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Name: PRETORIUS, Philip Jacobus CMG, DSO & Bar 'Jungle Man'

image of individual

Birth Date: 18 Feb 1877

Death Date: 24 Nov 1945 Pretoria

Profession: White hunter

Area: Arusha

Married: Susanna Hendrika Nel

Children: Eight

Author: The Jungle Man, 1948 (autobiography)

Book Reference: Best, Elephant, DSO, Chandler

General Information:

Best - An Afrikaner - Pretoria is named after one of his voortrekker ancestors - with an extraordinary gift for bushcraft which had saved his life on countless occasions during a varied career as wanderer, white hunter and part-time fighter. He first went into action at 16 against the Mashona, and later trekked so deep into the Zambesi bush that he never heard about the Boer War until it was all over. In the 1900s he drifted into German East Africa and settled down on a small farm by the Rufiji, only to see his land summarily confiscated after he had refused to sell it to a Schutztruppe officer who had taken a fancy to it. So, thoroughly disenchanted with all things German, Pretorius made a public vow to poach ivory on the Kaiser's territory to the value of his stolen farm, and did exactly that - despite intensive efforts to track him down. Come 1914, there was little or nothing Pretorius did not know about outwitting Huns. (He was used to find the 'Konigsberg' in the Rufiji delta - p.86/7)
Elephant - One of the most renowned hunters of pre-War days was Pretorius, a Boer who trekked from the Cape almost to the equator and settled near Arusha. During the War he served with great distinction on our side as an Intelligence Officer, and gave such trouble to the Germans that they put a price on his head. For weeks at a time he lived behind the enemy lines, sending through enormously valuable information, and when short of askari he had the pleasant habit of holding up a few German Native troops, taking their rifles, and, a few days later, returning them and telling the men that they were now on the British side. And such was his command of them that the daring scheme worked time and again. A few years after the War Pretorius took on the job of clearing the Addo Bush, South Africa, of a collection of elephant whose reputation for downright offensive ferocity against man has probably never been equalled.
DSO - London Gazette 23/11/16 - Temporary Lieut. East African Division. For conspicuous gallantry and good work during several months. On one occasion he tracked up a bombing party of the enemy and forced them to surrender. Bar - London Gazette 23/4/18 - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He remained continuously behind the enemy's lines, and made valuable use of the service of the enemy's natives. He burned several of the enemy's food depots, causing considerable havoc among their supply arrangements, and killed or captured several of the enemy. His personal courage and initiative were quite exceptional.
Chandler - Good long 4 page entry
Best - shot more than 500 elephants. Is said to have become the model for Peter Pienaar, sidekick of Richard Hannay, in John Buchan's 'Greenmantle.'

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