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Nicolaas Johannes Scholtz 1 year 11 months ago #77003

  • RobCT
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I am going to do a jiffy bag dance when this one arrives!

As medals awarded to “Duke” recipients are one of my special themes I am delighted to have been able to acquire Scholtz's medal for the Basutoland Gun War.

Single – Cape of Good Hope General Service medal
one clasp: Basutoland (Lieut. N.J. Scholtz, D.E.O.V.R.)

Nicolaas Johannes Scholtz was born in Worcester in the Cape Colony on 20 May 1856. He was the eighth son of Carel Fredrik Scholtz, the late Civil Commissioner and Resident Magistrate at Oudtshoorn, and Justina Petronella Francina Vos. Nicolaas married Jane Patterson Jennie Wright at St Michael’s Church in Queenstown on 14 July 1886, their marriage producing two children, namely Kathleen Irvine Moir and Dr Claude Justin Scholtz.

Nicolaas was educated at Stellenbosch and thereafter at the South African College in Cape Town. At the age of 19 years, he entered the Cape Colonial Civil Service as a Clerk in the Control and Audit Office in Cape Town where he gained his initial experience as an Accountant and Auditor. In 1882 he transferred to Kimberley being appointed as Registrar of I.D.B. Court and as Clerk to the Resident Magistrate. In October of that year, he joined the Master’s Office in Kimberley and in 1883 he transferred once again to Ceres being appointed as Clerk and Assistant Magistrate. He served in this same capacity in Stellenbosch in 1885 and in the major regional centre of Queenstown from January 1886 to January 1889. After some 14 years of service with the Cape Civil Service he resigned and went at first to Pretoria and subsequently to Johannesburg. He served for a period as Secretary of the Paarl Central General Mining Company, and with that as Secretary of the East Roodepoort Deep and other Companies. At the same time, he was employed as Auditor to the Sanitation Board, the Johannesburg Estate Company, the Ford and Jeppe Estate Company, the Modderfontein General Mining Company and various other concerns. In 1895 he joined the well-known mining magnate J.B. Robinson’s Group of Companies as a Director. He served a term as Vice President of the Chamber of Mines in 1898-99 under the Presidency of Georges Rouliot. On 20 May 1896 he was appointed as Treasurer of the Witwatersrand Agricultural Society but quietly “quit” in 1899 due to the imminent hostilities. With the advent of the Anglo Boer War, he resigned his position with J.B. Robinson and joined the Imperial Light Horse. He was now already in his middle 40’s and as his wife soon became seriously ill, he resigned from the army and did not see active service during the Anglo Boer War. One might guess that shunning publicity he had much to do with the raising of finance for the Regiment. His name is not included in any medal roll for the I.L.H.

Nicolaas however had first experienced active service some 20 years before during the so-called Gun War in Basutoland in 1880-81. In his biographical entry in the South African Who’s Who of 1908 he proudly recalls that he served as a Lieutenant in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Volunteer Rifles and that he was involved in no less than “18 engagements” in this “Little War”. Clearly, as a disciplined auditor, he took note of each action and from an analysis of the wartime service of the Dukes in Basutoland he must surely have been a member of the contingent of Dukes who departed from Cape Town under Captain Whindus on 25 September 1880 and who, as a dedicated officer, unhesitatingly continued to serve after the initial 3 month “call up” service period had expired in December with his Regiment until the final action in mid-February 1881. The Dukes’ most notable actions included Kalabani Hill, the storming of Lerothodi’s Village, Moletsane’s Stronghold, Kolo Mountain, Tsita Mountain, Tweefontein, Ramakhoatsi and their final engagement at Ramabidikwe’s Kraal.

He was not idle during the Angle Boer War. Shortly after the occupation of Pretoria in June 1900 he applied for employment with the new Transvaal Authorities and was appointed by General Maxwell the Military Governor of Pretoria as the Civilian Superintendent of the Irene Concentration Camp outside Pretoria from 8 February to 8 July 1901 before being reassigned as the Travelling Camp Inspector for the Transvaal. He retired on 1 February 1902. Medal rolls for the granting of the QSA medal for those who served in the “Burgher Refugee Camps” were prepared however it was subsequently ruled that as civilians they did not warrant the award of a medal. As a result, this single Cape of Good Hope General Service medal which was only belatedly approved in 1899, is the only medal he was awarded.

Nicolaas rejoined the J.B. Robinson Group of Companies on 1 March 1903 serving as Secretary until August 1905 when he was appointed as the Resident Director of the Group at Randfontein. In December he transferred to their Head Office. On 17 November 1902 he was elected as a Fellow of the Transvaal Society of Accountants having been an early member of the Institute of Accountants and Auditors which was first formed in the South African Republic in Johannesburg in 1894. For many years he served as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Transvaal Chamber of Mines. In October 1909 he was elected as a Ward Councillor for Ward III in Johannesburg but resigned in 1912.

In later years he was a resident at Harringay, Kerry Road in Park View Johannesburg where he died aged 67 years and 6 months on 12 December 1923. He was buried at the New Cemetery in Parkview in Johannesburg. His Death Notice described him as a director of companies and recording that his death was due to generalised osteo arthritis, cholelithiasis, duodenal ulcer, arteriosclerosis and cardiac failure.

He was a Member of Rand and Wanderers Clubs, the Johannesburg Turf Clubs, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; the Cape Town Civil Service and City Club and the Pretoria Club. Address, P.O. Box 98, Johannesburg.

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Nicolaas Johannes Scholtz 1 year 11 months ago #77007

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A very interesting write-up of his life and a special medal for a Duke's man.
Dr David Biggins

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