Family correspondence and letters of condolence on J.W. Colenbrander's death, 1870-1918;press cuttings, etc., 1904-1995; correspondence of J.C.A.L. Colenbranderconcerning biographies of his father, 1939-1977; other correspondence ofJ.C.A.L. Colenbrander, 1929-1986; transcripts of documents relating toJ.W. Colenbrander, including photographs, [1870-1990]; annotated books andother printed material, etc., 1893-1994.
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 161 MSS. Afr. s. 2330
- Dates of Creationc1870-1995
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical Description10 boxes There was a housefire in 1968, which has left some of the early material donated by J.C.A.L.Colenbrander in a fragile state.
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Colonel Johan William Colenbrander (1856-1918) was born in Pinetown, Natal to aDutch family who had settled there in 1849. During his lifetime he participatedin a number of key events, including the Zulu War, the visit of Lobengula'sindunas to Queen Victoria, Rhodes' expansion into Mashonaland, the NdebeleRebellion, and the Anglo-Boer War (during which he raised and commanded a unit named'Kitchener's Fighting Scouts'). After several unsuccessful business ventures,he obtained employment in 1917 with I.W. Schlesinger's film company, helping toorganise labour for the filming of The Symbol ofSacrifice. He played the part of Lord Chelmsford in the film and wasdrowned as he tried to cross the Klip River on horseback. He was marriedthree times, first to Mollie Mullens in 1883, secondly, in 1902, to Yvonne Nunn,with whom he had a daughter, and thirdly, in 1911, to Catherine (Kathleen)Gloster, with whom he had a son.
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Johan Colenbrander's son, J.C.A.L. Colenbrander gathered a large amount ofmaterial on his father's life, mostly in preparation for a biography whichwas to have been written by the Marquis del Moral in the 1950s. The Marquisdied in 1955 and the work was continued by Tom V. Bulpin who published a semi-fictionalised biography, The White Whirlwind (Johannesburg, Nelson, 1961).
An autograph letter from J.W. Colenbrander to Mr. Vaughan Williams mentioning his trial on a charge of embezzlement and requesting a loan, 1911, was purchased from Clive Farahar and Sophie Dupre, of Calne, Wiltshire, dealers in books, autographs and manuscripts on 29th November 2001.