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From: "fairygrandma" <fairygrandma@...
To: "South Africa List" <SOUTH-AFRICA@...
Date sent: Sat, 25 Apr 2009 09:41:32 +1000
Copies to: Sth Africa List <SOUTH-AFRICA-CAPE-TOWN@...
Subject: [SOUTH-AFRICA] Maudslay BAYNES,
explorer and dicoverer of BAYNES Mountains.
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I have just entered your circle of friends and I hope to stay with you coz I
have two members of my family who ventured to South Africa and I am having
worst time trying to locate any detail for my records. I really need help
this lot. I will begin with the eldest brother of my maternal grandmother and
the scandal that made it impossible for me to gain even the vaguest of leads,
"We do NOT discuss such matters!" with the note of finality that makes a
genalogist weep for lost stories.
My grandmother, Madeleine, was an upper-class Londoner raised in an
extremely strict Victorian manner. Her elder brother, Maudslay BAYNES was
in 1881 in London, the eldest child of Herbert Morton Walker BAYNES & Isabel
JACKSON. Herbert wrote some 265 papers for religious institutions and several
extremely highbrow books, also on religion. This is probably why three of
their children rebelled, two being banished to South Africa, the third, my
Grandmother being forced to marry her lower class lover and never receiving a
penny of the amassed fortune. Ah, the upper class and their high morals,
they survive today, I wonder?
Back to the story in hand...
Supposedly Maudslay attended one of major colleges but I can find no record
him at Oxford University where he allegedly absconded with funds from the
Social Club. I am assured that he merely borrowed the moneys and truly did
intend to replace it all before he was caught!!! The social embarressment
caused my Grandmother's family must have been just intolerable because
Maudslay was promptly packed off to South Africa "to a relative" to re-adjust
his life etc. etc.
Maudslay got bored with being a Remission man and started trecking the
countryside. He became the first man to map the KUNENE River, from the
Ruacana Falls to the Coastal Desert in 1911. The Germans of Zessfontein were
so impressed with his feat that they named the great & unknown mountainous
range in his honor, hence the BAYNES Mountains can be located on the Kunene
River in Namibia.
Thanks to a distant relative in London I am able to quote from a magazine
story by Randolph Vigne of London who wrote of my Great Uncle when giving his
opinion on a book by L.G.Green, "Lords of the Last Frontier" 1952.
"Maudslay described the place as..."Gloomy and forbidding though it be, the
wild Kunene has a rugged beauty and a clamant attraction where for a hundred
leagues the tortured river writhes and boils through desert mountains to the
sea; sanctuary of the mighty pachyderms, of moon shadows on falling water,
silent mountains under a field of stars."
I somehow feel that the love for this place made up for his hasty departure
from the grey misery and stench of London!
My question is what record is there and where do I locate proof of such a
feat? I have found the South African Encyclopedia which has a short paragraph
about Maudslay. This should be enough for my records but I crave more. What
shipping details would be available for a 1911 voyage? Is there other
landmarks, hotels, schools, a town or something built in his honour? How do
the South African history books refer to the BAYNES Mountains? Can anyone
me where to look to gain further insight into the travels of this elusive
Michelle Kahler, North Ipswich, QLD, Aust.
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