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Christiaan de Wet

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Name  Christiaan Wet
Succeeded by  Position abolished
Role  Politician
Nationality  Afrikaner
Children  Colin Fraser Steyn
Religion  Calvinist

Christiaan de Wet South African Military History Society Journal For the
Profession  Farmer, Boer General, Politician
Allegiance  South African Republic (1880–1881)  Orange Free State (1899–1902)
Died  February 3, 1922, Dewetsdorp, Free State, South Africa
Spouse  Cornelia Margaretha Kruger (m. 1873)
Books  Three Years' War, Strijd Tusschen Boer en Brit. English
Battles and wars  Second Boer War, Sanna's Post, Reddersburg, Free State, Maritz Rebellion
Similar People  Koos de la Rey, Louis Botha, Martinus Theunis Steyn, Piet Cronje, Frederick Roberts - 1st Earl R

Preceded by  Martinus Theunis Steyn

Christiaan de wet singing


Christiaan Rudolf de Wet (7 October 1854 – 3 February 1922) was a South African Boer general, rebel leader and politician.

Contents

Christiaan de Wet The Great Escape of the Boer Pimpernel Kormorant

He was born on the Leeuwkop farm, in the district of Smithfield in the Boer Republic of the Orange Free State. He later resided at Dewetsdorp, named after his father, Jacobus Ignatius de Wet.

Christiaan de Wet GeneraalChristiaanDeWet001jpg

De Wet is mentioned in Kipling's poem Ubique. He was a close personal friend of Helene Kröller-Müller who commissioned a statue of him in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in the Netherlands.

Christiaan de Wet httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Christiaan de wet matrics 2012


Military career

Christiaan de Wet A little biography of Christiaan De Wet Afrikaner Way

De Wet served in the first Anglo-Boer War of 1880–81 as a Field Cornet, taking part in the Battle of Majuba Mountain, in which the Boers achieved a victory over the British forces under Major General Sir George Pomeroy Colley. This eventually led to the end of the war and the reinstatement of the independence of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, more commonly known as the Transvaal Republic.

Christiaan de Wet Generaal de Wet en sy staf te Potchefstroom 1901 Memory

In the years between the First and Second Boer Wars, from 1881 to 1896, he lived on his farm, becoming a member of the Volksraad in 1897.

Second Boer War

In September 1899 de Wet and his three sons were called up as ordinary private burghers without any rank. He was a member of the Heilbron commando and they were ordered to proceed to the Natal frontier. On 11 October 1899, while he was reconnoitring the Natal frontier, De Wet was elected vice-commandant of Heilbron. He participated in the fight at Nicholson's Nek on 30 October, when 954 British officers and men surrendered. Thereafter he took part in the siege of Ladysmith.

On 9 December 1899 De Wet received a telegram from the State President, M.T. Steyn, informing him that he had been appointed a Fighting General and was to proceed to the Western frontier. He found General Piet Cronjé in command of the Boer forces ensconced at Magersfontein South of Kimberley, while the English were at the Modder River. De Wet was to be Cronje's second-in-command. The British advance commenced on 11 February 1900 with General French outflanking Cronje at Magersfontein and riding towards Kimberley. De Wet's raid on the ox wagon convoy at Watervals Drift, capturing 1600 oxen, did not stem the tide. Kimberley's siege was relieved on 15 February and Cronje surrendered with 4000 men at Paardeberg on 27 February. Shortly thereafter de Wet was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Free State forces. They could not contain the British advance towards the Free State capital, Bloemfontein, which was taken unopposed on 13 March 1900.

His next successful action was the surprise attack on Sanna's Post near Bloemfontein on 31 March 1900. This was followed on 4 April by the victory of Reddersburg. He came to be regarded as the most formidable leader of the Boers in their guerrilla warfare. Sometimes severely handled by the British, sometimes escaping only by the narrowest of margins from the columns which attempted to surround him and falling upon and annihilating isolated British posts, De Wet continued his successful career to the end of the war, striking heavily where he could and evading every attempt to bring him to bay. His brother Piet Daniel De Wet, another successful Boer general, was captured by the British in July 1901 and subsequently served against Christiaan as a member of the National Scouts (Boers serving with the British forces).

During the last phase of the war, the Afrikaner people of Winburg taunted the local British Army garrison with an English language parody of Sir Walter Scott's Bonnie Dundee:

De Wet took an active part in the peace negotiations of 1902. Briefly (30 to 31 May) he took on the role of Acting State President of the Orange Free State, when President Steyn had to leave the negotiations due to illness. De Wet was one of the signatories of the Treaty of Vereeniging.

Political career

At the conclusion of the war he visited Europe with other Boer generals. While in England the generals unsuccessfully sought a modification of the peace terms concluded in Pretoria. De Wet wrote an account of his campaigns, an English version of which appeared in November 1902 under the title De Stryd tusschen Boer en Brit (Three Years War). In November 1907, he was elected a member of the first parliament of the Orange River Colony and was appointed minister of agriculture. In 1908-9 he was a delegate to the Closer Union Convention.

De Wet was one of the leaders of the Maritz Rebellion which broke out in 1914. He was defeated at Mushroom Valley by General Botha on 12 November 1914, taken prisoner by cmdt Jorrie Jordaan ( the commanding officer was Colonel Brits) on 1 December on a farm called Waterbury in the Northwest province near Tosca. The general remarked: "Thank God it is not an Englishman who captured me after all " . He was sentenced to a term of six years imprisonment, with a fine of £2000. He was released after one year's imprisonment, after giving a written promise to take no further part in politics.

A monument/needle was erected at Waterbury and consecrated by his grandson dr Carel de Wet on 14 February 1970 who was then minister of Health

De Wet progressively weakened and at length, on 3 February 1922, he died on his farm. General Smuts, who had become Prime Minister, cabled his widow: 'A prince and a great man has fallen today.' De Wet was given a state funeral in Bloemfontein and buried next to President Steyn and Emily Hobhouse at the foot of the memorial to the women and children who died in the concentration camps. On the hundredth anniversary of his birth, a bronze equestrian statue, by Coert Steynberg, was unveiled at the Raadzaal in Bloemfontein

References

Christiaan de Wet Wikipedia


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