Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Memoirs of Jessie Allen (Nee Lovemore)

Jessie Lovemore was born and raised on the Lovemore’s Farm at Bushy Park. Her father, Charles Lovemore, was the son of Henry Lovemore, the original Lovemore owner of this farm. In writing her memoires, Jessie has left an invalueable depiction of life of one of the prominent families in the nascent Port Elizabeth. Most of her reminiscences cover her life in Port Elizabeth which she was forced to leave when her husband took up sheep farming in the Middleburg district.

Main picture: Children of Charles & Margery Lovemore circa 1879, L-R Back: Charles, Walter, Alfred & Harry, L-R Middle Hector, Florine, Jessie, Mary & William L-R Front Ian & Sinclair

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Military Record of Harry William McCleland

I never knew my grandfather, Harry William McCleland, as he passed away in 1924, twenty-nine years before I was born. Harry William was attested into the Union Defence Force at Roberts Heights aka Voortrekkerhoogte at the age of 43. It was in all probability desperation which spurred him to be attested at such an advanced age. After failing twice at farming, once due to a flood in the Gamtoos Valley and then as a cattle farmer at Destades due to the rinderpest and then being declared insolvent, Harry had relocated his family of five children [at that stage] to Schoenmakerskop. Without an income and a family to support, joining the army was Harry’s solution to his financial woes.

Main picture: Harry William McCleland in army uniform

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Norman Lovemore: Reminiscences about a Life Well-Lived

As his life wound down but before the candle of his life guttered and fizzled out, Norman Lovemore “decided to amuse myself by rambling amongst the many memories which haunt [ed him]”. In 1982 in the twilight of his life, he set out on a new adventure, a journey to record the highways and byways of his interesting life for posterity. The only detours that he made was to knowingly exclude those parts of this journey of which he was ashamed.   

In using Norman Lovemore’s transcribed reminiscences, I have largely retained the original script but have detoured to improve readability and have often converted the first person into the third person. I have also taken the liberty to improve his grammar and vocabulary where required. In all other respects I have been faithful to Norman’s original text.

Main picture: Norman Lovemore as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during WW1

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The Art of Mea Culpa and Conduct Unbecoming

Bruce Koloane obviously agreed to plead guilty to his three charges at his disciplinary hearing which meant that no evidence was led and, hence, no red faces, particularly for No. 1 – that is if his face could turn red.  Thinking about it, even if he was melatoninally challenged like me, he still would not
blush as he has no sh
ame.

But I digress. Pleading guilty is very useful in certain cases.

Main picture: Uit klaar parade, Officers Course, Tech Services Corp, Dec 1981

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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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