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Date > 1800 > 1890-1899

Subject > Armed Forces > Land Forces

The 12-Pounder Field Gun - Weapons used by Canadians in the South African War

Type: Document

The 12-pounder breech-loading gun that equipped the Brigade Division, Royal Canadian Field Artillery in South Africa replaced the 9-pounder rifled muzzle loading guns that had equipped Canada's field artillery units since the 1870s.

Site: Canadian War Museum

"For Queen and Country" - Canadians and the South African War, 1899-1902

Type: Document

An article about the origins of the South African War and Canada's involvement in it. Includes reading list.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Command of the Militia

Type: Document

From 1867 to 1904, the militia system was commanded by British General Officers who were often in conflict with Canadian Defence Ministers over matters of appointments, budgets, and the role played by Canada’s forces in the Empire. During this period small improvements were made in the staff system and the training of officers.

Site: National Defence

The Stetson Hat - Uniforms used by Canadians in the South African War

Type: Document

During the South African War, apart from the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, all Canadian units that served in South Africa wore Stetsons. The hat became firmly identified with Canada and the Canadian military presence in South Africa.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Lieutenant-Colonel William D. Otter (1843-1929) - South African War

Type: Document

Lieutenant-Colonel William D. Otter became the first Canadian-born officer to command this country’s military. As commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry in South Africa, his no nonsense, no frills approach to soldiering brought him into conflict with the less disciplined ways of his officers and men, but his austere professionalism got results.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Canadian Victoria Cross Winners - South African War

Type: Document

During the South African War, Victoria Crosses were awarded for rescuing fellow soldiers under enemy fire, rear-guard action at Leliefontein, and for service in the Medical Corps.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel B. Steele (1849-1919) - South African War

Type: Document

Recommended as the best man in Canada to lead a unit in South Africa by the North West Mounted Police, Samuel B. Steele took command of Strathcona’s Horse in 1899. After taking the unit back to Canada early in 1901, Steele returned to South Africa that same year to command a division of the South African Constabulary until 1906. He later commanded Canadian formations in England during the First World War.

Site: Canadian War Museum

The Colt .455 New Service Model Revolver - Weapons used by Canadians in the South African War

Type: Document

Canada's Department of Militia and Defence chose Colt's .455 New Service Model introduced in 1898, to upgrade the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry's old Colt .44 Calibre Model 1878 pistol to a more modern firearm. It was a large pistol, which fired a heavy bullet intended to stop an enemy quickly and was carried in a Canadian-made holster, suspended from the Oliver Pattern Equipment waistbelt.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Training and the Evolution of the Militia

Type: Document

The founding of the Royal Military College in 1876 and the building of the Dominion Arsenal at Quebec improved the militia and its equipment, but many challenges remained. Developments within Canada, such as the creation of the transcontinental railway, influenced the formation of the militia with more units being formed in the cities rather than the countryside.

Site: National Defence

Canada’s First Professional Soldiers

Type: Document

The Canadian public was initially opposed to full-time professional soldiers, but when the British withdrew their regular troops, Canada was forced to establish regular units of artillery at the fortresses of Kingston and Quebec. These units became the foundation of the Royal Canadian Artillery.

Site: National Defence