A New Film Whole generations have grown up knowing little of the Shroud of Turin and its remarkable image. I hope this film can go some way to put right the manifest injustice that cast it into obscurity and others may now have chance to contemplate the genuine mystery it represents and the questions it …View full post
Article written by Mark Norman. On Friday 9 September 1881 under a full moon. a baby drew her first breath on her parent’s farm Cornubia, near present day Mount Edgecombe, in the South African province of Natal to the unbridled delight of her parents Marshall and Ellen Campbell. The challenge of a rural home delivery …View full post
Review by Mark NormanThe wood and iron architecture of NatalFrom the beginning of time all buildings were handmade, created by skilled craftsmen who made their own tools, often from the very materials used in the build. Until the Industrial Revolution that is…A revolution based on the irresistible power of harnessed steam which in the custody …View full post
KNIFE THROUGH BUTTER: THE MACEDONIAN CAVALRY WEDGE Article published here by kind permission of author Justin Swanton (Member, Society of Ancients) Graphic enhancement by ~Ed In the late summer of 338BC a Macedonian army estimated at about 30,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry faced off against an allied Greek army of about 35,000 men. The Greeks …View full post
Review by Mark NormanVolume IIIDurban’s heart has always been the bay, described by many early explorers and adventurers to Natal as one of the most beautiful natural maritime refuges in the world. Ringed with verdant green mangrove forests, the air filled with myriad birds and the sandy shores holding back teaming herds of game, it …View full post
Some good “brain gym”, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much smarter you will become if you make a daily habit of reading this! Join our Happy Band of Time Travellers and do your own “research!” ;A useful tip for those who wish to enhance their historical knowledge with a bit of personal research…… …View full post
DURBAN ART DECO SOCIETY The Durban Art Deco Society (DADS) was founded in 1999 and is run by a small but enthusiastic committee who try to encourage owners of Art Deco style buildings to be aware of their heritage, offer advice on restoration/repainting, and organise lectures/tours, etc. We also have a small room at Surrey …View full post
Have you read a new book lately that you would like to share with online historybuffs? If so, why not write a review ? We are sure our community would like to hear from you, so here are the guidelines: You can submit your review via email simply attaching a Word Document to it. (firstname.lastname@example.org) …View full post
The 200-year-old body of a British Coldstream Guards soldier was found in sand dunes in the Netherlands. Who was he? For more than two centuries, the remains of a soldier lay undisturbed on a windy beach in the northern Netherlands. But in March 2011, birdwatchers discovered bones and metal artefacts among sand-dunes that had once …View full post
Article published here by kind permission of author Robin LamploughAnyone who has done even a little reading about the British army’s tank corps during the Second World War will be aware that, while awaiting action or further direction, armoured vehicles were often drawn up in a defensive circle called a ‘laager’. South Africans well-read in …View full post
By Mark Norman Sir Sydney Camm, CBE, FRAeS was an English aeronautical engineer who contributed to many Hawker aircraft designs, from the biplanes of the 1920s to jet fighters. One particularly notable aircraft he designed is the Hawker Hurricane fighter. WikipediaView full post
In 2008, a group of 21 scientists at the Geological Society of London concluded that the planet was no longer in the Holocene epoch. The 12,000-year inter-glacial period in which humans have flourished is over. We are now living in a new epoch—they called it the Anthropocene—a period characterized by a human-dominated environment. The term has caught …View full post
Dr. Johan Swartz, aged 65, died at the Highway Hospice, on Saturday, June 30 2012. I consider myself honoured to have known him as a mentor and friend. He was a man of great integrity and a renowned educator and researcher in the field of Cognitive Science – the study of human intelligence and the …View full post
Mark Norman styles himself as a part-time, amateur historian who spends his working days in the “murky depths of insurance claims” In 1981 he joined a prominent East Coast loss adjusting firm and has waded waist deep through the quagmire left by the various tropical storms that have chosen to make Natal their destination. In …View full post
Revealed after 67 years, the passage used in the Great Escape By Andrew Levy Untouched for almost seven decades, the tunnel used in the Great Escape has finally been unearthed. The 111-yard passage nicknamed ‘Harry’ by Allied prisoners was sealed by the Germans after the audacious break-out from the PoW camp Stalag Luft III in …View full post
Courtesy of Adrian Rowe I was recently asked by Bill Bizley if I knew anything about an incident which occurred in Durban Harbour in mid 1942. The inquirer, Martin Rowles, who lives in the U.K. had been told the story by his grandfather, Thomas Buck, who was in service aboard the merchant ship, S.S. Jeypore, …View full post
By Patrick Waterson Article reproduced here by kind permission of the author.(Graphic enhancement by Ed) Certain words, and phrases when moused over will produce floating “glossary” information for enhanced reading. The title palindrome is rather like the standard reconstruction of Hannibal’s intentions for the battle of Zama. It looks neat but something is missing.” …View full post
MY COMPENDIUM OF FASCINATING HISTORICAL IRRELEVANCIES – 1 Robin Lamplough Anyone with some background in the 19th century history of the Cape Colony will remember the name of Dr John Philip, the superintendent of the London Missionary Society who was blamed for the 50th Ordinance of 1828, which extended rights of citizenship in the colony …View full post
MY COMPENDIUM OF FASCINATING HISTORICAL IRRELEVANCIES – 2 Robin Lamplough Who would you describe as “the historian’s historian”? My money would be on the late Barbara W. Tuchman, who first achieved professional recognition with The Zimmerman Telegram in 1958 and won a first of two Pulitzer Prizes for The Guns of August (1962). But apart from …View full post
MY COMPENDIUM OF FASCINATING HISTORICAL IRRELEVANCIES –3 Robin Lamplough The Kappie-suffragettes of Natalia- Another South African “First”? After their military victory over the Zulus at the Income, known to the Trekkers as Blood River, the families who had trekked into Natal felt secure enough to settle. They decided to establish a town on the Boesmansrand, and …View full post
By Robin LamploughIn the Durban telephone directory for 2004-5 there are over 300 entries for people with the surname Ntuli. They live in areas as widely scattered as KwaMashu and Woodlands, Lamontville and Ntuzuma, Mbumbulu and Dassenhoek. Almost certainly, however, the ancestors of some of these people at least lived in the Outer West.View full post
If I had to make the choice with my own children today, I would seriously consider not sending my child to school in South Africa, for one simple reason: I do not trust a system that makes it possible fora child to pass Grade 12 with 30% in some subjects and 40% in other subjects. …View full post
Do you remember the building of the Inanda Dam? Planning began in the 1970’s but, because the affected communities had not been consulted, construction started only in 1984. These events led to the discovery of new information about people who had lived in the Outer West.View full post
by Robin Lamplough For many South Africans, the ox-wagon is the quintessential symbol of European influence and power: the mainstay of the Great Trek and the primary channel of the economic development which flowed from the discovery of precious minerals in the interior. Closer examination, however, suggests that this view is incomplete.View full post
Technorati Tags: Empires,Civilisations CONQUEST OF THE INCAS John L. Cooke Following a visit to South America last year, I became very interested in the Incan Empire and its spectacular rise and fall. In fact, the whole history of the previous Andean civilizations is absolutely fascinating, with amazing cultures flourishing, and then declining, in the two …View full post
THEOLOGY, POLITICS AND LITERATURE AT HAMPTON COURT A New Book about the King James’s Bible Review of a new book about the King James Bible by Robin Lamplough The quatercentenary, or 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorized or King James version of the Bible in 1611 has been marked in a variety of …View full post
“It is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Christ in existence or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever products of the human mind and hand on record.
It is either one or the other, there is no middle ground.”—Historian John WalshView full post
The Local Ocean War, 1942-1944 by William Bizley This article reproduced here by kind permission of the author. Some sixty seven years after the event, a good deal of reminiscence is evident as participants, historians, and a fascinated public carefully re-follow the chronology of World War II. Amazingly missing from this recollection here in Natal …View full post
History is often simply described as the ‘study of the past’, but how do we approach the subject and try to understand it? One approach attempts to move away from the old conventional attitude embodied in the ‘great man’ and ‘great nation’ model in our understanding of history. Hitherto there has been too …View full post
An appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales I got a lot of funny looks ten years ago when I started talking to people about Wikipedia. Let’s just say some people were skeptical of the notion that volunteers from all across the world could come together to create a remarkable pool of human knowledge – all …View full post
By Robin Lamplough Whenever those with an interest in history gather, there is the likelihood that before long the conversation will turn to the nature of the discipline for which they share an enthusiasm. And there are probably as many opinions as there are participants in the colloquy. But one thing is impossible to ignore …View full post
Dr Swartz has been involved in education in South Africa for forty years, as a teacher, senior lecturer in education, teacher trainer and researcher in the field of Cognitive Science – the study of human intelligence and the enhancement of learning. He has trained the staff of over 200 schools throughout the country in practical …View full post
FROM OL’ NOO YORK TO HILLCREST KZN! A fascinating glimpse of the tendrils of empire by Robin Lamplough Some observant property owners in Durban’s western suburb of Hillcrest may have learned from their title deeds that their land is a sub-division of the farm Albinia. It is most unlikely, however, that any of them has …View full post
Robin Lamplough has been investigating and writing about the past of Durban’s Outer West for nearly thirty years. It is an interest he developed while teaching at Kearsney College, at Botha’s Hill, where he started a Local History Research Unit with a Standard 5 (Grade 7) class in 1982. Since his retirement in 2003 he …View full post
Mark Norman Mark Norman styles himself as a part-time, amateur historian who spends his working days in the “murky depths of insurance claims” He started his insurance career in 1976, in Durban, with one of the country’s leading short term insurers. In 1981 he joined a prominent loss adjusting firm and was deployed in various …View full post
Lachish From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lachish (Hebrew: לכיש; a town located in the Shephelah, a region between Mount Hebron and the maritime plain of Philistia (Joshua 10:3, 5; 12:11). It was first mentioned in the Amarna letters as Lakisha-Lakiša (EA 287, 288, 328, 329, 335). According to the Bible, the Israelites captured and destroyed …View full post
by Adam Hochberg July 28, 2008 Original wartime U-boat hunters were military men trained to destroy German submarines. Today’s hunters are divers and archaeologists trying to preserve them. From a government research vessel, they’ve been diving in the waters off Cape Hatteras, N.C., where Dave Alberg of the National Marine Sanctuaries Program says U-boats were …View full post
Marion Jensen is something of a social scientist because he experiments with social services like Twitter to help put history into context. He is the founder of TwHistory, a collaborative Twitter project in which participants retweet historical events using original source documents in real time as they happened in history. Marion is also an educator …View full post
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia Major Hubert Gough of the relieving force greets General Sir George White in Ladysmith Date 28 October 1899 –27 February 1900 Location KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Result British victory Belligerents United Kingdom South African Republic Orange Free State Commanders Redvers Buller Piet Joubert Louis Botha When the Second Boer …View full post
Author After graduating from university, Steve Watt entered the education profession as a teacher and later as an advisor in the then Natal Education department, Educational Field Studies Section.He developed an interest in South African military history, becoming involved in the study of the major conflicts in South Africa. Emphasis was, and still is, placed …View full post
Dr. WILLIAM BIZLEY is a graduate of the universities of Natal and York, a member of the Natalia Editorial Committee and was for many years a Senior Lecturer in English (now retired) at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg. Bill has specialised in Renaissance studies and in the poetry of T S Eliot.His historical researches …View full post
Editor “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment”(Wikimedia Foundation Vision Statement) After graduating from the University of Natal, I chose to become an educator and have been a long standing employee of the Education Dept with my first love being History.Early …View full post
;A useful tip for those who wish to enhance their historical knowledge with a bit of personal research…… With your mouse, select the item that interests you and then right click your selection and a drop-down, appears which will list, for example: “search Google for “1942 world War 2 siege of Bataan starts”.
Left click this option to produce a top ranked list of sites dealing with the topic…… Nifty huh?
Albert was right, time travel is possible, maybe not in both directions yet, but you can start travelling in the past right now; all you need is your digital device and an insatiable curiosity! Despite the widely held belief in “conventional wisdom” along with its limited perceptions, we CAN learn from the past, often in the most surprising ways!
Don’t delay become a time traveler today!
By Patrick Waterson
Article reproduced here by kind permission of the author.(Graphic enhancement by Ed)
Certain words, and phrases when moused over will produce floating "glossary" information for enhanced reading.
The title palindrome is rather like the standard reconstruction of Hannibal's intentions for the battle of Zama. It looks neat but something is missing." The primary source throughout is Polybius (mainly Book XV, reverting on occasion to Book I) – Livy’s version of the battle is too confused and irrational to be of value for this exercise.
We are generally told that Hannibal deliberately sought battle knowing himself to be inferior in cavalry, collected a disputed number of elephants for reasons that are not wholly clear, brilliantly threw away half his infantry and then brilliantly failed to achieve success with the other half. Hannibal would seem to deserve a dunce’s cap for his planning and showing in this battle rather than approbation as a military genius.Below is an account that seeks to shed some light on the mystery of what Hannibal planned for Zama.
Biographer Norman Herd records: .....the young Miss Campbell was always disenchanted with both her christened names, Roach being her mother’s maiden name!The origin of the nickname ‘Killie’ is undetermined but seems most likely a derivation of the nickname ‘kiddie’ bestowed by an Indian nursemaid which name Killie championed herself and it was universally adopted by all save for her father who insisted on her given names all of his days! As her family’s wealth and stature grew, life for the young Killie proceeded as normally as any in a successful settler family; playful, carefree romps about their farm with local Zulu children punctuated with social gatherings featuring the colony’s more affluent people. Killie’s early formal education was at a primary school on the nearby farm Havering where her zest for life coupled with an ever receptive and inquiring mind actively spurred on by her teacher, Miss Edith Isabelle, produced a pupil with above average results. All the while Killie was aware her father differed from many men in local society. His attitude to the Zulus and indentured Indians was at odds with the establishment; he was against responsible government and, God forbid, many suspected he was even pro-Boer. Yet he was elected to the Natal Legislature in 1898.
Business, Politics and EducationPolitics and sugar farming notwithstanding he was also a canny businessman, being one of the first investors in the new rickshaw company in the early nineties that went on to manufacture the contraption locally and arguably become Durban’s icon. In addition he was also a co-director with and close friend and business partner of Mr. David Don, a restrained, quiet and unassuming banker who had but one vice; an unbridled passion for collecting Africana. Killie middle row 3rd from the left circa 1896 Don and Killie only met a handful of times. Nevertheless his collection succeeded in captivating her as the contents of the priceless books and pamphlets were revealed A spark had been unearthed in her but school beckoned. Killie was thirteen on entering St. Anne’s Diocesan College in Loop Street, Pietermaritzburg, a private school funded and maintained by parental support alone, a bastion of instruction in the social graces; academic prowess was not in the curriculum. Killie left in 1898. Then during the pivotal year of 1899 when Great Britain sought to influence Southern African’s path yet again, this time with all out war on the Boer Republics, Killie left Durban for St. Leonard’s School in St. Andrews, Scotland. In stark contrast St. Leonard’s was an innovative institution in the vanguard of the new progressive movement for girl’s academic education in a society still grudgingly yielding to a change in its attitude toward women. In 1901 Killie returned to Durban with no scholastic awards but having been thoroughly exposed to the classics, history, languages and sport. Yet the country that would be South Africa was still in the throes of a seemingly interminable guerrilla conflict.
Warfare and unrestFor 30 months the cloak of war, infused with the stench of atrocities and death and stained with hatred had weighed heavy. Although Killie had no part in it, the Second War of Freedom’s legacy would play an unseen but guiding hand in her future, like that of many others. The idea of unifying the two Boer Republics with the two Colonies was doubtless but a piece of bait thrown out behind the scenes of the Vereeniging peace accord, and there was still a lot of water to flow under the bridge until Union was finally achieved in 1910. Zululand had long been a simmering pot but a hut tax caused it to boil over. In January 1906 a white Camperdown farmer was murdered. Unrest rippled and surged through the colony like an angry black mamba lifting its head as it moved in the long veld grass. Now the most terrifying of white Natalian fears was taking hold again; another Weenen? Was a full scale, bloody Zulu invasion about to take place? Hillcrest residents buried their valuables and fled to the safety of Durban just as others had done in the aftermath of Isandhlwana twenty seven years before. The authorities decided to behead the snake, an act that time has identified as one of the most shameful examples of man’s inhumanity to man in Natal history. The tale of the ‘Bambatha Rebellion’ is best told elsewhere; suffice to say that here a modern army was unleashed with devastating results........Thousands of Zulus were displaced, their homes destroyed and within months many a protagonist lay dead; mutilated by cannon, "dum-dum" bullets and machine gun fire in a gorge near the sacred burial ground of their kings. One of the few colonials to emerge with any dignity was Marshall Campbell, but for the first time Killie was at the heart of history being made. David Don also died in 1906. Now the flame he had lit needed nurturing and fate was prepared for the new arrival.
Politics and the beginning of CollectingMarshall Campbell was elected a senator in 1910 and took his wife Ellen and Killie to parliamentary sessions in Cape Town. And that was where Killie gained first hand invaluable insights into the art of collecting Africana and antiques. Sensing a kindred spirit, serious Cape Town collectors notable among them Dorothy Fairbridge who played a major part in establishing ‘The Historical Society,’ gave of their time freely, allowing Killie to pore over and absorb their assembled treasures to her heart’s content. Dorothy and Killie roamed the Mother city’s old houses, gardens, monuments; then surrounding towns nurturing an appreciation and love of the Cape Dutch style of which Ruskin succinctly said,
It was therefore a fait accompli that the new family home built atop the Berea in 1912 was in the Cape Dutch style, the product of a Herbert Baker partnership studio. Named Muckelneuk it was to be home to Killie and her collection all her life and still stands to this day! By now it was clearly apparent Killie had no intention of ever actually getting a job. But what is also clear was her admiration for and devotion to her father and his lofty ideals which they both remained true to amid the suffocating attitude of“white superiority” that abounded in government.
the only type of absolutely new and beautiful architecture evolved in two hundred years.
More War and PlagueScarcely had the MCC completed their successful tour of the Union when Durbanites were treated to a beachfront concert by the band of the South Staffordshire’s bidding farewell, the last British Army regiment ever to be stationed in Natal. The Great War had begun. Sibling Agnes became a nurse on active service; Killie remained, throwing herself into the war effort and it proved to be an eventful if exhausting war in more ways than one. In 1916 her father was knighted amid much local fanfare but within a year he was dead. There was an official pause in the business of the senate to mark his passing as the war marched on. The Natal Mercury eulogised:
which spoke volumes on his attitude to race. He was buried at Mount Edgecombe in April 1917. Throughout the war Killie raised money for charity, volunteered as an occupational therapist helping maimed soldiers and oversaw the growing of vegetables in the gardens of Muckelnuek for the beachfront Red Cross Hospital. In the last days of 1918 a number of Canadian soldiers convalescing in England suddenly died. And just when it seemed the suffering was over a hitherto unknown but deadly flu virus swept the world. People died on a bus before journey’s end; Cape Town ran out of coffins and wrapped her dead in corrugated iron. Killie’s response was to join as an isolation nurse at Salisbury Island Isolation Centre only to contract the virus herself but survived after a long fight.
He paid everyman his worth,
The 1920s or Roaring Twenties or Jazz Age was oxymoronic; in that during a a time of frippery and studied carelessness,young people and women in particular, were suddenly able to exert themselves. Women smoked in public and fancy dress parties where all the rage. Cars and planes went faster, buildings rose taller. But there was a dark side. The world over legions of ex-servicemen slowly found they were not seen as heroes, if anything they were despised. They were aggrieved that their sacrifices went unnoticed; the promises that got them into the sickening mess of the Great War had not been kept. And the search for jobs got ever harder. For them and their families life was far from one long summer party. Killie ushered in the twenties with a long trip abroad, first to Poona in India to see a cousin. One her return it was easy to slot into the social whirl. Bridge and golf became almost obsessions, Morris dancing and amateur dramatics with the Bachelor Girls Club a huge joke. There was a however a redeeming side to all this hilarity and frivolity. Funds were raised to start a shelter for young women on the Berea, which was at first obstructed by the authorities. In 1924 Natal celebrated her centenary. Killie was very active in the planning of the celebrations that lasted three days in Durban. At the beginning of each year Durbanites had long been of the habit of vacating Durban to escape the humidity; whilst some went inland to Kloof and Hillcrest, Killie’s mother would rent a flat in London. And Killie always went with her. And there were bookshops aplenty. This was a turning point in Killie’s life; an opportunity not to be repeated. Countless hours were spent rummaging through old bookshops and attending auctions unearthing books which were boxed up and sent home. In between collecting trips her involvement in the gardening scene and historical societies grew. Part time staff were employed to start cataloguing the works and manuscripts while passages in Muckelneuk overflowed as rooms were prepared to house the collection. Killie herself said in 1934 that there were over 1700 titles in her collection, not to mention the ever growing collection of newspaper clippings that were taken every day. By 1945 the collection had grown to 20, 000 titles. In early 1945 Killie received a package containing two drawings with a covering letter. The subjects were African women in tribal dress and regalia. The letter detailed the writer’s desire to do enough drawings to produce a book. Instinctively Killie knew the significance of the work and invited the artist to tea who duly arrived in a beat-up old delivery van converted to a camper of sorts. They talked into the night and when invited to stay the night the artist insisted on spending it in her van. Barbara Tyrell was the budding artist, ‘Nixie’ the Chevrolet van and fate the matchmaker. An agreement was concluded whereby Killie would have first option on the next set of drawings and Barbara would be allowed to sell those Killie did not want. The result of this arrangement saw Barbara Tyrell produce an extraordinary number of incredibly detailed paintings with historical notes, and go on to world acclaim. There are about 750 of her pictures in the Campbell Collections. Another daughter of Natal, Barbara Tyrell’s remarkable journey will be told elsewhere. In 1950 Killie was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Natal but being a genuinely humble person was once quoted as saying,
A New Age
The years flowed by and her collection took on a life of its own as by now Killie Campbell had become a national figure. Numerous articles where penned about her achievements and honours rained down on her not least of which was civic recognition from the City of Durban. However the reality of her own impending death was looming large. Her widowed brother William aka WAC had moved into Muckelneuk and together they had laid and executed their plans. Muckelneuk was to be left to the City of Durban and the title deeds handed over in 1955. Both would stay on until their deaths whereupon the library was willed to The University of Natal. WAC died in 1962 and after a long illness Killies health started to fail in her eighty fourth year. By the beginning of September Killie knew her work on earth was done. With her plans laid and willing to see only her closest relatives and friends, a fulfilled old lady was afforded the dignity of drawing her last breath in her sunlit bedroom on the afternoon of Monday 27 September 1965.
I am not really a doctor, I’m not clever enough for that.
Killie Campbell’s legacy lives on at Muckelneuk where her vision of a research facility freely available to all races is a reality. Hopefully the trustees of the Campbell legacy will continue to honour this pioneering family’s contribution.
There was no moon that night.
KNIFE THROUGH BUTTER: THE MACEDONIAN CAVALRY WEDGE
Article published here by kind permission of author Justin Swanton (Member, Society of Ancients)
Graphic enhancement by ~Ed
This is where Alexander launched his military career, achieving amazing victories and conquests as he expanded his Empire eastward and southward! Note by Ed
Diodorus offers the most complete account of what happened next:
The 200-year-old body of a British Coldstream Guards soldier was found in sand dunes in the Netherlands. Who was he? For more than two centuries, the remains of a soldier lay undisturbed on a windy beach in the northern Netherlands. But in March 2011, birdwatchers discovered bones and metal artefacts among sand-dunes that had once been covered in asphalt.
Dr. Johan Swartz, aged 65, died at the Highway Hospice, on Saturday, June 30 2012. I consider myself honoured to have known him as a mentor and friend.
He was a man of great integrity and a renowned educator and researcher in the field of Cognitive Science – the study of human intelligence and the enhancement of learning. I can think of no better way to pay tribute to his memory than to publish a poem that he penned in his last days. (Grateful thanks for the permission to do so is due to his son Deon)
In the Durban telephone directory for 2004-5 there are over 300 entries for people with the surname Ntuli. They live in areas as widely scattered as KwaMashu and Woodlands, Lamontville and Ntuzuma, Mbumbulu and Dassenhoek. Almost certainly, however, the ancestors of some of these people at least lived in the Outer West.