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Piet Uys’s waistcoat and 6 buttons

Piet Uys’s waistcoat and 6 buttons

Voortrekkerleader Piet Uys (1797-1838), was killed at the Battle of Italeni in 1838 with his son, Dirkie, who is considered a hero for having refused to leave his father behind and was killed while trying to save him.

Piet’s body was found only after the Battle of Bloodriver/ Ncome, and was identified by the buttons of his waistcoat and an old scar on his skull. Interestingly, Dirkie’s body was never found.

Apparently Piet Uys fell as a child, and knocked his head so hard that he had concussion for a few days. When one of his older twin-sisters was shown the skull, she immediately identified him by the scar of that wound.

His remains were buried on the farm Uysdoorns, near PMB, and later reburied in the Free State. The buttons found on his body travelled far and wide, and were divided between several family members, who all in the end agreed to donate it to the museum to be preserved for future generations.

The waistcoat itself was a part of his wedding-outfit, which dates it to 1815. He was married to one of his cousins, Alida.