Saturday, 29 June 2013

Regimental Association of the B.S.A.P - November 1936

Further supplies of Association cuff-links have been ordered and are expected to arrive shortly. These will be obtainable at 4s. 6d. per pair from the Hon. Treasurer, P.O. Box 584, Salisbury. Button-hole badges can also be obtained at 2s. each.


A profit of over £t8 was realised from the Regimental Ball held on the 2nd October. It is proposed to arrange a mixed golf match in the near future, to be played on the Depot course.


The annual re-union dinner took place at the Hotel Victoria at 8 p.m. on Saturday, xoth October, and was well attended by past and serving members of the Regiment and their guests.

Capt. Surgey, the Chairman of the local branch of the Association, presided over a company of approximately 60 people, and the function was voted a great success, the dinner provided by the hotel being excellent and the waiting very satisfactory.

Among those present one noticed the following old hands: George Sheppard, Ted Kiddle, J. A. Birnie, Herbert Haslam, W. H. Hewlett, J. M. Fitzgerald, Jack Bartter, Norman Blake, H. Lewis, Stewart Knight.

The serving members were very well represented, and practically everyone who could get leave came in from such far-away places as Nuanetsi, Gutu, Zaka and the Cordons.

We were all very pleased to have Col. J. S. Morris, C.B.E., Major Bridger and Capt. Bugler with us, and we feel that while such keenness is displayed by those at Headquarters and adjoining centres, there can be little fear of the Association languishing in the outside districts through lack of support.

Capt. Surgey, in a short speech, welcomed the guests and proposed the toast of "The King."

Mr. C. Deane-Simmons, our popular Civil Commissioner, proposed the toast of the Regiment and the Association, and this was ably responded to by Colonel Morris.

Mesdames Burton, Scott and Surgey very kindly attended to the flowers and table decorations, which were tastefully arranged in Regimental colours.

Ex-Regtl.-Sgt.-Major Yasi, of the K.A.R., who has now been engaged as our range boy, blew the necessary calls on the bugle. Sgt.-Major Burton, the local Secretary of the Association, put in a tremendous amount of hard work in connection with the general arrangements prior to, during and after the dinner, and it was mainly due to his efforts that the function was such a success.

We had a note recently from ex-Tpr. Espey. He is a constable in the N.R. Police at Livingstone.

During leave in Australia, S/Cpl. Finch met F. M. Hill, ex-B.S.A. Police, whose present address is: P.O. Box 1, Palmwoods, Queensland, N.S.W.

Ex-i/Sgt. Sheppard is at present employed at the Rhodesian Exhibit at the Empire Exhibition. We heard from him recently, asking for copies of The Outpost to display at the Rhodesian Stall.

Ex-Cpl. Cashel (1910 to 1922) was a recent visitor to Depot.

Ex-Cpl. Ward and ex-Tpr. Munro, M.M., were visitors from Umtali during the month. They came down for golf. The former is the secretary of the Umtali Golf Club, Hillside.


Source - B.S.A.P. magazine "The Outpost" Dated November 1936
Material made available by Lewis Walter (Intaf) to ORAFs. Thanks Lewis.

Comments are welcome, please send them to Eddy Norris at

 (Please visit our previous posts and archives)

Ref. Rhodesia


Monday, 24 June 2013

Lusaka to Mongu in Three Days

As CAA Press Officer, John Roger talked about de Havilland Beavers landing in Mankoya in 1961. He said that Mankoya was on the Zambezi. 

This was the Caption below his photo
Mankoya, a delightful place situated on the banks of the Zambesi River.

Below, if needed, is the proof that he was wrong about the whereabouts of the great River. 

Following is a newspaper article from the Bulawayo Chronicle, kindly sent to David Whitehead by Robin Clay, which describes the first trip by a convoy of motor-cars from Lusaka to Mongu, Barotseland, by way of the recently-completed road.


August 1937

This article also appears in David Whitehead’s book “Inspired by the Zambezi” due out in 2014. A ten page article describing how difficult it was to get to Barotseland before 1937, will appear before the Book in Aeroletters Number 106 entitled “Early Days of Flying to Barotseland” due out in Sept / Oct 2013.

The trip, which was made by the Chief Road Engineer, took three days as compared with three hours by air and three weeks by barge along the Zambezi River.


We accomplished what we set out to do, in spite of a good deal of pessimism, which was to get to Mongu, Barotseland, from Lusaka in three days by road. The bugbear of this journey was Kalahari sand.

We started off with the Paramount Chief's car, which was accompanying us, and reached Mumbwa in 4½ running hours. Here we had lunch and filled up with petrol, as this was the last filling station we should touch until our return. All the petrol for the remainder of the trip was carried on a big lorry.

The first portion of the road to the Kafue River is a new one, and has only been traversed by one or two cars since July. The last 40 miles were pretty rough going, over tree holes, through rocks and round ant heaps. The road runs through pleasant forest country which is flat except for sudden outcrops of enormous rocky mounds and hillocks.


At mile thirty we entered the game reserve, and as if by instinct the animals sense their protection, they were all round us. and we might have been driving through an over-populated Whipsnade. The first indication of game we saw was a herd of buffalo which suddenly rushed up from nowhere. and ran beside the car for some yards. In the fraction of a second, they had changed their minds. turned at right angles, and charged straight for us. The car was brought to a standstill just in time to avoid them dashing into us. Fortunately, they continued straight across the road; with heads down, and tails up they panicked off into the forest, regardless of what stood in their way, grazing large trees, scattering ant heaps, and taking all bushes in their stride.

It took us a moment to collect our scattered senses before we proceeded, but we had not gone more than a quarter of a mile when we saw another herd of about a hundred standing quite close on our right. Much to our relief they started to move off slowly. Two or three of them turned and snorted rather threateningly at us, and for one awful moment it looked as if they were going to give the signal for the whole herd to turn and charge us. However, they fortunately thought better of it as they quite abruptly kicked up the dust and disappeared into the dusk. I felt I'd seen quite enough for one evening's entertainment.

The next sight was a beautiful one of eight sable antelope standing beneath large spreading trees. They were quite unconcerned, and incursions. As we continued our journey every dambo had herds of wildebeest, hartebeest, bushbuck and waterbuck, grazing or returning from their evening drinks at the waterholes. Birds were very scarce, and in some areas might have been non-existent.

All this area is uninhabited by human beings, and filled with tsetse fly, which seem to bite through the thickest breeches. They are especially fond of your scalp, or the tender flesh behind your ears. As dark was now falling the lights of the car, as we went along, lit up many strange unknown eyes in the bush.

We eventually reached our camp on the Kafue River, and the end of the first stage of our journey, at 6:40 p.m. Here we met our three other fellow travellers, who had come so far on lorries. A large camp-fire greeted us cheerfully, and we soon had our beds up, and a three-course dinner on the way. We all retired to bed very early as it was arranged to make a start at 4 a.m. to get the four cars across the pontoon before the daily wind arose. After 9 a.m. it is inclined to be too rough to risk the crossing on a laden canoe pontoon.

The night was bitterly cold, but was only disturbed by a wandering hyena. We were a stir by 4 a.m. The first lorry (a bright flashing scarlet one, which was to prove the delight of all the natives we met) was safely over by 4.30. All the cars and lorries had to be unloaded before doing the crossing, and each return journey took about an hour, as the river is half a mile wide at this point. So it was 9 a.m. before we were all ready to start on the second stage of our trip.

Four hippos watched our movements with great solemnity. They kept bobbing up and down. seemingly conferring with each other as to our doings. Fortunately they stayed at a safe distance. While the pontoon was being built these gentlemen were so curious that they had to be chased away before the natives could be induced to proceed with the work: even then they were not satisfied till they had made two attacks on the pontoon.
Kafue Pontoon

The road from here onwards was rougher than anything one could ever have imagined, and the contact with the roof of the car became quite monotonous. At the end of the journey I never knew I possessed so many bones in my body to ache. Game was most plentiful on every dambo, and standing in the forests as we drove by.
This piece of country is strangely flat with miles upon miles of perfectly straight road running through forest. The surface improved further on, and in a few places we were able to do forty with the greatest of ease. At one part the road narrows, and the trees change to an almost tropical growth. The ground becomes a complete switchback and you might imagine you were driving over the Mountains of the Moon. However, we all cracked and groaned along at about 10 miles an hour. The villages were very few and far between, but any human habitation poured forth its men, women, children and dogs to greet us, as such a sight had only been seen to a very few  of them before. The flashing scarlet lorry put us all in the shade and gained all the attention.


[On Wednesday, the 25th of August, 1937] we arrived at Mankoya without any mishaps about 4 p.m. where we were most hospitably received by the District Commissioner [Gervas Clay] and his wife [Betty]. The Boma consists of two houses, the office, and aerodrome, nearby which was the wreck of a plane that had come to grief a week or so previously. The rising ground of the Boma very pleasantly over-locks a plain, through which one of the few largish rivers flow.

The next morning we left on the last and most difficult lap of our journey. The road for some 40 miles is wide and straight, with a good surface, and runs through forest country, where the game was still plentiful. The monotony is broken by enormous grass plains with herds of game grazing quite peacefully, as there are no inhabitants. Some of these plains are covered with the most amusing little ant heaps that look like a lot of small begging dogs, others resemble miniature castles on the Rhine.

We crossed one large river with several largish villages on its banks, otherwise water is almost unknown except for one or two very small streams spanned by bush bridges.


After our halt for lunch we entered the famous sand of Barotseland, having first deflated our tyres to 101b. Here the vegetation gets scrubby, pathetic, and seems to be struggling for existence. The great secret was to keep moving, and if you had to draw up, to do so on a place where there were leaves or tufts of grass. Every now and again the caravan was compelled to halt to cool off the boiling cars, and fill up with water, of which the lorry carried a good supply for this emergency. With a following wind and a very hot sun we had several boilings and coolings, but eventually began the long ascent of sand into Mongu, with the plains stretching on either side.

This hill was the worst part of the journey as the sand was particularly heavy, and the grade told on the cars. However, we reached the summit triumphantly, only to find that both the Paramount Chief's car and the lorry had stuck half way. As all the villagers were' most excited, and. willing to help they were soon pushed out, and joined the triumphal entry into the capital of Barotseland. We received a great welcome, and much kind hospitality from the residents.


The town is built on a hill overlooking the plain on three sides. The views are very extensive and quite unique. Trees are a rarity; and gardens a problem as water has to be carried considerable distances. There are no reads, as they have never required them, but there are brick paths set in the sand leading everywhere. 

Everyone possesses a precarious looking bush cart propelled on one wheel, which is very much more comfortable than it looks. If you have a baby, there is a contraption like a meat safe attached to the back of the bush cart in which your child travels very ably protected from the flies which seem to overwhelm the entire country.
Whitehead’s Bush Cart 1
Children’s gauzed-in bush car 1
Whitehead family Bush Cart 2


After three days' pleasant stay we started on our homeward journey. Shortly after leaving Mongu the sand proved too much for our car, and she developed a block in the petrol feed. While investigating this we discovered the main leaf of the back spring had gone in two places. This meant crawling home over the 300 miles left of our journey. We bound it up with wood and cowhide, which had to be tightened every 50 miles or so. However, after a hold-up of an hour, with the kind and able help of our fellow passenger, we carried on, and arrived back in Mankoya after a long, hot and tiring run.


The lorry was also beginning to make strange noises of protest at the road's imperfections. It was packed with native passengers, who seized the opportunity of reaching the railway line in three days. Chief among the passengers was a "wanted criminal," with his armed guard.

One of our most lovely sights on the homeward journey was a large herd of zebra which ran along beside us for quite a long way, then shot across the front of the car. A small foal accompanied the herd beside its mother. An alarming sight, though exciting, was a lion sitting in the long grass,. linking his chops, but he disappeared so quickly that we could not pick him up again in the protective colouring of the surrounding bush.

We arrived at the pontoon at 4 p.m. but as the wind was still pretty high, we had to wait a considerable time till it dropped sufficiently for us to make a comfortably and a safe crossing.

It was not until after dark that the big lorry was able to get to the camp on the other side. From here to Lusaka no untoward events occurred, and this ended the journey of the first car to make this trip.


Referring to the previous remark - refuting what John Roger said in ORAFs, that in 1961 CAA Beavers landed at Mankoya, which was on the Zambezi - by the way Mongu isn’t on the Zambezi either, but at least 25 miles away.

There is a canal (5) – see map below - linking Mongu to the Little River which runs eventually, miles away, into the Zambezi. The map is from Gwyn Prins’ book “The Hidden Hippopotamus”, Cambridge University Press, 1980.

 Canals of Bulozi © Gwyn Prins annotated by David Whitehead 
The canals and sluits (sloots) were all dug by King Lewanika’s regiments from 1888 onwards. It was kick started in 1987 by Adolphe GOY, a missionary, who started widening the Sefula stream (6) for canoes to come and go.

It was a truly monumental job by an inspired monarch, undertaken with hand-made hoes and wooden shovels, one could say very much like the epic draining of the FENS by the Earl of Bedford in 17th Century England.

Please note that David’s book is currently being formatted before being printedand this article will appear in his book “Inspired by the Zambezi”. 

About the book, Gavin G Barnett, who wrote Like a River Glorious initially kindly encouraged David Whitehead by saying :-

“Anyone who has grown up and lived on the great Zambezi River will inevitably have a heritage of beautiful and powerful memories. The river itself has such a profoundly interesting geographical history, its pristine beauty and startling scenery is unsurpassed. The river in days gone by was the gateway to Barotseland. Its influence on the Whitehead family and the author’s own boyhood has been powerful and memorable. All this has combined to clamour for a record binding them together. This collection of memoirs is the result of that clamour and of the strong urge the author has felt to ensure it does not all fade into the mists of time. A compelling connection is made between the river and the life of the author”.

Please be advised that I have David’s permission to circulate this story with ORAFs.

All text and photographs are the property of David Lisle Whitehead.

 (Please visit our previous posts and archives)

Ref. Rhodesia

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Crook's Corner

By Lewis Walter (DC Intaf)

I wonder how many of our readers will remember the remote Portuguese wine shop at Crooks' Corner on the Limpopo River where Rhodesia, South Africa and Mocambique came together at single point. This area was beloved of "Bvekenya" Barnard, the well-known hunter/poacher, and other miscreants. The story is that when the police of one or other of the countries in which they were wanted got too close, they would merely move a few yards to the safety of a neighbouring country...... Some of Bvekenya's offspring still lived thereabouts in the 1960s.

The photos were taken in 1963 when I was stationed at Nuanetsi.

Innocence Personified

Where do we start?
 In the wine shop are Rob Knights (Intaf), Albert Blamire (Schoolmaster, Bindura School) and Henny Olwage (Intaf). All off-duty of course !


Many thanks to Lewis for sharing this information with ORAFs. It is so rewarding to learn of these oddities for the first time and to read the personal experiences thereafter. Boy it certainly makes my job a lot easier.
Please send your recollections. memories of Crook's Corner to and share them with all ORAFs and fair amount of other readers who are mainly not-Rhodesian.

The book " The Ivory Trail" is a story of a larger than life hunter and poacher told by one of South Africa's most popular travel and adventure writers.

This is the story of legendary hunter/poacher S.C. 'Bvekenya' Barnard who lived in the Limpopo River region. It tells of his hunting expeditions that revolved around Crook's Corner, where he could take refuge from the country's police. An outlaw for twenty years, Bvekenya was one of the most colorful personalities in Africa, who fought a one-man war against all control and authority. The life of Bvekenya and his exploits as an ivory poacher, blackbirder, outdoorsman and perhaps surprisingly for some, a conservationist, was told to Bulpin by Barnard himself.

 (Please visit our previous posts and archives)

Ref. Rhodesia

Further information received from Lewis.

 Crooks' Corner
By Lewis Walter (DC)

Thanks to John Hill and others for comments on Crooks' Corner.  Re John's remark that the building may have been washed away, this is very probable. This photograph shows just how close the wine shop was to the river bank, and the big tree was already being undermined fifty years ago. 

I wonder what has happened to the DC's Field Quarters at Malipati, and Palfrey's store which was right on the Mozambique border some miles north of the Limpopo.   


To view the complete story, please click on the image or on the link below.

Thanks to Lewis for making the photograph and story available to ORAFs.
Comments are welcome - please send them to Eddy Norris at
[ ]
(Please visit our previous posts and archives

Ref. Rhodesia

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Those embargo-busting jets

The world was amazed when three Boeings suddenly joined Air Rhodesia's fleet in breach of United Nations sanctions. But offers of aircraft have come from several countries, says AL J. VENTER.

 SANCTIONS BUSTING Air Rhodesia's three Boeing 720 jets airliners were acquired after "dozens of false starts" in the airline's secret negotiations in several countries to buy passenger jets.

 Captain Pat Travers, the chief executive, revealed to me that they had received many offers of American, British and European aircraft, but there was always a hitch until the 720s were offered.

 Only a part of the story of their purchase can be told, and an element of mystique surrounds Salisbury Airport, where they can be glimpsed from behind high fences in the maintenance area. Although they are a familiar sight on training flights over the Rhodesian capital they are still a regular topic of discussion among Rhodesian where they came from, how they were acquired, and their cost. There were only a part of the story of their purchase can be told, and an element of mystique surrounds Salisbury Airport, where they can be glimpsed from behind high fences in the maintenance area. Although they are a familiar sight on training flights over the Rhodesian capital they are still a regular topic of discussion among Rhodesians - where they came from, how they were acquired, and their cost.

 The words Air Rhodesia painted on the fuselage against a white background — sleek lines, an elegant trim and demonstrating a new-found vitality in a country long hamstrung by mandatory United Nations sanctions — have turned quite a few heads.

 By now everyone knows that the three Boeing 720s were used in Germany and were American-owned before that.

 The cost, in cocktail party terms, ranges from R 280 000 each, to R6-million for the three. Similar sources are equally vague about how and by whom they were acquired.

 Some people mention the American secret service, the CIA. Others talk about South African involvement. One person had the idea that they were a gift to Rhodesia from a South American millionaire.

 But ask people at Salisbury Airport about their new acquisitions and talk turns to other things.

 What is interesting is that this was not the first negotiation Air Rhodesia had entered into in their bid to buy jets. Captain Travers told me: "Many people came to us with offers. It would surprise a few United Nations officials to know which countries were willing to sell to us.

 "But each time the deal was about to be concluded there was a hitch. Either the supplier did not have an adequate supply of spares or there were problems with the manufacturers involving legalities which ultimately came into conflict with United Nations sanctions. We inspected dozens of aircraft, and during this time our executives made numerous trips to Europe and elsewhere to inspect offered planes."

 Finally, said Captain Travers, the three 720s were offered. "The planes were waiting for us in Switzerland. It was a package deal, and not only was the product right, the price reasonable, but all other factors fitted into place. The deal was concluded."

 The three aircraft had originally belonged to Eastern Airlines, American operators, who on switching to Jumbos sold them to a West German firm, Calair, which used them to transport package-deal tourist groups to holiday centres, including Kenya

 As Jumbos claiming a larger share of the market and Boeing 707s and 720s became more readily available and cheaper, the charter companies mushroomed. Then several, including Calair, went out of business.

 Although Captain Travers would not say how the three aircraft were delivered, another source provided this information.

 The aircraft were sold in Basle, Switzerland. Air Rhodesia crews who had undergone Boeing conversion courses were sent to fetch them.

 In their Calair colours they were flown first to Portugal and then to Salisbury. At some stage there was a brief delay while Air Rhodesia colours replaced those of Calair — a process which, reports have it, probably took place at a Portuguese military base.

 The redecoration project was an efficient one, although obviously completed by foreigners, for the design was not exactly that in use by the Rhodesian airline. However, the slightly-altered motif is so effective that Air Rhodesia has decided to adopt it for its other aircraft.

 Having been shown over the planes, I can say that they are in excellent trim. In spite of claims to the contrary, the jets have many years of service ahead of them.

 The galleys and toilets, usually the first place to show signs of wear and tear, are in good shape. The seats have been reconditioned, but the original armrests remain, and these do not indicate 14 years of use, as has been claimed by one critic of the purchase.

 Whereas some airlines maintain their planes with more regard for functionality than aesthetic values, the previous owners clearly took good care of them. Everything was in its place, and there was little "lay about" evidence of major overhauls or part replacements — as one sometimes finds in Middle East or African aircraft.

 Tell-tale signs are often that a screen or a cover has not been carefully screwed, glued or sewn back into place. These are sometimes left open in case further

 In spite of sanctions and a breakdown in the supply of spare parts Air Rhodesia has prospered. Where Rhodesian engineers could not obtain new parts from the manufacturers of the Viscounts in Britain these were designed from scratch and built in Rhodesia.

 One of the parts in everyday use in the Viscount turbo-props is an electronic fuel-flow indicator which was designed and built by Air Rhodesia boffins in their Salisbury workshops. These indicators are now part of the standard equipment of all Viscounts in service with the airline. Its designers claim it is more efficient than the original device.

 While most African airlines battled with annual losses, Air Rhodesia has moved to a position of strength during her years of isolation. Figures released while I was in Salisbury show that the airline is carrying more passengers and covering more kilometres than did the old Central African Airways, which offered services throughout South and East Africa as well as regular routes to Europe.

 Passengers carried by Air Rhodesia during the past year totalled 367 000, almost 45 per cent up on the number carried by Central African Airways in its last year.

 Passenger kilometres flown increased from 172-million (by CAA) to 205-million (for Air Rhodesia) during the same period.

 The last word comes from Pat Travers: "The way for us in Air Rhodesia is going to be an uphill struggle. However, there is one saving grace — we are used to it."

Above: Captain Tony Beck, the airline's chief pilot (right), is greeted on the tarmac at Salisbury Airport on his arrival from Europe with the first Boeing. He is seen talking to Mr. Ron Maskell, Mr. Henry Radnitz, head of Air Rhodesia's engineering division and Mr. Jack Cocking.

Above:  Other changes are apparent — Air Rhodesia hostesses in their distinctive new uniforms.

 Above: The man who engineered the sanctions breakthrough. Captain Pat Travers, chief executive of Air Rhodesia. He was formerly general manager of East African Airways.


Source: Newspaper The Sunday Times Colour Magazine of 4 November 1973 of South Africa which was made available to ORAFs by Dave Vermaak (Air Rhodesia).

Article was extracted and recompiled by Eddy Norris for use on "Our Rhodesian Heritage" blog that he administers.

Comments are always welcome, please mail them to Eddy Norris at

Suggested reading.
Air Rhodesia's B720s — "a riddle wrapped in a mystery"
Sanction Slipping (Air Rhodesia's Boeings are worth a lot.)

To view the Blog Home Page - Please Click Here
 (Please visit our previous posts and archives)

Ref. Rhodesia

Labels: , ,

Friday, 14 June 2013

Beaver Safari in Northern Rhodesia (1961)

The Press Officer, John Rogers, recently took these photographs of some of the places served by our Northern Rhodesian Beaver Service.

Royal Mail is delivered to the post boy by the pilot, Dave Harvey.
Mankoya, a delightful place situated on the banks of the Zambesi River.

Employed by our agent at Kalabo, this cook boy regularly unloads the Beaver.

Mankoya, the last port of call before Lusaka.
Sesheke and its "airport building", probably the smallest of any place served by CAA.

Father Emmanuel, our agent at Lukulu, with Father Alexander,
the head of a White Father Mission.

Mongu, with its unique runway. It is the only one of its kind in the world,
being made up of 3 million bricks.

Mongu's Station Supervisor, Peter Eggelston. 
 Peter, a keen bird watcher, has on aviary in his back garden containing many colourful birds. Peter is also a very fine shot.


Extracted and recompiled from the publication SCAAner of August 1961 which was made available to ORAFs by Dave Vermaak. Thank you Dave.

Thanks also to Nick Baalbergen for his assistance.

Please note that hyper links do work.

Comments are always welcome, please mail them to Eddy Norris at 

To view the Blog Home Page - Please Click Here
(Please visit our previous posts and archives

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, 10 June 2013

Memories of Number 1 Internment Camp Harare

June 10, 1940 - onward

Mr. Virgilio Vincenzo Garlzlo

This camp was for German and Italian families.

When Italy joined Germany in the war against England, we were arrested and put in camp with the Germans. I was only 12 years old at the time. The living conditions at the camp were quite reasonable and food was quite ample. The living quarters were for family units. The meals were prepared by cooks in separate kitchens for Italians and Germans because of the different eating habits. We also had separate dining rooms. The kitchens had wood burning stoves and the wood was chopped and cut by the internees themselves. The firewood was also chopped for hot water for the bathrooms.

The camps consisted of an inner barbed wire fence about 12 foot high and an outer fence which was of high voltage and if any animal came in contact with the fence the alarm would go off and the guards would run around the outside of the fence to see what had set the alarm off. We were not guarded by the police but by the army who were very nice and friendly to us always very helpful. We had a football field and a Boche field in the camp. We also had two lady teachers from outside the camp come to give the children lessons. We also had at a later stage Italian lessons as a lot of us could not speak Italian, only our Piemonti dialect.

In around 1943 we were allowed to go out of the camp for walks in groups and children were taken to town to the bioscope in the "Black Maria".

At the ending of the war we all went to Norton 30 km from town. We spent another 2 years there but this place had no fences and we were practically free. We remained there for 2 years as the government did not know what to do with us. They kept saying that we might be repatriated back to Germany and Italy. Eventually some Germans were sent back to Germany but most of us Italians were, set out free. Hoping this letter will help with your enquiries.

Mr. Virgilio Vincenzo Garlzlo.
16 May 2012


Photographs from this period are included below.

Please note that many of the Italians worked on farms in the area and the photograph below is marked:-

Glenara Farm, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, 160 acres in one on field of potatoes grown for Troops in Europe 1943-44. Italian prisoners helped to grow and maintain farm equipment.

Herbert Newmarch

Photograph is stamped J.R. Cooksey, 65 Second Street, Salisbury


Eddy Norris records his thanks and appreciation to Ermeilio curator of the Zonderwater Block Museum just outside Pretoria.

I visited this museum and was truly surprised at the wonderful work completed to retian their heritage. At Zonderwater there are over 250 graves of those that died in this camp.

In South Africa there were 18 camps, many f the pass road were built by these chaps.

I think it would be disrespectful of me to try and attempt to put more information down, simply said, I am not qualified and have requested Ermeilo to consider putting a brief report together for ORAFs.

I would also like to request the History Society of Zimbabwe to see and hopefully make available to ORAFs and pamphlets or reports on the chaps in Southern Rhodesia.

Comments are always welcome, please mail them to Eddy Norris at

 (Please visit our previous posts and archives)To view the Blog Home Page - Please Click Here

Ref. Rhodesia

The following information was greater than the permitted number of text permitted under comments and I now append Mike's Story.
Mike Taylor (UBHS) Writes:-
I have been fascinated by the comments about this grand old house. I re-attach the piece I wrote earlier, with a few amendments. Nothing further (of relevance) could be ascertained. How interesting Bob Manser attended a talk on the house all those years ago. I am very interested in the provenance of the house - and that it passed through so many hands and is now a restaurant- and would love to know more. I have somewhere in my scrapbooks a photocopy of a watercolour painted by my mother, Molly Brooks, of Lorelei as we knew it. Hopefully I can lay my hand to it!

Thank you again for all the interesting snippets you bring to enrich our lives.

Mikes recollection;:-

I read with interest of what you refer to as the spook house, and would like to add a personal flavour to the story, if I may. The house, Lorelei, as we knew it, (just inside the front door hung a framed translation of the song The Lorelei) belonged to a dear relation of mine - we called her ‘aunt’; she was in fact my father Neville Brooks’ father William Arthur’s sister, Millicent Williams (nee Brooks), so my Great Aunt. She was married to Vernon Williams, and they ran a dairy farm there. Of their three children, only one reached adulthood, as it were. Billy was killed, at about 18 years old, we believe by a milking stool at the hands of an inebriated help in the dairy; Fairy, the baby daughter died of diphtheria, and Bob (NAF) Williams was the third.

He and his family, his wife Marize, and children Michael, Prudence and Christopher lived in the house built on the property, named Chirimba. Marize’s sister Claire was married to a man (John Dale) who was one of only two survivors on the oil tanker, the ‘SS Doryssa’ which was torpedoed near Durban. None of the Williams children have married, and all live elsewhere.

Lorelei, when we knew it, was an imposing stone - unpainted - and set among rock formations, all with names. Bee Rock, Swimming Pool Rock, (there was a pool in amongst the rocks and one could dive from some at varying heights depending on one’s level of bravery...)and Dairy Rock are just some that spring to mind. Under Bee rock, thus named as it was festooned with enormous dripping hives, was the little family graveyard.

Vernon did not like indoor plumbing and there was a long-drop outside, under Lav Rock naturally. When he died Auntie Mill had a loo built upstairs just outside her bedroom, on what was really the roof. It was quite scary to go, literally outside, from the landing to use it.

As a family we used to gather every Sunday for afternoon tea, presided over by Auntie Mill, and a proper tea was beautifully served, with bread and butter, sandwiches, cakes, scones and jam - the lot.  After tea the children played outside, the men repaired to the Billiards Room, and the women folk sat in the sitting room. We used to play a quaint game called Jumbalo, (which was a complicated version of ‘open gates’) on the huge sweeping sandy driveway.  As evening drew in we gathered once more in the sitting room and Auntie Mill would lead us on the piano in songs such as ‘Daisy, Daisy ...’ Hungry children could eat bread and egg-in-a-cup (which had been prepared earlier and left on the old stove).

Huge extended family gatherings - Williams, Brooks, Singleton, Cummings, Wilsons, Parkers - took place at Christmas, where an elaborate series of games was a pre-dinner special feature. Divided young with old, we would undertake various tasks as disparate as picking up marbles with chopsticks, cutting tape with nail-scissors, guessing the provenance of ties, naming the famous faces ... before sitting down to a sumptuous Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings. I had an early lesson in graciousness from my aunt. Sitting next to her, I noticed she had put mayonnaise on her Christmas Pudding, instead of cream, and when I called her attention to it, she said it was bad manners to cavil about food and ate it, uncomplainingly, to the last crumb.

Bobby drove a beautiful grey Bentley, and Marize a dashing white Jag. Vernon had a car in the garage, but I do not remember seeing it on the road, nor its make.

We had many happy times in that gracious old home, and were unaware of its provenance, as children are. I have not heard of its later owners, but knew it housed BSAP members. My immediate family and I left Zimbabwe in 1981, and have often talked of Lorelei and its happy associations. Our extended family live scattered across the globe, and of those venerable old spirits of my father’s generation and the one of which Auntie Millie was a typical example - sadly they are no more. So, I have no one to ask if my recollections are correct, but I think they are pretty accurate.


Labels: ,

Friday, 7 June 2013

Corrine Adds Glamour to Cargo

By Dave Vermaak (Air Rhodesia)

Two photographs from RH News of Dec. 1976. Just to illustrate that Gordon Hall enjoyed his days in Cargo and the  cockpit of the B720's had appeal for more than just the pilots!

Gosh - poor old Gordon!
 (Photo: Stuart Darke)
CORRINE PRINSLOO our retired Miss Rhodesia tries her hand at the controls of a Boeing 720
— her immediate reactions, super — we couldn't agree more.
 (Photo: Stuart Darke)

Thank you to Dave for sharing these excellent photographs. I wonder what happened to Corrine - if you know please send this notification onto her and it is from all her ORAFs fans.

Comments are always welcome, please mail them to Eddy Norris at  
To view the Blog Home Page - Please Click Here
 (Please visit our previous posts and archives)

Ref. Rhodesia

The following reply was received:-

    Well didn't I get a surprise when I opened an email from Liz Evans this morning with the photos of me perched in a B720 plane at cargo Air Rhodesia. Wow it's certainly been awhile!!!

Well I moved to Australia in 1983 as a family and have lived in Brisbane ever since. Divorced many years ago. My son and daughter who are grow up now have finally left home a few months ago. I keep in touch with Alex Fraser Kirk who also lives in Brisbane.

Thought I'd send you an updated picture.

Kind regards
Corinne Doull (Prinsloo)

Labels: ,

Monday, 3 June 2013

Locomotives of Rhodesia Railways

Mail train to Salisbury departing Mpopoma

Foreword by Mr. R. A. H. Baxter, Chairman, Rhodesia Railways Historical  Committee.

This flne collectionof photographs and diagrams of locomotives has been published by the  Rhodesia Railways' Historical Committee in the hope that it will stimulate interest n Rhodesia' own Railways.

There are three main typos of locomotives operating on Rhodesia Railways; " Straight," " Garratt" and " Diesel," and all are depicted from the smallest to the largest, The standard of operating efficiency of those steam and dlesel locomotives has been very high, resulting In a very low maintenance demand. Rhodesia Railways' steam locomotives form one of tie few first class fleets remaining In tho world today.

The Railways, as the Country's lifeline have played and important part In the development of Rhodesia and, if the plans of the Historical Committee materialise, there will be a Rhodesia Railways Museum built In Bulawayo to preserve this  facet of Rhodesia's history for all time.

The Railway locomotive of today still holds a place of great interest and enthusiasm for many and therefore it is hoped sincerely that this booklet will give pleasure to all who view it.


2'-0" Gauge Locomotive

Small Class Locomotive

Small Class Locomotive

6th Class Side Tank Locomotive

7th Class Locomotive

8th Class Locomotive

9th Class Locomotive

9A Class Locomotive

9B Class Locomotive

10th Class Locomotive

11th Class Locomotive

11A Class Locomotive

12th Class Locomotive

12B Class Locomotive

19th Class Locomotive

19C Class Condenser Locomotive
13th Class Garratt Locomotive

14th Class Garratt Locomotive

14A Class Garratt Locomotive

15th Class Garratt Locomotive.

16th Class Garratt Locomotive

16A Class Garratt Locomotive

17th Class Garratt Locomotive

20A Class Garratt Locomotive

DE 1 Class Diesel Electric Locomotive

DE2 Class Diesel Electric Locomotive

DE 3 Class Diesel Electric Locomotive

DE 4 Class Diesel Electric Locomotive

DE 6 Class Diesel Electric Locomotive

Diesel Railcar DR 1

End of Publication

All photographs and drawings are copyrighted to Rhodesia Railways and National Railways of Zimbabwe.
Thanks to the above for the use of their material.

Source. Booklet Locomotives of Rhodesia Railways which was made available to ORAFs by Bruce Harrison. Thanks Bruce

Comments are always welcome, please mail them to Eddy Norris at
 (Please visit our previous posts and archives)

Ref. Rhodesia,

Labels: , ,