Canada & The South African War, 1899-1902

Canadian South African War Insigna
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8
Tel. (819) 776-8600
toll-free 1-800-555-5621

Uniforms & Equipment

The Canadian Uniform
Canadian military dress in South Africa was initially similar to that used by the British Army. The experience of colonial wars in the nineteenth century convinced the British to abandon red coats for their soldiers and adopt khaki-coloured clothing, which helped the troops blend in with the landscape.

Oliver Pattern Equipment
The load-bearing equipment worn by the Canadians in South Africa was their own Oliver Pattern. Designed by J.W. Oliver, it was intended to keep a soldier self-sufficient on the march over long periods and was constructed entirely of brown leather

The Stetson Hat
During the South African War, most Canadian units that served in South Africa wore Stetson hats. The hat became firmly identified with Canada and the Canadian military presence in South Africa.

The Strathcona Boot
Members of the Strathcona's Horse wore a unique leather boot. It remains today as one of the more distinctive components of the dress uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.