George Brink

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George Edwin Brink
Gen George Brink in the Western Desert (seated) 1941
Born (1889-09-27)27 September 1889
Jagersfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa
Died 30 April 1971(1971-04-30) (aged 81)
St. Michaels-on-Sea, Natal
Allegiance South Africa
Service/branch South African Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Battles/wars World War I
World War II

Lieutenant-General George Edwin Brink CB CBE DSO (27 September 1889 – 30 April 1971[1]) was a South African military commander.

Early life[edit]

Lt.-Gen. Brink was born at Jagersfontein, Orange Free State, on 27 September 1889 and was educated at Grey College, Bloemfontein[1]

Military Career[edit]

In 1913, Brink joined the Union Defence Forces. In World War I he served in German East Africa during the first East African Campaign. In 1919 he attended the Imperial Staff College.[2] and on his return was appointed to the staff of the South African Military College, later being appointed Commandant of the College.[2]

In 1933 he was appointed the first Officer Commanding of the Special Service Battalion[3] In December of that year Colonel Brink was posted to Cape Town to take command of Western Cape Command, where he served till 31 January 1937.[2] From 1 November 1937[2] to 1939, he was Director of Army Training at Defence Headquarters. He was promoted to Deputy Chief of the General Staff on 15 June 1938.[2]

From 1940 to 1942, Brink commanded the 1st South African Division during the second East African Campaign. He also commanded the division during the Western Desert Campaign in North Africa.

In 1942, Brink turned over command of the division to Dan Pienaar. After hurting his back and being declared unfit for field duty,[2] Brink then commanded the Inland Area Command in South Africa from 1942 to 1944.

From 1944 to 1948, Brink was in charge of demobilisation. He had already retired from the Permanent Force in 1946[2] and promoted to Lieutenant General in the Reserves.[2]

Honours and awards[edit]

Lt. General Brink was awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Palmes,[2] Distinguished Service Order, Order of the Bath in 1941[4] and Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1942.[5]

He was also appointed Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Another distinguished South African Soldier has passed on". The South African Military History Society Military History Journal. 2 (1). June 1971. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ploeger, Jan (1989). "SUID-AFRIKAANSE STAATS- en STAATSONDERSTEUNDE MILITÊRE GESKIEDSKRYWING (1924-1987)". Scientaria Militaria South African Journal of Military Studies (in Afrikaans). 19 (4): 27. 
  3. ^ "1 Special Services Battalion". Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
Military offices
Preceded by
Pierre van Ryneveld
OC SA Army College
1932 – 1933
Succeeded by
Pieter de Waal
New title OC Special Service Battalion
May – Nov 1933
Succeeded by
Pieter de Waal
Preceded by
OC Western Cape Command
Dec 1933 – 31 Jan 1937
Succeeded by
Preceded by
OC 1st South African Division
1940 – 1942
Succeeded by
Dan Pienaar