BOER

LA GUERRE DES BOERS
1899 - 1902
The Boer War , which lasted from 1899 to 1902 , opposed the Boer Republic of South Africa ( Orange Free State and Transvaal ) in Britain , which , on this occasion, requested military aid from Canada and other Commonwealth countries .

This war was the first overseas conflict in which the new Dominion of Canada was asked to participate. It provoked shared feelings among the population - citizens favored loyalty to the British Empire and others felt that the security of Canada was not directly threatened and that to send troops could create a precedent for what is future interventions .

Canadian troops have participated and contributed to the British victory and the post-war activities . Of the 7,000 to 8,000 men and 16 nurses who served , there were between 200 and 300 fatalities.

At the national level , this war was considered a major event , the Statistical Yearbook of Canada , published in 1899, 1902 and 1903 included a summary of military events mentioned in particular that " the war in Africa South is a milestone in the history of Canada ... " . This event had an impact on the home front . Although large crowds have welcomed the departure and return of Canadian troops have been asked to men , to women and children often volunteer , a direct result of Canada's participation in the war was to sharpen the sense of independence within the British Empire and to promote the establishment of armed forces better organized .

"The patriotic Canadians began to vibrate in all hearts. Beyond all the other consequences of the conflict , there was no doubt that Canada as a nation strengthened his confidence. "

The last Boers surrendered in May 1902 and the war officially ended with the Treaty of Vereeniging on the same date .

Unfortunately we never know the exact number of Aboriginal recruits serving in the Canadian troops in South Africa , because enrollment is individually and race is not specified in the enrollment documents. Those who enlist do individually and some experience of the militia. It is possible that some Canadian militia units in have recruited some considering that their culture and knowledge in their tribes particularly well prepared to perform duties required such as scouts and snipers , but this is only conjecture.

 

There was at least one attempt to include Aboriginal unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force . In 1892 , a company Ohsweken ( Six Nations ) Battalion of the 37th Haldimand Rifles gathered . However , attempts to block transfer of the militia company in one of the Canadian contingents recruited to fight in South Africa fail . It is possible that the report of an agent of Indian Affairs reported that "rumors circulating in the Northwest according to which Indians would join the forces of the Boers in the Transvaal " has raised fears that the government end account , the Indians use against the State training and modern military organization that would have provided.

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One of the volunteers is the soldier Walter White, the band Wendat (Huron) emancipated Anderdon , near Sarnia, Ontario. He enlisted in the 2nd Battalion (Special Service ) , Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry , and part of the first contingent , and had previously been to the color sergeant in the 21st Battalion Essex Fusiliers. Like many other volunteers to South Africa , he agrees to sacrifice his grade to enlist. Unfortunately, this young man of 19 years was killed in action " within 20 yards of the Boer trenches and before any other British soldier" at the Battle of Paardeberg , South Africa , 18 February 1900.

 

Those who enroll in Canada at least save the humiliation John Brant - Sero , a Mohawk from the Grand River , which travels to South Africa to enlist in a British unit :

 

 
I just came back from South Africa , disappointed in many ways , but I do not want these lines to be interpreted as a grievance. I left Canada to go to this country hoping to enlist in the mounted rifles , but are not of European descent , I was refused to serve the cause of His Majesty as did my ancestors in Canada [ ... ] I am a Canadian too authentic .
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