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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:17 pm 
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SOME ACTS OF " EXTREME BRAVERY "

I am here referring to visitors ignorance/stupidity. Reading through the Wardens memoirs I came across the following :

A Lion male was lying motionless next to the road. a vehicle stopped and watched - no response from the Lion, another vehicle arrived at the scene - still no response, some more vehicles arrived still no response from the motionless Lion. A driver spoke to an onlooker in another vehicle and they imagined the Lion to be in the happy hunting grounds far away from KRUGER. The two spoke to other onlookers and all were in agreement - the Lion was dead.

Brave as they were they got out of their vehicles to go and see what caused the death of this poor animal, Approaching the Lion one caring person picked up a stick and threw it at the Lion, fortunately the aim was on target. The Lion sprang to its feet with a roar - what a commotion when the withdrawal started, no one prepared to cover the rear and everyone running for cover in the closest vehicle, just imagine a few people entering a vehicle in a hurry through the same door. Fortunately the astonished animal just stared in astonishment, it must have really had its fill, as a better kill served on a platter, is hardly imaginable.

In another instance a vehicle came across a kill made by a single male Lion. Braveheart decided that he wanted to have a closer look and got out of his vehicle and approached the Lion in short rushes, everytime the Lion looked up and growled, he turned around and ran back to the vehicle, after a little while he would repeat the performance, luckily another vehicle arrived at the scene and stopped the goings on - and most probably saved Bravehearts life.

Fortunately an unmolested Lion will seldomnly harm an ignorant stupid soul.

The majority of visitors visiting Kruger still go to see the main attraction. Stevenson - Hamilton recalled often stopped at approaching vehicles and asked whether they had seen anything. The reply often was " no nothing " and a bit further on he would see some Impala or Kudu or possibly some beautiful Sable or Waterbuck. Upon seeing the visitors ater he would enquire about his sightings and the response often was " oh those, I saw them all right, but I did not see a single Lion ".

Many people also know very little about the different animals. The Warden recalled that very often Bluewildebeeste were often thought of as Buiffalo, Impala referred to as Springbuck, a distant Warthog as a Rhinoceros, a question asked was " how do the smaller antelope survive with so many Giraffe around ", another was how was it possible to have so many fish in the rivers with all the Hippo around.

Fortunately the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK is still succeeding in educating its visitors that are worth preserving for their own sake - they are not there just to provide meat and leather for the financial gain of the greedy human predatory animal. KRUGER has most probably done more to make people nature conscious than all the zoos, books and TV programmes.

Another illustration of " bravery " was when a visitor and his family were driving around, they came across a Sable bull standing behind some scrub close to the road. He needed a good photograph and decided to approach the animal. What the photographer was not aware of was that the bull had been injured in a fight with another. About six paces away, the bull charged the photographer and drove one horn through and drive the beast off, the " brave " photographer would surely have been killed. . . . .

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:22 pm 
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OPENING OF THE NORTHERN AREA - THE SHINGWEDZI AREA

Although game was not as plentifull as in the southern areas there was a larger variety of less frequently seen animals, being ; Elephants in larger numbers, Nyala, Reedbuck, Eland, Tsessebe and Roan Antelope were very often come across by himself and the Area Ranger, Major Frazer the lone batchelor with his many dogs and who boldly refused to do any paper work, when he "forgot" to submit the time sheets for his staff, he would pay them from his own pocket and thought nothing of it. He was a RANGER and not a clerk. Major Frazer departed in 1920.

The Southern area of KRUGER was flourishing and the game population in the area north of LETABA had sufficiently recovered. to warrant opening it to the public. The Warden realised that once it had been opened, the claims for deproclamation would sieze and CINDERELLA would grow as he dreamed.
Also seen were the beautiful landscape, huge Baobabs and tall palm trees or bushes of palm trees in the wetter areas, as well as the beautifull Mopani veld and then of course the magnificient PAFURI area.

Roads had to be made, a concrete bridge similiar to those over the Sabi and Dand Rivers had to be constructed across the Great Letaba River.

The bridge competed and 160 km of road made by Mr Joubert from the Provincial Roads Departement - the northern areas were opened to the public.

The Warden realised that more staff would be required, there were two posts one in the north manned by Ranger Botha and in the south manned by Ranger Crous. A new post was developed in the middle and was manned by Ranger Tomlinson an experienced man from the southern area. Bert Tomlinson found a lot of poaching activity but fortunately he was very energetic and with zest he quickly put and end to this.

By 1935 the annual income derived from tourist traffic amounted to twenty thousand pounds, a sum far beyond his dreams. With Government grants, donations and the drived funds KRUGER NATIONAL PARK could expand and develope.

One of the great needs was the scarcity of water in some areas. Animals used to overgraze areas with water, during the dry periods, eventually turning it into a barren wasteland.

Stevenson - Hamilton realised that water points were required, on discussion with a regular visitor from Cape Town - a Mr. Jeary who offered a publicity campaign in this reard - this also materialised. The need was expressed the " the Star " newspaper of Johannesburg and in a very short time generous members of the public, of Business concerns and Industry contributed five thousand pounds towards better watering facilities for the animals of KRUGER.

Stevenson - hamilton now realised that people did not see KRUGER as an ieresting holiday resort, but as a NATIONAL ASSET. Many of the larger towns subscribed a borehole. Two ladies, Mesdames ORPEN and ARMOUR HALL also donated a borehole each.

Boerholes were sunk over the whole of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, mainly in the waterless areas, depths ranging up to 90 metres and a supply of 1400 to 9000 litres per hour.

Concrete drinking troughs were constructed but many a new wallow was also fed from a newly erected windmill. In the beginning game animals were hesitant to visit the new watering points with strange windmills and troughs, however they gradually bacame used to to these and eventually they willingly slaked their thirst, Lions and other predators also soon became aware of the watering points and this also lead to a wider distribution. The Lions seemed to prefer the concrete troughs where they could lay up all day and take a mouhfull of cleaner water whenever required.

During times of plenty, the boreholes were locked and were only activated when the dry season approached.

Stevenson- Hamilton was overjoyed during a very dry spell in 1935, when approaching a new watering point - a puddle dam attached to a windmill, found a herd of close to a hundred Buffalo drinking and making a total mess of it. The herd frequented the area untill the rains came and they returned to their natural haunts.

Very soon after the rains, very few spoor were seen at the artificial supplies so the policy of shutting of the windmills during times of plent was justified.

The Warden was of the opinion with more watering points spread evenly over the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, very many more heads of game could be sustained. . . . . . . . . . .

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:15 am 
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THE WARDEN GETS MARRIED !

There were political issues during 1926 and James became unhappy and decided that he needs space to clear his mind. He applied for long leave due and intended going to Britain to consider his options. Arriving at Kirkton he found his already ill father was near to death. His father James died and as per his request was buried next to his first wife Eliza.

Knowing very little about the goings on at Kirkton and Fairholm, James felt a stranger in his own land, he felt his home was at Sabi Bridge. His position of Secretary of the Fauna Society ( handed down from father to son ) was not fulfilling, the weather added to his anxciety. Fortunately a letter The National Parks Board arrived, requesting him to return as Warden of KRUGER NATIONAL PARK. He accepted and cabled his reply. The Warden was back at Sabi Bridge by May 1927. James started feeling ill mid June 1927, at first he thought it was recurring bout of malaria, he became short of breath. He seeked medical attention in September, he was admitted to the Arcadia Nursing Home in Pretoria, where he underwent an operation for a plueral abcess. Recovery was slow and after a month was discharged from hospital, he recovered at friends' in Pretoria untill November.

He returned to Sabi Bridge but was still not the healthy man he was before.he applied for sick leave which was granted. He again returned to Britain where he met Hilda Cholmondeley in August 1928. He was immediately attracted to this tall Australian girl. Although 35 years younger than him she was pleasant and full of energy and jou for life. He considered her attractive and charming. She was fassinated by his stories about AFRICA and its WILDLIFE and ADVENTURE.

Hilda and Margaret Broadhurst decided to visit AFRICA , in fact White River, Colesberg in the Cape Province and also intended touring through South Africa.At a dinner with the Broadhursts, Hilda informed James of their plan. James saw them off on their way to AFRICA on board the Llanstephan on 31 January 1929.

Stevenson - Hamilton's sick leave was up and his yearning for AFRICA and also possibly Hilda, increased. He returned to Sabi Bridge . When Margaret Broadhurst returned to Britain, Hilda ( nicknamed Chum ), decided to stay behind, she loved AFRICA and possibly the Warden of KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

Hilda was staying in Johannesburg and many letters were sent to Sabie Bridge and responded to. Eventually Hild's mother, Ina Cholmondeley became dissatisfied with the situation. Hilda was requested to return home, but instead they decided to get married. A marriage agreement was drawn up. The ceremony was performed at the Registrars. James was very happy and amongst others on his first birthday as a married man,received a present and a cake the first in decades - marriage definitely had its advantages.

The two decided to have a ceremony for the family, Hilda set off for Britain and James soon follwed. The wedding ceremony was held in the pretty little family church in Dorset.

The newly wedded couple returned to where the belong and the only place where James was really happy - Sabi Bridge in The KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - SOUTH AFRICA.

The couple were happy, they were with good friends and Hilda loved the lifestyle of being the wife of the Warden, their house often filled with guests, many opportunities to wander off into the veld and of course she could as an artist, live her life to the full. Three children were born from this marriage being: Margaret in 1931, James in 1933 and Anne in 1935, just imagine being the child of the Warden of KRUGER NATIONAL PARK in the early days . . . . . . .

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:32 pm 
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THE EARLY RANGERS - PART 1

Due to the priority duty in the early days being Law Enforcement, it is understandable that most of the early Rangers had either a ZARP ( police ) or a Military background, people with discipline and knowledge of the veld as well as knowledge of a Black language were appointed.

Times were tough accomodation was up to 1910 mainly in pole and mud huts. Food supply was basic, they had to make do with what was available, mainly Game meat and mealy meel porridge. Medical facilities were very far away therefore malaria, flu, pneumonia amd other illnesses had to be treated in situ with what was available. Lines of comunication were still very far in the future. Therefore finding a Ranger with a family was the exception.

E G ( Gaza ) GRAY.

This ex officer of the STEINAECKERS HORSE originally from the Eastern Cape was was fluent in Tsonga the local languadge and also very knowledgable about the culture and traditions of the black people, who called him "Mastulele " the quiet one.

He was posted at Lower Sabie but did not serve very long as he went awol doing has old job in Mozambique for WNLA, recruiting native labour for the mines. He was summarily dismissed by the Warden.

R M Atmore

Rupert Atmore was recruited from the STEINAECKERS HORSE where he served as member of the British Inteligence. He was the first appointment as permanent Game Ranger in the Sabi Game Reserve in August 1902.

Atmore also hailed from the Eastern Cape and had been in the Lowveld since 1884 as from approximately the age of seven years.

The locals called him " Mhlati " the man with the large jawbone.

His post was on the northern side of the Crocodile River opposite the Kaapmuiden Railway Station, responsible for the south western area up to Pretoriuskop, eastwards to Crocodile Bridge.

After a dispute about replacing his horse that died of horse sickness, he resigned in December 1902 after four months service.

After his resignation he started farming with vegetables and fruit in the Malelane area where he did very well for himself.

During 1932 Ranger Tomlinson caught Atmore cutting reeds in the Crocodile River, he was charged, the case ended up in the South African Supreeme Court wher the decision was made in favour of the Parks Board thereby ending the age old dispute about exactly where the southern boundary of KRUGER was - either the highwater mark or the inside edge of the southern side of the Crocodile River.

H C C WOLHUTER

Henry or Harry as he was calledwas the second permanent appointed full time Ranger of the Sabi Game Reserve. Served as a Sergeant in the " FAMOUS " military unitat Sabi Bridge.

He hailed from Beaufort West in the Karoo where as a youngster learnt to love the veld.The Wolhuter family moved to the Transvaal in 1890, Harry then 13 years old.

He was called " Lindanda " meaning loincloth, (he used to issue loin cloths to his workers ).

Harry was posted at Mtimba on the western border from where he diligently did his duty for 36 years, after which he was moved to a camp near Pretoriuskop, he served the area for 44 years.

While on patrol during 1903, Harry came across the Albasini ruins near the Phabeni mouth at the Sabie River. He had to parol up to the Olifants River in the north. Whilst returning from one of these patrols near the Metsi Metsi spruit that the Lion attack of of 26 August 1903 took place, nearly fatally injuring the Ranger who eventually killed the Lion by stabbing it in the heart with his knife. The skin and knife is on display at the Stevenson- Hamilton library at SKUKUZA the main camp of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK. What happened there is material for another tale.

Harry was very effective in his anti poaching efforts, he regularly caught poachers, confiscated unlicenced firearms and destroyed stray dogs.

Ranger Henry Charles Christoffel Wolhuter retired from the National Parks Board service at the age of 70 years after 44 years of loyalty, dedication and respect. He spent his last years at his farm " Lindndene " in the district of White River. The Warden never ever for one moment regretted the appointment of the Sergeant.

His book " Memories of a Game Ranger " published in 1948, was written at Lindandene and illustrated by the artist Charle T Astley-Maberley. He was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the WILDLIFE SOCEITY OF SOUTHERN AFRICA in 1947.

Harry Wolhuter spent his retirement on his little farm untill time ran out on 30 January 1964 at the age of 88 years.

T DUKE

Thomas Duke replaced Ruper Atmore at Kaapmuiden. Eventully settling at Lower Sabi after the dismissal of Ranger Gaza Gray. He retired from service in 1923 after 20 years of loyal service.

This man from Ardee Country in ireland arrived in south africa as a baby in 1860, settling in - the Eastern Cape. He was therefore called " M'Xosa " by the locals of the Transvaal lowveld.

He was awarded a DSM,serving as a Segeant in the CAPE MOUNTED RIFLES. He also was a member of RIMINGTON'S GUARDS during the Boer War where he fought with his later boss - Major J Stevenson - Hamilton.

Ranger Duke also had C I D experience, and was well known to find offender, when or where no one else could, he was like a bloodhound on the trail and with inborne perseverence and skill seldomnly failed to land the right man in Court, where the culprit was brought to book.

Ranger Duke,a man of few words owed his life to his Native Corporal Mpanpuni Ubizi ,hile fleeing from a wounded Lion when the latter plucked him in behind some rocks from where he could pull the shot that counted.
Corporal Mpanpuni was killed by a Lion while out on patrol in the Crocodile Bridge area on 15 October 1935.

Duke reported a sighting of 15 Buffalo during September 1913.

A eat wood and iron house was erected for Ranger Duke of Lower Sabi in 1910, where he lived in comfort untill his retirement as Ranger. Duke got permission to operate a shop at Sabi Bridge.

He was succeeded by his son also Thomas Duke who took care of him untill when his time came in March 1934.

The waterhole with windmills at Shimangwanaspruit near Lower sabie was named after Ranger Thomas Duke, one of the recent great tuskers who frequents the area was also named DUKE.

Ranger Duke Jr. also had a very close shave with a male Lion, while on patrol the Lion attacked the tracker and then pulled Duke down, Duke realised that resistance would cause immediate death. He then feigned death the Lion had him by the leg and was shaking him as a dog would do with a rat. Eventually the Lion let go and moved off a 100 metres or so. Mrs Sylvia Duke his wife was contacted, she arrived by their motor vehicle and took her husband to the Barberton hospital where he spent two months recovering from his ordeal. After returning to his post he shot a monster Crocodile that was terrorising man and beast, the animal measured 4.88 m in length and had to be dragged from the water by a few oxen . . . . . . .

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:54 pm 
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A GESTURE OF GOODWILL

The mentioned Mrs Eileen Orpen who donated a watering place to KRUGER also did something else very remarkable and appreciated.

Game animals migrated from diminishing grazing areas to where known areas of good grazing was, for many centuries. With the proclamation of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK and the resultant fencing, many of these migratory routes were cut off.

Mrs Orpen became aware of a certain farm adjoining the park on the western boundary, had the only drinking pool during the dry season for a very large area. This farm had became the favourite hunting area for hunting parties, every winter where the thirsty game animals were awaited and then shot without much effort. Mrs. Orpen purchased the farm and promptly donated it to the NATIONAL PARKS BOARD for amalgamation with KRUGER.

The Board realised through this wonderfull gesture, by a caring lady, that more such spots were being used for this kind of " sport ". The National Parks Act had a slight amendment done to, and certain Government farms in the same area were also added to KRUGER with the object of preventing the use of the farms for illegal game destruction.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:22 pm 
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THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . Part 1

The Warden often thought about what he had done. He got an area denuded of game, often made himself immensely unpopular, saw the the game population recover and then . . . . . . . development.

Accomodation for staff was built, roads and bridges built, camps for tourists buil and improved.

Civilization had come to CINDERELLA. Visitors would come in crowded lorries, shouting and littering, noizy radios and grammophones were heared. He even noticed that the animals seemed to have adapted to the changed conditions.

He often comapred CINDERELLA while in her former natural simplicity to what she had become, and then he realised he played a great part in this transformation. He was afraid that the " SPIRIT OF THE WILD " would spread its wings and with averted face , flee forever from this eden - KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

There were trials and struggles, anxiety of the past was forgotten and the glamour of the present now remained.

In the early days visitors were nature enthusiasts, people with simple taste, who slept on the ground at their little alloted camping spot, cooked their own food.

Now things have changed, ten years later, accomodation provided and furnished plainly furnished, shops where most requirements could be obtained, hot and cold water in bathrooms, electric lighting and even some telephone lines laid on - now letters began appearing in the press mentioning the hard life tourists had to endure in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

Stevenson - Hamilton often wondered what would really satisfy these people who just came here to see a wild Lion and much less interested in what else the PARK could offer. He got the impression that it was just a change from the previous annual coastal holidays, they were therefore comparing seaside resort comforts to this wildlife experience.

The Warden was of the opinion that the comforts offered in the tourist camps comapred very well with ameniities offered in the Lowveld hotels.

He often comapred KRUGER with the American NATIONAL PARKS, the latter were more scenic with wild animals being of much less importance, this was contrary to what he envisaged for CINDERELLA with the PRINCE.

He wrote that covering the sanctuary with roads, rest camps becoming too big and too numerous, resulting in too many visistors, would deprive the wild animals of their privacy they so dearly need to live in peace. He was concerned that the animals may migrate from the " Playground of the People "to the less overrun by people - Mozambique, just across the Lebombo Mountains.

He saw the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK as a " SANCTUARY FOR FAUNA AND FLORA " to which the Public were admitted.. Therefore the number of visitors had to be confined to within certain specified limits. The then policy of the National Parks was to primarily preserve the areas in the interests of the wild animals. Holiday makers were of a secondary importance. He realised that should this be changed, it would inevitable lead to the disappearnce of the whole character of the PARK and would gradually change into a glorified Zoological Garden, or even worse, into a holiday resort.

He said that the situation requires careful watching since there is a natural and perhaps growing tendency to invert the relative importance of visitors and animals. Keeping this in mind every possible consideration should be shown to the public and every REASONABLE facility provided.

The first object should be to educate the people in the rudiments of natural history. To show people what wild animals look like and behave like in their natural surroundings and their natural state, free from the terror of Man. To realise that the animals are more admirable alive in their natural settings, than converted into bones or trophies or as listless prisoners behind bars.

In the natural state, many riddles of natural history could be answered, in theKRUGER NATIONAL PARK there was as, is still today, greater opportunity for getting nearer the truth than is perhaps anywhere else in the world. How important is the balance between the preyed on and the preyers, should it be artificially adjusted. Since when preyers' numbers are kept down, the preyed on multiply rapidly and the ecology is upset due to evergrazing and disease, eventually greatly encouraging the rapid decline or extinction of the species. What effect does the disappearance of a grass type or a tree or a shrub or whatever have on the whole entity.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:38 pm 
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A QUOTE FROM A MAGAZINE

Stevenson-Hamilton once quoted the following extract from an American periodical:

My boy! you are an American of which you should be proud. I bequeth to you our great land, which we love so well. I hand the heritage to you, as my father passed it to me; but altered and developed a bit. Our forests of course have been cut to the last tree; the last head of game had been shot from the hillside; the last bird from the fields and the streams no longer furnish fish and fur. Our large vast public domain has been fed to the gravel, and is swiftly becoming a desert. The National Parks are shot out. So stay in town my son, and don't stray beyond the pavements; but if you do venture out, remember this - Don't go near the water- our once crystal streams are leprous now. Should you go to the old swimming hole, your feet will mire in bottomless slime and sewage, while the poisonous fumes assail your nostrils. All this is yours my son- your heritage- the great outdoors of America.

He saw the bright side of the picture for South Africa, people were becoming more appreciative of nature. Provided this appreciation grew and was maintained, the quote would never read :

My son ! you are a South African of which you should be proud. I bequeth to you our great land, which we love so well. I hand the heritage to you, as my father passed it to me; but altered and developed a bit. Our forests of course have been cut to the last tree; the last head of game had been shot from the hillside; the last bird from the fields and the streams no longer furnish fish and fur. Our large vast public domain has been fed to the gravel, and is swiftly becoming a desert. The National Parks are shot out. So stay in town my son, and don't stray beyond the pavements; but if you do venture out, remember this - Don't go near the water- our once crystal streams are leprous now. Should you go to the old swimming hole, your feet will mire in bottomless slime and sewage, while the poisonous fumes assail your nostrils. All this is yours my son- your heritage- the great outdoors of our dear land - South Africa.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:01 am 
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Stevenson Hamilton's writings , particularly the last 2 posts , have influenced my opinions , and how truthfull they are !

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:07 pm 
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THE EARLY RANGERS - PART 2

C R da LAPORTE

After Ranger Gaza Gray left the Warden on 13 May 1903 appointed the neat, energetic and well behaved 28 year old, Lt. Cecil Richard de Laporte ex OC Int. Genl Rimmington's forces, as replacement. A more suitable encumbent, would be very hard to find. The locals called him " Makaose " he always wore leggings or puttees.

His first post was at Kaapmuiden he called his little wood and mud accomodation " Bleak House ". He was soon transferred to Lower Sabie acting in Duke's absence.

While on patrol the area covering up to the Olifants river, he caught two high ranking Police Officers who had poached game amongst others a Giraffe in the Bangu area. Many stumbling blocks were put in the way of the Warden and his dedicated Ranger in effort to have the charges withdrawn, eventually their shear determination resulted in sucessful prosecution in the Pietersburg Magistrate Court.

Ranger de Laporte served acted acting Warden of the RESERVE in the absence of Stevenson - Hamilton late 1909 to early 1910.

One of his interests was geology and in 1914 he wrote that he could not find any mineral deposits in the area worth mentioning.

de Laporte again in Stevenson - Hamilton's absence on active duty during the First World War, was appointed acting Warden. During this period, he accompanied the Committee for Game Reserves and Naure Conservation, under Chairmanship of the Board Member J.L. Ludorf during June 1916 on a tour through the Sabie Reserve.

Ranger de Laporte reported for active Service end 1916, he was Commissioned and served as Officer in the 9th South African Division, serving in France during 1917 - 1918, where he was seriously wounded on 10 November 1918, the day before the end of this terrible anniliating War.

Mrs de Laporte a qualified nurse also joined the Allied Forces in France - the Allied Medical Services.

In de Laporte's absence, Major Frazer acted as Warden of the Reserve.

On return De Laporte regained the position of acting Warden untill the return of the now Col. J. Stevenson - Hamilton.

de Laporte was soon sent to the Rolle post to take care of the poaching problem - a task which he as usual completed very sucessfully.

He was transferred to Crocodile Bridge during 1920 where he named his accomodation the " Rat Pit " , later replaced by a decent brick house.

He purchased a brand new Model T Ford and for official use, was paid a travelling allowance of one pound per month. As there wer no suitable roads for vehicle use, de Laporte built a road from Crocodile Bridge to Lower sabie - later to become the first tourist road in the RESERVE. The Warden purchased a used one in 1927.

de Laporte again acted as Warden while Stevenson - Hamilton was on long leave after the Proclamation in 1926. He also attended the first Board Meeting in September 1926 under the Chairmanship of Clr. Brebnor. The Board made a special award of one hundred and thirty five pounds to de Laporte, as reward for excellent service rendered.

Honorary Life Membership of the Wildlife Society of Southern Africa was awarded to this dedicated ex Ranger in 1929.

After the return of the Warden, de Laporte moved back to his post at Crocodile Bridge, where he completed his service until retirement on 1 April 1929. The childless couple spent some time at farm Glenshiel at Haenertsburg and then moved to Halfway House between Johannesburg and Prtoria.

Next time you visit SKUKUZA, drive down the Nahpe road and stop over at the de Laporte windmill and water hole and ponder about and remember this remarkable man whose efforts greatly contributed to you being able to be where you are.

A. A. FRAZER

Affleck Alexander Frazer a Scot, was commissioned in September 1875, at the age of 20 years. He was promoted to vice Major of the FIRST BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT and appointed 2 IC during February 1986 at Mooltan India. He was seconded to the SECOND BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT as 2IC and saw service in the Anglo Boer War 1900 - 1901 amongst others at Sannaspos near Bloemfontein. He resigned from the Forces and left for Scotland, end 1901.

Major Frazer was a keen hunter and fisherman, when he wasn't busy with his rifles or fishing tackle he spent quite a lot of his leizure time sampling the liquid pleasures originating from Scotland.

This big Scotsman with the typical red coloured beard and hair, found a position in South Africa, and on 12 June 1903 reported for duty at Sabi Bridge from where he was posted to the Pongola Nature Reserve. Very little was going on in the Pongola N R. There was very little game so the Warden decided that Frazers skill would be of better use in the Sinwitsi Game Reserve where he arrived at his new post MALUNZANE on 3 May 1904.

Ranger Frazer an ex Military man got stuck in and surprised the Warden when the latter made a visit in June that Frazer had buil another rondavel for himslef as well as a kitchen, a bathroom and a hut for his beloved dogs, accomodation for his field staff as well as stable and a kraal for his horses, donkeys and oxen, all neatly alligned and whitewashed using ash from wood ash.

Game was scarce, and during 1913 dry season, reported strange deaths of many Waterbuck similiar to the symptoms of many Kudu deaths in the Soutpansberg during the same period. Possibly the first report of the feared disease ANTHRAX in KRUGER.

Ranger Frazer made his first sighting of Eland in 1908 and in 1914 reported that there was a remarkable increase in the Waterbuck and Kudu population. He also reported that groups of Elephants had settled about 60 km west of the Great Lebombo Mountains.

Frazer acted as Warden, much to his dislike in Stevenson - Hamiltons absence during the period - end 1904 to mid 1905. The acting Warden hated paper work as he said he was Ranger and NOT a clerk. Field work was done and the paper work left to be done when Stevenson - Hamilton returned in 1905.

Ranger Frazer was posted in the Satara area during 1906 to attend to the poaching problems, which he enjoyed successfully.

He then returned to Malunzane where he followed his previous routine : rise well before sun-up, give his field staff their orders all in English, the only language he was prepared to speak. Then depart and go fishing or go on patrol to check grazing , game numbers and water conditions. When required he would get something for the pot, mainly Warthog, he regarded them as vermin.

He would return by mid morning, have breakfast, followed by a siesta untill late afternoon. The field staff then reported back to " Manjoro " on the days happenings. After reporting the staff would retire, Manjoro had supper at 18:00, followed by a drink or two or three of the Scottish liquid and soda water. Then he would clean his guns and attend to his fishing tackle and re read his Field magazines which were still sent off to him from th UK. He would retire to bed in the middle hours of the morning, rise before sunrise and . . . . . . .

Despite his eccentric lifestyle and habits he was one of the most knowledgable of the Rangers concerning his area of responsible. While Stevenson - Hamilton and de Laporte were on active duty between 1917 and 1919, Ranger Frazer acted as Warden still not doing paper work but excelling in field work.

Ranger Frazer often "forgot" to submit time sheets or order rations for his staff, they never went without pay or food, he simply paid the wages from his own pocket or buy rations and not have a care in the world. This well bred and educated man enjoyed the simple life in the bush with his wild animals, his often up to 26 dogs and his staff together with the accompanying peace of the AFRICAN bush.

This old pioneer of the Sinwitsi Game Reserve retired in April 1920 at the age of 65, he reluctantly packed his belongings and left " his reseve " on 9 November 1920 and settled in a little house built from rock and stone, he called ' Magowbey ", near Hlomela near the Klein Letaba River. Here this old loner enjoyed his retirement, tending his dogs, his guns and fishing tackle.

On 16 January 1929, Harry Wolhuter received a letter informing him that the old soldier had faded away, he was buried and 6 Military Officers did Manjoro the necessary respect and honours due to a man like Major Affleck Alexander Frazer.

Should you ever see the Frasersrus windmill and waterhole you can know that this is in memory of a man who dedicated his life to what he believed in - NATURE CONSERVATION, maybe if you use a bit of imagination you will still hear the bark of one his pack . . . . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:21 pm 
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:clap: WOW gmlsmit....I have just read this thread through & have learned so much!!!

Thank you for teaching me the history of these famous people!!! :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
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THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . PART 2

Stevenson - Hamilton was convinced that nothing breeds success like success. Many previously people who were strongly opposed to the proclamation of a GAME RESERVE of any kind eventually after CINDERELLA had met her PRINCE, became staunch and sometimes even fanatic supporters of THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.

Phrases like the PARK " now being a splendid national asset "; " a worthy heritage to be passed on to those to follow " ; " a glorious achievement ensuring the safety of our wonderfull fauna and flora for all time " ; " a magnificent example to the rest of the world " were now commonly heard or read when THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK was written or spoken about, all the hardships of the past seemingly and often thankfully forgotten.

Some mistakes were obviously made in the past but the successes completely overshadowed the negatives.

A lesson learnt early was any effort made trying to sway the balance, for the short term reached its goals but on the long term had a negative effect.

A decision was made to reduce the predator population and Lions were very often shot on sight, the result - the herbivores multiplied rapidly and very soon signs of overgrazing came to the fore, the the dry periods arrived - resulting in the high numbers of the previous artificially protected wild animals lost condition, got diseased / weak and died. Now it was the predators turn to flourish due to plenty of weak herbivores. Predators lie in ambush at the few watering point at water holes or pools in dry river beds, awaiting their weakened prey - this now let the predators numbers grow and multiply - untill the end of the dry spell . . . . . . Stevenson - Hamilton realised that THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK was very close to being very natural but there was still man made barriers / interference - e.g. fences that prevented wild animals from migrating during changed seasons to their normal grazing areas, now populated by man - this was the lesser of the two evils: no fences plenty of biltong, hides, horns and bones for sale. Fences - no biltong, hides, horns and bones for sale, but plenty of wild animals to roam the plains, riverbeds, hills and forest, to live as the Great Creator intended it to be. Now to be studied, viewed, photographed and just enjoyed by man. The lesson learnt wnenever possible leave the Great Mother alone. She will correct, She will heal and She will forgive.

Stevenson-Hamilton often thought, had the Lion numbers not been kept low in the early years the Impala, Kudu and Waterbuck may have been in a better condition although much less in numbers. Their main enemy now having any affect on their numbers were Leopards and the few remaining Cheetahs. Should predators not be able to control the numbers, the alternative would be worse.

Stevenson - Hamilton believed that the eastern areas closer to the Great Lebombo Mountains were the fertile sections with high populations of most wild animals. The further nort and western sections the populations of the more comon animals were lower and due to this it was more suitable for the rarer species of antelope such as Sable, Roan and Eland.

He also believed that one cannot have everything. Once the cycle of adequate rainfall has returned, there will certainly become a pause in the seasonal migration; the large tracts of good grass land, now deserted owing to lack of water, will hold their proper quota of animals, while the areas now overstocked in winter, will cease to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:54 am 
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THE EARLY RANGERS . . . . . PART 3

G.R.HEALY

Guy Rambont Healy was of Irish origin. He came to South Africa as a 2nd Lt. of the 4th Bn ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS during the Anglo Boer War.He liked South Africa and decided to stay on after the war.He resigned from his REGIMENT and as he enjoyed wearing a uniform - joined the South African Police, his rank - Corporal.

Stevenson - Hamilton was amongst others also appointed a JUSTICE of the PEACE. This meant that he also often had to precide in Court Cases and therefore needed a prosecutor. Many appointments were made, all thought that this was a great job, not much to do, plenty of leizure time for . . . . . , Much to the dislike of the Warden, needless to say, these "prosecutors" did not last very long. Eventually the authorities sent Corporal Tim Healy to do the job - this was a success. He was young ( only 21 years of age ) full of energy and a likable person.

Tim Healy's first good deed done was upon arrival was rescueing the Warden and his horse Pompey from the fast flowing Sabie River which had washed them downstream a few hundred metres.

Stevenson - Hamilton needed Healy as a Ranger, he applied for authority to appoint him, eventually permission was granted and the Corporal becam Ranger Tim Healy in 1908. The likable Ranger Tim Healy, loved his dogs, once on patrol in the Doispane area his favourite dog Mary, suffered from heat stroke. He cooled her body with water and carried her over a distance of 10 km back to camp. Unfortunately mary died the same day. He buried her and covered the grave with a rock with the inscription :


" G R HEALY
in loving memory
MARY
14/11/07
R I P ".

In later years this little grave was thought to have been the grave of a little girl. On investigation it was found it was Mary belonging to " Mthepe ". The area where Mary got sick is called " Inja-ka-Mthepe" ( Healy's dog) The locals called Tim " Mthepe " as he liked rearing a cap. This enscribed stone can still be seen together with many others, at the dog cemetry close to the Stevenson - Hamiton library at SKUKUZA.

Ranger Tim Healy did duty in the Sabi Bridge area as relieve Ranger untill 1910 when he was posted to the then Nwanetsi - now SATARA. He together with his native staff of 14 enjoyed oing their duties between the Sabi and the Olifants Rivers .

Due to continous poqaching threat from the western border area he established a field post close to the Rolle station from where he operated.

Tim Healy married an Irish lass in 1914 and at the reception author Rudyard Kipling made a speach. Young Mrs Healy loved to bush and also loved horse riding. Tim Healy played an important role in resettling people from within the SABI GAME RESEVE BORDERS to suitable agreed on areas beyond the western border of the PARK.

Tim Healy joined the South African Defence Force for the EAST AFRICAN CAMPAiGN (commanded by Genl. Van Deventer), of the First World War. He served as an Officer in 3rd Bn KING's AFRICAN RIFLES. Lt. Guy Rambont Healy made the ultimate sacrifice in TANZANIA on 27 March 1916 - today 93 years ago.

He was mourned by everyone who knew him, but especially by the young widow Healy and their little son, John.

P.Siewert

Paul Siewert, from German desent was appointed by the Warden as Junior Ranger in 1910. His main duty being the catching of young game animals, tame them and then exporting them overseas via the Pretoria Zoological Gardens. This venture was not successfull as techniques were very primitive and many animals died of stress. This effort was soon abandoned.

Ranger Paul Siewert was transferred to the Msutlu outpost on the bank of the Sabi River approximately 5 km north west of Sabi Bridge - his main responsibility now being - curb the poaching, he was young, energetic and loved being on his own in the outdoors. He was often transferred to other areas relieving Ranger being on leave or somewhere else.

Eventualy Junior Ranger Paul Siewert was appointed Ranger in 1913. The locals called him " Mafekete " meaning " do not try and bluff me ".

Ranger T Duke wrote a very confidential report to the Warden on 8 September 1915 that the Portuguese Authorities were suspecting that Ranger Paul Siebert had followed a poacher into the eastern side of the Lebombo Mountains and shot the poacher. Nothing further was mentioned about this.

Soon after the First World War was declared, the "patriots" mounted pressure on the authorities to get rid of this man of German descent, eventually Paul Siewert was dismissed from Government service. This dismissal came to this man as a tremendous shock. He left the service and later tragically committed suicide, a sad example of the result of thoughtless people's hatred during wartime.

A J WOLHUTER

Andrew James Wolhuter, the younger brother of Harry was appointed by acting Warden A Frazer in 1918 as a temporary replacement for those members on active service. He was posted at Kaapmuiden. He was caled "Ngea-Ngea" the arbiter. Unfortunately this member of the Wolhuter family succumbed to the Spanish flu epidemic in brother Harry's house at Mtimba on 14 November 1918. Andrew Wolhuter was buried close to the Mtimba homestead where the cement covered grave is till on view - the bronze enscribed plate unfortunately removed.

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Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:22 pm 
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THE EARLY RANGERS . . . . . PART 4

J.J.COETZER

Johannes Jacobus Coetzer was appointed by the Warden as Ranger in the SINWITSI GAME RESERVE and served during the period 1919 - 1928. He was born in the Lydenburg area. He was an ex Officer of DIE SUID AFRIKAANSE STAATS ARTILLERIE holding the rank aof Captain. Before joining the Boer Forces he was OC of the Johannesburg Fort. He served with Genl. van Deventer during the whole of the EAST AFRICAN CAMPAIGN during the whole of the First World War.

Ranger Coetzer could speak many black languages and was employed to assist Major Frazer in the northen area, he. He was very knowledgable and energetic and therefore successful in carrying out his duties of kerbing the goings on in the Crooke's Corner area where poaching was a problem as well as illegal labour recruitment from Mozambique for the Witwatersrand mines and smuggling of goods into the Transvaal.

Coetzer established his first camp at the footing of the Dzundzwini Hill. He later moved to the footing of the Dimbo Hill near the Shikokohlo fountain, Ranger Coetzer later named the camp: PUNDA MARIA. A combination of PUNDA Milia = Swahili for Zebra, the first animal sighted by him on the terrain and MARIA = the name of his wife. Coetzer quickly transformed the wild area into a comfortable camp where he was very often visited by officials etc.being very comforably quartered and catered for by Ranger Coetzer and his wifr Maria.

He built a hut over the fountain to keep it clean and was aptly called " Gungunyane ".

Ranger Coetzer was transferred to Satara mid 1924, where he built many roads and during 1925 also the first earh dam in the park - at Shitsakanaspruit, unfortunately the dam wall was washed away during heavy floods in 1928. Ranger Coetzer retired from service end 1928 at the age of 58 years.

Johannes Jacobus Coetzer was trampled by and Elephant while on duty as a Foot and Mouth Disease Control Officer in 21 November 1935, east of Messina, at the age of 63 years.

P.F. de JAGER

The fifty year old Petrus Lafras de Jager was apointed the same time as Coetzer, but in the SABI GAME RESERVE.. His first post was at Rolle where he served untill 1920 from where he was tranferred to Kaapmuiden.

Lt.Col. P.L. de Jager was like Maj. Frazer a professionla soldier. He served as a Commandant in the Boer Forces during tha Anglo Boer War and also in the Cavalry under Genl. van Deventer during the EAST AFRICAN CAMPAIGN of the First World War. He was an exceptional soldier and leader of which the award few prized decorations and medals including a DSO was ample proof of his skills.

His whole bearing was that of an officer, tall, neat, upright, well buit with aristrocatic looks, he was good horseman and an exceptional marksman. The locals referred to Ranger de Jager as " Madubula " the marksman.

Ranger de Jager during the winter shool holidays, often collected the Barberton Boy Scouts comanded by C.A. Yates at the Kaapmuiden station for a viist to the SABI G R. for a great adventurous holiday.

Ranger de Jager replaced Coetzer at PUNDA MARIA, he went there, leaving his family behind. He was now 57 years of age, he suffered from recorring malaria and was lonesome. He requested to be transferred back to the SABI G R which unfortunately could be done.

Ranger de Jager found the first evidence of Nyala in the SINGWTSI GAME RESERVE, the horns of an animal caught by a Lion, which he sent off to the Warden, quite a discovery.

Ranger P L de Jager retired from pension in January 1929 at the age of 61 years.

W.W.LLOYD

William Walter Lloyd, a 53 year old Welshman, the successful applicant was appointed Ranger at Kaapmuiden in 1919. On the return of de Lapporte, he was transferred to Rolle where he replaced de Jager. After these two short spells, he was transferred to SATARA where he served untill 1922.

William Lloyd was an excellent marksman and also loved horseriding. He lived from the veld, on patro he often slept as is, where he was. His clothing being a light shirt, possibly a jacket and Lion skin breaches his wife wife made for him and a wide brimmed hat. He was called " Kukuzele " he who stoops.

Ranger Lloyd's short service came to an abrupt and unexpected end when afte a long patrol during November 1922 he arrived home sopping wet with sweat, he went to cool off on the verandah resulting in contracting pneumonia of he soon died.

Mrs Lloyd sent off a messenger who covered the 88 km to the Warden within 24 hours, informing him of the death of her husband. Stevenson - Hamilton immediately set off to assist the widow and her three children. The journey took a day and upon his arrival found that Mrs Lloyd had already buried her late husband under a thorn tree just towards the north of their little house.

Mrs Lloyd left to live with her family, the family later erected a suitable stone on the grave of Ranger William Walter Lloyd the only Ranger buried in the SABI GAME RESERVE.

The Irish terrier named Bles, mentioned in the long trek to PUNDA MARIA belonged to Ranger W.W.Lloyd and was given to the Warden by Mrs Lloyd after the tragedy.

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Done 144 visits to National Parks.
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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:50 am 
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THE EARLY RAMGERS . . . . . . PART 5

L.H.LEDEBOER

Ranger A.A.Frazer was replaced Leonard Henry Ledeboer on 21 April 1921. Due to inconsistent water supply at Malunzane, the Warden decided he should rather be posted at Hatane on the Makhadze Spruit. It Henry, his wife Maria and their baby girl 17 days getting to their posting flooded rivers was the cause. Soon after arrival Henry got pneumonia but waqs fortunate to survive.

ledeboer was born in India in 1868 and arrived in South Africa as a 21 year old seeking his fortune in hunting and transport rider. He hunted in Zimbabwe and Mozambique during the period 1891 to 1895. During 1895 and 1896 he hunted the area between the Olifants and the Great Limpopo Rivers. He returned to Zimbabwe and Mozambique between 1908 and 1914 having two camps on the Save and the Limpopo Rivers. During his hunting years he made contact with F.C. Selous, Jackson and Finaughty - famous hunters.

He originally joined Boer Forces but after becoming a P O W by Capt. Bulala Taylor became a joiner and was appointed IO in the Bushveldt Carbineers stationed at Elim.

After the Anglo Boer War ledeboer worked in the Bantu Affairs Commissioners ofice at Sibasa, e also worked as Labour Recruitment Officer at CROOKES CORNER. Here he married the sister of shopkeeper Monty Ash, Constance Elizabeth, they had three children.

After the death of his first wiefe he married Anna Maria Bindeman in 1915. Anna Ledeboer died of a heart attack on 10 August 1921, Henry buried her close to the confluence of the Makahdzi and Great Letaba River.

Ledeboer then moved his post to 1 km north of the present LETABA RESTCAMP, he lived here at MONDZWANI from December 1921 to November 1927 - it here where a little heap of stones maybe the grave of his little daughter not far from the ruins of his MONDZWANI homestead.

Ranger Ledeboer had many prospetive prospectors for gold, mica and diamonds to deal with in the area between the Olifants and Great Letaba Rivers untill 1926 when all prospecting withinh the borders of the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK was forbidden by the great proclamation. The prospectors had much more success with illegal hunting than ith prospecting. . . . . .

' Mbalane " meaning the secretary, married a third time, Kate Hasler became Mrs Ledeboer during April 1922. They had two children.

A meteorite struck the earth on 2 April 1924 near Mondzwani but could not be found. After the death of W.W. Lloyd at Satara, Ranger Ledeboer relieved there for six months. On his return he found many diseased and dead Waterbuck and Kudu on the Lebombo Flats it was after a dry spell and according to the symptoms - Anthrax !

During the spring of 1924/1925 there was an outbreak of brown locusts that nearly denuded the SINWITSI GAME RESERVE, staff were daily occopied in spraying with the Lead Arsenite solution. This outbreak re occurred during the period 1932 to 1934 when approximately 40 000 red locust swarms were sprayed and destroyed.

Ranger Ledeboer found his first Giraffe spoor en route to SHINGWEDZI in 1925, with Eland spoor near the Lebombo Mountains in 1934 as well as small groups of Roan Antelope, and a small Bufallo herd near the Tsende. Elephants were rugalarly seen with a breeding herd between the Olifants and Letaba Rivers. He also for the third time came across an area where the grass had been flattened, the shrub broken and the ground strewn with small rocks and marked - the remains two proud animals, a Sable bull and a Lion who had died - locked in combat.

Ranger Ledeboer found a salt ( a scarce commodity in those times ) deposit near the Ngwenyenispruit.

Ranger Ledeboer regularly applied to the Warden to be relocated as he was regularly cut off by flooding rivers. Eventually permission was granted in 1927 for him to relocate to south of the Great Letaba River, east of the LETABA REST CAMP, this accomodation was to be rebuilt after being destroyed by a hurricane on 23 October 1928.

Ranger Ledeboer was regarded of a bit of an exagitirator, he once reported that that there must be in wxcess of 1400 Lions in the Satara area and if population control was not done all Wildlife would soon be destroyed - fortunately the Warden was aware of the Ledeboer style and turned a deaf ear.

Ranger Ledeboer was transferred to Satara during September 1928. where he served for 18 years. His wife Kate died while at Satara. He retired on 30 April 1946 at the age of 78 years.

Henry Ledeboer later got married for the fourth time to Martha Meyer.

Honorary Life Membership of the Southern African Wildlife Society was granted to leonard henry Ledeboer in 1947.

After retirement Ledeboer first went to his farm Radoo in the Letsitele District, They later moved to White River were he lived untill the age of 91 years.

J.R. Brent

Jack Brent was appointed to the Rolle post as Ranger in 1920.

Ranger Jack Brent was a batchelor and a former member of the ROYAL AIR FORCE where he served as a pilot in France during the First World War.

Ranger Brent had an ongoing fued with poachers in his area of responsibility, may were arrested and charges laid needless to say he was not very popular with the surrounding locals.

Ranger Brent reported Sable and Tsessebe sightings near the Olifants River 1922.

Ranger Jack Brent accompanied visitors to the SABI GAME RESERVE, who arrived by train at the Newington station.

Ranger Brent was transferred to Lower Sabie in 1923 replacing Ranger Tom Duke. He resigned in 1924 as he found the life in the bush too lonesome.

H. Brake.

Harry Brake was appointed as replacement for Col. P. de Jager at Kaapmuiden , mid July 1924.

Harry Brake's spell a ranger was short lived as he did not really perform as expected and he then resigned in January 1925.

S.H. TROLLOPE

Stephen Harold Trollope was appointed ranger after the resignation of Harry Blake.

Ranger Trollope was the ideal choice for this post as it was becoming a problem area with neighbouring farmers now increasingly complaining about Lions from the Park, killing their livestock.

Young Harold Trollope joined the Boer Forces in the Anglo Boer War. After the war he became a hunter and was prime shottist. He had the abikity to shoot accurately from horseback.

Ranger Trollope was instructed to take care of the Lion population - due to the complaints, he carried out his instruction and could soon report to the Warden that very few Lions were left in the Malelane Area.

Ranger Trollope being such good shot, shortly after his arrival, owed his life to his Corporal Nombolo Mdluli, when the latter shot and killed a Lion that was near to attack Trollope, near the Hlambanyathi Spruit. The Dead Lion landed on Harold Trollope's legs. Trollope paid his Corporal the sum of two pounds per month for the rest of his life in grattitude for the deed.

Ranger Trollope was called " Mavukane " he who rises early by the locals.He was proud to report the presence of Mountain Reedbuck ( Redunca fulvorufula ) in the hills of the Malelane area.

Harold Trollope resigned from service during January 1928 and moved to the Eastern Cape. However his love for nature and conservation got best of him and his sucessful application got him the position as first Warden of the Addo Ellephant National Park in August 1931 where he served untill his retirement on 30 April 1935.

Harolde Trollope died on 15 May 1949, his family made a donation for a hut to be erected in his memory - the Stephen Harold Trollope hut in MALELANE.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
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Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:59 pm 
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THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . PART 3

Very little can be said about the old days that does not include the native field staff.

They wore a uniform and their rank was proudly displayed on the sleeves. Their postings were at that of the Ranger with many others in the outside pickets where their main task was patrolling doing checks on water supply, game condition and numbers and . . . . prventing poaching. They were armed with assegais or spears and also often with Martini Henry or the long barrelled Lee Enfield and Lee Metford rifles of .303 calibre ( the Union Defence Force granted approval for the issueing of firearms in 1927) 24 Martini Henrys were first issued and later replaced with the latter mentioned.

Native rangers were recruited from the surrounding areas, this had the advantage of them knowing the language and were also addapted to the conditions. Native Rangers were often related to known poachers, however being related did not refrain them from doing their duty with the required agility.

They were accomodated in wood and mud houses similar to those of the white rangers, rations were issued and meat was game supplied by either the Ranger or obtained themselves.

Rangers were normally well built and fit but Mfitshane Koza was not - his eagerness to join cased his appointment. While on patrol Mfitshane and his fellow Rangers came across a group of poachers from the Portuguese territory who had just killed a Waterbuck. Upon Mfitshane's call to them to surrender, the poachers turned upon the Rangers with their assegais. Some of his fellow Rangers fled, so did the poachers but in the opposite direction, Mfitshane followed, tripped and fell and was stabbed through the lungs as he lay on the ground. Mfitshane was found and carried to the picket, fortunately he recovered sufficiently to return to duty and continued his duty, now more determined than ever to combat poaching. MFITSHANE's end came while one day pursuing poachers up the stony thorny slopes of the LEBOMBOS, the exertion was too much, he ruptured an artery near his assegai wound, he collapsed and died - with his boots on . . . . .

In 1926, Corporal CEMENT Mathlali was leading a patrol in the SATARA area and they came across a group of Mozambican poachers who had just slaughtered a Kudu. The poachers took to their heels and the patrol succeeded in arresting one of the mob. The arrested poacher was handcuffed and the patrol set off for SATARA to where they intended taking their prisoner. That night they slept in the veld, while asleep the mob about twenty in total returned, freed their fellow poacher. One of the patrol members was killed on the spot and Corporal CEMENT had his head smashed in by a knobkerrie. The third member ran off and raised the alarm. Some hours later help arrived, the Corporal still alive, to manyothers these injuriies would have been fatal, but not to CEMENT.

The assailants escaped to their Mozambican territory but fortunately of them were recognised and reoprted to the Portuguese Authorities who immediately set out, the assailants were soon found, charged and suitably punished.

Galant Corporal CEMENT recovered and soon was out again . . . . . . . catching poachers.

Stevenson - Hamilton was of opinion that as native poachers shot from very short range they regarded the rifle sights as unnecessary and removed them, this was often the saving grace in many a fire fight between Field Staff and poachers.

Harry Wolhuter's life was saved by the efforts of his native fellow Rangers, after his encounter with the Lion at Lindanda, when they bound his wounds and carefully transported him on a ltter of branches to Komatipoort, where he could be medically attended to.

One of the native Rangers, Mafuta Shabangu worked with Stevenson-Hamilton. The Warden had to go to Pretoria on business. Before leaving he armed Mafuta with a Martini Henry carbine and handed him with a few rounds of amunition, with the instruction to keep an eye on things, together with his alloted assistant. Should there be a Lion problem to keep them at bay untill the Warden's return.

Mafuta was a good shot and had already accounted for quite a few Lions.

There was a group of workers out in the veld a little distance from Kemp's Cottage who were often bothered by Lions who visited their compound at night.

During the first morning of the Warden's absence, Lions were heard, roaring in the distance, Mafuta set out on his own armed with the Martini Henry and his axe. . . . . He never returned. Later the day two people went out to investigate. They never found anything. Help was called for from Sabi Bridge 20 km away. The following morning a search party set out, eventually they saw Vultures circling and in the trees about 5 km from Kemp's Cottage. They rushed to the spot and found MAFUTA's body practically untouched apart from claw marks, one thigh badly bitten bound around by his puttees in an effort used as bandages. The Martini Henry under a tree about twenty metres away.

The Warden went to investgate and he found a lot of blood under the tree where the rifle was found, with a blood spoor leading into the bush, 400 metres further on the searchers found the body of a Lioness now a reduced to bones by the feeding vultures. Underneath the body was knife blood covered the full length of the blood. There were nail scars on the trunk of a tree in the area with a pair of boots in the branches.

Stevenson - Hamilton concluded that Mafuta found the Lions, he shot and wounded the Lioness, Mafuta followed. the Lioness layed up in some scrub and when Mafuta appeared, charged, Mafuta shot, he then climbed up the mentioned tree. The Lioness must have pulled him from the tree and during struggle Mafuta managed to stab the Lioness with his knife. During the struggle Mafuta was clawed and badly bitten on the thigh, which severed an artery. Having killed the Lion Mafuta bound his wounds best he could and set off for help. Weakened by bloodloss he rested under a tree after about two hundred metres, where he died later the day. An explanation about his body not being found under the tree is that the Lions returned to their fallen comrade, followed the blood spoor of Mafuta. Finding his body, it was dragged about the twenty metres to where it was found the next day. The tracks were seen leading back into the bush . . . . . Lions are not man - eaters by nature. stevenson - Hamilton reckoned that MAFUTA had fired two, possibly three rounds during this ordeal. Three unspent cartridges were found under the tree, where he had died.

When MAFUTA faced death it was in a spirit of his shear courage that demands the highest admiration. He was dargged friom a tree, mauled by an enraged animal, he armed with his sheath knife won the battle. Then he collected his rifle and made a desparate effort to walk home after bandaging his wound as far as possible, he staggered on but the artery severed ran out of life.

Corporal Mpanpuni Ubisis was the longest serving of the native Rangers, he was couragous and experienced, he had also given account of many Lions, one day saw from the door of his hut that Vultures were settling in a tree some four hundred metres away. He went to investigate, only armed with a stick. crossing the dry river bed he suddenly became aware of a Lioness
growling and tail waving signs of her trying to chase off an intruder. Mpanpuni made the mistake of turning around and walking away, instead of facing her or climbing up into one of the trees - the Lioness immediately charged, caught the now running Mpanpuni as he crossed the dry spruit.she seized him by the leg, pulled him down and inflicted a few severe bites, and left him. Mpanpuni in defence slashed her on the nose using his pocket knife.

Corporal Mpanpuni was attended to by his wife while help was coming from Ranger McDonald who arrived within the hour, took him to Komati Poort where he was despatched to Barberton Hospital by train. Unfortunately Corporal MPANPUNI died from shock a few days later.

Natives are very superstitious and more often than not, believe that happenings similiar to what had overcome Mpanpuni were not natural but the result of a spell cast, the person then becomes the victim of a Lion or Leopard attack. It was believed that Mpanpuni's wife with whom he had a strained relationship had the week before visited a woman who was a well known " keeper of Lions " and hired the Lioness from her for five pounds. Mpanuni's wife returned from the Lion keeper the morning of his death. The killing of cattle by Lions occured in the area, the Lion keeper said that she could not recall the Lioness unless she was paid a further five pounds. This continued untill Ranger Mc Donald shot an old Lioness in the vicinity. Stevenson - Hamilton beieved that the power of the "mtakati " entirely rules the mind of many natives and therefore rule and directs much of his course through life.

However Mubi was different, his complection was darker, his features bore some Arabic or Semitic resemblance he was wiry of build and also somewhat shorter than average. Mubi was completely fearless, utterly unscrpulous and was capable of the greatest feats of endurance. The Warden met Mubi after the latter had been caught for shooting a Zebra. Stevenson - Hamilton applied the principle of " employing a thief to catch a thief " and enrolled him. Mubi shared his knowledge of the veld with hs fellow native Rangers, he was rrspected by them and eventually also was promoted to the rank of Corporal, he was very successful applying Law and Order. Eventually Mubi started getting into trouble, he was once charged for someones hut alight, although acquited it was thought it better, getting rid of him.

Mubi was missed and eventually reappointed, he worked his way up to his previous rank. His crerr moved from periods of excellent service to lapses leaning towards the opposite. Poaching instances totally disappeared within his sphere of control so sometimes te Warden turned a blind eye as the positives outweighed the negatives.

A characteristic tale about Mubi is that arriving at a village while on patrol, he was told that a Leopardess with cubs had taken occupation of a thicket not far away and when a change in diet was required helped herself to the odd chicken or goat from the pens. The women of the kraal challenged Mubi to solve their problem. Mubi accepted the challenge, picked up his assegai, called his little dog and set off. All hell broke loose in the thicket and when quiet returned, Mubi returned - dragging the Leopard by the tail. The Leopard was speared through the heart with Mubi without a scratch.

Stevenson- Hamilton was only aware of one similiar incident but also quite diffrent - a Ranger called OFFICE was out in the bush searching for a wounded Leopard, when charged by the Leopard, it was summarily dispatched of in similiar fashion.

The Warden thought highly of Mubi although many a yarn was spread about Mubi and his exploits, some not very refined or honest, many of them most probably not very distant from the truth. That he was intelligent was true, no matter how often a clever defence lawyer tried to shake Mubi in the witness box under cross examination, they never succeeded.

When Mubi became to old for duty in the PARK, he settled with his five wives to a peaceful life, it was sometimes hinted that he hired out of his carefully concealed firearms . . . . . . .

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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