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About Major Pieter Voltelyn Graeme van der Byl
The Honourable Major Pieter Voltelyn Graham van der Byl (1889–1975), MC, was a South African soldier and statesman.
He was a member of the liberal South African party and then the United Party from 1929 to 1966 and a member of Jan Smuts' cabinet from 1939 to 1948, during which time he was minister of Native Affairs.
Major Piet (as he was commonly known) was a chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, Honorary Colonel of the University of Cape Town Regiment and received the Military Cross and the King George VI Coronation medal.
He was the youngest of four children of Pieter Voltelin van der Bijl and Adelaide Taylor. His father chose to educate his children locally, instead of sending them abroad, so van der Byl attended Diocesan College, in Cape Town, and then continued the family tradition of studying in Pembroke College, Cambridge. where he excelled at rowing, partaking several times in the Oxford-Cambridge boat race and in his final year he received a Blue, becoming possibly the first South African to do so for rowing.
Major Pieter Voltelyn Graeme van der Byl's Timeline
August 21, 1889
Cape Colony, South Africa
November 11, 1923
Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa
January 21, 1975
Western Cape, South Africa