A very Happy New Year to all genealogists and fellow Blog Dwellers!!! Here’s hoping that 2007 will be unbelievably, awesomely, thrillingly rewarding for you and may the little Blue Bird of Happiness fly very carefully over your glass of champers!
Speaking of things that fly – I am very proud to show you this painting by my Dad Michael Warr who lives in the Little Karoo town of Barrydale in the Cape. It is an oil painting commissioned by Mitzi Stokes the daughter of WW2 air ace, Group Captain Petrus ‘Dutch’ Hugo. Hugo was a South African who joined the Royal Air Force in 1938 and flew throughout the war in various places. He was renowned for his excellent flying and combat skills.
Many hours of research went into this painting to ensure its accuracy. For example, working from a small black and white snapshot of Hugo’s Spitfire taken on the ground in Corsica, Michael was able to identify the squadron and therefore the exact model of Spitfire that Hugo had flown. He also had to find the exact colours used in the camouflage markings for that particular squadron. No mean feat. The way the Spitfire is depicted in the painting shows it off to its best advantage. I think Michael has done an excellent job.
A very good summary of Dutch Hugo’s achievements can be found in the Military History Journal (article no. 4) - (South African Military History Society)
Women in the Military.
My friend Anne Lehmkuhl has started a project which I know will make a valuable contribution to the heritage of this country. She aims to write an account of South African women in the military and has begun to put together material she is ferreting out in the most amazing places. Apart from the obvious sources like the Military Museum, Airforce Museum, Ysterplaat, Defence Force Archives, Pretoria etc, Anne is also gathering firsthand accounts of South African women who served in the Second World War, the South African Bush War, the Boer War, the first fighter pilots, helicopter pilots etc. It stands to reason there will be a lot of ‘firsts’ in this account but that is not the sole reason for doing the project. Anne felt that so much has been achieved by South African women in the military throughout the ages that the time has now come to tell their stories.
Having served in the South African Air Force herself, Anne is highly qualified to evaluate and follow up on any information she finds. The book is limited to South African women who have served in the military but can cover any time frame or place in the world. If anyone would like to share their stories, photos etc. please contact Anne - she would love to hear from you.
Hey Anne – how about a few snippets from time to time…as a kind of preview????