12th September, 1950 : The man who found a new name for the British Empire has died yesterday in South Africa. Jan Christian Smuts, the Boer farmer’s son who became a guerrilla leader, statesman and British Field Marshal, was 80. After taking a Double First in law at Cambridge University, he went back to fight against the British in the Boer War, afterward becoming a staunch friend when Britain gave independence to South Africa. In 1917 at a dinner given for him by both Houses of Parliament, he spoke of the British Dominions as “this community of nations, which I prefer to call the British Commonwealth of Nations”.

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