Commandant JP (Koos) Jooste - 1900

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Postcard, Commandant JP (Koos) Jooste - 1901
Orig. pc - Size - 9 x 14 cm
Found - Berlin, GDR

A fabulous discovery is a personal postcard above, sent by Boer Commandant JP Jooste, to a supporter, during the period Boers were busy trying to drum up support in Europe for their fight for survival, as a nation, against the British during the Boer War in South Africa.

What was sold as a typical anonymous postcard, of Boer Commandant JP Jooste, was, we discovered, upon closer examination, to be a personal greeting and autograph, written by JP himself to an admirer, on a card which featured his (printed) cameo portrait and autograph.

The person who wrote the address on the obverse, is the same hand that penned the message on the front of the card, and signed it JP Jooste, in exactly the same way as Jooste's autograph is printed under his photograph as part of the original card.

"Ohrdorf, 2.9.01, I hereby fulfill a wish from your friend, and hope that she will accept my heartfelt greeting. JP Jooste Pretoria"

The postcard says - in German - that this card is a greeting from a German Boer Supporter Assembly and that the net proceeds, raised from the sale of this card would go - without deductions - towards the All German Boer Congress.

In the 1890s, in the Transvaal Republic, JP was, of course famous for promoting - alongside his comrade, famed Boer Scout extraordinaire, Danie Theron - the use of the bicycle as the coming advance in the art of war.

They believed that the Boer authorities vastly underestimated the usefulness of the bicycle as a weapon of war. Unlike a horse it did not need water or rest, merely a pump and oil.

JP and Danie believed that, if the bicycle was properly harnessed to the war effort, horses could be released from menial duties like dispatch riding and other less essential purposes on the flats, and be concentrated in more important combat roles. Boer military power would be potently increased as a result.

To demonstrate their case they proposed a race between a horse and bicycle, with JP Jooste, who was a famed bicyclist, doing the pedaling. The race was from Pretoria, the capital of the Transvaal Republic, to the Crocodile River a distance of 75 km.

JP Jooste won the race. And President Kruger and General Cronje were impressed and agreed to support the establishment of a bicycle corps.








JP was featured on many other postcards as his fame as a Boer Commandant lasted on into his old age.

This adventurous soul was a hunter of note, became an early flier and took a turn as a volunteer for the navy.



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Danie Theron


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