General – Louis Botha

General Louis Botha
General Louis Botha was born on the family farm near Greytown, Natal, in 1862. He attended a German Mission School. His first experience
of war came in the operations during the Zulu Wars of 1883 to 1888. He married in 1886 and moved to a farm in the Vryheid district of the
New Republic which became part of the Transvaal two years later. At the start of the Boer War, he joined his commando in October 1899 as
an ordinary burgher but was soon promoted to Acting General during the Battle of Modderspruit (Ladysmith) on 30 October 1899 in place of
Lukas Meyer who had become ill. A month later he was appointed General and given responsibility for the defence of the Tugela. He played a
decisive role in the battles of Colenso, Spion Kop and Vaal Krans. After the death of General Piet Joubert on 27 March 1900, Botha was
appointed to be the Acting Commandant General. He commanded the forces of the Transvaal until the end of the war. Later in 1910, he became the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa and commanded Union troops in German South West Africa in 1914-1915. He attended the
Peace Conference in Versailles in 1919 and died that year in Pretoria.