Matthys Stefanus Booyens reported for service with the Standerton Commando on 14 October 1899. He initially was in action in Natal at Dundee, Modderspruit, Colenso, Spion Kop and in the heavy fighting at Pieters Hill, where he was wounded in the left leg on 27 Feb 1900.
In this sharp engagement, according to revised figures by Breytenbach in his, Afrikaans “History of the Boer War” Yol III. 553-4, British losses exceeded 80 killed and some 420 wounded, while the Boers lost at least 34 killed and 115 wounded.
The Standerton Commando then moved to the Transvaal and later to the Orange Free State. After the engagements at Donkerhoek (Diamond Hill) and Machadodorp, Booyens eventually was one of almost 800 Boers recorded as taken PoW at Straithnairn between Memel and Harrismith on 27 Febuary 1902 (Official History of the War in South Africa, Vol IV p429). This was the result of the 3-phase funnel-shaped operational sweep of the Eastern Orange River Colony, planned by Lord Kitchener and set in motion at the “mouth” of the funnel on 12 Febuary 1902.
Booyens, aged 51, was sent to India on 19 March 1902 with PoW number 29481