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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 Many stumbling blocks were put in the way of the Warden and his dedicated Ranger in effort to have the charges withdrawn, eventually their shear determination resulted in sucessful prosecution in the Pietersburg Magistrate Court.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
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:34 pm 
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Thanks once again for these fascinating stories of the people who made KNP into what it is today. :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:53 pm 
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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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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: 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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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: 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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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: 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.

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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: 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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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:34 am 
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THE WARDEN THINKS ABOUT . . . . . PART 4

Lions are not only hunters sometimes they also caused a smile or a bit of a laugh.

After the period in which the Lions were hunted came to an end, they soon settled down and became used to man and his daily activities. They even developed a few playful tendencies, Stevenson- Hamilton recorded a few instances.

While boreholes were being sunk in the PARK the personnel stayed out in the veld in their tents. The boreholes obviously being sunk in dry areas with no water available for quite distance. Lions used to come around nightly to where the drilling was taking place, to drink from the puddles or from half empty buckets, which were left behind after the days work had come to an end. They were nevver aggressive and after a while the workmen became quite used to their presence. One tale told with a smile was that on a moonlit night a group of Lions visited the site and were sniffing around, drinking water from puddles and then one found a bucket with a bit of water in it, it drank the water and then it happened, the handle fell back and hooked behind the big male's ears, with the handle jammed tightly it was dashing around franticaly in circles pawing at the bucket trying to get rid of it. The rest of the group thinking this was a game, joined in the fun following the leader making funny noises , trying to immitate the muffled roars and growls emanating from the depth of the bucket. The procession later disappeared into the bush with the male still trying to rid itself of the bucket. The quite badly damaged bucket was recovered from the bush the following morning.

The Lions also seemed to get considerable satisfaction by picking up the bags of shot used in the drilling operation and runnning around with it untill the bag burst and then roll around in the spread shot.

Sanderson the chap doing of the drilling, often had visits of Lions and during of these visits the younger ones would venture closer to his tent, upon which stones were thrown at them to shoo them off - this often had the opposite effect, the stone would be picked up, dropped, carried about with the rest of the troop following it, joining in the game.

Ledeboer once reported that he had a pendant gong at the gate to the compound which he would strike when he required the labour force to start or end the shift or to congregate, he was often awakened at night by the sound of the gong and on investigation found a Lion normally a youngster energetically playing with it with an audience ( of Lions ) sitting around it, interstingly looking on.

Stevenson - Hamilton regarded Lions as very intelligent animals with varying temperament. He once reared four cubs from the same litter from soon after birth untill about four months old, each one with a different personality. Samson was high spirited, rough and boisterous and a bit of a bully. Sandow was good natured and greedy, Mary a little lady while Sarah was irratable, peevish and unreliable, had she grown up in the wild she would probably became a very dangerous animal to come in contact with. . . . . . .

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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: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:02 am 
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Thank you , G , fascinating reading !

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:08 pm 
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Thanks Smittie.

If I may ask where have you been getting all of this information?

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:25 pm 
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AT THE WATERHOLE . . . . PART 1

Stevenson-Hamilton spent many hours at waterholes - just observing, enjoying and studying animal behaviour. A favourite place to him was Tshokwane on the Manzemntondo River ( his spelling ), the river made a near complete circle with deep pools of sweet water at regular intervals in the clean sanbanks, the grass short and sweet.

At the end of winter the plain loving animals - Wildebeeste and Tsessebe crowded the flats in the bend of the river, the thin thorn bush to the west - full of Sable, Kudu and Impala, the while the rocky outcrops of the Lebombo Mountains were the favourite haunts of Klipspringer and Waterbuck. Stretches of reeds and rank grass - full of Reedbuck, shared with a few Elephant happily breaking, kicking and pulling, making their satisfied rumbling sound, Bushbuck filled the patches of scrub scattered alongside the riverbank, Steenbuck, Duiker and Warthog - scattered the country underlying the hills. Zebra which migrated towards to the west during early winter, now returned to Giraffe arrived from the north, while a few Buffalo could be found in the dense bush to the south of the riverbend. Stevenson - Hamilton at this time of the year aptly called this area " a true game paradise ". Lions and other predators found this spot the ideal hunting ground, every night their voices swelled in a chorus, heard over the AFRICAN bush and rumbling through the hills. Sometimes in the early morning, onlookers would be fortunate enough to see them on their way to where they would rest off the previous night's activity .
. . . . or lay in ambush . . . . . in the reeds and palms of the Manzemntondo River.

Let us go to some point on this river and watch the animals as they come come to water, today we may be lucky and see a sight that we shall long remember. There is always an element of uncertainty as animals vary their drinking habits. After drinking at a certain spot for a few consecutive days, may for some unknown reason move away and never return . . . . Some animals drink twice a day, others once athers again less frequent, depending on availability, season and temperature. some may prefer the cool of the evening and others again the heat of the day. With high Lion activity, game prefer drinking later in the day - while the Lions are doing what they seem to enjoy best - dozing in the shade. In areas where the game is less harrassed they seem to prefer drinking between sunset and sunrise. During the colder periods the game is less thirsty and during the hotter periods much more, after the first rains they seem to fill their needs from rain drops and the dew on the leaves and grass.

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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 7:38 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Hi all.

What I am sharing here is after many years of extensive reading and studying the KRUGER PARK and this REMARKABLE MAN.

Now retired, I have the opportunity to put my thoughts and notes together and share them with those less fortunate. :D :)

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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: Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:14 pm 
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We are really fortunate to have you sharing all this with us gmlsmit! Thank you! :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Col. James Stevenson-Hamilton : 1st Warden of KRUGER PARK
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Thanks again Gerhard.
I've done some reading about things mentioned in your postings but it doesn't get close to your writings. And it even cleared up a few questions I had.
Regards,
Bouts.

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