News of the day
November 9, 1893 Matabele War – Another engagement Lieutenant-Colonel GooldAdams reports to the High Commissioner that on the 3rd of November his column was four miles to the northeast of the Impandini Kraal, which is situated near Mangwe, and that while on the march the rear portion of his wagon column was attacked. The rear-guard being strengthened, a general action ensued, resulting in the dispersal of the enemy, who took refuge in the neighbouring hills. The Makalaka report that Gambo, Lo Bengula’s son-inlaw, commanded in person. Mr. Selous, whilst gallantly defending the rearmost wagons, received a bullet wound in the side, the bullet glancing along the ribs. November 13, 1904 The Natal natives – A petition of rights The Rev JL Dube, editor of a native paper published in Natal, has sent to the Press an English translation of a four-column article appearing in his paper, an address which Mr Dube intended to give at the Natal Native Congress. He goes on to say that natives at one time trusted the English, but trust had begot great disappointment. He claims equal privileges for black men with white, but said as things are there is one law for the white and another for the black. He compares the treatment of natives in Natal unfavourably with the treatment of Maories in New Zealand, the natives in the Cape Colony and the Indians in Natal, and asks if it is apparent that the whites are above the natives in Africa. He says a white can be a Russian or a Turk, Jew or Boer, and may have been fighting against the government, but, forsooth because he is white, he obtains his rights at once with flying colours and is put on all fours with the Englishman. November 11, 1899 Military balloons No army in the world has a balloon services equal to that of the British Army, for the very balloons themselves are constructed and fitted in a manner which is absolutely unique in its novelty and completeness. Six weeks ago no less than four balloons with their carriages, cylinders, full of gas, men and officers, and every adjunct down to the smallest detail, were ready for instant dispatch to any seat of war to anywhere in the world. The whole of the equipment is actually in South Africa, part of it being in Natal and part in the Cape Colony. The old-fashioned silk balloon bears the same relation to the splendid aerostatic now at the Cape that the ancient “hobby horse” does to the modern bicycle. These balloons peculiar to our services are made of the skin from the intestines of oxen, no less than 40,000 such skins being required to construct one ordinary sized balloon. To show how wholly British those balloons are, it may be mentioned that the actual construction itself is in charge of about forty women and girls, every one of them a soldier’s wife or daughter. November 9, 1899 Siege of Kimberley Since my last letter to you Kimberley has gone on much the same as in the first weeks of the siege, and there is really little to chronicle compared with the importance of the events transpiring in Natal, of which, however, we get but the merest details. Absence of news and cutting off of all communication have been up to now the most common felt inconvenience, and in all the other respects Kimberley has gone on just as it has for years. Martial Law only mean that people have to be in their houses between the hours of 9pm and 6am, and there have been some that expressed the opinion that it would be by no means an unmixed evil were the 9 o’clock rule continued in perpetuity. With our ample food and water supply the Boers cannot do us much harm by just investing in town, and if they mean to attack it has taken them a long time to make up their minds. Judging from the tactics so far displayed, the enemy now surrounding us belong to the freebooting type whose principal idea is loot. November 9, 1917 Plastic surgery – South Africans at Queen’s Hospital Today I inspected the Queen’s Hospital for facial injuries at Bidcup, Kent. This is a remarkable war institution, restoring destroyed features at the rate of 500 cases monthly. Numbers of South African soldiers are among the hospital patients, including S Carey, First South African Infantry, who is returning to Cape Town, R Wright from Salt River, AC Thomson MC, Middlesex Regiment. The famous surgeon who is developing this “plastic surgery” is Captain JC Aylmard, formerly of Johannesburg, who has won renown thereby in his profession, and he is about to return to the Cape for the purpose of undertaking similar surgical developments in the Union. November 14, 1925 Tut-Ankh-Amen relics There seems to be no end to the wonders of Tut-AnkhAmen’s tomb. According the latest news from Luxor, Egyptian officials, who are alone permitted to examine the coffin containing the actual mummy of Tut-Ankh-Amen, gaped with astonishment at the gorgeous spectacle of what is believed to be the biggest gold relic of any ancient civilisation. The coffin is composed of solid gold, ornamented with intricate embossed and engraved work, executed with a degree of artistic skill unsurpassed in any time. November 14, 1925 The Prime Minister’s policy General Hertzog proposes to abolish the existing Cape native franchise and to substitute for it a Union native franchise, by which the natives will be able to elect seven Europeans to represent them directly in Parliament. It is a very serious thing indeed to deprive any body of men of their political rights and that is what is to be done so far as the Cape natives are concerned. Previous forecasts indicated that these rights were to be only extinguished by the effluxion of time, that no person now possessing the franchise would be deprived of it, but that no others would be allowed to acquire it. General Hertzog has, however, come to the conclusion that the maintenance of the Cape native franchise in its existing form would be dangerous, and… lead to the demand for its extension to the other Provinces, a demand which could not be resisted except at the cost of civil war. November 11, 1942 Springboks mop up at El Alamein Squadrons of the 3rd South African Armoured Car Regiment distinguished themselves last week in helping other mobile units of the Eighth Army to defeat and mop up Italian divisions which, the Germans having seized for themselves all the available transport vehicles, were left to their own resources on the El Alamein front, says Sapa’s war correspondent in a dispatch written on Monday.