Cornelis Hermanus Olivier was born in 1851 in the Graaff-Reinet district. He farmed in the Free State in the 1880’s and 90’s and was elected to the Orange Free State Legislature in 1893. During the first phases of the Boer War he was in action in Natal and later at Colesberg (rank not known). He was wounded in the left arm in the Roodepoort skirmish near Heilbron (28 May 1900) and awarded the Wound Riband.
According to the Official History, Vol III, p476 Commandant Cornelius Olivier operated in the Central Free State in September 1900. By July 1901 General C. H. Olivier was appointed as a member of the Free State Executive Council in the place of Gen. Andries P Cronje who had been captured on 11 July 1901 in Reitz together with most of the government members and officials. It was in his capacity as member of the Ex-ecutive Council that Olivier attended the peace discussions in Klerksdorp in April and Vereeniging in May 1902, and that he was one of the Free State signatories to the Peace Treaty.
When he completed his Vorms “A”, “B” and “C” he correctly stated his rank as General. But, on Vorm “A”, this was downgraded to Kommandant by the Medal Advisory Board (no change made on Vorms “B” and “C”) and the DTD was issued accordingly. It is not known what rank is on the ABO, which has, unfortunately, been separated from the DTD.