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Christiaan Rudolf de Wet



State President of the Orange Free State

In office
30 May 1902 – 31 May 1902

Preceded by

Martinus Theunis Steyn

Succeeded by

Edward VII
As King of the United Kingdom in right of the Orange River Colony
The Viscount Milner
As Administrator of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony
Abraham Fischer
As Prime Minister of the Orange River Colony (Upon self government in 1907)

Personal details


7 October 1854[1]
SmithfieldOrange Free State


3 February 1922[1]
DewetsdorpOrange Free State ProvinceUnion of South Africa

Military service


 Orange Free State

Years of service





Natal and Transvaal Commandos


Second Boer War

§  Sanna's Post

§  Reddersburg

Maritz Rebellion


Second Boer War


Christiaan Rudolf de Wet (7 October 1854 - 3 February 1922) was a Boer generalrebel leader and politician.

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.

De Wet is mentioned in Kipling's poem Ubique.[2]

[edit]Military career

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.

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.

He took part in the early battles of the Boer War of 1899 in Natal as a commandant, later serving as a general under Piet Cronjé in the west. His first successful action was the surprise attack on Sanna's Post near Bloemfontein, which was followed a little later 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 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)[3].

[edit]Political career

De Wet took an active part in the peace negotiations of 1902, briefly (30 to 31 May) in the role of Acting State President of the Orange Free State, whenPresident Steyn had to leave the negotiations due to illness. De Wet was one of the signatories of the Treaty of Vereeniging. 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 atPretoria. De Wet wrote an account of his campaigns, an English version of which appeared in November 1902 under the title 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 November 12, 1914, taken prisoner by Colonel Brits on December 1, and 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.


Taken from: www.


The Hiding Place

This is a house that is situated in Reitzburg in South Africa, and is the place where De Wet hid his wife while he was fighting in the Boer War. This site was a farm that had about 2 houses and a stable and a pigpen.

This house became a magistrates office after the war, and remained an office until it's demise.

We have gotten permission to search this site, and did search it for about an hour with little amount of finds. We will be going back to the site in the near future.


Walking up to the house.


Is this the seat box of a model T Ford?


Front garden and wall.


Front of main house.


Side Gate.


Inside of the Lounge. Wall has gone.


Out buildings.


Side of house.


2nd House.


2nd House with main house in background. 


2nd House entrance.


Pig Pens in the background.


Entrance to the horse stables.


Back of the Stables.



Stables in the background.


Another view of stables.


2nd Trip to this house

 Went back to this house today (9th July, 2011) and spend a few hours searching it.

Found a lot of Bullet cases and some pottery, and a couple of odds and ends. We had a nice day searching this site. 



A .303 Bullet case. 


Another .303 Case.


End of a hard shell Martini Henry.



An old garden hoe.


A Wrangler Jeans Button.


Piece of fish scale pottery.


White pottery (sorry not clear)


Another piece of pottery.


Piece of white glass.


Small pieces of brass. 


A small cap of aluminium.


Martini Henry shell and a piece of pottery in same hole.


Brown enamel pottery.


Bullet Head ricochet.



.303 shell


Siphon pipe for a paraffin stove. 


Bottom view of pipe showing mesh.


Another .303 case.


Both these .303 and .22 cases found in same hole.


Small lead piece ???


End view of lead piece.


Wrangler Jeans button.

 We had a great days hunting today, a fair amount of good finds found.