Schanskop Museum, one of the five forts built around Pretoria in anticipation of the Anglo-Boer in 1898, is currently up for sale. The fort came into the limelight three years ago when it was besieged by Commandant Willem Ratte, an extreme rightist, and the SA Defence Force was called in to defuse a political situation which could easily have erupted into armed revolt.
From 1910 Fort Schanskop and Fort Klapperkop were in the possession of the SA Defence Force and used as museums. Prior to the new dispensation in 1994, the South African Defence Force unbundled it liabilities - one of them being the running of museums. Fort Klapperkop and Fort Schanskop were then purchased by the Municipality of Pretoria.
During the course of 1995 Pretoria Municipality, like many others, had to comply with the demands of the new dispensation to extend it services to cater for what used to be called black townships. As result thereof, the municipality soon ran in financial difficulties and is now compelled to sell off its non-capital generating liabilities.
The fort, a declared national monument, was bought from the SA Defence Force for a sum of R300 000. Tenders for the purchase thereof will be issued in early January 1997.
The first issue of the South African Military Yearbook (1997), compiled and published by SAMHIC, will appear in mid June 1997. The 1997 edition will comprise mainly a comprehensive bibliography of South African Military History. Col Nöthling, the author thereof and a league member of LOROSAHB, commented that it will be complemented by articles on military-historical writing in South Africa, the military history of South Africa, military events in 1996 and the SANDF reference libraries. The book will be marketed directly by SAMHIC. Orders for the book can be placed in writing with: The Editor, SA Military Yearbook, PO Box 1595, Silverton, 0127. Reservations can also be phoned or faxed to SAMHIC at (021) 832-901. E-Mail enquiries can be directed to: Maj. Dup Martins
CLARKE'S BOOKSHOP ON INTERNET
Clarke's Bookshop in Cape Town, RSA, well known for its collection of Africana books, recently publicised 33 Africana books in its Catalogue 94, all of which are of direct relevance to the Anglo Boer War period. The prices of these books range from R85 for Davey's: Breaker Morant and the Bushveldt Carbineers to a to a staggering R5 000 for W. Beevers: With the Central Column in South Africa (1903) . Clarke's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
"THE FIRST BRITISH OCCUPATION OF CAPE"
The Cape Castle of Good Hope Military Museum has released the first edition of a series regarding the fortification of the Cape. The military museum approached Lt Cdr Thean Potgieter, senior lecturer in Military History at the Military Academy , to write an article on the first British Occupation of the Cape for the 1995 commemoration. This evoked such wide interest that the upshot was not an article, but a fully fledged book. The result was an comprehensive history in paperback format entitled " The first British Occupation of the Cape". (1996). This illustrated book can be obtained from the Castle Military Museum at R27 a copy.
NEW ANGLO BOER WAR BATTLEFIELDS BOOK - A WINNER FOR TOURISM.
A few books with the Anglo Boer War Centenary in mind have been published and non so timeously than the "24 Battles and Battlefields of the North West Province". Even though this book was written on a commission to promote the publicity drive of the North Western Province Tourism Association, it still makes for gripping reading. This is not surprising, though. The author is Prof Gert van den Bergh, a retired university lecturer in history and a founder member of LORSAHB.
By the author's own account: " It is indeed with the interest and requirements of the tourist in mind that a broader criterium than the battle and its site has been used in selecting material for this publication.". He states that the aim of the book is to " give as great spread of battlefields over the whole of the Province as feasible". Seen from the perspective of the tourist, this book is simply a must. It is comprehensive, decisive, clear and, though academic, written in a gripping narrative manner. This is indeed one of the very few guides which unlock the hitherto neglected battlefield sites of the North Western Transvaal to the tourist and amateur historian alike. The book covers two main periods, viz 1836-1885 and 1899-1902. The first period covers eight events, starting with the Vaal River Battle of 1836 and ending with the Battle of Mamusa (1885). The sieges of Rustenburg and Potchefstroom during the First Anglo Boer War are also well described.
The second period relates exclusively to the Second Anglo Boer War. Relatively unknown battlefield sites which nevertheless had an important impact in the Anglo Boer War, are described with great care. Battle sites such as Ysterspruit, Boschbult and Kleinfontein are researched in minute and true historical detail.
Prof Gert van den Bergh studied history at Potchefstroom University and was a professor there from 1980 to 1992. He is the grandson of a Second Anglo Boer War veteran and served in the SA Field Artillery (Citizen Force) for almost forty years, attaining the rank of Commandant. Being written by an accomplished academic and seasoned soldier, this book is sheer pleasure in its descriptive narrative. It can be obtained direct from Prof Van den Bergh via e-mail; email@example.com. Inquiries can also be directed to the North West Tourism Association, Potchefstroom.
LOROSAHB in conjunction with SAMHIC is planning a half day symposium on military-historical tourism towards the end of January 1997 in Pretoria. The date of the symposium will most likely be Friday 31 January. Confirmation about this will appear in LOROSAHB's next news letter. The indications at this stage are that the symposium will most likely take place at the SA Army College. The draft programme, subject to change, provides for papers on topics such as the potential role of museums in military historical tourism; LOROSAHB's involvement in the Anglo Boer War Centenary; the development of hitherto "neglected" battlefield sites on new battlefield tourism routes; lessons learned from the marketing of Natal Battlefield routes as successful ventures; the involvement of SATOUR as a champion of municipality- driven museums and touring agents; the setting up of a platform to share information and sell commissioned research work.