Colonel Johan William Colenbrander (1856-1918) was born in Pinetown, Natal to a Dutch family who had settled there in 1849. During his lifetime he participated in a number of key events, including the Zulu War, the visit of Lobengula's indunas to Queen Victoria, Rhodes' expansion into Mashonaland, the Ndebele Rebellion, 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 to organise labour for the filming of The Symbol of Sacrifice. He played the part of Lord Chelmsford in the film and was drowned as he tried to cross the Klip River on horseback. He was married three 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.
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. Colenbrander concerning biographies of his father, 1939-1977; other correspondence of J.C.A.L. Colenbrander, 1929-1986; transcripts of documents relating to J.W. Colenbrander, including photographs, [1870-1990]; annotated books and other printed material, etc., 1893-1994.
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J.C.A.L. Colenbrander sent photocopies of material relating to his father to the Killie Campbell Library in Natal, South Africa, the Zimbabwean National Archives, and Yale Library, U.S.A.. Yale Library also received some original photographs. Some artefacts relating to J.W. Colenbrander were housed at the Rhodes Memorial Museum, Bishops Stortford. A collection of love letters between J.C.A.L. Colenbrander's parents were retained by the family estate.
Colenbrander | Johan William | 1856-1918 | Colonel soldier, adventurer and entrepreneur
Colenbrander | family | 1870-19--
Africa, Southern | History
Zululand (South Africa) | History
South African War, 1899-1902 | Participation, British