A Rhodesian Services Association Inc. publication
Registered under the 2005 Charities Act in New Zealand number CC25203
Registered as an Incorporated Society in New Zealand number 2055431
PO Box 13003, Tauranga 3141, New Zealand.
Secretary’s e-mail email@example.com
Editor’s e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone +64 7 576 9500 Mob +64 27 545 8069
To view all previous publications go to our Archives
On behalf of the Rhodesian Services Association committee we wish you a safe holiday period and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and all the best for 2017.
Our thoughts and best wishes are with our NZ friends in the recent earthquake affected areas of Wellington and the top of the South Island.
Once again I find myself apologising for not producing a newsletter on a regular basis. I know how much this publication is appreciated and that it is one of our principal lines of mass communication. I can make a long list reasons but it all boils down to insufficient hours in the day. Not a single day passes when I am not engaged in some form of activity relating to this Association whilst also running my ‘one man band’ business.
I do recommend that you join our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/152017521536350/ This is a well-run group where we do not allow any of the kind of nonsense that is often associated with social media. A daily Roll of Honour is put up remembering our fallen as well as other interesting posts and conversations.
Towards the end of this newsletter you will find links and some details of goods in our CQ Store http://www.rhodesianservices.org/The%20Shop.htm Christmas is approaching at the speed of an attacking Hawker Hunter so it is vitally important that you do not delay in making an order. Email me at email@example.com with what you are interested in and I will respond with prices and shipping costs.
Please support our CQ Store – we have a wide range of products and all profits bring the vision of our own museum a step closer.
Our supporters are also listed below and they too have goods that may offer alternative gift ideas whilst additionally contributing to our objectives.
Here is a brief roundup of Association matters:
The following members were elected at our AGM on 2 October 2016:
President – Grant ‘Grunter’ Robertson
Vice President – Hugh Bomford
Secretary – Chuck Osborne
Treasurer – Diana Bomford
Curator – Tony Fraser
Newsletter Editor – Hugh Bomford
Quartermaster – Hugh Bomford
Webmaster – Hugh Bomford
Committee members: Beth Chapman, Gerry van Tonder, John Glynn, Mike Vivier, Tinka Mushett, Tony Griffits, Ray Mushett.
Our annual subscription is NZ$15 per year that runs 1 October – 30 September.
It is very pleasing to see how many of the younger generations are becoming financial members.
At the time of writing our financial membership has reached 223. This is a record number. There are around 60 of you who will be receiving this newsletter who have yet to renewed their financial membership. If you are one of these please contact Chuck Osborne on email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will give you payment details.
I cannot stress how important it is that we continue to increase our membership. We have over 2,000 on our mailing list and over 2,300 on our Facebook group. We need a larger proportion of you to substantiate your support of our endeavours with financial membership.
This Association is in a healthy financial position and a provisional financial report has been circulated to all financial members with the minutes of the AGM.
To achieve our goal of a museum and admin base we must continue to build on this firm base. It is a simple fact that many people each making a small contribution amounts to something substantial.
Museum and Admin Base
We never say “die”. We all know that nothing in life is easy but we must keep aiming at our target in order that we set down a lasting record of our history so that future generations get the facts – not what someone else has conjured up.
We have had plans drawn for what will be a unique and eye catching building. Not only will we have a museum and administration base but we will have to have a supporting business to provide the ongoing financial support for the whole project. We just need a few things to go our way now.
Unfortunately during the last 12 months we have had our hopes of obtaining a section near the local airport dashed. A change of planning by the Airport Authority saw the piece of land that we were after re-allocated for parking.
Another offer of a gift of land by a couple of our members also fell through when the remedial earthworks required were beyond budget. However we continue to make plans and look for opportunities.
Rhodesian Forces Archives Project
As I have explained before – this is an online project running in conjunction with our Museum and Archives. You can see the basis of it on this link: http://www.rhodesianservices.org/rhodesian-forces-archives-project.htm
Once again we entered into this project expecting it to be up and running in a couple of months. We have far exceeded our initial expectation on account of the huge additional amount of material that we have begun to unearth as well as having to change our planned output and presentation of the records.
We have around 120,000 records that 10 volunteers worldwide are busy transcribing from various sources and formats onto spread sheets. This is a massive job and very time consuming – it takes up at least 2 hours of my time every night.
In addition we are working on photographing and presenting details on line of every article in our museum collection. This again is another massive job that has to be worked in around everything else.
Volunteers are always welcome – please email me if you have an interest in getting involved.
Gerry van Tonder’s ‘Dateline Rhodesia’ column
After many years of Gerry’s professionally compiled column supporting this newsletter we are announcing a change. I cannot sufficiently express our gratitude for Gerry’s input.
During the course of this year Gerry has made a number of changes in his life. He is now a full time author and professional researcher. He has broken into the UK market with books on local history and is fast gaining recognition in this area in addition to his Africa related books.
He has achieved all this around the passing of both of his parents and also fighting off a health scare of his own.
Hats off to Gerry. To keep up with what Gerry is publishing please add his website to your favourites list www.rhodesiansoldier.com
In place of Gerry’s column we will be publishing articles written by Michael Tucker. Michael’s articles are fascinating and fill me with envy of his bush trips to look around historic sites in Zimbabwe.
Mike grew up in Rhodesia and went to school at Falcon College. He then worked internationally as a Chartered Accountant. He has been based in London for a number of years, however he is back in Zimbabwe for the present. Mike has a website www.zimfieldguide.com which is non-commercial, just a hobby really; but promotes game lodges and charities that support wildlife in Zimbabwe. He writes articles on history, culture, rockart, geology and places to visit in Zimbabwe. Many local residents don't seem to get out much, so the website aims to provide detailed instructions to get out and visit places of interest in the country. There are more than 240 articles on his website and he is constantly adding to them. His website is well worth a visit.
ANZAC Day 25th April 2016
Many Rhodesians around the Antipodes took part in ANZAC Day parades. We had an excellent turnout to our Association’s focal point which is the ANZAC Day march at the Hobsonville RSA, Auckland, NZ. We had around 40 on the march and around 60 in attendance of the service afterwards.
Getting set up for the service (Photo by Brian Griffiths)
Once again Rob Bates ran the service in exemplary fashion. In this photo you can see that we have to be mobile with everything that we do
– a collapsible lectern, our Memorial Bell and a cordless sound system –
the day that we have our own base and can stop carting car loads of gear around cannot come too soon! (Photo by Brian Griffiths)
Jay Davison speaks during the service (Photo by Mike Boyd-Clark)
This year we invited Jason (Jay) Davison to lay the Rhodesian Services Association wreath. Jay’s father, Cpl. Bruce Davison was the first 4th (Manicaland) Battalion Rhodesia Regiment casualty of the Bush War. Jay was born after his father was killed in action.
Jay made this speech during the service:
“Good morning and a warm welcome to you all.
My name is Jason James Davison and it is a great honour and a privilege for me to stand here on ANZAC Day and to represent the Rhodesian Services Association and to give you this year’s address.
First of all I would like to honour the service men and women of the Gallipoli Campaign of World War One. As many of you will know the Gallipoli campaign saw the highest percentage of casualties of any military campaign in New Zealand's history. Of eight and a half thousand (8500) New Zealanders who served there, nearly five thousand (5000) were wounded and over two and a half thousand (2500) lost their lives.
All sides suffered enormous loss of life and after nine months the Allies abandoned the campaign and withdrew their surviving troops. We should remember too, that 21,000 British; 10,000 French; 1,500 Indian and 50 Newfoundlanders perished as did 87,000 Turks at Gallipoli. A total of 130,000 soldiers never made it home.
I would like to share with you a bit about myself and my family’s history:
I was born in Salisbury on the 5th October 1973 to a wonderful mother Shirley-Ann and joined my older brother Anton. My father, Cpl. Bruce Davison was killed in action on 23 April 1973 while serving with the 4th (Manicaland) Battalion Rhodesia Regiment (4RR). My mother was 6 months pregnant with me at the time. My Dad was in convoy near Marymount mission in Northern Inyanga when they were ambushed and he unfortunately was killed in the ensuing contact. He was by all accounts a very popular person with the men in his unit and he enjoyed getting up to a lot of mischief, so I have been told.
My family lived on a farm called Dagbreek just outside Rusape. My grandfather James George Davison (known as Jimmy) and my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Davison (neé Lambole) lived in Inyazura where they owned the service stations.
My family has a long standing tradition serving in the armed forces going back to late 1800’s. My great uncles Charles Henry Lambole and James Edward Lambole both served with the Queenstown District Mounted Troops from 1899 - 1902. My grandfather on my mother’s side John Gordon BROWN served as a Navigator in the RAF during World War II. My Dad’s brother Errol Davison served with I Commando, Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI). He was later transferred to 4RR and he served in ‘A’ and ‘F’ companies through until 1980. Jenifer Brown (my mother’s sister) served in Rhodesian Corps of Signals.
It’s not every day that you are invited to lay the wreath on behalf of the Rhodesian Services Association. I feel very privileged to have been asked and with it comes an even greater responsibility. It is sad I don’t have my family with me here today to share is this special moment with me, but they are overseas currently. Some of you, you will have seen us at the last few Rhodesian Services RVs - we were the family with the young kids. Whilst I did feel out of place bringing my young son Cody - as it’s never easy as you all will well know; but if we don’t bring our children to these events and impart our knowledge and traditions with them how else will they learn? We run the risk that the next generation will grow up not knowing the sacrifice’s that others have laid down.
If we don’t know where we have come from, how will we know where we going in the future? That is why, we have gathered here today. That is why we honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Lest We Forget”
October RV held 30 September – 2 October 2016
We have now firmly moved away from holding the RV over the Labour Weekend holiday period in late October. Traffic and accommodation issues are just too much to cope with. Having the RV on an ordinary weekend seems to fit the bill better for a bigger number of people.
We kicked off on the Friday evening with a social at the Garrison Club. There was plenty of food and drink and a chance to catch up with old friends and to make new acquaintances.
Saturday morning found a number of us out on the shooting range where we were treated to the use of a variety of firearms including black powder muskets, an FN, an AK and much more. Suffice to say everyone, young and old(ish) had a great time and the weather managed to just hold off long enough for us to finish. Our grateful thanks go to our Kiwi friends and supporters Tony, Dave and Steve who organised the shoot, provided the firearms and did all the cleaning up afterwards.
Mid-afternoon we began to gather back at the Garrison Club. We were held a short welcoming ceremony for the 50 -60 guests after which it was back into the socialising with an intermission for the auction which was run by Mike O’Rourke and Paul Nes. We are grateful for the donated goods, some of which provided a few laughs (it is amazing how much people will pay for Zimbabwean sourced ‘Black Panther’ condoms even when they expired the day prior the auction!).
The meal was catered by Diana Bomford along with her helpers and braai chefs. It went down a treat with very little in the way of left overs. We are grateful to the Aussie Butcher, Gate Pa, Tauranga as well as The Lekker Shop in Hamilton ( www.lekker.co.nz ) for supplying us with discount priced, high quality meat and boerewors.
On Sunday we held the AGM at the residence of Bruce and Beth Chapman. This was also well attended and once official Assn matters had been settled we had a substantial brunch after which everyone made their way off to their various homes around New Zealand.
We will be setting the date for the next 2017 RV and will broadcast the dates in due course.
Fort Hill and the Cemetery at Hartley Hills goldfield
by Michael Tucker
National Monuments reference number: 92
GPS reference for Fort Hill: 18⁰12′05.81″S 30⁰23′46.11″E
GPS reference for Johnson’s kopje: 18⁰12′01.16″S 30⁰23′47.41″E
GPS reference for the cemetery: 18⁰12′12.55″S 30⁰23′45.19″E
GPS reference for Hartley Hills mining camp: 18⁰11′53.32″S 30⁰23′40.59″E
GPS reference for the Hunters Road drift across the Chimbo stream: 18⁰11′46.61″S 30⁰23′41.70″E
How to get there
Hartley town on the A5 national road is now named Chegutu. The original Hartley Hill goldfields are east of the junction of the Mupfure River (formerly the Umfuli) and the Chimbo River (sometimes marked Zimbo) The area is best reached from the main Harare Bulawayo A5 national road 71 KM from Harare, by turning left off the national road at the roundabout, south toward Ngezi Mine. At 7.2 KM continue past Chengeta Safari Lodge turnoff on the left and at 15.73 KM reach Seigneury Road intersection. Turn left onto the gravel road, 15.89 KM turn right, 16.13 KM ignore right turnoff, 17.54 KM go to the left of the Seigneury store, 17.69 KM cross the Chimbo River, 18.00 KM pass 3 stamp mill on your left, 18.62 KM stay on main gravel road, pass old gold diggings on your right, 19.11 KM a farm track turns left for Fort Hill. (i.e. 3.3 KM from the tar turn-off) 19.27 Km take right-hand fork, 19.62 KM park car and the fort is on the summit of the hill to your left. Johnson’s kopje is to you right. 350 metres northwest of Johnson’s kopje are the two peaks of Hartley Hill next to the Chimbo River. See Google earth image for the layout of the original site.
Below is a general map at 1:250,000 scale showing the principal places of interest referred to in the following articles and how they physically relate to each other. Hartley (the 1:250,000 map calls it “Village Main” after the Johannesburg mining company) moved from this site near the confluence of the Mupfure River and the Chimbo Stream to its present day site in 1899 as it was better suited for the railway line which arrived in 1901. In 1982, the town of Hartley became known as Chegutu.
At Hartley Hill itself, the only structures still standing are the stone walls of the Fort Hill (1896-7) and the cemetery. The area is littered in contemporary gold workings in the form of shallow shafts and holes burrowed into the ground and mounds of earth and the occasional windlass for hauling up ore. Piles of quartz that have been picked out of the reefs await transport to the three-stamp mill a kilometre away where it is pounded up to liberate the gold. In the same way the 1890 pioneers reported the ground covered with ancient workings, so things have not changed much!
A windlass commonly used by artisanal gold miners above a shaft just below Fort Hill
The interesting features at Hartley Hill goldfield moving from west to east are:
1) The Hunters Road blazed by Thomas Baines crosses the Chimbo Stream just west of Hartley Hills mining camp. A footpath today follows the course of the Hunter’s Road to the stream and the Chimbo Stream banks have been cut away on both sides with stones laid in the stream bed. A new track has been cut down the eastern bank, but the western bank appears to follow the original track.
2) Hartley Hills mining camp was just east of the Chimbo Stream and 500 metres northwest of Fort Hill, marked by two distinctive peaks; early photos show pole and dhaka huts, but all traces of them have gone. There is late Iron Age dry-stone walling on the top of the northern kopje, probably built as defence against amaNdebele raiding parties.
3) Johnson, Heaney and Borrow’s camp (Johnson’s kopje) was on a small kopje just 200 metres north of Fort Hill. The Fort Hill defenders burnt down the camp huts facing Fort Hill in April 1896 because they afforded cover to Mashingombi’s men. We found traces of brick and occupation debris at the base of the kopje. At the top of Johnson’s kopje, shallow schantzes have been dug out and lined with stones on the side facing Fort Hill and it was from these that a sniping fire was made on Fort Hill. Fort Hill enjoyed a strategic advantage in that it is higher than Johnson’s kopje and the strongest dry-stone walling faces Johnson’s kopje.
4) The house that Thomas Baines built has left no visible remains, although it was probably west of Johnson’s kopje and south of Hartley Hills mining camp.
5) Fort Hill was built in 1896 and extended by the British South Africa Police (BSAP) in 1897 and is still visible, being built of loose granite rocks to a height of about 1.5 metres (5 feet) at the summit of the kopje below the survey beacon. The northern end has a redoubt with a rectangular structure measuring 4.5 x 3.5 metres and this may have been the original defensive position. The entrance is just below and the summit of the kopje has been walled. The access ways and levelled platforms where pole and dhakaand brickhuts were built for the BSAP and Natal Troop between December 1896 and February 1897 are also visible as is the roadway built up the hill on the southern side, although it has been partly dug up by artisanal gold miners.
6) The long shelter marked on the Young Farmers Club (YFC) map of is no longer visible as the area has been extensively dug over by local gold miners in recent years.
7) In 2015 a large rondavel site still existed with the stone pillars extant, but has been destroyed by the end of 2016 and even many of the previous tracks are no longer usable.
8) The Meikles Hotel cellar site was not observed and has probably been destroyed by gold digging.
9) The Cemetery site some 200 metres still exists with eight gravesites, there are headstones for William D. Hoste and John Scott; the remainder are unmarked.
Below a Google earth image with key features marked:
Hartley Hill played a prominent part in the First Chimurenga or Mashona Rebellion. The Umfuli River (now the Mupfure) formed a traditional boundary to Matabeleland and as news of the Matabele Uprising, or Umvukela grew, a meeting was held on the 4 April 1896 at the Mining Commissioner’s camp for the 34 Europeans in the vicinity, mainly prospectors and traders. The BSA Company’s Medical Officer, Arthur Newnham, emphasized to the British South Africa Company that their location at Hartley Hill was important and reported that amaNdebele had come into the district, supposedly for work.
The BSA Company issued twelve Lee-Metford rifles and several thousand rounds of ammunition to supplement the privately held rifles. The twelve men who were reluctant to abandon their claims and retire to Salisbury, began to fortify the hill. Percy Inskipp, the BSA Company Under Secretary wrote to check they had sufficient supplies saying: “we presume you are satisfied that in deciding to remain at Hartley, you are confident of being able to maintain your position.” Although news of the killings in Matabeleland was now common knowledge, Newnham replied: “we feel perfectly safe, are well off for food and unless peremptorily ordered, we mean to stick to our guns.”
On the 24 April a lone prospector, name not known, was attacked between the Umsweswe and Umniati (now the Munyati) Rivers and defended himself until his ammunition ran out, his servant reporting his death. On hearing the news that the amaNdebele were now within sixty kilometres of Hartley Hill, the twelve defenders reinforced their defences at Fort Hill and slept inside it at night.
Below is part of a letter from David Moony, one of the first victims, to the Chief Native Commissioner dated 24 May 1896. “Sir, Whilst out collecting tax I discovered that a good many Matabele have left Mashayingombi’s district for Matabeleland for what object, I can’t find out. I also heard from one of my spies that Mashayingombi himself is in communication with someone in Matabeleland, and has lately sent some young men down. I taxed Mashayingombi with this, but he informed me that he had only sent down to the Matabele “Umlimo” for some medicines to prevent the locusts from eating his crops next year. This spy also told me that that it had been proposed by the Matabele and Maholi inhabitants to rise and first kill all my Police and the “coolie” that is trading, and then try Hartley, but it was given up as not good enough. I attach no importance whatsoever to the above, I find the natives very quiet and civil when I go to their…”
First page of a letter from David Moony to the Chief Native Commissioner saying all was quiet in the Hartley Hills district.
Moony was one of the first to be murdered on 15 June 1896.
However, they were unaware that their real danger lay not with the amaNdebele, but just twenty kilometres away in the seemingly peaceful kraal of Chief Mashingombi. The Native Commissioner of Hartley, David Moony, was killed on 15 June 1896 while investigating the murder of three African traders the previous day at Mashingombi’s kraal with his detective January. Mooney sensed a violent atmosphere, but delayed to feed his horse and whilst saddling up was attacked and killed. January managed to escape and from a cave watched two prospectors, Messrs Stunt and Shell being welcomed to the kraal, before they were tied up and thrown into the Mupfure River. January then made his way to Fort Hill and informed the men there, of the tragedy. On hearing this news, all but two of their African servants deserted. The list of European victims for the Hartley district in the first six days of the uprising is as follows:
With the news of the killings, the defenders moved permanently into Fort Hill. They were: Carrick, the Mining Commissioner, Newnham, the Medical Officer, Carlisle, the store and hotel keeper, and Messrs Ackland, Avery, Bradburne, Forbes, Hales, Loder, McRae, Turner and Warne.
The tiny garrison felt great anxiety for other Europeans prospecting or trading in the district, especially Harry Thurgood, and on the evening of the 18June 1896 Carrick and Turner, with January the detective, left to warn him; but after finding Thurgood’s farm ransacked they continued on to warn the inhabitants of Salisbury and were attacked on the way and killed near the Manyame River on 19 June, their bodies being found on the 21 July by White’s patrol with the letters they had been carrying.
A few hours after Carrick and his colleagues left on 18 June the Fort Hill garrison was fired on from Johnson’s kopje about 200 metres away; so next day they burnt down the huts on Johnson’s kopje belonging to Johnson, Heany and Borrow which were affording cover to their besiegers. No direct assault was made upon the fort, as it was strongly built and fortified, but a daily and continuous harassing fire was opened up on them and they ran a gauntlet of fire getting water from the nearby Mupfure River;. This action lasted between 20 June and 5 July with the firing most intense on the night of 2 July. The remaining ten defenders became very weary with continuous weeks of day and night guard duties.
Remains of schantzes, stones piled for protection from gunfire, built by Chief Mashingombi’s men on Johnson’s kopje
from where they fired upon the defenders of Fort Hill. An old green glass bottle and a bully beef tin were found nearby.
On 5 July two African servants who had been sent from Salisbury with letters were pursued and killed within sight of Fort Hill. However, the tiny force of ten, led by Dr. Newham and Carlisle who ran the local store and hotel, managed to hold out until they were relieved by a patrol under Capt. the Hon. C. J. White on 22 July.
When one visits Fort Hill today, it does seem amazing that so few were able to hold out for so long and managed to fetch water under fire as well without any of them being wounded, or killed.
Plan of Fort Hill by P.S. Garlake
Fort Hill today, it occupies the highest point in the area.
The Fort from below showing the trig beacon on the left and entrance on the right.
Interior of the north west wall.
Maxim gun platform on the west side of Fort Hill.
Eastern wall looking north towards the redoubt; west wall on the left of the photo.
The trig beacon at the south end of Fort Hill – Brent Barber in the photo.
Capt. C. White’s patrol with Capt. Biscoe, Surgeon Fleming, Capt. St. Hill, Lieuts. Nesbitt, Eustace, Ogilvie with 210 Troopers and 40 Zulus left Salisbury on 19 July 1896 with the aim of relieving the small garrison of ten men at Hartley Hill.
White’s patrol had its first encounter with Chief Mashingombi’s men about three miles on the Salisbury (now Harare) side of Norton's farm, where they had lined a kopje and fired upon the patrol. They were immediately attacked and in the ensuing fight Tpr. W. H. Gwillim of the Salisbury Field Force and a Zulu were killed and a further four wounded. The patrol moved on, encountering some difficulty in crossing the Manyame River they laagered for the night. The next day, they found the skeletons of Carrick, Turner and January and laagered at the Serui River before coming upon about 50 of Mashingombi’s men whom they routed with heavy loss. Rough stone walls had been built overlooking the road, there was also a bark rope stretched across the road with an empty bully beef tin with a stone inside to act as a warning bell and Chief Mashingombi’s men were well stocked with food and ammunition.
That night the column laagered twenty kilometres from Hartley Hill and next day relieved the ten survivors; the late R. Carruthers-Smith, who was there on that day, told Col. Hickman how the patrol had galloped up the slope to the fort cheering and shouting and been greeted by the ten besieged men with joy and relief.
White's patrol remained at Fort Hill for the rest of the day and began the return journey next morning, the 23 July, accompanied by the relieved garrison of ten men. They had intended to return by way of the Beatrice Mine. They crossed the Mupfure River with great difficulty, but instead of finding an open road as they had been led to believe, they faced broken country with kopjes overlooking the road, the perfect setting for an ambush. They re-crossed the Mupfure and returned, not by the road past Norton's farm on which they had come, but another one which joined the main pioneer road from Fort Victoria and crossed the Manyame River twelve miles from Salisbury.
For over five months the district was abandoned until on 10 October 1896 when 500 European and 100 African troops under Lieut. Col. Alderson, with four seven-pounders and four maxims, attacked Chief Mashingombi’s kraal. After three days they retired again, having achieved little. Alderson realized the need for a fort, but felt the difficulties of transport and supplies, and the shortage of men prevented the establishment of one at this time, particularly as the rains were about to start.
Earl Grey, the Administrator, was extremely critical of Lieut. Col. Alderson saying: “Alderson and his mounted infantry made so rapid a promenade militaire through the country that in many places the result is nil and the natives are in a state of mutiny. Alderson committed two blunders, after his third attack on Mashingombi he should have blown up the cave and left a fort behind. He did neither and the result is that Mashingombi believes we are afraid and impotent.”
Following Earl Grey’s continued criticism, Fort Hill was re-occupied on 1December 1896 by the Natal Troop and two weeks later reinforced by Major Hopper and eighty men of the BSAP with the fort being enlarged and pole and dhaka and brick huts being built. The fort was in an extremely unhealthy position with malaria endemic which took a heavy toll on its garrison.
Fort Hill in early 1897 with the redoubt on the summit of the hill and huts below occupied by the BSAP and Natal Troop.
The platform walling and dhaka floor are still observable.
Approximately the same view on the levelled platform as the 1897 photo above.
There are no personal accounts of the siege which is a pity. Fort Hill in good condition, with the levelled off platforms built by the BSAP who subsequently moved in well preserved with dhaka floors and walling and some occupational debris such as broken bricks and the occasional horseshoe The area surrounding the Fort has been completely turned over by gold miners, probably not unlike the state it was in when Hartley and Baines were here in 1870! Even the access road up the kopje is cratered with gold diggings.
‘For Queen and Empire’. William Derick Hoste aged 30 years, died of malaria on 25.05.1893.
W.D. Hoste was the younger brother of Henry Francis “Skipper” Hoste, who resigned as Captain of the RMS Trojan to join the Pioneer Column as Captain of B Troop. The remaining victims are from when the fort was re-occupied by the BSAP from December 1896 to February 1897.
J. Scott is listed as Trooper No. 503 in Col. Hickman’s Men who made Rhodesia. He attested on 4 May 1890 serving in C Troop in the Pioneer Column and was discharged from the force on 30 November 1891 and must have signed up again before his death on 22 March 1897. His grave is the only one we can be sure of, as his name has been recorded in cement.
The BSAP compiled lists of the names of those buried at each site around the country before 1908. Lists were then drawn up by the Guild of Loyal Women (GLW) that were then sent to be cast as the familiar circular cast iron markers by the Gregory Iron Foundry firm in Cape Town. Those who died prior to the death of Queen Victoria on 22 January 1901 are headed “FOR QUEEN & EMPIRE” and those after that date are headed “FOR KING & EMPIRE.” Gregory made mistakes on the castings. The BSAP then placed the grave markers, but not always on the correct graves; so the current positioning of the grave markers should always be treated with caution, including that of W.D. Hoste.
The grave marker to W.D. Hoste is the only one to survive, although we can be certain that every grave at one time had one.
At the end of February 1897 Capt. R.C. Nesbitt VC abandoned Fort Hill and built Fort Martin, a mile from Mashingombi’s kraal. Kaguvi the spirit medium, was also based nearby at Chena’s kraal. Some of the fever victims from Fort Martin may well have been buried in this cemetery and it is possible that there is another cemetery at Fort Martin as the list above has eleven victims.
Grave site layout
T. Baines. The Gold Regions of South Eastern Africa.
Books of Rhodesia 1968.
Col. A.S. Hickman. Norton District in the Mashona rebellion. Rhodesiana No. 3. 1958.
P.S. Garlake. Pioneer Forts in Rhodesia 1890 -1897. Rhodesiana No. 12. Sept 1965.
W.H. Brown. On the South African Frontier. Books of Rhodesia 1970.
Thanks to ORAFs for permission to quote from Rhodesianheritage.blogspot.com/2012/02/in-search-of-lost-grave.html recompiled from the magazine Rhodesian Knowledge Number 1 about the Young Farmers Club (YFC) expedition.
Col. A.S. Hickman. Men who made Rhodesia. BSAP Co. 1960.
The ’96 Rebellions. BSA Co. Books of Rhodesia 1975.
Ken Calder who accompanied me on my first visit and Brent Barber who came on the second visit.
Visit www.rhodesianservices.org/The%20Shop.htm to see what is in store for you.
Christmas orders need to be made immediately in order to ensure they arrive in time – don’t delay folks – get stuck in.
Profits from the sale of these items go towards the Museum Fund. All prices are in NZ$ and do not include postage.
UK based stock
Gerry van Tonder is holding stock of the smaller CQ items in the UK. All items stocked in the UK are noted on our website with a Union Jack You can order direct from Gerry by emailing email@example.com
NZ customers can pay by direct deposit with bank details being supplied on request
Overseas customers - we prefer payment by PayPal, personal or bank cheque. We can accept personal cheques from most countries with the exception of South Africa. If you elect payment by PayPal, we will bill you from firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that we can only process credit cards via PayPal. Rest assured, if you want to make a purchase we will make a plan to enable you to pay!
Clothing - shirts, jackets, caps, beanies, aprons, and regimental ties.
Berets & Badges – most Rhodesian units available.
Medals & Ribbons – an extensive range available.
Posters & Maps – high quality reproductions.
DVDs & Phone tones – historical footage, unique cell phone tones.
Other goods - flags, bumper stickers, lighters, and more, as well as quality products direct from our contributing supporters.
After a 15 year gestation period, this long awaited book is now available:
Rhodesia Regiment 1899 – 1981 by Peter Baxter, Hugh Bomford, Gerry van Tonder et al. Published by the Rhodesian Services Association.
Christmas Special Price NZ$90 + P&P worldwide or for UK sales only £45 plus P+P
This book is a definitive record of the Rhodesia Regiment. It is being funded and published by the Rhodesian Services Association as part of a major historical record.
Queen Elizabeth II, Colonel in Chief of the Royal Rhodesia Regiment, posed for a photo for this book and graciously gave us her good wishes for the success of the project in 2011. She asked if she could have a copy of the book.
On Thursday 7 August 2014 a copy was delivered to Buckingham Palace by Gerry van Tonder and Hugh and Diana Bomford's eldest daughter. The book was duly delivered to the Queen who was in residence at Balmoral Castle at the time. A letter of thanks from Her Majesty was received a few days later. This was landmark event in the history of our country and for this, the largest literary project in the history of Rhodesia, a very proud moment.
Inscription in the Royal presentation book.
Contact these stockists for price details:
Worldwide sales ex New Zealand email email@example.com
South Africa email firstname.lastname@example.org
UK email email@example.com
Zimbabwe email firstname.lastname@example.org
Total 614 printed pages 300 x 220mm portrait made up as:
528pp x b/w text/photos
8pp x colour photo section
8pp x colour map section
56pp full colour Honours and Awards and Uniforms, Embellishments and Equipment sections
Appendices covering Honours & Awards includes numerous citations; complete Roll of Honour 1899-1981; Leadership Roll; Intake numbers and dates
2pp x tip-in page
Over 8,000 individual names in the book
Illustrations - over 1,500 photos, maps and drawings
Chibaya Moyo – The Rhodesian African Rifles: An Anthology 1931-1981 compiled by Capt Andy Telfer SCR and Capt Russell Fulton.
Please note that we are handling orders for the this book under contract to the compilers.
New Zealand NZ$30 plus P+P worldwide
Australia AU$25 plus P+P (local postage)
Moyo, ‘Strike to the Heart’ in chiShona, is an anthology of stories from those who served with the all-volunteer black soldiers of the Rhodesian African Rifles, a proud African regiment that fought with distinction in two world wars, the Malayan Emergency and the Rhodesian bush war.
Chibaya Moyo brings together so many voices with tales of such vastly different topics that it is by turn fascinating, tragic, humorous, intense, sad and inspirational; above all it is honest. It is the story of a brotherhood that transcended race and tribe and is a lasting memory and testament to a fine regiment, its soldiers and their actions.
Chibaya Moyo is wholly dedicated to raising funds to assist those masodja who still live in Zimbabwe and struggle daily to eke out an existence. They were there when we needed them; let us now be there when they need us.
To order a copy of Chibaya Moyo email email@example.com with your delivery address.
Medals, berets, badges etc
ANZAC Day - 25th April 2016 will be upon us before we know it. We recommend that you get your order in to us in good time to avoid disappointment. We can re-mount medals or supply replacements. We also have a large range of berets and badges as well as numerous lapel pins, ties, RLI and RR bullion wire blazer badges and Rhodesia Regiment stable belts. (Some lapel pins and badges are held in stock in the UK).
Take your time and search through our CQ Store at http://www.rhodesianservices.org/The%20Shop.htm then to order email firstname.lastname@example.org for a full price including postage and methods of payment.
Please remember – when you support the Rhodesian Services Association CQ Store, you are helping to preserve Rhodesian history.
Books for Africa
I again remind you that all the books and audio visual disks that I stock and sell are listed at www.rhodesianservices.org/Books.htm These sales are my own hobby and income from sales is directed to me and not the Rhodesian Services Association. However, the Association does benefit indirectly from these sales. A great selection of books, many with a Rhodesian connection, can be found on the link above. All prices are in NZ$ and do not include postage.
A small sample of titles in stock at www.rhodesianservices.org/Books.htm
Our Supporters– please also view our webpage http://www.rhodesianservices.org/our-supporters.htm
This section is for individuals and businesses who support this Association either by giving us something for auction at the RV in October; by donations from sales generated from our listings of their product or service; by offering discount to buyers who mention the Rhodesian Services Association when making a purchase; contributing material to our Museum and Archives.
Email me at email@example.com for details of how you get a mention here.
The Association is very grateful to all our contributors; please reciprocate this support by supporting them in turn. Please don’t forget to mention where you saw their advert.
Buckles and Tees www.bucklesandtees.co.nz
Mike Vivier has moved to the North Island and is in the process of opening a shop at Waihi Beach where he will be stocking some of our CQ Store goods. Please check in on his website for more details.
Mike donates a portion of his income from all Rhodesian related items sold to the Rhodesian Services Association. Please email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order or query or go to www.bucklesandtees.co.nz and do it on-line.
Gerry van Tonder Professional Research Services www.rhodesiansoldier.com For Service History Research, Copy Editing, Proofreading.
Gerry offers a professional, quality research service, specializing in the service history of Rhodesians who served in the two World Wars.
“It is amazing what information exists about your father, grandfather, or uncle, and as I have experienced with everyone for whom I have done what I call a Fact File, invariably information comes to light, which they were not aware of. Go to www.rhodesiansoldier.com and use the Research button to access samples and to make inquiries.”
yds. to Company HQ’”
That’s all folks, so until next time – go well.
Celebrate ‘Rhodesia Day’* on the 11th November each year
*The concept of ‘Rhodesia Day’ originates from the late Eddy Norris and family. During the 90 year
life span of Rhodesia we experienced the best of times and the worst of times. I encourage everyone to use this
day to remember the good times as well as remembering those who are no longer with us.
Rhodesian Services Association donations.
You can make a donation to the Rhodesian Services Association by clicking on our 'Collection Hat' below which is a typical slouch hat of the type used by the Rhodesian Army up until the 1960’s. Click on the hat or this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=MLMB2B8Y2UY3G and if you are registered with PayPal the process will be immediate. If you are not a PayPal member you will be given instruction on how to make a credit card payment via PayPal. Thank you - every bit helps.
This newsletter is compiled by Hugh Bomford, Newsletter Editor of the Rhodesian Services Association. It contains many personal views and comments which may not always be the views of the Association or Committee.