On 11th January 1900 Lord Strathcona offered "to equip and land at Cape Town, at his own expense, 500 Rough-riders from the Canadian North-West, as a special service corps of Mounted Rifles. Two days later his offer was accepted by the Secretary of State for War".

On 16th March the force embarked 28 officers, 512 of other ranks, with 599 horses, 3 maxims, 1 pom-pom, 500 rounds per rifle and 50,000 rounds for each maxim. A more munificent offer has seldom been made by a subject to his country.

The regiment landed at Cape Town on 10th April. Unfortunately nearly 200 horses had been lost at sea, an unusually large proportion. After about five weeks impatiently spent near Cape Town, the force again re-embarked for Natal; two squadrons were put off at Durban and one, 'B' was taken to Kosi Bay as part of an expedition into Swaziland, but this did not come off; perhaps the enemy was found to have heard of it. 'B' squadron came back to Durban. In June the corps was taken by rail to Newcastle and joined General Buller's army, being put into the 3rd Mounted Brigade under Lord Dundonald, and attached for the time to General Clery's Division. On 1st July they had, near Waterval on the Natal-Pretoria Railway, the first of many skirmishes, and suffered their first losses in action. That week they were engaged on several occasions, having altogether about 15 casualties. In one of these little actions Sergeant A H L Richardson gained the Victoria Cross. "On 5th July at Wolve Spruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, a party of Strathcona's Corps, only 38 in number, came into contact, and was engaged at close quarters, with a force of 80 of the enemy. When the order to retire had been given Sergeant Richardson rode back under a very heavy cross-fire and picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was wounded in two places, and rode with him out of fire. At the time when this act of gallantry was performed Sergeant Richardson was within 300 yards of the enemy, and was himself riding a wounded horse".

General Buller did the regiment honour by asking them to provide 150 men as escort to himself to Heidelberg, on his way to Pretoria to meet Lord Roberts.

As a result of the conference between these leaders General Buller shortly commenced preparations for moving northwards across the Eastern Transvaal, so as to meet and co-operate with Lord Roberts' army in the neighbourhood of Belfast. Lord Dundonald's Brigade, the South African Light Horse, and Strathcona's Corps, were part of the force taken by General Buller, and right well did both regiments serve their General all through the advance to Belfast and Bergendal, and afterwards into the mountains of the Lydenburg district (see South African Light Horse).

Having returned to the Delagoa Railway line about the 7th October, the regiment were here told to make over their horses, and they entrained for Pretoria. The regiment parted regretfully from General Buller, a leader in whom they had learned to repose every trust, and who was ever ready to appreciate the good services they heartily gave. When he bade them farewell General Buller said that, having served in the north-west of Canada, he looked upon the corps as old friends, and he gave them and the South African Light Horse the highest praise. In his final despatch General Buller said: "Lord Strathcona's Corps joined the force in June, and from the moment of their arrival they served with marked success. I can hardly speak too highly of the value Strathcona's Horse have been to the Natal Field Force". As to Colonel Steele, he said: "Has great influence with all ranks in his regiment; having a thorough knowledge of frontier work, his services have been most valuable".

On 20th October horses were again served out to the regiment, and they were sent to reinforce General Barton near Frederickstad. On 10th November when acting as advance-guard they earned the commendation of that excellent leader. In a letter to Colonel Steele General Barton said: "I cannot speak too highly of the practical and effective manner in which the duty assigned to your splendid corps was carried out by yourself and all under your command yesterday. I have specially mentioned this in my report". The regiment had, among other good deeds, effected the capture of 600 cattle and 1200 sheep.

In his despatch of 8th March 1901 Lord Kitchener mentioned that when, in November 1900, he learned that De Wet was to attempt to invade Cape Colony, a big lot of troops was railed from the Transvaal to the south of Bloemfontein, and among these he included Strathcona's' Corps. They were put under General C Knox, and took part in the hard and exciting work which a pursuit of De Wet always entailed. This work lasted throughout December. On 20th January 1901 the regiment re-embarked for Canada, via England; and on 15th February they had the great honour to receive a Colour from King Edward, who also presented them with their medals.

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 Surname   Forename   No   Rank   Notes 
AbbottJSource: Medal rolls
AbbottW RSource: Medal rolls
AcourtA W HSource: Medal rolls
AdamsJ7013PrivateDemise: Died of disease - enteric fever 01 Mar 1900
Place: Jacobsdal
Source: In Memoriam by S Watt
AdamsW G7160PrivateDemise: Died of disease - enteric fever 16 Apr 1900
Place: Bloemfontein
Source: In Memoriam by S Watt
AdamsonASource: Medal rolls
AgerJ SSource: Medal rolls
AlisonDSource: Medal rolls
AllenP KSource: Medal rolls
AndersonE FSource: Medal rolls
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Comments   

# RE: Strathcona's Horsejohnnyroad 2014-06-28 04:39
Seeking information re the sidearms issued to the LSH. The reference book "Canadian Military Handguns 1855-1985" by Clive Law indicates a number of Colt New Service revolvers were purchased from Lewis Bros.& Co. of Montreal by the Department of Militia and Defense to arm Canadian South African War volunteers.

According to the Colt Archives Colt New Service s/n 3445, in caliber .45 Colt, was shipped in an order of 100 to Lewis Brothers and Company of Montreal on February 7,1900.

Although it's conceivable that it was purchased as part of the equipping of the LSH there doesn't appear to be any documentary evidence to support that conjecture. This pistol has no military markings whatsoever, not even a broad arrow.

If anyone has any information bearing on this matter it would be much appreciated.
# C H Graham is my great grandfathergraham_scott39@hotmail.com 2016-09-10 21:19
Charles Heathcoat Graham is my great grandfather.
He was a 14 year old bugle boy. After surviving the Boer war he also survived the Great war. My father Chris Graham entered a family history contest with the Royal Canadian legion magazine in the summer of 2015 and won first prize for his photos of artifacts including his bugle from 1900.

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