Racheltjie de Beer

In 1843 a party of voortrekkers were traveling from the Orange Free State to the Transvaal.

During one of their nightly stops the party realised that some of their cattle (it’s debated whether it was a sheep, or a small calf that was a beloved pet of the children in the party), had gone astray. A search party was formed of concerned adults and children alike, including Racheltjie and her six year old brother.

As the sun set and the search continued for the missing animal, Racheltjie and her brother were separated from the rest of the group and became lost.

Dusk turned to night and a bitter cold set upon the landscape and a snowstorm blew up.

Racheltjie, realising that the were in great danger alone in the dark and cold, found a hollowed out anthill. Here she removed her own clothes, wrapped them around her little brother and bundled him into the safety of the anthill while she lay in front of the opening to further protect her brother from the cold.

The following morning the children were found by their traveling companions. Racheltjie had perished while protecting her brother who survived and was happily reunited with his family thanks to his sisters selfless sacrifice.