TUESDAY, 14 July 2015: GUERRILLAS OF TSAVO: WW1 IN BRITISH EAST AFRICA, AUGUST 1914 – MARCH 1916 by Mr James Willson
Our speaker is a man of many talents: Battlefield guide, historian, and author, as well as a retired hotelier with wide experience in the Kenyan hospitality and tourism industry. Mr Willson will be on visit to South Africa and has graciously offered to share with the Cape Town Branch of the South African Military History Society his research and experiences on the WWI campaign in British East Africa. He has over the course of thirty years in some detail researched the East African Campaign within the time-frame of events/operations between 1914 and 1916.
This illustrated lecture will show camps, forts and battle sites as they were and are today and which were built to contain the German threat against the Uganda Railway and the port of Mombasa.
Also to be discussed will be: The disastrous seaborne landings and attempted invasion of Tanga by the Indian Expeditionary Forces and the effect it had on the campaign; the skirmish that led to the only VC awarded during the land campaign in BEA; special mention of the British actions against the German sea raider SMS Königsberg (coinciding with the centenary of her destruction in the Rufiji River delta on the 13th July, 1915); the subsequent arrival of the first aircraft to the war zone in BEA, and lastly, the arrival of the South African RFC squadron.
Mr James Willson’s years of research culminated in a book of the events described above, appropriately titled Guerrillas of Tsavo: WW1 in British East Africa, August 1914 – March 1916. His book will be on sale at the meeting for R450,00 a copy – offering a discount of R100,00 specially for members on the evening. (The RRP is R550,00 per copy.)
HOW TO GET TO THE LEACTURE:
Take the Alma Road extension off Liesbeek Parkway, towards the mountain. At the T-junction (railway embankment - Rosebank Station) turn left onto Lower Nursery Road (some maps show it as Guildford Road).
The Rosedale Complex is about 300 m down the road on the LH side and is a multi-storey high-rise complex set back from the road (next to a block of high-rise flats) with a high wire-link fence and boom control at the entrance gate.
Secured public parking on the premises is to the left, once inside the complex, behind the covered resident parking bays (the public parking bays abuts the road which you have just passed on your way towards the gate).
The main entrance and front of the building is in line with the road entrance. The meetings are held in the residents’ recreation room, main block, through the entrance foyer and passage on the left past the lift, first door on the RH side, at the start of the passage.
The South African Military History Society was formed in 1966 in Johannesburg by a core group of amateur historians with the purpose of studying and promoting the studying of military history.
Since that time, it has grown to a Society of approximately 500 members primarily located in four branches, namely Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and the Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth), as well as members located throughout the world.
Activities of the Society are:
- Publication of research in the bi-annual Military History Journal
- Monthly lectures in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, generally on the second Thursday of each month
- Monthly newsletters
- Day visits to battlefields
- Weekend visits to battlefields
Visit their website for more information by clicking here