Daniel Jacobus Colyn was born in Swellendam, Cape Colony on 6 November 1862 the son of Pieter Jozua Colyn and his wife Maria Magdalena Elizabeth Colyn , born Steyn.
Aged 22 he married 21 year old Rachel Magdalena Swart in Ladybrand, Orange Free State on 1 June 1884.
According to the Form B (Application for ZAR and OVS War Medal Form) completed in respect of Colyn, he joined "Wyk 1" (Ward 1) of the Vryheid Kommando from the outset of the Boer War in October 1899 and served until the end of May 1902. He confims that he saw service at Talana, Dundee, Modderspruit, Platrand, Helpmekaar, Lancaster Hill and others.
By October 11, 1899 the Vryheid Kommando, together with the Utrecht and Piet Retief burghers under General Lukas Meyer numbering some 1500-2000 strong , were camped at the foot of the Doornberg, twenty miles from Dundee from where they launched the attck on Talana.
Colyn would have been one of the Vryheid boers who, together with Utrecht and the Pretoria Germans, in the order named, held the ridges accross the Klip River facing the plain and Caesar's Camp, with their laagers in the valley of the Herman's Spruit during the Siege of Ladysmith. The positions held by the Boers was not so much to facilitate the capture of Ladysmith as to prevent the escape of the garrison.
Colyn also took part in the failed attack on Observation Hill on 9 November 1899 where the Vryheid Kommando, acting on their own initiative, secured a lodgement in the bush-grown underfeatures of Caesar's Camp, and in the valley between it and Wagon Hill, pushed forward with some vigour being supported by a hot fire from points in Fourie's Spruit.
Colyn applied for his Anglo Boer War medal on 20 June 1938. It was fowarded to the Officer Commanding, Natal Command on 18 July 1938 for onward transmission to him.
Daniel Jacobus Colyn became a farmer in the Vryheid area but not without troubles as, on 18 July 1911 George Daniell, the local Stock Inspector, reported that there had been an outbreak of Scab on Colyn's farm, Townlands, with 116 sheep in the flock of which 20 were affected.
On 10 March 1912 a Mr. Piet Roux, an Agent acting on behalf of Colyn, addressed a request to the Undersecretary for Agriculture in Pietermaritzburg wherein he stated that he had been “directed by Mr. D.J. Colyn of this town to inquire with regard to the government sheep which he has in his possession as to whether the government will not consider an extention of lease for another two years from expiration of present lease, in the contrary will the government give Mr. D.J. Colyn reasonable terms for two years in which to pay the sheep should he purchase same? He is prepared to pay the interest every six months.” Having received no reply Mr. Roux was compelled to write again on 12 April 1912. There is a note on the file indicating that a reply was received but the decision is not made known.
Colyn retired to 101 Deputasie Street, Vryheid where, as a Retired Farmer, he passed away, aged 86 years and 2 months on 21 January 1949. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.