John Dunn: Part 1 – Background to the Bondelswarts People & the SAC

Now faded in the mists of time, the Bondelswarts Rebellion of 1922 is a mere footnote to the history of Southern Africa. In the early years of the 20th century, the whole of the area was in tumult. South West Africa was captured by the South Africans from the German colonisers in 1915. With South West Africa now controlled by South Africa in terms of a League of Nations mandate, the khoikhoi peoples of southern SWA became restive, mainly for legitimate reasons. 

This series of blogs covers the first-hand account of a South African Police Force officer, John Dunn, who was involved in the suppression of a rebellion by the Bondelswarts people in southern SWA. 

Part 1 provides context to this rebellion, the Bondelswarts way of life and their homeland and only provides a terse introduction by John Dunn into being assigned second-in-command of the S.A. Police Mobile Squadron. 

Main picture: John Dunn in later years

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John Dunn: Part 5 – Through a Desert Wonderland to Kalkfontein

Now faded in the mists of time, the Bondelswarts Rebellion of 1922 is a mere footnote to the history of Southern Africa. In the early years of the 20th century, the whole of the area was in tumult. South West Africa was captured by the South Africans from the German colonisers in 1915. With South West Africa now controlled by South Africa in terms of a League of Nations mandate, the khoikhoi peoples of southern SWA were also restive. 

This series of blogs covers the first-hand account of a South African Police Force officer, John Dunn, who was involved in the suppression of a rebellion by the Bondelswarts people in southern SWA. 

In Part 5 of the series, John Dunn describes in exquisite detail the beauty of the trip from the Orange River through the dusty town of Warmbad to the railhead at Kalkfontein. 

Main picture: John Dunn in later years

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John Dunn: Part 4 – Unspeakable Cruelty to the Donkeys

Now faded in the mists of time, the Bondelswarts Rebellion of 1922 is a mere footnote to the history of Southern Africa. In the early years of the 20th century, the whole of the area was in tumult. South West Africa was captured by the South Africans from the German colonisers in 1915. With South West Africa now controlled by South Africa in terms of a League of Nations mandate, the khoikhoi peoples of southern SWA were also restive. 

This series of blogs covers the first-hand account of a South African Police Force officer, John Dunn, who was involved in the suppression of a rebellion by the Bondelswarts people in southern SWA. 

In Part 4 of the series, John Dunn provides in graphic heart-wrenching detail the level of unspeakable cruelty inflicted on the donkeys during the convoy’s journey through impassable sand between Steinkopf and Goodhouse on the Orange River. 

Main picture: John Dunn in later years

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John Dunn: Part 3 – From Port Nolloth to Steinkopf

Now faded in the mists of time, the Bondelswarts Rebellion of 1922 is a mere footnote to the history of Southern Africa. In the early years of the 20th century, the whole of the area was in tumult. South West Africa was captured by the South Africans from the German colonisers in 1915. With South West Africa now controlled by South Africa in terms of a League of Nations mandate, the khoikhoi peoples of southern SWA were also restive. 

This series of blogs covers the first-hand account of a South African Police Force officer, John Dunn, who was involved in the suppression of a rebellion by the Bondelswarts people in southern SWA. 

In Part 3 of the series, John Dunn provides his personal reminiscences of Port Nolloth and the trip to Steinkopf. 

Main picture: John Dunn in later years

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John Dunn: Part 2 – The Journey by Sea

Now faded in the mists of time, the Bondelswarts Rebellion of 1922 is a mere footnote to the history of Southern Africa. In the early years of the 20th century, the whole of the area was in tumult. South West Africa was captured by the South Africans from the German colonisers in 1915. With South West Africa now controlled by South Africa in terms of a League of Nations mandate, the khoikhoi peoples of southern SWA were also restive.

This series of blogs covers the first-hand account of a South African Police Force officer, John Dunn, who was involved in the suppression of a rebellion by the Bondelswarts people in southern SWA.

In Part 2 of the series, John Dunn provides his personal reminiscences of a fraught sea voyage in the SS Hypatia from Cape Town to Port Nolloth in hurricane force winds which almost resulted in the loss of the ship itself.

 Main picture: John Dunn in later years

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A.J. Montgomery: Part 10 – Life after the 10th Hussars

After enlisting in the 10th Hussars and undergoing training, war erupted being the two Boer Republics and the British. The 10th Hussars were immediately mobilised and shipped to the Cape Colony. After spending the whole war on active service without respite, Arthur John Montgomery requested a discharge from the Army. This was not to endure. The monotony of civilian life swiftly disabused Arthur of that notion. Soon he had re-enlisted but this time with the Cape Mounted Rifles in the Cape Colony. 

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid images of war. 

Main picture: Photograph of A.J. Montgomery in his later years   Continue reading

A.J. Montgomery: Part 1 – Enlistment and Training with the 10th Hussars

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode, Arthur Montgomery recalls his enlistment and training with the 10th Hussars in Ireland and England. When war was declared against the Boer Republics, the 10th Hussars were shipped to the Cape Colony where Arthur experiences the whole gamut of warfare. Initially it was conventional in that large opposing forces would clash but after the Boers’ defeat at Diamond Hill outside Pretoria, the war devolved into guerrilla hit-and-run type actions.

AJ’s original narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, sometimes substantially, but it still remains largely the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid images of war. 

Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars 

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A.J. Montgomery: Part 9 – Through the Cape Colony hunting the Cape Rebels

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode Arthur Montgomery recalls his part in hunting down the Boer rebels in the Cape Colony including the stunning capture of Commandant Scheepers

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid images of war.

 Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars 

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A.J. Montgomery: Part 8 – Mounted Infantry Actions in the Eastern Transvaal

A member of the 10th Hussars and a survivor of the sinking of the SS Ismore near Paternoster, Arthur John Montgomery recounts his part in the successful routing of the Boer forces in the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. In this episode Arthur Montgomery recalls his part in the mounted operations against the Boers subsequent to the victory at Diamond Hill north east of Pretoria in the Transvaal.

AJ’s narrative has been edited for readability and grammar, but it still largely remains the voice of the author narrating his impressions, concerns and fears while providing vivid images of war.

Main picture: Painting of A.J. Montgomery of the 10th Hussars 

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