|Genl Koos de la Rey was an austere Boer general. He stands out as morally the most powerful and unyielding of t he generals. It was he who was to keep alight, in its purest form, the fierce flame of Afrikaner nationalism.
He was the grandson of an immigrant from Holland who settled in Lichtenburg.
Genl de la Rey was deeply religious and a small pocket Bible was rarely out of his hand.
He had formidable looks. A long neatly trimmed brown beard, a high forehead with deep-set glowing eyes gave him at 52 a prematurely patriarchal appearance.
When he spoke everybody listened and he is best remembered for his speech in parlaiment when he condemned Krugers war policy. He also said in parliament, looking Kruger straight in the eyes, that he will do his duty as the Raad (parlaiment) decides and that he will still be in the field long after Kruger and his party have left the country.
Despite his opposition of Kruger he was appointed combat general to assist Piet Cronje.
Koos de la Rey took part in the peace talks at Vereeniging.