Author Topic: PHOTO OF A KOHMANDANT GENERAL  (Read 2673 times)


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« on: September 18, 2008, 06:57:14 PM »

Having had so much success tracing my Great Grandfather with you (thank you everyone) and realising that your Forum also has this section brought to mind a photo I must have had for at least 30 years. It was given to me by an old friend at the time amongst lots of other old bits and bobs. It has been neatly stashed away until now! It is a rather tatty greetings type card. It says Everlasting Silver Leaves from Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa on the front. Inside are three such silver leaves which bear the words ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER and the centre leaf has a print of a soldier with a rifle. Also inside is a photo of a uniformed man holding binoculars and stood at the side of a white horse. He is wearing a hat which just looks like a light coloured bowler style hat. In the background of the photo are armed men wearing hats, leaning over large boulders, looking into the distance and appearing to be ready to fire. The photo has a No 104 on it and bears the name Kohmandant Generaal Louis(?) Botha. Does anyone have any ideas or more information? Bit vague I know but knowing how good you all are thought it was worth a try.





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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 07:31:08 PM »
Hi Robinetta
The following is taken from the following link

Louis Botha (27 September 1862 – 27 August 1919) was an Afrikaner and first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa—the forerunner of the modern South African state. He was one of 13 children born to Louis Botha (26.3.1827 - 5.7.1883) and Salomina Adriana van Rooyen (31.3.1829 - 9.1.1886).

He became a member of the parliament of Transvaal in 1897, representing the district of Vryheid. Two years later Botha fought in the Second Boer War, initially under Lucas Meyer in Northern Natal, and later as a general commanding and fighting with impressive capability at Colenso and Spioen kop. On the death of P. J. Joubert, he was made commander-in-chief of the Transvaal Boers, where he demonstrated his abilities again at Belfast-Dalmanutha. Claims exist that Botha captured Winston Churchill at the armoured train ambush in Natal on 15 November 1899; but this may be a fabrication depending on one's perspective. Certainly Churchill did not mention it in his book on The Boer War London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900), though later he made such a claim. [1] After the fall of Pretoria, he led a concentrated guerrilla campaign against the British together with Koos de la Rey and Christiaan de Wet. The success of his measures was seen in the steady resistance offered by the Boers to the very close of the three years' war.
He was the chief representative of his countrymen in the peace negotiations of 1902, and was signatory to the Treaty of Vereeniging. After the grant of self-government to the Transvaal in 1907, General Botha was called upon by Lord Selborne to form a government, and in the spring of the same year he took part in the conference of colonial premiers held in London. During his visit to England on this occasion General Botha declared the whole-hearted adhesion of the Transvaal to the British empire, and his intention to work for the welfare of the country regardless of racial differences (in this era referring to Boers/Afrikaners as a separate race to British South Africans).
He later worked towards peace with the British, representing the Boers at the peace negotiations in 1902. In the period of reconstruction under British rule, Botha went to Europe with de Wet and de la Rey to raise funds to enable the Boers to resume their former avocations. Botha, who was still looked upon as the leader of the Boer people, took a prominent part in politics, advocating always measures which he considered as tending to the maintenance of peace and good order and the re-establishment of prosperity in the Transvaal. His war record made him prominent in the politics of Transvaal and he was a major player in the postwar reconstruction of that country, becoming Prime Minister of Transvaal on 4 March 1907. In 1911, together with another Boer war hero, Jan Smuts, he formed the South African Party, or SAP. Widely viewed as too conciliatory with Britain, Botha faced revolts from within his own party and opposition from James Barry Munnik Hertzog's National Party. When South Africa obtained dominion status in 1910, Botha became the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.
After the First World War started, he sent troops to take German South West Africa, a move unpopular among Boers, which provoked the Boer Revolt.
At the end of the War he briefly led a British Empire military mission to the Second Polish Republic during the Polish-Soviet War. He argued that the terms of the Versailles Treaty were too harsh on the Central Powers, but signed the treaty.
Botha was a casualty of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1919, succumbing in August of the latter year.
Of Botha, Winston Churchill wrote in Great Contemporaries, "The three most famous generals I have known in my life won no great battles over a foreign foe. Yet their names, which all begin with a 'B", are household words. They are General Booth, General Botha and General Baden-Powell

« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 07:34:46 PM by timberman »


  • Guest
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 10:08:33 PM »
Hi Timberman

How cool is that! Never thought he would be someone so famous - and he has been sat in my little treasure box for 30 years. Thanks so much for that information. I will treasure it even more now.

Kind regards,