Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies

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A French voluteer in the ranks of the Boers

C. De Jongh


Towards the end of 1899, at twenty years of age,2 Robert de Kersauson left for South Africa to enlist in the forces of the two South African republics. In May 1902, when peace was signed in Pretoria, he was still under arms and prepared for war. He never joined the foreign volunteer corps but was attached to a commando and had become a real Boer. He spoke the language of his comrades fluently and had completely adjusted himself to their way of living and fighting. He had participated in the campaign in the Transvaal,3 thereafter in that in the Orange Free State! and early in 1901 he entered the Cape Colony under Commandant Jan Theron.s In the western part of the Colony he continued fighting, under General Manie Maritz and the Commander- in-Chief, Jan Smuts, until the hour when the news of the Boer surrender came to cause shock and dismay in the small army which had until then fought victoriously.
Keywords: Robert de Kersauson; South African republics; May 1902; foreign volunteer corps; Commandant Jan Theron

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