Naval Digests available from the Simon's Town Museum or from Larijworks bookshop in Simon's Town
No 1: HMSAS Natal. By Roger Williams Published: June 1999
HMSAS Natal from her first commission in 1945 and as the Hydrographic survey vessel SAS Natal until her final disposal plus an account of the firing of the controlled mines at Saldanha by SWAN Sue Labuschagne on 1 June 1944 and the story of HMSAS Southern Floe’s sole survivor.
No 2: Voortrekker By Roger Williams
Published: November 1999
The iconic South African racing yacht Voortrekker from the first concepts, building and some of those who famously skippered her in international races.
No 3: HMSAS Parktown By Roger Williams
Published: June 2000
The loss of HMSAS Parktown in the Mediterranean theatre of World War II plus the Mess Dinner on 1 April 1975 when the State President saved the SA Navy’s white uniforms.
No 4: The four Proteas By Roger Williams Published: November 2000
The name Protea has been given to four ships of the SA Navy. Three of them hydrographic survey vessels and one an anti-submarine vessel during World War II. Also the story of how two SAN Admirals were nearly shot down over Nabia in 1987.
No 5: South Africans in the Royal Navy By Roger Williams
Published June 2001
South Africans who served with the Royal Navy and the part played by the Cape Coloured Community in manning the SA Navy’s warships in World War II. Second printing available at R85.00 per copy.
No 6: SAS Pietermaritzburg By Roger Williams Published: June 2002
The saga of the ocean minesweeler/coastal escort SAS Pietermaritzburg. Plus some memories of Capt Jack Netterberg, CdrMac Bisset and the Naval Museum as well as a centenary of service by the Mooring Lighter in Simon’s Town.
No 7: Commodore R P Dryden Dymond
By V Adm Sir Alan Grose, KBE, RN Published: November 2002
A biography of Commodore RP Dryden Dymond SA Navy by his son-in-law Vice Admiral Sir Alan Grose KBE, RN.
No 8: A South African Diary of Naval Events By Chris Bennett
Published June 2003
In similar to the Royal Navy’s Day by Day. Gives a day by day history of naval events in the South African context.
No 9: Admiral H H Biermann, SSA SD OBE By Roger Williams
Published: October 2003
A biography of the man often known as the ‘Father of the modern SA Navy’ Chief of the Navy for 19 years during which he saved the SAN from the worst political predations of the Erasmus era.
No 10: Rear Admiral M R Terry-Lloyd, SSA SM By Chris Bennett
Published: September 2004
A biography of one of the most well known ‘characters’ of the SA Navy. The man who dragged the SAN kicking and screaming into the operational world.
No 11: South Africa’s Frigates and Destroyers 1944 - 1985
By Professor André Wessels, University of the Free State
Published: November 2005
A history of the frigates and destroyers that saw service in the SA Navy during the post World War II period up until 1985.
No 12: Names and Ships’ Badges of the Valour Class
By Chris Bennett and Arné Söderlund Published: March 2007
The origins of the names given to the four Valour Class frigates are explained as well as the reasons for the design and colours used in the ships’ badges.
No 13: Cdre Dalgleish, Lt M Bartholomew and MS Base By Roger Williams and Lt Bartholomew Published: May 2008
1. A short biography of Cdre James Dalgleish.
2. Memours of Lt Mel Bartholomew in WW II.
3. Early history of Minesweeping Base
No 14 From Ministers to Warriors November 2009
In 1997 Strike Craft had their names changed with the submarine names changing two years later. This is the story of that process. As explained in the final chapter the design of the ships' badges was retained, only the emblems on the Viking long boat sails changed to fit the new names given.
No 15 : History of Simon's Town Naval Dockyards from the original title deeds written by one of our members Mr Louis Vosloo. The book is in colour showing the original title deeds.
No. 17: Cdre Hogg and Lt Creighton.
This is in reality the first Naval Digest to use one of the Oral Histories.
Commodore Bill Hogg Tained at SATS General Botha in 1936 and joined the Merchant Service. In 1939 placed on active service duty with the RN. South Africa's first specialist Torpedo Anti-Submarine officer.
Lieutenant Paddy Creighton When the Second World War broke out in 1939 he joined the RNVR and after first attending flying training in the USA returned to the UK where he served in landing craft. Having transferred to the SANF, after the war he was demobbed in Cape Town.
No. 16 - Commander Laurence Egerton Scott-Napier, DSO, served with distinction in the British Royal Navy (1911 to 1922), the South African Naval Service (1922 to 1931), the South African Seaward Defence Force and South African Naval Forces (1939 to 1945)
This Naval Digest draws on Scott-Napier's memoirs to cover these three periods of naval service.
No 18 - Able Seaman Gordon Nissen and Telegraphist Raymond Thwaites both joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, South African Division (RNVR(SA)) 1939.
Their stories depict a view of the Second World War from the perspective of a junior rating and what life was like at sea in a warship during that War.
Raymond Thwaites memoirs were compiled by Mr Johan Louw BA, BEd from Thwaites' old school, Wynberg Boys High School, after he had interviewed Thwaites in September 1998.
No 19 - Finished school at the end of 1943 Henri Meiring served for only two years. He served in the 'small ships' in Cape waters but in 1945 he was sent to the UK to commission the newly built Loch Class frigate HMSAS Transvaal.
Barry Stacey joined the RNVR(SA) in December 1940. Barry spent his war on secondment to the Royal Navy, initially in the 'small ships' and later in HMS Birmingham. In that initial period he was seriously wounded by a bomb splinter and spent some time in hospitals before returning to South Africa.
No 20 - Another Digest covering the experiences of two Naval personalities being Able Seaman van den Berg SANF and Commodore A C McMurray SM SAN. This digest also covers the story of Operation Snoektown
No 21 - The history of the Naval Museum and the last 21 years in the Mast House and Sail Loft as told by four of the curators.
The history of the Naval Heritage Trust since its inception 20 years ago
No 22 - Last year, 2014, saw the centenary of the start of the First World War.
A little known fact is that quite a few South Africans served at sea with the Royal Navy during that war, some from the then newly formed RNVR(SA), others from the Merchant Service and others as members of the Royal Navy. A number of these men won awards for their actions during that war and at least 45 of them paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their life to the cause.
This Naval Digest attempts to give some recognition to these facts and to the memories of those who served.
No 23 - After the announcement by Deputy President Thabo Mbeki on 18 November 1998 that the Cabinet had approved the acquisition of four MEKO A200-SA frigates. Much oposition to this purchase ensued but luckily for South Africa, the men and women serving in the Navy managed to stay focussed on the job at hand to arrive at the other side stronger, better and far more experienced than they were at the beginning.
Hopefully this Naval Digest will give some insight into that story and some clarity on what a frigate actually is.
No - 24 deals with the Anglo-South African relations from 1936 to 1976. It covers four different aspects by: Lt/Col (Prof) G E Visser; Lt/Col (Prof) I van der Waag; E Kleynhans and R/Adm A du Toit RAN (Ret).
No 25 - In amongst the stored documents in the naval museum, from time to time we come across documents that we deem to be of general naval interest to readers of the Naval Digests. This collection would fall into that category, a letter from London, Cdre F J Dean, OBE, SA Navy and SA Divers.
No 26 - This Naval Digest started off when Captain J K Mallory's daughter lent the Naval Heritage Trust the documents that had passed on to her after the death of her father. Initially the intention was to use only the documents she had supplied, these were his CV (taken from handwritten notes in a journal he had kept), his written memories of the Second World War and a couple of articles taken from a copy of The Sailor a South African magazine compiled by the Navy War Fund and distributed freely to serving members and their families.
However we then came across in a Simon's Town Historical Society Bulletin of 1984 an excellent history of Hydrographic surveying in South Africa written by Commander R T 'Roddy' Tripp who was the first Director of Hydrography in the SA Navy and who handed this job on to Captain J K Mallory when he left the Navy. It was seen as opportune to include it, not merely because of its link to Captain Mallory but also as a tribute to our dedicated Hydrographic Branch who have served South Africa so well. The Simon's Town Historical Society saw it the same way and willingly agreed to let us re-publish the article.