Boer War

Fought from October 12, 1899, until May 31, 1902, the Boer War, also known as the South African War, was an Imperialist-Nationalist conflict between Britain and the Afrikaner-populated regions of Southern Africa. The first major overseas expedition by Canadian troops occurred during the Boer War. During the course of the war, four contingents of Canadian troops were mustered. The first contingent of Canadian volunteers was infantry, but subsequently the British requested mounted troops. As a result, the Second Mounted Rifles was mustered in Regina with the majority of recruits coming from British Columbia, Manitoba, and the North-West Territories. The Second Mounted Rifles was dominated by members of the NWMP and all of the regiment's officers were NWMP. The Second Mounted Rifles departed from Regina in January 1900. Two additional regiments were created: in 1901, the Lord Strathcona's Horse, under the command of Col. Sam Steele; and in the spring of 1902 a fourth recruitment drive was held, but these troops were not deployed due to the cessation of hostilities. Of the 8,372 Canadians who participated in the Boer War, 89 were killed in action, and 181 died from accidental causes and disease. A further 252 Canadians were wounded during the Boer War.

Peter Borch

Further Reading

Hawkes, John. 1924. The Story of Saskatchewan and Its People. Chicago: Clarke; Nasson, Bill. 1999. The South African War, 1899-1902. London: Arnold, 1999; Pakenham, Thomas. 1979. The Boer War. New York: Random House.