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Koos de la Rey

General Koos de la Rey is regarded as one of the greatest military leaders of the anglo Boer war. He stands out as morally the most powerful and unyielding of the generals. It was he who was to keep alight, in its purest form, the fierce flame of Afrikaner nationalism. As a guerilla fighter, his tactics proved extremely successful. De la Rey opposed the war until the last, but when he was once accused of cowardice in a Volksraad session, he replied that if the time for war came, he would be fighting long after all those clamoring for war had given up. This proved to be the case. Although merely a farmer who spoke no English, De la Rey was noted for his chivalrous behaviour towards his enemy. He was the grandson of an immigrant from Holland who settled in Lichtenburg. Genl de la Rey was deeply religious and a small pocket Bible was rarely out of his hand. He had formidable looks. A long neatly trimmed brown beard, a high forehead with deep-set glowing eyes gave him at 52 a prematurely patriarchal appearance. Koos de la Rey took part in the peace talks at Vereeniging.