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Personnel from South Africa in the air services


josquin
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Details concerning birthdates, birthplaces, forenames, prewar and postwar careers, and

dates/places of death are very elusive. Can anyone help with this information for the

following South Africans who served with the British air services during the Great War:

Blake, Arthur Winston (killed in accident 14 December 1922 or 1923; records vary)

Burger, Malcolm Graham Stewart (from Graaff Sennett, S.A.)

Daniel, Hector C. (from Senekal, Orange Free State, S.A.; died c1950, Pretoria, S.A.)

Hemming, Alfred Stewart

Hind, Ivan Frank (from Johannesburg, born 1891-92)

Howe, Percy Frank Charles (from Swaziland, S.A.)

Lawson, George Edgar Bruce (from Cape Town; killed in accident 1922)

Lindup, Ernest

Nangle, Hugh Cuthbert Milo (from Salisbury, Rhodesia, S.A.)

Olivier, Eric (from Oudtshoorn, S.A.)

Payne, Leonard Allen (born 15 July 1894 in South Africa--need specific birthplace)

Pilditch, Gerald (from Pretoria, S.A.)

Redler, Harold Bolton (from Boschbeek, Newlands, Cape Town; killed in accident 1918)

Reed, Arthur Eden (born 22 August 1898, S.A.; from Pretoria, but need specific birthplace)

Seabrook, Joseph Powell (from Cape Town)

Sloley, Robert Hugh (from Cape Town, born 1896-97; KIA 1917

Any information of any kind that is forthcoming will be most welcome. I have not succeeded in

locating any of these from the online sources available to me. Thank you.

Trelawney

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Trelawney

Lt H B Redler MC, of No 1 Fighting School RAF, was killed in an accident on 21 June 1918 while flying in DH 9 D1018, flown by Capt I H D Henderson. The aeroplane crashed due to a loss of control while testing a Lewis gun.

2Lt R H Sloley of No 56 Sqn RFC (formerly Royal Garrison Artillery) was killed in action while flying SE 5 A8928 on 1 October 1917. His aeroplane was last seen going down in combat over Oostniewkerke, apparently breaking up. He was aged 20.

I hope that this helps you.

Gareth

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Gareth

The information was very helpful. Thank you.

Trelawney

Trelawney

Lt H B Redler MC, of No 1 Fighting School RAF, was killed in an accident on 21 June 1918 while flying in DH 9 D1018, flown by Capt I H D Henderson. The aeroplane crashed due to a loss of control while testing a Lewis gun.

2Lt R H Sloley of No 56 Sqn RFC (formerly Royal Garrison Artillery) was killed in action while flying SE 5 A8928 on 1 October 1917. His aeroplane was last seen going down in combat over Oostniewkerke, apparently breaking up. He was aged 20.

I hope that this helps you.

Gareth

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Trelawney

Robert Hugh Sloley - According to his MIC he previously served in the RGA, entitled to the BWM and VM. His father was Sir Herbert C Sloley KCMG, Lochaber, Bathurst Rd, Wynberg, South Africa.

Aled

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Trlawney

Hugh Cuthbert Milo Nangle - According to the UK Incoming Passenger lists he was a 24 year old Rhodesian farmer and who arrived at Plymouth on 23rd April 1917 from East London on board the Balmoral Castle.

Aled

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An S.E.5a pilot, George Edgar Bruce Lawson was assigned to 32 Squadron in April 1918. He scored his last two victories of the war on 27 September 1918. One of these was Fritz Rumey of Jasta 5. Lawson collided with Rumey's Fokker D.VII and the German ace jumped from his plane but was killed when his parachute failed to deploy. In 1922, Lawson joined the South African Air Force but was killed in a crash while flying as a passenger aboard a D.H.9.Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)Lieut. George Edgar Bruce Lawson. (FRANCE)

A pilot of courage and skill, bold in attack and gallant in action, who has accounted for five enemy aeroplanes. On 27th September he attacked fifteen Fokker biplanes that were harassing one of our bombing formations, driving down one in flames. He then engaged a second; in the combat the two machines collided, and the enemy aeroplane fell down completely out of control. Although his machine was badly damaged, Lieutenant Lawson successfully regained our lines. hope this helps.

His family owned a dry cleaning facility in Cape Town. Lawson and Kirk.

Not much information on Joseph Seabrook.

Here is a list of his victories.

DateTimeUnitAircraftOpponentLocation112 Mar 1918 115511Bristol Fighter (A7153) 1Albatros D.V (DES)SE of Cambrai 222 Mar 1918 183511Bristol Fighter (B1194) 2Albatros D.V (DESF)Queant315 May 1918 172211Bristol Fighter (C867) 1Pfalz D.III (OOC)SE of Albert 416 May 1918 063511Bristol Fighter (C867) 1C (DES)E of Cambrai 509 Aug 1918 074511Bristol Fighter 1Fokker D.VII (DES) 3Bray-Péronne

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Malcolm Graham Stewart Burgerdfc.gifCountry:South AfricaRank:LieutenantService:Royal Air ForceUnits:54Victories:5

Malcolm Graham Stewart Burger scored 5 victories flying the Sopwith Camel with 54 Squadron

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)Lieut. (A./Capt.) Malcolm Graham Stewart Burger. (FRANCE)

During the last battles this officer displayed marked gallantry and devotion to duty on low-flying bombing patrols, inflicting heavy casualties on numerous occasions. He has destroyed three enemy machines, and forced another to land.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 February 1919 (31170/2036)
Victorie18 Jun 1918090054Sopwith Camel (B7171)Fokker D.VII (DESF)NE of Armentières203 Sep 1918070054Sopwith Camel (E5175)Hannover CL (DES)Moeuvres307 Sep 1918191054Sopwith Camel (E5175)Halberstadt C (DES) 1NW of Marquion428 Sep 1918131554Sopwith Camel (C8345)Fokker D.VII (DES)NW of Raillencourt502 Oct 1918174054Sopwith Camel (F1986)Fokker D.VII (CAP) 2Tilloy
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Leonard Allen Payne joined the RFC in Swaziland. This probably indicates he comes from the Northern part of Ssouth Africa. Pretoria or Johannesburg.

Leonard Allen Paynemc.gifpayne2.jpgCountry:South AfricaRank:CaptainService:Royal Flying Corps

Royal Air ForceUnits:48Victories:11Born:15 July 1894Place of Birth:South AfricaDied:18 February 1919kifa.gifPlace of Death:Cologne, GermanyCemetery:Cologne Southern Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany window.google_render_ad();Leonard Allen Payne joined the Royal Flying Corps in Swaziland on 1 Feb 1917 and was commissioned in June 1917. He scored 11 victories flying the Bristol Fighter on the Western Front.window.google_render_ad(); Military Cross (MC)T./2nd Lt. Leonard Allan Payne, Gen. List, and R.A.F.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Volunteering to proceed on a special reconnaissance under adverse weather conditions, he penetrated for a distance of nine miles behind the enemy's lines, flying at an altitude of 200 feet, despite the most intense machine-gun and rifle fire. He returned later, his machine riddled with bullets, with the required information. Previous to this he had bombed and engaged with machine-gun fire bodies of hostile infantry with the most effective results. He has destroyed one hostile plane and driven down two others out of control. He has at all times displayed the greatest fearlessness and dash.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 26 July 1918 (30813/8832)
Victories

29 Oct 1917162048Bristol Fighter 1Pfalz D.III (DES) 6NE of Dixmude203 Jan 191848Bristol FighterLVG C (OOC) 326 Feb 191848Bristol Fighter 2LVG C (DESF) 408 Mar 1918080048Bristol F.2b (A7298) 2Albatros D.V (OOC)Mont d'Origny508 Mar 1918080048Bristol F.2b (A7298) 2Albatros D.V (OOC)Mont d'Origny612 Mar 1918120048Bristol Fighter 2Fokker DR.I (OOC)NE of St. Quentin721 Mar 191848Bristol Fighter 2LVG C (OOC) 819 May 1918111548Bristol F.2b (C793) 3Albatros D.V (OOC)E of Proyart927 May 1918181548Bristol F.2b (C877) 3Albatros D.V (OOC)S of Albert1030 May 1918174548Bristol F.2b (C877) 4Albatros D.V (DES)Bray1104 Nov 1918151548Bristol F.2b (D6041) 5Fokker D.VII (DES)Lessines-Gramont

All information in these posts from the Aerodrome.

http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/safrica/burger.php

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T

The place to look is the AIR76 records at Kew for the RAF, and WO339 for the RFC.

Sotonmate

Edit: there are a few RFC (?) here which might be those you seek:

WO339/3552 Daniel HC

WO339/104283 Hind I (only one initial shown on file record)

WO339/107332 Pilditch G

WO339/11241 Reed AE

I only sought those for which you hadn't had a reply about.

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Robert Hugh Sloleysloley.jpgCountry:South AfricaRank:2nd LieutenantService:Royal Flying CorpsUnits:56Victories:8Born:Place of Birth:Died:01 October 1917kia.gifPlace of Death:WestroosebekeMemorial:Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Robert Hugh Sloley transferred to the Royal Flying Corps from the Royal Artillery. An S.E.5a pilot, he was posted to 56 Squadron in 1917 and scored 9 victories during August and September. Two days after his final victory, Sloley was overwhelmed by four black and white Albatros D.Vs. James McCudden witnessed the onslaught, watching Sloley's plane go down after its tail was shot off by Xavier Dannhuber of Jasta 26.

Victories

14 Aug 19171730-183056S.E.5 (A4868)C (OOC) 1E of Westroosebeke220 Aug 19171910-193056S.E.5 (A4868)Albatros D.V (OOC)Moorslede322 Aug 19170615-071556S.E.5 (A4868)Albatros D.V (OOC)Houthoulst Forest405 Sep 1917181556S.E.5 (A4868)C (OOC)E of Houthoulst Forest514 Sep 19170845-091556S.E.5 (A4868)Albatros D.V (OOC)S of Houthoulst Forest616 Sep 1917163056S.E.5a (A8944)Albatros D.V (OOC)Roulers720 Sep 1917120056S.E.5a (A4868)Albatros D.V (OOC)Moorslede829 Sep 19171750-181056S.E.5a (A8928)Albatros D.V (OOC) 2Staden1Shared with Capt Gerald Maxwell

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T

And these are the AIR 76 microfilm references for these surnames:

/42 Blake AW

/220 Hemming AS

/300 Lindup E

/380 Olivier E

/451 Seabrook JP

Sotonmate

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Ivan Frank HindCountry:South AfricaRank:CaptainService:Royal Flying Corps

Royal Air ForceUnits:40Victories:8Born:Place of Birth:JohannesburgDied:12 August 1918kia.gifPlace of Death:BrieCemetery:Péronne Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.

Ivan Frank Hind joined the Royal Flying Corps in May 1917. By August of 1918, he was a flight commander with 40 Squadron, flying the S.E.5a. In an encounter with a Fokker D.VII on 25 July 1918, he shot down Josef Raesch of Jasta 43. Less than a month later, Hind was killed when he was shot down by Ernst Udet of Jasta 4.

Victories. Apr 1918065040S.E.5a (B675)Albatros D.V (OOC) 1S of Estaires214 May 1918181040S.E.5a (B675)Pfalz D.III (OOC)E of Lens319 May 1918185540S.E.5a (B675)Pfalz D.III (OOC)Provin420 May 1918200040S.E.5aPfalz D.III (OOC) 2Merville527 May 1918201040S.E.5a (B675)Pfalz D.III (DES)E of Billy607 Jul 1918092540S.E.5a (C5358)LVG C (CAP) 3Lens725 Jul 1918172040S.E.5a (C5358)Fokker D.VII (DESF)SW of Lille808 Aug 1918103540S.E.5a (E3984)Fokker D.VII (OOC)Brebieres

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Volleysight and Sotonmate

Many thanks for the wealth of very useful information about specific airmen and the catalogue

numbers for ordering service record copies from the National Archives UK. Your responses

have provided a variety of good leads to follow-up as I research this subject further.

Again, thank you!

regards Trelawney

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Harold Bolton Redlermc.gifredler.jpgCountry:South AfricaRank:LieutenantService:Royal Flying Corps

Royal Air ForceUnits:24, 40Victories:10Born:27 January 1897Place of Birth:Died:21 June 1918kifa.gifPlace of Death:TurnberryCemetery:West Monkton (St. Augustine) Churchyard, Somerse.;Mid-morning on 15 March 1918, 24 Squadron tangled with Jasta 12 triplanes near Brancourt. Harold Bolton Redler, flying an S.E.5a, shot down Adolf von Tutschek by firing a burst at the Jasta leader's green Fokker DR.I. On 21 April 1918, Redler was wounded in action and left 24 Sqaudron. Later that year, Redler and Scottish ace Ian Henderson were killed in a D.H.9 (D1018) crash.

Listed as Herbert Bolton Redler in some sources. Birth was registered in the 1st quarter of 1897, at Taunton, Somerset. His parents' residence at the time of his enlistment was Boschbeek, Newlands, Cape Town.

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Volleysight

Thank you for all the information and the photo for Redler. This really does help a great deal.

Trelawney

Harold Bolton Redlermc.gifredler.jpgCountry:South AfricaRank:LieutenantService:Royal Flying Corps

Royal Air ForceUnits:24, 40Victories:10Born:27 January 1897Place of Birth:Died:21 June 1918kifa.gifPlace of Death:TurnberryCemetery:West Monkton (St. Augustine) Churchyard, Somerse.;Mid-morning on 15 March 1918, 24 Squadron tangled with Jasta 12 triplanes near Brancourt. Harold Bolton Redler, flying an S.E.5a, shot down Adolf von Tutschek by firing a burst at the Jasta leader's green Fokker DR.I. On 21 April 1918, Redler was wounded in action and left 24 Sqaudron. Later that year, Redler and Scottish ace Ian Henderson were killed in a D.H.9 (D1018) crash.

Listed as Herbert Bolton Redler in some sources. Birth was registered in the 1st quarter of 1897, at Taunton, Somerset. His parents' residence at the time of his enlistment was Boschbeek, Newlands, Cape Town.

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  • 2 weeks later...

TRELAWNEY,

Lt Percy Franco (Frank) Charles Howe also known as "Swazi Howe":

Born - Bremersdorp (now Manzini), 8th Feb 1898. Educated at St Aidan's College, Grahamstown, South Africa. Son of a noted Swazi farmer/rancher, James Howe and grew up on Mafutheni Ranch, near Manzini, Swaziland. Recruited in 1914 into the RFC by his cousin, Maj Allister Miller, who was also from Swaziland and also a St Aidan's schollar, and was responsible for the recruitment of a great many South Africans into the RFC. Swazi lied about his age in order to attest (at age 16). Initially served as an observer in 10 Sqdn and in 1916 was with Legget when they shot down an Aviatic. Trained as a pilot in 74 TDS and on 1st March 1917 (according to the Journals of Ira Jones - but differing somewhat from official 74 Sqdn sources) 74 Service Sqdn ("Tiger Squadron") was formed from selected pupils and instructors from 74 TDS. Mick Mannock's flight comprised Lts: Roxburgh-Smith, Hamer, Dolan, Howe (Swazi), Clements & Atkinson. Swazi Howe was the youngest in the Sqdn.

The Squadron was posted to France and on 22nd May 1918 Swazi Howe secured his first "kill". Mick Mannock had been coaching him in his shooting techniques. (Being a Swazi rancher, he was an excellent rifle shot but had trouble adapting to the techniques of aerial shooting). On July 15th 1918, whilst on an early patrol, he was wounded in action. In Ira Jones' words "although wounded and crashed, he was in a field hospital near Hazebrouck. He had tried to get back to the aerodrome, bless him. Owing to loss of blood, he had packed up on the way". However, he continued service with 74 Sqdn as he appears in a Squadron Photograph taken outside the Officers' Mess, Clamarais, St. Omer, in September 1918.

He returned to Swaziland after the war and married Kathleen Gilbert on 27th July 1927, in Durban. They had three children (one son and two daughters) and at the outbreak of World War 2 he joined the South African Airforce, stationed at Witbank RSA. In Sept/Oct 1944 he died at his home on Mafutheni Ranch, Manzini, when the house burned down.

As a sidenote: "Volleysight", in his mention of Leonard Allen Payne, states that Payne joined in Swaziland and suggests that this may indicate his residence in the north or north-east of South Africa. It is not known if Payne was also a Swazi but the reason for his joining in Swaziland is very likely to be the Swazi connection with Allister Miller. Of interest is the fact that after the Great War, Allister Miller established the first ever Air Mail service between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and his company was later taken over by the government and became South African Airways.

Hope this helps in your research.

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Sarai

I greatly appreciate the very complete information concerning P.F.C. Howe. No sources I had found were

forthcoming with information of any real significance so this was a veritable wealth of important biographical

details. Miller sounds like a fascinating character in his own right--is there any way to learn more about

him? Again, thank you for taking the time to write--the information is very helpful!

Regards Trelawney

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Sarai

I greatly appreciate the very complete information concerning P.F.C. Howe. No sources I had found were

forthcoming with information of any real significance so this was a veritable wealth of important biographical

details. Miller sounds like a fascinating character in his own right--is there any way to learn more about

him? Again, thank you for taking the time to write--the information is very helpful!

Regards Trelawney

Trelawney,

It's a pleasure! As far as Lt Col Allister MacKintosh Miller DSO OBE (1892 - 1951) goes, the approach road to Port Elizabeth Airport is named after him and there is a bust of him with an inscription mounted in the arrivals hall at Port Elizabeth Airport. I will do some more research and let you have more details but meanwhile his mother, Beatrice Miller nee Thorburn was the sister of Swazi Howe's mother, Kathrine Howe nee Thorburn, both daughters of a very colourful character, John Thorburn who was strongly involved in the early history of Swaziland. Miller's father was Allister MacKenzie Miller also one of the early Swaziland pioneers and it is said that Lt Col Allister MacKintosh Miller was the first "white" birth to be registered (i.e. with a birth certificate) in Swaziland. Will let you know more when we can dig it up.

Regards,

Sarai

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest david_s
Trelawney,

It's a pleasure! As far as Lt Col Allister MacKintosh Miller DSO OBE (1892 - 1951) goes, the approach road to Port Elizabeth Airport is named after him and there is a bust of him with an inscription mounted in the arrivals hall at Port Elizabeth Airport. I will do some more research and let you have more details but meanwhile his mother, Beatrice Miller nee Thorburn was the sister of Swazi Howe's mother, Kathrine Howe nee Thorburn, both daughters of a very colourful character, John Thorburn who was strongly involved in the early history of Swaziland. Miller's father was Allister MacKenzie Miller also one of the early Swaziland pioneers and it is said that Lt Col Allister MacKintosh Miller was the first "white" birth to be registered (i.e. with a birth certificate) in Swaziland. Will let you know more when we can dig it up.

Regards,

Sarai

Sarai / Trelawney

I do have a great deal of information on this family - if interested, please contact me at david_slee@yahoo.co.uk. In return I would be interested to learn more about the Thorburns.

Regards

David

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David S/Trelawney

Would be very interested in any more info on Allister Miller or Swazi Howe. Thanks for your input, David. We have been searching for further info on both but family anecdotal history varies somewhat from the recorded information available on the web. Sadly, vital personal documentation regarding Swazi Howe was lost at the time of his death when the house burned down. Most of the information we have on Allister Miller is concerned with his post-war achievements and his recruiting trip (2nd one) when the RFC were so impressed by the results of his first recruiting effort that they sent him back to fly around South Africa recruiting and, in the process, set up a great many flying "firsts" in SA. Ira Jones's two excellent books: "Tiger Squadron" and "King of Air Fighters" plus a third book title unknown all have quite a bit of info on Swazi Howe who was the "baby of the squadron".

If you have any further info our contact e.mail is sarai@border.co.za

Many thanks. Sarai

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  • 2 months later...
Guest BeverleyHowe
David S/Trelawney

Would be very interested in any more info on Allister Miller or Swazi Howe. Thanks for your input, David. We have been searching for further info on both but family anecdotal history varies somewhat from the recorded information available on the web. Sadly, vital personal documentation regarding Swazi Howe was lost at the time of his death when the house burned down. Most of the information we have on Allister Miller is concerned with his post-war achievements and his recruiting trip (2nd one) when the RFC were so impressed by the results of his first recruiting effort that they sent him back to fly around South Africa recruiting and, in the process, set up a great many flying "firsts" in SA. Ira Jones's two excellent books: "Tiger Squadron" and "King of Air Fighters" plus a third book title unknown all have quite a bit of info on Swazi Howe who was the "baby of the squadron".

If you have any further info our contact e.mail is sarai@border.co.za

Many thanks. Sarai

I am Beverley Howe, my father Earl Patrick Howe (born 26th March 1933) in Bremersdorp Swaziland. All I know is that his father was in the RFC and his name was Charles Howe (either born on 23rd June ? or died on 23rd June ?) Charles Howe was married to Susanna Magdalena when my father Patrick Earl Howe was around six years old they (grandmother, my father and his sister - Maureen) moved to Johannesburg as I think my grandfather (Charles) died in the war. My grandmother Susanna died in June 199? Sadly my father passed away 1st January 1999 in Barberton, South Africa.

My father married Jeanette Elsie Lillian (nee Fourie) on 3rd December 1959 and from their married they had four children:

Robin Ernest Howe (born 29th May 1960), Hilton Ivor Howe (born 17th February 1962 - died 15th May 2005), Charlemagne Childerley (nee Howe) (born 23rd June 1963), and me Beverley Howe (born 17th April 1965).

I would be grateful if you could please let have any details as to whether "Swazi Howe" - "Lt Percy Frank Charles Howe" is related to my side of the Howe family.

Look forward to hearing further from you.

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Bev

I do not have any information that casts light on your inquiry about Charles Howe and P.F.C. Howe. I emailed both Sarai and

David several days ago requesting any clarification they can provide. We will see what materializes.

Regards

Trelawney

UPDATE: Bev

28 May: Sarai just replied; he said that his wife, a Howe descendant, will return in several weeks and she will answer your enquiry.

Trelawney

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest david_s
I am Beverley Howe, my father Earl Patrick Howe (born 26th March 1933) in Bremersdorp Swaziland. All I know is that his father was in the RFC and his name was Charles Howe (either born on 23rd June ? or died on 23rd June ?) Charles Howe was married to Susanna Magdalena when my father Patrick Earl Howe was around six years old they (grandmother, my father and his sister - Maureen) moved to Johannesburg as I think my grandfather (Charles) died in the war. My grandmother Susanna died in June 199? Sadly my father passed away 1st January 1999 in Barberton, South Africa.

My father married Jeanette Elsie Lillian (nee Fourie) on 3rd December 1959 and from their married they had four children:

Robin Ernest Howe (born 29th May 1960), Hilton Ivor Howe (born 17th February 1962 - died 15th May 2005), Charlemagne Childerley (nee Howe) (born 23rd June 1963), and me Beverley Howe (born 17th April 1965).

I would be grateful if you could please let have any details as to whether "Swazi Howe" - "Lt Percy Frank Charles Howe" is related to my side of the Howe family.

Look forward to hearing further from you.

Hello Beverley

I am sorry but none of these names figure in my research. The only area where I do have information relates to the various Allister Millers. I am sorry that I cannot help.

Regards

David

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