Johan S F Blignaut was the eldest son of Burger Pieter G Blignaut, who was Killed in action at Elandslaagte on 21 October 1899. He enlisted in the ZAR State Artillery on 5 January 1888 and resigned on 31 Dec 1890. He then joined the Police (ZARP) and served as Sergeant. When Swaziland was put under ZAR administration in March 1895, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the Swaziland Police and later promoted to Lieutenant. When the war broke out, he went to the front with the Swaziland Commando, rank unknown.
Full details of his earlier war activities are not known, but on his Vorm “B” mention is made of service at Dundee, Colenso and the Tugela. It is, however, recorded that on 20 May 1900 Commandant Blignaut’s commando was responsible for the Scheepers Nek debacle in which Captain Goff (3rd Dragoon Guards) was killed.
At Blood River Poort (17 September 1901) he and General Opperman (Bankkop 4 Jan 1902) charged the gun emplacements and was personally involved in the capture of the two field guns.
At Fort Itala his luck changed for the worst: he recklessly stormed the sangars and was killed when trying to turn the barrel of either a gun or the Maxim by hand. His widow applied for his Boer War awards in September 1940. The Vorm “A” recommendation for the DTD was signed by Colonel G C A van Dam who wrote “Killed in action Itala Zululand. I personally buried him”. As occasionally happened when stocks were depleted and new strikings were not yet delivered by the Mint, the DTD was named using a skimmed (probably faultily named) disc. The ABO is “normal” and when the two awards are aligned on top of each other the naming details match. What is unusual, however, is that the DTD was fitted with a swivel suspender.