Boksburg Commando

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Boksburg Commando
SADF era Boksburg Commando emblem.jpg
Boksburg Commando emblem
Country South Africa
RoleLight Infantry
SizeOne Battalion
Part ofSouth African Infantry Corps
Army Territorial Reserve

Boksburg Commando was a light infantry regiment of the South African Army. It formed part of the South African Army Infantry Formation as well as the South African Territorial Reserve.



The first Boksburg Commando was originally mobilised in 1899 and moved to the Transvaal border.[1]


With the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek[edit]

When the Anglo Boer war was declared this commando crossed the border and occupied Newcastle in Natal.[2]

Under Commandant A.J. Dercksen, the Commando had a combined strength of 2,013 with the Germiston and Johannesburg Commandos.

The commando fought at Sandspruit, Colenso, Hlangwane, Thukela, Pieter's Hill, Driefontein, Lang's Nek, Donkerhoek, Komati Poort, Renosterkop, Helvetia, and in North Eastern Transvaal.[3]

Other operations in this era include:

  • Battle of Elandslaagte (1899)
  • Derailing of an armoured train near Colenso and capture of Winston Churchill[4]
  • Battle of Colenso (1899)
  • Battle of Spionkop (1900)
  • Battle of Bergendal (1900)

Under the Union Defence Force[edit]

By 1902 all Commando remnants were under British military control and disarmed.

By 1912, however previous Commando members could join shooting associations.

By 1940, such commandos were under control of the National Reserve of Volunteers.

These commandos were formally reactivated by 1948.

UDF era National Reserve of Volunteers shoulder tab
Rebellion Leaders[edit]

General C.F. Muller a previous member of the Boksburg Commando was one of the 1915 rebellion leaders.[5]

Under the SADF[edit]

During this era, the unit was mainly engaged in area force protection, search and cordons as well as other assistance to the local police.

As an urban unit, this commando was also tasked with protecting strategic facilities as well as quelling township riots especially during the State of Emergency in the 1980s.

Under the SANDF[edit]


This unit, along with all other Commando units was disbanded after a decision by South African President Thabo Mbeki to disband all Commando Units.[6][7] The Commando system was phased out between 2003 and 2008 "because of the role it played in the apartheid era", according to the Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula.[8]

Unit Insignia[edit]

SADF era insignia[edit]

SADF era Boksburg Commando insignia


From Honourary Colonels To
From Commanding Officers To
1900 Field General G. Gravett nd
From Regimental Sergeants Major To


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hall, Darrell (1999). The Hall Handbook of the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press. pp. 12, 17. ISBN 9780869809495.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Mill, G. 2000. The incredible saga of the Boksburg Commando 1899 to 1902.Boksburg Historical Association
  6. ^ Col L B van Stade, Senior Staff Officer Rationalisation, SANDF (1997). "Rationalisation in the SANDF: The Next Challenge". Institute for Security Studies. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2015.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "About the Commando system". Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2008.
  8. ^ de Lange, Deon. "South Africa: Commandos Were 'Hostile to New SA'". Cape Argus. Retrieved 5 March 2015.

See also[edit]