Daniel Heese

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Carl August Daniel Heese
Born 24 February 1867
Amalienstein, Germany
Died 23 August 1901
Northern Transval, South Africa
Battles/wars Boer War

Carl August Daniel Heese (1867–1901) was a German missionary in South Africa. He was killed during the Second Boer War, his death was one of the issues at the court martial of Breaker Morant.

Overview of Life[edit]

Daniel Heese's parents were German missionaries (Lutheran Church) who came to South Africa in 1858 and later returned to Germany for a few years. Carl August Daniel Heese was born in Germany on 24 February 1867. The family returned to South Africa and lived in Riversdale, Cape Province. A small Lutheran Church was built there.

Reverend C.A.D. Heese married Johanna Grutzner and they went as Missionaries to the Lutheran Mission Station at Makaanspoort, South of Pietersburg in the Northern Transvaal. Their first child, Martha, died of diphtheria. Their third daughter, Hilda, was turning one year-old when Rev. Heese was killed, and his son was born Daniel on 11 th December 1901 after his death.

Events leading to his Death[edit]

In the week before his death, Rev. Heese escorted a sick friend, Mr. Craig, to the Swiss Mission Hospital at Elim, North of Fort Edward, for an operation. Mr. Craig was admitted on Tuesday 20 August 1901.

Friday 23 August 1901 – Rev. Heese was in a hurry to get back to the Mission Station at Makaanspoort as his third daughter was to celebrate her first birthday on 26 August 1901. At the Swiss Mission Hospital Rev Heese spoke to Boer Prisoners of War, some of whom he knew – Mr. Wahmeyer (a teacher at Potgietersrust). They stated that they were afraid that they would be shot. Later when Rev. Heese was leaving he saw that the Boer Prisoners of War had been shot. He told Captain Taylor that he would report this to the British Officer at Pietersburg. Rev. Heese and the young African boy proceeded by horse-buggy with a white flag attached. He never made it to his daughter’s first birthday. He was thirty-four years old when he died and the nameless African boy was twelve years old when he died – both were shot.

Relation to Books[edit]

Kit Denton in his book The Breaker spelt the surname of Rev. Heese incorrectly. It was spelt Hesse. In 1983 the book Closed File was released and on page 104, Kit Denton mentions this fact about the incorrect spelling. This book is worth reading as many inaccuracies that were in his book The Breaker were corrected.

See also[edit]


  • Denton, Kit. The Breaker. Australia, Sydney: Angus and Robertson Publishers, 1973.
  • Denton, Kit. Closed File. Sydney, Australia: Rigby Internat, 1983.
  • South Australian Film Corporation, Breaker Morant, 1980
  •  ???, ???. Grossvater und Grossmatter Heese. 1859-1959. Cape Province, South Africa: ???, 1959.