Fact file: Regiment Christiaan Beyers


This unit was formed in 1951 by renaming the second battalion of Regiment Botha. Beyers had been a Boer general and later commandant general of the Active Citizen Force of the Union Defence Force. In this role he was instrumental in introducing military aviation in South Africa.

Beyers resigned his post at the outbreak of World War One as protest against Generals Botha and Smuts’ plans to invade German South West Africa as part of the British war effort. According to most authorities, Beyers had much sympathy for the Germans and much antipathy to the British, his feelings being a result of the Anglo South African War. Beyers was with General Jacobus “Koos” de la Rey when the latter was mistakenly shot dead by police at a roadblock in Langlaagte, Johannesburg. The roadblock was set to intercept the infamous criminal Foster gang but at the time many Afrikaner nationalists believed it was murder. Beyers later said he and De la Rey were on their way to convince officers at Potchefstroom to resign their commissions in a similar protest, but shortly after he formed a rebel commando in the Magaliesberg and joined General Christiaan de Wet and others in open rebellion against the Union government and in an attempt to re-establish the Boer Republics.

Beyers’ commando was dispersed at Commissioner’s Drift on the Vaal River on October 28. Beyers then joined forces with ex-Major Kemp of Potchefstroom but drowned in the Vaal on December 8, while attempting to avoid capture by loyal Union Defence Force troops.

Current role: Motorised infantry.

Current base: Polokwane

Battle honours:

Motto: Ons Dien (We serve)