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Hatting, Jacobus Johannes Gerhardus. Asst Head Commandant 9 years 1 month ago #31563

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Served: OVS. Awarded the DTD (Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst).
Dr David Biggins

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Hatting, Jacobus Johannes Gerhardus. Asst Head Commandant 2 months 6 days ago #95121

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Cristiaan De Wet , appointment of F.J.W.J. (Johannes) Hattingh as acting Commander for the Winburg District.

Frederik Johannes Willem Jacobus Hattingh was born on the 20th of March 1873 in Tarkastad. He moved with his family to Kroonstad 1887, married and moved to Senekal where he joined the Senekal commando at the beginning of the war as Burger. Wounded early on, Hattingh was involved in the battles of Colenso and Spionkop. He was with Prinsloo in the Brandwaterkom but managed to escape when Prinsloo surrendered. Hattingh fought under Generaal De Wet and failed in his attempt to liberate Senekal in September 1900. The following month he saw battle at Sprinkaansnek and in November 1900 in the surroundings of Lindley after which he joined De Wet’s commando at Spitskoppie, south of Heilbron. He was promoted, first to to Assistent Kommandant, then Kommandant and in February 1901 to Assistent Hoofd-Kommandant and obtained the rank of General. Afterwards he was engaged in battles at Spytfontein under De Wet and then separated with a group of Burgers from the force to attack the British troops occupying villages around Kroonstad.
Hattingh participated for the Free State in the Conference in Vereeniging where he voted for peace (below his signature on the final document)

After the war Hattingh occupied various high government positions in the Free State. He died, aged just 51, on the 15th of September 1924 in Senekal. Although his performance in the beginning of the war is characterized as weak, Generaal Hattingh is now considered as one of the Boer stalwarts during later stages of the war.

Hattingh’s appointment to Assistent Kommandant survived:

Herewith the right honorable Gentleman Mr. J. Hatting is appointed as acting commander over 200 Burgers who will stay behind guarding the Winburg District. These guards shall be positioned at his pleasure around the town of Winsburg and along the railway line. In addition Kommandant Hatting shall keep a close eye over the entire district as far as the care for the needy as well as the women and children in need is concerned; shall ensure that no one from the English camp or station will approach his guards or his district (?). Along the same line, no one shall have the right to approach or enter an enemy camp or station.
Individuals arriving from the enemy town or station shall not be allowed to enter, nor are they allowed to return. No person, regardless of who he is, shall be allowed to join the 200 Burgers or spend time with them.

In the Field, Winburg District.
27 January, 1901
By order
C.R. De Wet
Commander in Chief, Orange Free State

This is a rather interesting document, written immediately prior to De Wet’s departure for the Cape Colony, which ended in failure. According to Rodney Constantine of the Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein it was in written by De Wet’s son and secretary Isak JC De Wet. For the last year of the war Hattingh was one of the eight Orange Free State regional supremos operating directly under De Wet. The others were George Brand, Hertzog and Nieuwoudt (together), Badenhorst, Wessels, Froneman and Prinsloo. Hattinghs war diary is in the Transvaal Archives – but he only kept it up for 2 months and never wrote again. Hattingh’s commando papers apparently survive in a private collection in South Africa.
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