in his personal capacity. Geagte leser Vir hierdie kwasiehistoriese tydskrif maak ons van verskeie bronne gebruik en bevat die dokument uiteraard uiteenlopende en diverse persoonlike menings van verskillende persone en die opsteller van die Nongqai kan nie in sy persoonlike hoedanigheid daarvoor verantwoordelik of aanspreeklik gehou word nie.

Brig. Hennie Heymans: No 43630K (B) © HB Heymans 2019.

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Profile for Hennie Heymans

Nongqai Vol 10 No 7B  

A special edition: "With Gen Louis Botha in GSWA" Spesiale uitgawe: "Met genl Louis Botha in Duitswes"

Nongqai Vol 10 No 7B  

A special edition: "With Gen Louis Botha in GSWA" Spesiale uitgawe: "Met genl Louis Botha in Duitswes"

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