He was born during the “Dorsland Trek “in Damaraland on 31 January 1875.
Barend Daniel Bouwer returned to the Transvaal and after school work in the government services in the Commandant Generals offices and later in the offices of the State attorney.
At the beginning of the war he was a state prosecutor in Ermelo.
During the last days of 1895 with the Jameson raids he was told to return immediately back to Pretoria and because he was a witness in the “Parlementaire Onderzoek” that was against Jameson he went to London the next year.
At the start of the war he joined the Ermelo commando and took part in most of the battle in Natal.
He went to the Western districts as part of the Transvaal’s escorts of President Steyn.
At the end of 1900 he was promoted to Commandant by General De La Rey with one of the commandos of General Smuts and the next year they went to the Cape colony.
Here about 150 men of the Colony joined him and till the end of the war they carried on with military operations.
He was wounded four times.
First at Rustenburg, then at Windhoek in the Cape Colony, then in the Van Rhijnsdorp district and last with the siege of O’Kiep Namaqualand on 9 April 1902