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Introduction 1 month 5 days ago #74612

  • chrisff2
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Good morning all. This is my first post on this site. I was born in Zimbabwe in 1953 to an English father and an Afrikaner mother, and grew up in Johannesburg.

I am researching my great grandfather, Hermanus Egbert Pieter Kotze/Kotzee/Coetzee. According to the database at the Anglo Boer War Museum:

www.wmbr.org.za/view.asp?pg=research&pgs...e&opt=ditem&rdID=598 , a Hermanus Egbert Pieter Coetzee died at the English Hospital at Elandsfontein. This entry is undated.

One genealogical record that matches in all respects known details of my family shows that Hermanus Egbert Pieter Kotze died at the English Hospital at Elandsfontein on 01/04/1902:

Gender: Male
Birth: circa 1877
Death: April 01, 1902 (20-29)
Elandsfontein, Heidelberg, Transvaal, South Africa
Immediate Family: Son of Theunis Johannes Kotze and Maria Elisabeth de Beer
Husband of Christina Wilhelmina Gertruida Kotze
Father of Theunis Johannes Kotze and Christina Wilhelmina Gertruida Kotze
Brother of Samuel Jacobus Kotze; Theunis Johannes Kotze; Hilletje Hendrika Maria Kotze and Matthys Johannes Marthinus Kotze

The family story is that Hermanus was in a laager that was surprised at night by a British force accompanied by betrayers. When Hermanus tried to ride out of the attack he was wounded and ended up in an English hospital, where he died before his wife could get to see him.

If that story is right and I have no reason to doubt the basic facts, then the action nearest to it in time and location is the attack by the 2nd Queens Dragoons on the night of 31 March/01 April on a farm at Holspruit or Steenkoolspruit, which went awry when it found itself in contact with a large Boer force under General Alberts. It is vividly described by a Major Vaughan (later Maj Gen) the Dragoons in his account here:

nannau.wales/auctions/miscellaneous/majo...ohn-vaughans-medals/ (the portion that starts "The Boer War – wounded – immediate D.S.O.")

Vaughan's account fits well with the family history: night attack and the British force accompanied by National Scouts, prisoners taken.

Finally, there is an entry in the Transvaal State Archives section on the SA National Archives that shows a compensation claim dating to 1902 by Christina Willhelmina Gertruida Kotzee (born Mienie) the surviving spouse of Hermanus Egbert Pieter Kotzee.

DEPOT TAB
SOURCE MHG
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 0
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE 2539
PART 1
DESCRIPTION KOTZEE, HERMANUS EGBERT PIETER.
STARTING 19020000
ENDING 19020000
REMARKS SURVIVING SPOUSE CHRISTINA WILHELMINA GERTRUIDA KOTZEE (BORN MIENIE).

I would dearly love to find out anything about this bittereinder ancestor who seems to have died within a fortnight of the start of the peace negotiations in the middle of April 1902.

Regards to all.

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