Sir Jacob Louis Van Deventer - Encyclopedia




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"SIR JACOB LOUIS VAN DEVENTER (1874-), S. African general, was born in the Orange Free State in 1874. A colonel on the permanent staff of the S. African Defence Force, Van Deventer served in the German S.-W. Africa campaign, 1914-5, where he had a distinguished record in active service. His real gifts as a general, however, were not fully appreciated till he went to German E. Africa, to fight in Gen. Smuts's campaign against the Germans there. So well did he acquit himself in that field that when Gen. Hoskins, who had succeeded Gen. Smuts in the chief command, ceased to hold that post in 1917, Van Deventer was appointed commander-in-chief of the Empire Military Forces in E. Africa. He was then a major-general, and was given the temporary rank of lieutenant-general on becoming commander-in-chief. Shortly afterwards he was created K.C.B., in recognition of distinguished services in the field. As commanderin-chief he showed the same qualities which had secured for him this high promotion and it was under his auspices that the campaign was brought to a successful end. Van Deventer left E. Africa at the end of 1918, sending a message of thanks to the administrator of Southern Rhodesia, in which he expressed his sincere thanks for the " unfailing cooperation of the Rhodesian troops, British and African, in the campaign."

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