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Leibbrandt, Meyder Johannes. Sers Major & Lt 7 years 1 month ago #33138

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Served: General de la Rey. Awarded the DTD (Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst).
Dr David Biggins

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Leibbrandt, Meyder Johannes. Sers Major & Lt 6 years 7 months ago #43541

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City Coins, August 2015.

DTD (Luit. M.J. Leibbrandt)
ABO (Sersj.Maj. M.J. Leibbrandt)
1914-15 Star (S/S M. M. J. Leibbrandt Staf.)
BWM; AVM (Bil.) (2de K./A.O. M. J. Leibbrandt Staf.)
Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas LS Medal (Geo.V.) No. 1622 S.M.I. M.J. Liebbrandt S.A.I.C.


Pictures courtesy of City Coins

The recipient of this group was a Boer officer, whose son would attempt to assassinate Field Marshal Jan Smuts, the Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, during World War II.



Meyder Johannes Leibbrandt was bom on 19 April 1878 at Smithfield in the Oranje Vrijstaat. A descendant of Johan Sebastian Leibbrandt and his two nephews Johan David and Conrad Friederich who arrived at the Cape from Leonberg near Stuttgart, Germany in 1774, 1799 and 1805 respectively.

In 1921, in his signed application for the award of the Anglo Boere Oorlog medal his rank is given as Adj- Onder-Offisier in the Veldtelegrafie Afdeeling (Field Telegraph Section), and as Luitenant Adjutant. The actual rank on the medal is given as Sersj. Maj. He states that he served the full period of the Boer War 1899-1902 in Natal, Oranje Vrijstaat and Transvaal on the Staff of General J.H. De La Rey. His involvement in actions at Moedwil and at Ysterspruit are specifically mentioned, with a note that there were too many other locations to mention. The Moedwil action near Zeemst took place on 30 September 1901. The British losses in killed and wounded numbered 214, nearly a quarter of Kekewich’s fighting strength, and De La Rey's losses were about sixty. At Ysterspruit on 24 February 1902 De La Rey, with a force of 1200 men, ambushed a British force of about 620 in convoy with 150 wagons travelling from Klerksdorp to Wolmaransstad. Save for a few men who escaped to Klerksdorp, the whole British force, with its artillery and material, fell into De La Rey's hands; 183 all ranks killed or wounded and the rest made prisoners. De La Rey's prize was what he wanted - half a million rounds of ammunition, hundreds of mules and horses and wagons to cart away the guns and prisoners.

This unit was a powerful force at the outbreak of the Boer War, numbering 400 all ranks, and equipped with 14 7.5cm Krupp guns imported in 1896. Leibrandt possibly started his war service with this unit before transferring to the Staff of General De La Rey.

Leibrandt was awarded the DTD instituted by the Union Government in 1920, and awarded to 622 Boer officers for distinguished service in the war of 1899-1902. The rank on his signed application is given as Luitenant (Staf). This award was restricted to officers, so this group may be unique as the ABO medal is named to a Sergeant Major, and the DTD to an officer.

Leibbrandt was in possession of what he called ten Blueback Government Notes, which had been issued in terms of Law No. 1 of 1900 by the South African Republic. In terms of clause ten of the Peace Treaty the British Government provided three million pounds to be used by Repatriation Departments for acceptance of the aforesaid Government Notes as legitimate claim for war losses. With this medal lot are copies of four interesting documents regarding Leibbrandt’s claim in which his ten Government Notes are listed by serial number on an official Vorm Van Eisch voor Oorlogsverliezen, and his signed Affidavit dated August 1902 claiming compensation.

According to the History Department of the University of the Orange Free State, Leibbrandt later became a transport rider in German SWA. In 1912 he joined the Union Defence Force at Potchefstroom. With the outbreak of the Rebellion within the Union in 1914, he was offered commissioned rank if he was willing to accompany the South African troops into German SWA. He declined the offer, and was never again considered for promotion.

Because of his German ancestry, and his experience of transport riding in German SWA, he may well have sympathized with Generals Beyers and De La Rey and Colonel Manie Maritz in their opposition to the Union entering the war, and more particularly to the decision to invade German SWA. These three officers incited the Afrikaner population to come out in armed rebellion on 9 October 1914. Fighting with Union troops took place in the Orange Free State, Transvaal and the Cape Colony. The strength of the rebel forces was estimated at 7000 in the OFS, 3000 in the Transvaal and 2000 in the Cape. The rebellion was finally put down by 3 February 1915.

He earned the 1914-15 Star by virtue of his service with H.Q. Staff during the 1914 Rebellion within the Union of South Africa, whilst serving in Military District No 12 between 13/11/1914 and 31/12/1914. Only those men serving in Military Districts No 12 and No 13 in the Northern Cape Colony within the Union were eligible for the 1914-15 Star. These districts bordered on German SWA. Thus, Leibbrandt’s 1914-15 Star for service within the Union would be extremely scarce, as most recipients of the Star served outside of the Union in German SWA defined as a Theatre of War.

He was awarded the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Long Service Medal on 13 March 1931. There were 675 awards made of this medal, the first in 1914 and the last in 1940.

Leibbrandt was the only recipient of the D.T.D. to also receive the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Long Service Medal.

Leibbrandt left the Union Defence Force in 1930, and died at Pretoria on 17 June 1954.

His son Sidney Robey Leibbrandt, the third of his six children, became infamous. Robey was bom at Potchefstroom in 1913, and died at Ladybrand in 1966. He matriculated at Grey College, Bloemfontein in 1930. Joined the U.D.F., and then in 1932 the S.A. Police and became their light- heavyweight boxing champion. He won the bronze medal representing South Africa at the 1934 Empire Games, and at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games finished fourth. He remained in Germany to study physical education and was influenced by National Socialism. Returning to South Africa he became the national heavy-weight boxing champion. He went back to Germany in 1938, where he trained as a storm trooper and was recruited as an agent. Attended the Fuhrer Leadership School and was trained in sabotage.

Robey landed on the northern coast of the Cape Province by yacht in June 1941 to act as a saboteur. He spearheaded Operation Weissdom (White Thom) to assassinate the Prime Minister Field Marshal Smuts, to overthrow the Union Government, and to establish a national socialist republic. He was to lead the Ossewa Brandwag Stormjaers, who bombed Jewish owned shops, attacked soldiers, and destroyed telephone and power lines. He was tracked down by Colonel Jan Taljaard and arrested on 24 December 1941.

Leibbrandt was tried and sentenced to death as a spy on 11 March 1943. His family appealed to Smuts for clemency on the strength of his father's Boer War reputation, and possibly not wishing to create a martyr, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Smuts said “How can I hang a son of such a courageous Boer warrior?" In 1948 the Nationalist Party came to power, and Leibbrandt was then released on 11 June 1948. His mother was bom Susan Marguerite Joyce of Irish descent, and a cousin of William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) responsible for the English language propaganda radio broadcasts to Britain and the USA from Hamburg 1939-45 as “Germany Calling". Joyce was convicted of treason and executed.

Sold with application for Zuidafrikaansche Repubiiek en Oranje Vrijstaat Oorlogsmedalje 1899- 1902; application for Dekoratie Voor Trouwe Dienst 1899-1902; four documents regarding his claim submitted to the Repatriation Department after Boer War; signed approval for the award of the 1914-15 Star giving the dates of his service in Military District 12. and his signature for receipt of the Star; correspondence with the University of the Orange Free State; Union Defence Force General Order 226 regulating the award of the 1914-15 Star to South Africans; Death Notice; ten pages of lecture notes on a talk entitled “ Robey Leibrandt and Operation Weissdorn”. There are many website references to Robey Leibrandt and Operation Weissdorn.
Dr David Biggins
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Leibbrandt, Meyder Johannes. Sers Major & Lt 6 years 7 months ago #43542

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This group sold for R71,500, approx £3,500.
Dr David Biggins

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Leibbrandt, Meyder Johannes. Sers Major & Lt 1 year 6 months ago #72680

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This group is included in Kaplan's B107, 18 November 2020. Estimate R45,000.
Dr David Biggins

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