Two more requests for information from the FAD colloquium.
Graham Read wrote:
I have made several unsuccessful attempts to identify the team, the school and the players in the photograph. My only information is that the boy at top left was Rolf Londal (1909-1965). It looks like “Kennedys TA XV 1923” is lettered on the rugby ball although there are only 13 players. The photograph was taken in Durban and perhaps a FAD reader can provide details.
Mark Lingenfelder wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Thanks also for the wonderful website on Durban history! Maybe you will be able to help me with my research.
I am busy writing a book about a crime that was committed in Durban in 1943. The crime involves a British soldier of the Royal Artillery, named Sidney Bernard Smith, who was stationed at the Clairwood Military camp from which he absconded. He was arrested for the rape and subsequent death of an 11-year old Montclair girl named Doreen Nutbeam, which happened at St Stephens church, Montclair. The search for him and his ultimate arrest was one of the largest Durban had ever seen, involving over 1000 policemen and civilians. He was tried and found guilty based on circumstantial evidence, and sentenced to death. The trial however, was fatally flawed and his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. The crime and trial made international news and even cast a shadow over the Smuts government.
Nicky Nortje’s article vaguely alludes to the incident. He speaks about it as a “rumour” and claims the Church of St Stephens is haunted by the girl’s ghost. I can imagine that many urban legends must have grown up around this tragic incident, which in fact did happen on Christmas eve 1943. I would like to ask him where he got this information from and if he has anything to add.
I have attempted to make contact with anyone living in the Montclair area during the 1940’s, but have had no luck as yet. If you know of anyone who was living in this area, or Durban, during the second world war, please let me know. Maybe they will have some recollection of the incident.