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Martens Diaries 1924-1929

Andrew Harty, now in Australia, has the distinction that his branch of the family have been amongst those privileged to have owned Doornhoek and The Gums, both significant farms in our annals. The following is an extract of a diary from Anna Katherina Martens (Shroenn) nee Vorwerk who was married to Hendrick Johannes Thomas Martens 1877 – 1936, as transcribed by himself. Such interesting material and words that really give us an insight into life in Hluhluwe in the twenties. 

A.K.M Martens




Book.1 1924 – 1933.



Zululand 1924

To my Wally-Boy

Walter Stanley Martens


“The Gums”








When you come to a bend in the long, long road, don’t bother to look back and think how clever you have been to travel so far. Put your best foot forward still and – pass along!

When you’ve paused to lend a helping hand to some poor wayfarer, don’t wait for thanks. Give a cheery handshake, a brief smile and – pass along!

When you have a job to do, don’t let the interesting things in the shop-windows of life cause you to linger on the road. Look straight ahead and – pass along!

When you’ve made a purchase and you cannot make a change, don’t let the sight of some cheaper article cause you regret. Be satisfied with the things you’ve got and – pass along!

When you chance to see two people having an argument, don’t stop and stare. Go about your business, and though a trifle sad at heart – pass along!

When you’ve had a good time on the long, long road, don’t linger about in the hope that something else will turn up to amuse you. Give a happy smile of remembrance and – pass along!


Zululand. 1924


Hluhluwe Settlement


Rough Diary. by A.K.M.Martens




Mr. Harry Martens of Doorn Hoek Pietermaritzburg Natal. and I, widow of the late Mr. F Schroenn of Faulklands Pietermaritzbur. Natal.

We were married in the Dutch Reformed Church Pietermaritzburg by the Domini van Heerden. I was 43. years old, had been awidow for 6. years. Harry Marten was 3. years my senior. After the wedding cerrimony we left for Zululand in our own car. For our Home to be. My son Alfred Schroenn was driving the car for us and Sheila Martens Harry’s daughter accompanied us as well . to our Home in Zululand, Harry had taken up a Gov. Holding. H 12. at the New Hluhluwe Settlement in North Zululand, Harry had build a House, and most of our Furniture had arrived already. we slept at Ntonjaneni Store, and arrived at Hluhluwe next day, at our Farm and Home were we were going to live.


Most of the Holdings were now taken up, we were some of the first settlers to arrive, things were very lively every day more settlers arrived, Somkele was the railhead, 50 miles from Settlement, from there, goods had to be transported by Donkey wagon or Lorry. of October 1925 our twins were borne.


my son Alf. Took us to our home, than he had to return to Natal, Sheila remained with us at Hluhluwe, dear child, she was our cheer and sunshine, as a Pioneer’s life, is a hard life. we brought our cattle up from Natal the first 2. years they did exceptionally well, till Nagana broke out in the Settlement when thousands of head of cattle died, we lost over 300. head of cattle through Nagana.

about a year, and a quarter after, we were married, I presented my husband with Twin sons, Harold and Walter Martens, our joy was great, they were lovely Babies. dear Sheila was so sweet to her little brothers. and they adored their big sister. we were living in Malaria country and we all suffered had attaks of Malaria. so did all the Settlers, our Babies too. many difficulties confronted us settlers, in 1926. the devastating floods, it rained day and night for 4 to 6. weeks, the water broke a hole through the wall and rushed through our dining room so my Husband had to go out in the pouring rain at night to dig a trench the small Rivers became roaring torrents, the large River Hluhluwe went over 40.ft. high trees, like a roaring ocean, our crops were ruined, thousands of acres of cotton rotted, the Settlers had worked day & night to plant cotton, our mealis rotted on the stalks, Pumkins and Pota(toes?) & cabbages all rotted, the lands were all lakes and swamps, the Hyenas howled at night. they (? – this page has been added later and stuck in such a way that it ends inconclusively.)


Zululand. The Gums.


Jan 5. replanting cotton


10. Usual farm work, planting mealis, & sweet potatoes there is no winter here so we can plant late.

20 we put in more vegetable seed very hot dry weather.

21. GEN. Kemp Minister of Lands here we Settlers go to Somkele to meet him and Mr Higgs takes him to Settlement in his car. we all follow, and, a Farmers Meeting, held at Hluhluwe Hotel.

22 My husband elected by Settlers as Delegate, to meet Nagana Committee P.maritzburg he leaves for P.maritzburg today.

25. Bullet Harris here Henry and Wilson go Hunting weather dry and hot we

all well.





26.) planting and usual housework. one good thing we have vegetables to eat. more than most Settlers have. Dad is a wonderful Planter. a Settler remarked the other day: you, Martens, could plant a tree upside down it would grow.

27 getting ready to plant Gumtree

28 Dad back from Maritzburg. he is far from well. Malaria.

29 We planted Gum Trees, in all there 2.000. planted now, so our Holding is called “The Gums”, but we need rain so badly, it is hot, blowing gales to day.

30. Meeting of Settlers at, Whites Holding, to discuss matter, where the Stations are to be, the Gov. is now building the Railway line up to Hluhluwe. Dad came home very ill. to day







2nd. We took Henry &. Erich back to station they spend their school Holliday here. it was such pleasure to have them here. I do miss my children so, the weather is fair. we well.

6. Planted, Potatoes, Tamatoes & Beans, my. dear Fred, is here to spend a few days with us it has been raining quite a lot to day. and strong wind.

14. Cleaning Cotton and other lands more rain to day. cold wind. rain was very welcome.

16. we take Fred back to Somkele how I miss him, when we get back home. The empty chair! We planted more Gum treas, also Citrus, Paw-Paw, lemon & sweet lemon, Oranges, Peaches Plums. Dad’s Garden is admired by all. but it’s a struggle



1925. Feb – Mar.


21 yes we work hard to get trees &. plants to grow, but its almost a miracle what Dad has done in so short a time, all the water has to be carried, (it’s killing). and that with attaks of Malaria every now and again. hard work indeed.

23. Sheila left for Maritzburg an a greatly needed Holliday, Mrs. T. (Tonn) took here. now it is more lonely. “A Darby and Joan Buisiness.” Dad &. I miss our children.

24 Buller Harris very bad with Malaria he has nobody to look after him so Dad & I. drive to Umkuzi in our car, and fetch him.. so we can look after him, he is delirious Dad was with him all night next morning he was calm and weak we nursed him back to health. poor lads just lie in their shacks when ill nobody to nurse them thats Pioneer life



Mar. 1925. The Flood. 1925.


9th Buller Harris quite well, so he goes home, we have have the Post Office at our Home, so a friend from Mkuzi had come up for Post. and he takes Buller with, to take him home. I give him some butter and fresh loaf of bread to take with. Tis afternoon it rained very hard and it looks black, clouds &. strong winds blowing, I do not like the weather. I do not feel to well. and my husband seems to be in for another attack of Malaria, he goes to bed early but it is raining very hard now, seems a cloudburst. what has come over Hluhluwe. my native girl burst into dining room, Mrs. the house is coming down, we look out of window and see the swirling mass of water about 3.ft high an verandah. now it beaks a hole through wall under window, I wake my husband and tell him, he gets up, puts his Raincoat an, takes a spade and goes out to dig a trench, I put candles in all the windows, but the rain pours in torrents, he is taken from my view, in the pouring rain, but he succeeded, to dig a trench, eventual he comes in, the rain had eased a little he is wet to the skin. and of course he a terrific attack of ague cold and shivvers. I pack him in hot water bottles and blankets when the ague is over they become exhausted but quite delirious. what a night of terror, it rained and pourd, poured and rained, but no more water came through wall. but poor Dad had to suffer. but eventual he recovered


25 it rained day and night we were completely cut off from the rest of the world. the rivers are roaring Torrents. the little Nemane stream here was over 100 ft. wide the Hluhluwe River as our: “Post Runner”, who tried to get through said, “Bass”! the Hluhluwe is a “thundering Ocean”, (Duma Luanhla) the dip. tank near Hluhluwe River was completely covered (he told us this morn) under water, and the Umkuhla trees & others near the drift, he says, only the tops visible, if we move out off our verandah we sink right down to our knees in mud in places. its just terrible & weird. we did have a good stock of provisions but the Bachlor Settlers were in sore plight, some braved the rivers, swam over to have a square meal, gladly given, with us, Bullybeaf, rice etcs. all the crops rotted & fell over, all the vegetables, hundreds of Gums all died, we had replanted so often. so it would be the same story over when the rain subsides. all the cotton thousands of acres of cotton, mealie crops Potato crop. all gone to “blazes” as poor Dad says it is hard indeed, the Settlers are getting desperate. such is Pioneer life.


The Hyenas howl at night and look for prey. they are hungry, came from the bush, one came right into our Cattle Kraal, and took a calf, the cattle stampeded & bellowed, my husband ran out with his gun, but it had gone.

The young settlers were getting desperate, the local store had a Notice up,:”Provissions sold out.” and closed up. 2 young settlers volunteered, Bill W. & Joe C. to try and get through to Somkele, to bring up some provisions, which they knew were in in the Good shed there, so they put on shorts and Macks & walked most of the road barefoot they had to swim the Rivers, the Hluhluwe River, swarms with Crocks, well they arrived eventual at Somkele, where they met Colonel T. (Tanner) who was Magistrate at Empangeni and who was glad to see them, as he was there because he


The Umfolosi Bridge was gone! (insert added at top of page)


had been so worried about the young Settlement & Settlers, fearing they might be short of food, so he had come all the way from Empangeni by Donkey wagon (top of page insert indicated here) he had brought a boat, and they must try to get some provission through, so they loaded another wagon. with provisions, covered it well with bucksails, took a good supply of rope, and set out on their way through rain & swamp. they had to swim the rivers tie a rope to a tree and haul boat on which the provissions were loade, across, than the donkeys & wagon, the rope fastened an to front Donkeys, all the man pull than the Donkeys swimm and the wagon follows. loaded again the trip goes an


even the Umfolisi Bridge was swept away. Col. Tanner accompanied the Settlers through to Hluhluwe. (insert added at top of page)


till eventual they arrived safely at Hluhluwe Store, where now mealie meal & Bully beef, could be rationed out to the half starved Settlers. After the floods, Malaria was very bad, and several of the Settlers died, some sad cases one Settler died, his wife was very bad with Malaria, 2. colourd men, found, them, and they buried the man, and took care of the woman, till we could get through to her, and take her to our home, till she could go back to her mother’s home.


a year after the floods we experienced a severe drought, the rivers dried up, no grass for the cattle, cattle and sheep die of starvation, when rain came at last, Nagana broke out that reduced us Settlers to poor whites! thousands of cattle, died, we and others lost 300 head &. more. many young settlers were completely ruined and walked out, some died. 42. of our sheep were killed in one night by Hyenas. we lived near the Game reserve that is were they came from. a Rhino walked through our fences and tore the fences down. in 1928. Sheila our dear daughter was married. she married Cecil Harris from Ulundi Store. Sheila our dear little,”Pal”, how we shall all miss her, her Dad &. I, and her two little brothers, especially her Wally-boy, who she nursed since childhood. but we do not grudge her, her happiness, she richly deserves to be happy,


new page headed 1928 – 5th September


all the Settlement will miss her, they all love her she was their little:”Post Master”, all from the opening up of the Settlement. Cecil arrived day before wedding to take Sheila to Hlabisa, to sign Marriage Contract, so Mrs. Lister &. I and Hercules decorate the dining room, wherein, the Padre Ainsley from Empangeni is to perform the marriage ceremony to morrow. the room is a large room we decorated it with flowers, Palm leaves, and greenery. all the chairs were put in rows &. other seats made ready, the Settlers will turn up en force to morrow. we made an altar, by covering the sideboard, with white table cloth and standing two candles on and a Bibble lies in centre


new page headed 1928. 5th September


Mrs. Lister. &. I had made cakes sandwhiches, and arranged a table full of eats &. drinks an front verandah of our home.

I had ordered a wedding cake from P.M.Burg for Sheila. her lovely wedding dress I had ordered for her. G.R. made it, also her smart going away dress. MRS. Lister & I dressed our Sheila, in her wedding dress and put her veil on all of which I had ordered for her, I alone, because I love her, she was A sweet bride, our loss, is Cecil’s gain after refreshments had been taken and enjoyed, we changed Sheila into her going away frock Mrs Lister & I had packed a nice lunch hamper for them as thay weregoing touring through Rhodesia. “good bye!” is said, and soon their car disappears over,”Burkes Hill,” and our dear Sheila who had been through all the hardships with us had left us. her two little twin Brothers, her Dad &. I. we all miss her so very much but we wish her “luck”, with all our heart, and may her future be as happy as she deserves.


I should have written the whole story of the Hluhluwe Settlers, but although I intended to, it did not realize, things were so unsettled, what with all the trials and disasters and illness, we could hardly keep going. so I just did not write although I am keeping a rough diary of our own life, at H.12 and H.11 our Holdings.



Zululand 1929.


Feb 1929. I came away from Hluhluwe on a/count of the Babies having had a bad attack Malaria, Doc ordered us to take them away till May, I stayed with the children in our old home 251. Boshoff St

8th May we came back to P.M.Burg after spending 2. weeks with Harry’s parents at Doorn Hoek, mother and father were very kind to us and the children were very well and happy. I intend to go back to Zululand now, as fever season is drawing to an end now. Mother and May and Fether (Oupa) take us into town. by car.

9th. I do some for the children and for our home in Zululand all sorts is needed.

11. I am packing now

I am packing up to go back to Zululand. Fred &. Gwen came to say good bye, Gwen brought me a lovely bott of perfume for the trip. sweet of you Gwen dear, fred raile dup some of our boxes, but he had to go on duty, so when Alf came later he did the rest, I had much luggage this time

Alf and Erich took me to the Station at 10p.m. we went into our comp. I put the Babies to sleep Fred & Gwen, Erich & Iris & Alf all were there to see us off. we had tea together than good bye and good night, the Babies were asleep, I too lay down now to rest and at 2.30 am. our train moved out of Station and we were leaving P.M.B. for Durban

The Babies slept all night a 7 a.m. we arrived Durban Bob. &. Rae were there to meet us, Mrs. Spencer had asked us to spend the day with them at their home 94. Nicolson Rd.

12. Mrs Spencer, made us feel so at home it was a lovely quiet Sunday with them at 10.p.m they all took us to the Station in Mr. Spencers Car

Bob, arranged everything for me so we were soon in our compartment, the Babies asleep we all said good bye and good night again they left, I too lay down in my compartment to rest. at 11.p.m the train moved out of Durban Station, to Zululand.

13. we arrived safely, at Hluhluwe Station, but I and the Babies were very tired indeed, a long trip it had been. Dear Daddy stood on the Platform receiving us, with his fond smile and open arms. the Babies were so happy to be with their Daddy and I glad to be with my husband we got onto our wagon and after another hours trip we were home.

14. I am very busy cleaning up after months of absence, the house needs it, the children are happy to be home but our little Harold is very unwell to day we are very worried, as it seems another attack of Malaria fever

Cold rains today.

15 Our Wally-boy also ill no doubt

16 Malaria again, all my time is taken up nursing them, my poor little Boys, how you suffer of only we could get away from here. for your sakes. it is cruel.

17. children both improving, it must have been the cold weather that brought on the attack of Malaria. to day the weather is fine.

18. The children almost well, but both look very pale. it worries me we heard a car coming, and to our happy surprise, it is Cecil, he has brought dear Sheila.

19. How nice to have Sheila with us it is just as of old. the Twins are so happy with her here. they both so much better to day.

20. Blowing gales, how I hate this wind, its so depressing, we cannot open a window or door

Daddy is reaping mealis to day

21 Windy & very hot weather. we are all well Sheila still here. we are so glad.

22. Fine day, the wind has spend its fury last night, Bill Wilson here to seeus.

23. Mr & Mrs Burke, and her sister Miss Simons here to visit us, fine day, enjoyable afternoon

24. Fine weather we all well, Doc Haupt called had supper here he had to investigate a murder case in Native Reserve he is District Surgeon from Hlabisa.

25 Fine day, the Babies are well, Sheila and I clean up, than we go for long walk, just like in olden times. we enjoy each others comp. Daddy still buisy in lands reaping mealis & Pumkins and beans.

27. Monday. Ordinary farm work we do the washing, very windy day


May 1929 June 1929


28. Sheila, Dad, myself & the Twins to visit Mrs Burke in afternoon

later, very cold wind blowing.

29 buisy sewing and gardning

weather fine, but windy.

30. we pick gooseberries I made jam we have lovely tomatoes, and eggs are plentiful. Dad does ordinary farm work. blowing gales again.


June 2. Sunday fine weathere, Mrs. Lister here very enjoyable afternoon

Sheila still here, Cecil did not come we expected him to day.

3 Monday, washing done, very cold windy day Bill Wilson here, Dad started to build Rondavel, he fetched Grass from Burkes farm to thatch with.

4. Fine weather. ordinary farm work

Meyer here to day.

5. weather cold wind, raining Eric van Greunen shot a buck. later had attack Malaria

5. Bill Wilson here, he is Game Ranger, Sheila still here, we are so glad.

Harry building Rondavel, the Twins well, Dad send leg of buck to Mrs. Spencer, because she send him a fruit cake. One Ox died Nagana.

I am writing letters to my sons in Natal, in evening. cold dark night.

6. Cold rain, and gales blowing our little Harold not well again.

Sheila still here, what luck.7. Cold drizzle, gales blowing still, had letter my brother Willy very ill in Natal.

8. Sunshine, but very cold and windy

2. oxen died Nagana. Mr v. Merwe and Police Constable have lunch with us.

9th Sunday, Cecil arrived to fetch Sheila they leave after lunch. sad little Wally was heartbroken, he cried for an hour he did not want his dear sister to leave him

So Sheila dear is gone, it’s lonely this eve. little Wally has sobbed himself to sleep, why did Sister leave him. he says. he wants to go to her and stay there poor little man loves her so very much.

11. Tuesday, weather fine, Dad does ordinary farm work and works at Rondavel.

12 Wednesday, cold &. windy

several ewes lambed, we have to take and feed some of the lambs, the mothers have not milk enough to feed them, I have 4. lambs to feed on bottle with cows milk. and they do love me. and follow me as if I were their mother. dear little lambs. the Twins love them so.

16 June. Sunday cold and windy little Harold fell and cut his face last night bad cut above eye.

17. Weather Fine, Malida did my washing to day, little Harold’s eye much better this morning.

18. Tuesday, fine weather warm and no wind, I was sewing little dresses and Petticoats for dear Sheila. she is expecting a Baby.

Bill & Nan Wilson here, to show me her Baby, dear little Baby Boy he was born Empangeni Hospital.

19 Col, Rainy day, carting sand for Rondavel.

20 Fine weather, Dad building, I do cooking & housework, and made soap.

21. Windy, hot day, Mrs Burke came over in afternoon, I cut up the soap I made, Turned out fine

Dad took Cecils fat Oxen to Station to truck them. than he went on to Association Target shooting at Hluhluwe

22 Goddard & van Greunen fetched more sand more building Rondavel

Dad not back from shooting. weather hot. we all well.

23. Sunday van Greunen left early, myself, the Twins & Jack Goddard at home fine weather, we all well, Dad came back 9.p.m.from Shooting range.

24 Weather fine, ordinary housework. cooking baking sewing

Esther did washing to day. the man building and other farm work.

25. Tuesday. fine weather, ordinary farm and house work done

another Ox died Nagana.

26. Hot weather, Dad had to go to Court, on a/c of native Jim he had stolen fowls native was convicted and jailed.

27. Thursday. weather fine, I take children for walk, with their nurse girls to Ncmane, where they played in the sand and paddled in the water. Dad building, and Jack Goddard helps building van Greunen ploughing.

28th. Friday. Mr Wild borehole inspector, and van Der Merwe here to see about fixing our pump on borehole, what a blessing it will be to have water.

I did some ironing and other housework. expected Mrs Lister, but she could not come to day.

29th Saturday, weather fine, the Twins are well and happy, van der Merwe puts pump on borehole to day. Mrs Lister came to day we are allwell. and the children happy I am glad Mrs Lister came (last sentence appears to have been added later).


June 1929. &. July 1929


30th. Cold drizzle, and wind

Jack Goddard ill, Malaria

1st July. Mr Mercer & Mr. James arrived for a hunting trip. Dad & Mr Lister take hunting party, to hunting area, Dad to stay a few days with them in Camp. Jack G building, Eric v. Greunen ploughing. we are all well.

2nd. Windy day, same old home and farmwork, as usual. little Harold has a nasty rash I keep him in bed, proably German measles he is slightly feverish. life is so monotonos will things ever improve here everything seems to be a loss.

3. July Cold Windy day, same old story – cooking, baking, mendingsewing, sweeping and dusting, the man ploughing & building. Harold better. but pale.

July 3rd. little Harolds rash is gone but his and his brother’s appetite is very poor. it worries me so. We went to Kraal to see Wally-boy’s cow and her lovely little calf. just calved last night. the children just loved it.

4th. Cold Windy day, blowing gales I have to keep all windows and doors closed and keep the two little fellows in, we could not go for a walk to day. the children are far from well, they are pale and thin and have no appetite, they had only a nibble at breakfast it worries me so. we are expecting their Daddy back to day. I received letters from my boys in Natal. they always cheer me, life is very depressing here nothing but worry and trouble. and a few happy moments thats life here

5th Friday. Mr Mercer Charli James have left for Station, they slept here last night. Mr Lister brought them back, by lorry. fine weather to day.

6. Saturday Windy cold day, we were all invited and taken to Joy Prices, Birthday Party to day Mr Burke fetched us by car the children enjoyed the Party the children are fairly well.

7 Sunday. very quiet nice warm weather, after yesterdays cold wind. Bill Wilson & Nan here, later Mrs Hampson and van der Merwe came, , my stepson Henry Martens here to day. all are well.

8. Monday. weather fine. Mrs Lister arrived to spend the day, she is always welcome my dear friend Mr. Lister and my husband leave to do some prospecting.

July 8th. weather hot in afternoon storm this eve. Mr Price came this eve, he brought Laila Hampson, Joy Price, & a Mr Boshoff. Mrs Lister sleeps here Dad &. Lister camp out in bush. I hope they are well. the storm was severe lightning very bad. I hope the men are safe

9th. very cold, wet, and windy to day Dad & Jack Kister came home poor little Harold developed fever again, my poor little lamb, it breaks my heart, to see them suffer so. if only we could get out of it. it saps their lifeblood. they are so pale and ill. Jack & Mrs Lister went home in afternoon.

10. very cold to day. Harold a little better but so pale, and refuses all food. I feel quite desperate a times

10. July cold day, my best cow died to day, it looks as if everything here is cursed, I wish we were out of it here. its easier to come here than to get out. The men are desperate.

11. very strong cold wind to day I ha d to keep the children in, and the house shut up Jack G got another load of thatch from Tapi’s Kraal. terrible wind, the children are asleep, Dad is reading, I am writing. and the wind howls.

12. quiet day, I had nice letters from Natal, so cheering to me

the children are playing out in the garden lovely flowers they are happy, and much better to day. dad is lying down after dinner nap. the men are very buisy an farm

13. Saturday. blowing gales, Jack burned the grass on H.11. what a blaze, it burned all night. but we had good fire breaks for the Gums.

14. Sunday, cold windy day. we went for walk in afternoon Dad Harold, Wally & I. we enjoyed walk we all well, today!

15. Great Joy, we received Telegram from Cecil, Sheila’s daughter borne last night. we are so very glad. She is in Maritzburg, and I worried a lot, so very glad she and Baby are well.

16th cold wind, usual farm work

17. The Jacksons arrived to day 4.p.m. we are so glad to see our old friends from Natal.

very cold wind blowing all night.

18. weather fair, cool almost cold we enjoy having our friends Mr & Mrs Jackson with us, we went for a long walk with them in afternoon we did some fishing in pond. some fine breeme were caught. the children not to well.

19. windy, hot day, how weather changes, we went for a walk, to pump, and right up the Hill Mrs Jackson admired scenery you can see the Lake, from top of hill.

20 Saturday. Mrs Jackson took me for Spin in her Car, we went to Post, to Store, & called on Mrs Lister.

21. Quiet day at home, weather fair. in afternoon we go for a long walk.

22. Monday. usual farm work and washing done.

22 In afternoon we called on Mrs Burke. children seem a little better. & happy.

23 Tuesday usual farm work

24. Mrs Jackson takes me to Station & Post & Store and we call on Mrs Lister, my dear friend.

25. Mr & Mrs Jackson leave for Natal. I am glad that the weather is fine, we shall miss our friends. it was nice to have them. we give them Paw-Paws, they say the largest they have ever seen, and they are glad to take a few with. a quick good bye, and off the car goes we wish them a safe trip home.

28. Dad works at Drift to make a dam for Cattle so they have water in winter

a cow died to day.


Two blank pages each marked X



Aug.1. same old farm work the men are shelling mealis ectr. I do the cooking, baking mending, sewing ects good things we have vegetable & fruit and tomatoes, we sell quite a bit to the other Settlers & to the Hotel. Dad has a bit of of a nursery, and sells trees and flowers in tins to some of the Settlers he had sold quite a good many young gums. of course it is only through careful nursing and watering you get them to grow. at all, in this Place.

4. we are expecting Erich and Party Alex.&.Louis were to come with. it is very cold and blowing gales. we are all well so far. it is raining now I wonder if they will manage to come.

4 Erich and Party have arrived cold and wet through just as we had had our supper. but soon, they are all dry and sitting down to enjoy hot soup & tea and supper, and all are happy talking about the coming events of their hunt they had a rough trip driving in Cold winds & rain from Stanger where it began to rain. they are glad to be here.

5. The Hunters were up early and, after breakfast they leave for Biala, where Henry is on Cecil’s farm, and has promised to take them to the right places to have some sport. the weather seems to be clearing up nicely now.

7. Dad buisy on farm as usual, I do not feel to well.

8. Erich and Party back from Henry. Bill W here, he will take them, “to shoot some game”, he says they got very little at Biala way

Mrs & Mr Lister came with van der Merwe, weather fair. children well

9. Jack cuts grass to thatch Rondavel

Naganol,” arrived von Cape Town supposed to be a remedy against Nagana. children well these days.

10. Saturday, I worked very hard to day, no help, I feel tired, the children are asleep and well

11 Erich & Party back from.B.W. they have had real good sport. all now skinning buck and making Biltong and sending venissen to Natal to their friends & family. they are in high spirits for more sport now.

12. Eric & Party and Dad all left for False Bay, for a few days shooting, they are having a great time

Jack G. and Eric van Greunen work an farm I stay at home, children well to day.

13. They are back this eve from Bay they have had good sport, I am so glad, that my Boy, is enjoying his holliday, he went with W. Wilson to repair Bills car, weather cool, no wind

15 Alex Eric & Louis go with Bill again to have more sport Dad does farm work.

16. The Hunting Party back they had some more luck. so more skinning ectr. Erich goes to Station to fill up with Petrol they are packing up to leave to morrow. they have a hearty super all sleep early to night.

17. After an early breakfast, which all enjoy Erich & Party leave for Natal, they have a heavy load, skins &. biltong & venissen

I watch till the lorry disappears over Burkes Hill. the weather is fine clear & cool.

Dad finished the small Rondavel to day, he worked so hard it is a fine piece of workmanship and will be a very useful and cool storeroom.

we are all well.

18 Sunday, very windy children are well

Mr. & Mrs Burke and family here. in afternoon.

19 Monday, washing day Jack & Dad building large Rondavel

Priyce brought Col Hughes, American, they ask Dad to take them to Game Reserve he wants to take Photos of Wild game.

20. very cold and blowing gales, girl is ironing, I do mending sewing

I am very worried about Dad he is not back yet from Game Reserve with Col Hughes. and the weathers is very cold and Wind very bad, and it is drizzling now. what a night. the children are asleep warm in bed. I worry about Dad.

I have not heard from Erich and Party I hope they had a safe trip back home.

I wish Dad was home the weather is to misserable to be out. I decide to go to bed. when at 10.p.m. Dad arrives cold & wet. but I am so glad he is back soon the Kettle is boiling on our Primus stove & we enjoy a cup of tea together. what a misserable weather . to night

22. Cold Rain misserable day we stay in house all day. children well

24. weather cleared. lovely morning bright sunshine so clear & fresh

Buller Harris arrives to take us to Ulundi, to see Sheila’s & Cecils Baby. we arrive late what a lovely Baby, and Sheila has a nice little home. Wally-boy is so interrested in Sheila’s Baby, we spend a very nice Holliday at Sheila’s and Cecils home

it was very windy, but the children and we old folks really enjoyed our stay. Baby Kathleen is a real pet.


Sept 1 Cecuil had to go to his farm at Biala so he took us back to our home

Cecil and Dad went out to shoot a buck, while I cleand up and got some food ready. Our nice little Holliday is over. back to work

3. weather fine no wind, air clear and fresh, Cattle dieing with Nagana

sheep are fine doing well. Dad not well, Malaria, the children well. I am buisy in the house.

4. very cold wind this morning the children and Dad not well

8 weather clear, to day van der Merwe he/here (unclear) he boreing forman. (unclear) Dad& Twins up to day. they still look so pale and misserable. if only we could get away from here its not a place for children

10 E. van G. fencing, Jack ploughing Dad cold &. malaria worse again weather fair. the children much better, we loose more cattle with Nagana.

11. very heavy storm, thunder & rain, Potatoes just planted.

little native girl Nelli came to look after the Twins. or help in house

12 Cloudy heavy rain early in the morning, I wrote to my boys in Natal. now its storming again. very heavy rain, like a cloudburst it rained 1 ½ hours without a break.

13. Lovely morning, sunshine and blue sky, we put in Tobacco seed. and did gardening, the children so happy in the garden. Daddy is up and feeling much better. real lovely day. of sunshine.

14. Sunday, cool but fine after the rains, a quiet day we go for a little walk in afternoon

15. Washing day, buisy as usual, we are all well, weather warm not much wind. van Greunen left us to day, to work elsewhere

we are buisy in garden every day planting. Dad much better.

19. Windy and very hot weather, vet surgeon De Wett, here to inoculate our Cattle, he took the children and myself over to Burkes in his car when he left in afternoon

in the eve little Harold not well

letter from my son Fred he is comming to spend a few days with us, I am so glad. it cheers me these letters from my sons.

20 Saturday cold windy weathere it is damp a drizzle in afternoon

little Harold has Malaria again my poor little man, he is so good and just wants his Mam. it just breaks my heart to see him suffer so.

21 Sund. Cold in the morning it clears in afternoon

Mrs Burke &. family spend afternoon hear. it cheers one to have friends come. little Harold a little better to day.

22. very hot day, no wind, dear Fred arrived, he does not know how happy I am that he came

little Harold is up to day. but so pale.

24. The Twins just love Fred they are talking to him all the time

we spend happy hours together there is so much to talk about.

25. Cold rainy day, sorry Fred struck this misserable weather, but we do not mind much.

26. Fred went fishing he caught two nice fish for supper.

28. Dad & Lister went to look for lost Donkeys, cold windy day

Jack & Fred go fishing in afternoon

Fred went with Jack to see Mrs Wall later

29 De Wett here to inoculate Cattle against Nagana, Fred helps him

Fred enjoys farm life. The children are well now.


Oct 1. Rain, and cold wind blowing Fred to Station to book his seat back to Maritzburg he rode on “Chum” our dear old Horse. From Natal. such a fine horse, “Chum” is.

2 Oct. Erich birthday, he is 19 years old to day my Baby boy, is now a young man.

3.Oct. we all went fishing in afternoon Fred with us. the Twins enjoyed it so. lovely afternoon. to morrow Fred will leave us, his Holliday time is up.

4. To day, Friday Fred has packed all his Prizes he won at running, such lovely Prizes, he takes them to day I looked after them for him, but now dear Gwen will look after them. I am so happy to know he is engaged to dear Gwen Davies, he is a lucky boy.

4. Fred goes to Station on our Oxwagon. I shall miss him so very much. such is life, just meeting & parting. but it was so nice to have you here my Boy, so I say, till we meet again. good luck. my Boy!

5. Saturday. Cold, cloudy day I do miss my Boy. hope he got safely back to Maritzburg

we all well but little farm work done as it started to rain.

6. Sunday. still cold and cloudy, but clears in afternoon

very quiet day we all well.

7. clear hot weather to day

I do the washing with Esther usual Farm work done.

8. to day. its cold again how the weather changes, Dad very unwell feverish cold.

Henry left (unclear). Spend week end with us.

9th Oct. My little Sweethearts birthday to day, my Twins are 4. years old. I made a cake they received presents from Dear Sheila and the children in Natal. such nice presents. so good of you all. very happy day.

10. very hot to day we expected a storm. another cow died to day Nagana is taking its toll.

we planted Tobacco and vegetable seed I received letter, my bro. in law Artie Arnold passed away, how sad, dear Artie, a good man, and in the prime of Manhood he is taken poor Mary, my heart aches for you how sadly you will all miss dear Artie. such is life.

11. had a letter from Fred. he arrived safely back in PM.B. I was glad to hear from him

12. several sheep ill, De Wett here to inoculate sheep. it seems just one thing after the other, many of the young Settlers have ”got out,ruined,” it seems really wicket. that nothing can be done. Dad not well yet.

13. Sunday very hot day and so Windy have to keep all house shut up, I wrote to the children in Natal &. Sheila. I feel so depressed the childrens health is so poorly, they are far from well.

14. Nov. poor little Harold very ill, I am so worried. about him he had convulsions. such a high temperature. I wrote to Daddys Mother, I think Harry should leave Hluhluwe, another attack of Malaria for little Harold he cannot survive.

11. Malida good girl back to work I am very pleased we do washing and clean up. I do need the girl.

15 Mr Johansen experimental officer here had lunch with us What a treat that we have peaches and Paw Paws & sweet Lemons in this heat it is a real treat we are lucky to have fruit, Dad has worked so hard, so that we could enjoy fruit I do appreciate it.

17 Sunday, Bill W. brought Mrs Lister over we were glad to see them, and did she and the children enjoy our fruit, nobody else seems to have fruit and vegetables in the Settlement it shows how Dad has worked.

18. the heat is almost unbearable yesterday 110. in the shade to day almost as bad.. one can hardly keep alive.

Henry is here with us, he gave up his job.

weather still very hot.

Mrs Wheelwright and Mrs Higgs here they took peaches & Paw-Paws, & Lemmons.

20. cloudy morning, so the day was not so hot. cool this eve.

23. my birthdat I had letters & presents from all the children a Telegram from Sheila

Dear old Dad as usual had ordered a lovely birthday cake from Bakers Durban, and a bottle of good wine, Mrs Lister & family, Mrs. Burke & family were here very enjoyable afternoon

the Twins so sweet and good but so pale it worries me so. when I see how pale all these Hluhluwe children are, no place for children yet.

29 Friday we walked over to see Mrs Burke she is very ill Malaria dear little woman so brave and trys not to show how misserable she is. she was so glad to see us.

30 De Wett here to see sheep & cattle.Henry to Station to bring Post and other goods.


Dec 1. Very hot to day, and it is getting very dryr the grass is brown, we still have lovely fruit Paw-Paw, Peaches, Grenadillas, Lemons and new Potatoes in garden

2. Dad went to meet De Wett who is taking him on a trip up North all about Nagana.

3. very hot day been blowing gales. I was sewing for children &. and send cream to Station as usual on a Tuesday, its thundering storm coming

I wish Dad was back. children asleep

Dad came back late at night. I am glad he is back.3.

Daddy came back late at night I was glad when I heard him its misserable to be alone.

8. Dec. we went over to Listers by wagon cool early in morning later it got very hot. it just flattened the poor littleTwins out

Harrold very unwell in afternoon Bill W kindly offered to take us home by car. wagon followed I was grateful so I could put little Harold to rest in bed.

9. very cold & windy rain in afternoon

10 fine, hot day so I and girl did the washing to day.

11. our fowls are dieing every day. and some oxen dead. with Nagana. nothing seems to help children fair not to well

20. Dec Jack &. Henry cart sand. I feel very ill this eve.

21. weather wet, & cold Henry to Station, Mr Burke brings Post & Xmas Parcels from Natal & Sheila presents from our dear ones for the children and all of us, Dad not to well&. cattle die every day

22 Sunday, weather perfect to day so fresh & clear & mild after all the rain. this is a wonderful country, some day it will be fit for people to live here, but what it costs to tame it, life &. money

Bill Wilso spend eve with us.

24. buisy cleaning and decorating house and making Xmas tree for the children. later Henry to Station he brings he brings more parcels

Gwen send me a Xmas cake so sweet of my children & friends, & Sheila to think of us here in the Wilds. it keeps us going.

Dec 24. we lighted the Xmas tree and put all the Toys for the two little Ones ready, than we brought them in to see, they were speachless there was a pedal car, motor cars racing cars with lights on, just to lovely to watch their dear little faces, if only the givers could have seen them, now they are on the floor Jack & Henry showing & helping them the motor cars are racing across the room. baboons, and so many other toys hopping & dancing. 24 little did I know that to morrow my little Harold would down with Malaria. I wrote this later.

25 Mr & Mrs Burke came over Xmas morning and invited us to come with to the lake it was a lovely clear morning sunshine and blue heavens no wind. many Settlers were there a picnic of the Settlement

the children were happy playing on the beach. building castels. a happy Xmas. my thoughts are also with our dear ones far away. little Harold is not well, he is sleeping but very feverish not matter what we try no matter what Doc orders nothing helps. the only thing that would help would be to get right out of this fever County. my poor Babies to see them suffer and suffer it is just dreadful

26. Hot windy weather, I put the Twins to bed little Harold very ill, and my husband also feverish. I am writing to Sheila & my boys in Natal. Our Pinapples are lovely. such large fruit and so sweet.

27. Dad very ill and both little One are ill. just another attack of Malaria.

28. Mrs. Lister came to see us, she is a dear. such a good friend. Dad and the children a little better to day.

30 Cool clear weather I took the children out in the Garden they love so well, we picked flowers. Dad & umfaan killing Grasshoppers thousands of Grasshoppers, attacking our vegetable &. fruit

if its not one pest it’s the other.

31 Cold drizzle no wind, ordinary farm work and house work. the Children not wel


1 Jan. both Children ill, my little Harold says Mammy put me to bed I am so tired. yes my lamb was tired. I put him to bed, all nourishment they take is Orange or Lemon drinks.

2 Little Harold very ill convulsion again. I never leave him. if I could only help him. Mrs & MR Lister come over, and stay to night. Daddy not well he looks after Wally. Mrs Lister & Jack & myself ar all night up with Harold he is so ill.

3 I never leave my Baby all day he is so weak and suffering partly delirious. just takes a cool drink accassionally. Jack & Mrs Lister stay with us, good friends



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