Willem Punt was the Railway Officer who met the captured Churchill on his journey to Pretoria and later in the War rendered services to the British forces that earned him a Queen's South Africa Medal.
'The section of track through Elandslaagte fell under the jurisdiction of a railway official named Willem Punt. The story of what befell Churchill on his arrival at the station has been handed down through the family, and was told to me by his grandson also Willem Punt.
"It began to rain, and when the prisoners were told to take shelter in the baggage room, Churchill was taken to one side and put under guard in the ticket office. But the fun started when they were all told to board the train. One or two officers who had just joined the party objected to travelling with a newspaper man."
This seems extraordinary, given Churchill's military background and his recent exploits. It is possible that the Officers feared the consequences of Churchill's determination to escape.
"My grandfather," Willem Punt continued, "told the officers that they would have to put up with the newspaper man. He was unaware of the newspapers man's identity but I'm sure that in any case he would have ignored the officer's objections"' (Churchill Wanted Dead or Alive refers).
The Boer forces were driven from Natal in 1900 and Willem Punt served under the 'Staff for Engineer Services' from 14.2.1901 to 3.8.1901 (War Office records refer).