Celebrating the Armistice of 1918 at St Cyprians Church, Umbilo

On Sunday morning as we led up to the 11th hour of the 11th month the Society played its part by participating in the Mass which celebrated the signing of the Armistice a century ago. St Cyprians Anglican Church is the church of the Natal Field Artillery and Father Dane Elsworth the NFA Padre making this an appropriate place for many people.

It truly was a memorable service with its program covering 28 pages; the last few being some of the most beautiful yet sad poems from that tragic time.

The Society was able to replicate in a small way the DLHM WW1 and Delville Wood – DHS exhibitions, and include a little of the ss Mendi Memorial, thanks very largely to ongoing help from Glenwood High School’s Museum and archives – thank you again Kevin Jordan for you are always there for us.

As worshipers arrived everyone was offered a poppy, still sold by the SA Legion to support old soldiers, and the DLHM booklets from both exhibitions.

Hardy Wilson Society Chair

Fr Dane Elsworth Padre to NFA

Charles Bothma SA Legion

The start of the service saw Hardy Wilson share thoughts on the background to the war; the actual start and how it changed to trench warfare and a war which simply swallowed people.  South Africa’s involvement after the government of the day had ensured internal stability; capturing German South West Africa followed by the drain caused by disease as the South Africans fought the East African Campaign.

In Europe Australia and New Zealand suffered appalling losses at Gallipoli, remembered still with an annual holiday of remembrance on April 25, by both nations. The Battle of the Somme saw South Africa endure the terrible losses of Delville Wood, followed just a few months later on 17 February 1917 by the tragedy of the ss Mendi when over 600 black South Africans perished in the bitter cold waters of the English Channel.

1917 however saw the entry of America into the conflict and by 1918 their superior numbers and ability to provide materials wore down the German army to the point it launched a final desperate push which ended in failure and suing for peace.

Tin Hat of the Rhumbelow Shellhole-the flame of its candle alight through the service

Members can find the 15 minute talk on the Society website and thanks to Rhea Gwynn and Astrea Wilson we have a few photos from the service and event.



Rhea Gwynn took this photo of two young servers snuffing candles after the service. St Cyprians is the church of the Natal Field Artillery and contains many plaques and items with a military connection, collected over its own century and longer of existence.


The drum section of Glenwood School Band provided lusty entertainment for everyone after the service; whilst the Moths sold boerewors and hamburgers for their funds. During the service the band, positioned opposite the choir played inspiring music which was totally in sync and harmony with the church organ.     Rhea Gwynn

Click here for pdf version of November  2018 Newsletter

SANS Newsletter 2018-11-November.pdf PDF

Scarlet the Roses

White is the damask

Gleaming the silver

Scarlet the roses symbolic of blood

Suave are the manners,

Deep are the pockets

Where finance meets finance

They say for man’s good.

Servile the waiters,

‘Yes men’ of dictators

Who grovel and smirk where the honest rebel

These are the men truth must sweep from her tables

When life could be heaven they serve to us hell!


Oh where is our manhood that keeps women weeping?

And lets the babe starve from the impoverished breast

While strumpets go strutting the mother’s lie sleepless

Can find for their sorrows no solace or rest.

Scarlet the roses symbolic of bloodshed

Sick are the hearts of tired mothers through years


God is compassionate,

But will He forgive men

For drenching the earth with their blood

and their tears?

Oh God, take our hoardings,

our Godless Dictators

And give to us courage for freedom and truth

Unfurl the banners, march onwards Christ’s soldiers

The world still holds promise

Not death for our youth!


Scarlet the roses

The candles have flickered

The tables are silent and gone is this day

Teach us, O God, full truth of Thy wisdom

For only through love

Can Peace come to stay.


By Frances Emily Katz (nee Ashton) on the Peace Treaty 1918

Gillian VD Heijden sent this beautiful poem which was written by her mother in 1918, and which we will ask Gillian to recite, time allowing, at the AGM this Saturday 17 November.


 Events coordinator 2018 Angie St George  |  email: angiestg5@gmail.com 

Secretary 2018 Memory Coutts  |   email: Memorycoutts1@gmail.com

S.A.National Society Newsletter for November 2018