Chronology of Canadian Military History Canadian Military History, Colonial Period, New France, First Peoples, Seven Years War, French Indian War Canadian Military History, British North America, American Invasion, War of 1812, Dominion of Canada, Riel Rebellion, South African War Canadian Military History, World War 1 History, 1914-1918, Canadian Armed Forces, conscription Canadian Military History, World War 2, 1939-1945, Battle of the Atlantic, conscription, invasion, Dday, Normandy, Germany, axis, allies, Hong Kong, Dieppe 1946-today
Canada within the Empire
NAC/ANC C-18,737
British North America
The War of 1812: Invasion Repelled
The War of 1812: Canada Saved
Fortifying Canada
Rebellions in the Canadas
The Fenian Raids
Confederation and Expansion
Creating a Standing Army
Developing the Canadian Nation
The Northwest Campaign
Canada and Imperialism
The South African War
Military Reform



The South African War was Canada’s first overseas conflict.

In October 1899, the British Empire and the two small South African Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State went to war. Over 7300 Canadian volunteers served in South Africa in infantry, mounted rifle, artillery, and other units. Their most celebrated success, and the Empire’s first significant victory of the war, was at Paardeberg in February 1900, when more than 4000 Boers surrendered following a Canadian-led assault. Before the war ended in May 1902, Canadian losses amounted to 89 killed in action and 135 who died of other causes, mainly disease.

Most English Canadians responded enthusiastically to the war, but much of French Canada was unsupportive. Battlefield successes increased Canadian self-confidence and advanced Canadian nationalism, but the war also magnified domestic linguistic and cultural differences.

Boer War, South African War

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Canadian War Museum
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Ottawa, Ontario
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