Deneys Reitz

The boat was named after this Afrikaaner, who was South African High Commissioner in London during World War Two, when the money was raised by subscription in the Republic.


J C Smuts, president of the Republic of South Africa, wrote the preface for “Commando”.

“Colonel Reitz entered the (Boer) war as a stripling of seventeen years, fought right through it until the end, and immediately after its conclusion wrote down these memories. Of military adventures there is of course full measure. He passed though as varied a record of exciting experiences as have ever fallen to the lot of a young man.....The exciting incident, the hairsbreadth escapes are literally true, the dangers he passed through and courted are such as to make his unvarnished record read like one of pure romance.

...This book gives a wonderful personal record. But its wonder does not end with this book..... Let me add a few details the account up to date. The boy left the country as an irreconcilable after the conclusion of the Boer War, as he and his family chose not to live under the British flag

He drifted to Madagascar, where these memories were written in the intervals of malaria and transport riding. There a letter from my wife found him, urging him to return....... Reitz returned and was nursed back by her to health and peace of mind.... He served on my staff in the German West campaign; and in the German Eas tcampaign he rose to command a mounted regiment, and in the latter stages of the great war he commanded the First Royal Scots Fusiliers , one of the oldest regiments in theBritish army. He was severely wounded early in 1918, but returned to France in time to lead his battalionin the fierce battles that closed the great drama and after the Armistace he led his men to the Rhine.

Since the war, hehas taken an active part in the public life of his country. He has been a Cabinet minister and is still a Member of Parliament in which capacity he is serving under me as loyally as he did in the sterner days of which he writes”.

PS. He also founded Deneys Reitz one of South Africa's largest law firms and was posted to London as South African High Commissioner in 1941.