Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment

Veterans' Club - History Archive

Major General W.N.A. Barends, SM, MC and Bar

Major General Willem Noach Arkema Barends, SM, MC & Bar, was originally commissioned in the Natal Mounted Rifles in 1938 and joined the Field Force Battalion in 1940. He served as Second-in-Command of WR/DLR from 1944 until 1945, under Lt Col. Jack Bester. He was posted to staff duties at the SA Military College and was appoined to the General Staff in 1953. During the period 1955 - 1959 he commanded 1 SAI Battalion. During the period 1960 to 1963 he commanded Witwatersrand Command. He held various General Staff appointments before retiring in 1973. He later served as Honorary Colonel from 1989 until 2002. He passed away in 2008.


  • Major General (South African Army)
  • Honorary Colonel (South African Army - Witwatersrand Rifles)

He was awarded the following medals:

  • Southern Cross Medal (SM) for Meritorious service.
  • Military Cross for bravery (MC) and a bar to the MC as a second award.
  • Various campaign medals for the Second World war.

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