Header
Latest News
Home / Historical / TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 1 JUNE
Amphibic Design - Websites - Graphibic Design
George Green

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 1 JUNE

UPDATED: 01/06/2020

1 June 1889, De Beers Consolidated Mines takes control of the Kimberley Mine.
1 June 1893, Anthony M Robeson appointed De Beers electrical engineer.
1 June 1896, A diamond weighing 503¼ carats found in the De Beers Mine.
1 June 1910, George Green (pictured) leaves the DFA to start as Editor of the Cape Argus.
1 June 1925, Lt-Colonel T Ormiston becomes OC the Kimberley Regiment.

The Prince of Journalists leaves Kimberley
George Alfred Lawrence Green, despite being dubbed the “Prince of Journalists” by Cecil Rhodes, and who was the Editor of the Diamond Fields Advertiser from 1898 to 1910, is not very well-known in Kimberley’s history. In fact, his son Lawrence is better known because of his countless and enjoyable books on South Africa’s history.

Born in England in 1868 to a relatively poor newspaper reporter and a lady of high society who had “married below herself”, he was educated at private institutions in Portsea England before leaving school at age 15 years.

Initially employed to address wrappers for the local Portsmouth newspaper deliveries he was soon transferred to the editorial department as a cub reporter, a four year apprenticeship at that time before becoming a fully-fledged reporter. After a stint as the London based correspondent for an English newspaper from India, he set sail for Cape Town South Africa, arriving in 1888 where was employed by Frederick York St Leger as a reporter on the Cape Times.

It was as the Parliamentary reporter that he made an impression on Cecil Rhodes, the Premier of the Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896, although they only met once Green moved to Kimberley as Editor of the Diamond Fields Advertiser in 1898.

George married Katharine Muriel Bell, daughter of the Reverend G Bell of Warwickshire England) on St Valentine’s Day 1899 at the St Saviour Church in Claremont Cape Town. The young couple then settled in Kimberley shortly before the Anglo-Boer War began on 11 October that year, the siege of Kimberley starting on 14 October. Katharine kept a very well written and entertaining diary of the siege, and well worth a read. (It is on the Internet).

She moved from the family residence to the Grand Hotel for safety and security reasons as she was pregnant at the time, and it was during the siege that her first child, the author Lawrence Green, was born. Another two children, Rita Green, and author Rosemary Weir were born to the union.

George Green was very much favoured by Rhodes during the siege and the former Premier regularly sent him cuttings from various English newspapers smuggled in to add variety and spice to a newspaper struggling for newsworthy stories.

In fact, it was a Rhodes-prompted “story” about Kimberley being in dire straits in early February 1900 that saw the DFA cease publication for a few days and Green go into hiding, believed to be underground but more than likely at the Sanatorium. He had incensed the military leaders both inside and outside of the besieged town.

The relief of Kimberley in that same month February 1900 and the end of the war on 31 May 1902 saw George revert to the normal daily newspaper editions Monday to Saturday. This lasted until 1 June 1910 when he was appointed Editor of the ailing Cape Argus, which he saved, and eventually retired from as Editor-in-Chief in 1946.

On the political scene he was one of Kimberley’s “Ticket of Four” parliamentarians for the Cape Colony in 1908, and in 1910 was a member of the first Union of South Africa parliament.

George Green, the “Prince of Journalists”, died in Cape Town in 1949.

1 June 1889, De Beers Consolidated Mines takes control of the Kimberley Mine.
1 June 1893, Anthony M Robeson appointed De Beers electrical engineer.
1 June 1896, A diamond weighing 503¼ carats found in the De Beers Mine.
1 June 1910, George Green leaves the DFA to start as Editor of the Cape Argus.
1 June 1925, Lt-Colonel T Ormiston (pictured) becomes OC the Kimberley Regiment.

DID YOU KNOW

Colonel Thomas Ormiston DSO VD was born on 21 October 1881 in Scotland, and died in Kimberley on 21 September 1961 shortly before his 80th birthday.

PT-Colonel_Thomas_Ormiston-1961

Lt-Colonel Thomas Ormiston

He was originally employed by the De Beers Company on 1 March 1901 as a Guard, but by 1 July 1902 was registered as “Staff” in the Estate Office.

He fought in German SWA in 1914/15 with the Kimberley Regiment, and was a Captain with the 1st SA Infantry Brigade in France. Ormiston was wounded at Marierres Wood, and posted as “Missing in Action” according to the Casualty List No 157 20/4/1918. Shortly thereafter he was reported as being a POW.

After the war ended he was repatriated, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his services during the Great War. He was also awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ Decoration (VD).

By 1923 he was Curator of the Kenilworth Village. In 1936 he was appointed as Farms Superintendent and by the time he retired in 1953 was the Estates Manager. For nearly twenty years he resided at the Dronfield homestead.

Ormiston was the Officer Commanding Kimberley Regiment from 1 June 1925 to 1 July 1929. In 1932 was appointed Brigade Commander of the Cape Brigade with the rank of Colonel, and in World War II was OC Troops Potchefstroom. By 1942 was the Officer Commanding EP Command.

He was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Kimberley Regiment in June 1961.

PT-Colonel_Thomas_Ormiston-Headstone-1961

Lt-Colonel Thomas Ormiston’s Headstone at Kenilworth Cemetery

He died in Kimberley on 21 September 1961 and is buried in the Kenilworth cemetery.

Lt-Colonel T Ormiston

Pictured is Colonel Ormiston and his headstone in Kenilworth cemetery.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Jonathan Dimond

x

Check Also

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 7 JULY

7 July 1977, Phakamile Mabija dies after “falling” from the 6th floor ...

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 6 JULY

UPDATED: 06/07/2020 6 July 1858, The battle of Slypklip where Kausob defeated ...

Website by amphibic.design