Take note of the small hole near the top of this hat. The accompanying panel explains it.
The Second Boer War (or South African War) was fought between 1899 and 1902, between the British and two Boer republics over the status of the Empire in southern Africa (an earlier, smaller conflict twenty years earlier was the first). Aside from British forces, volunteers from across the British Empire answered the call, including Canadian troops, who found themselves far from home in a place very different from what they had known. Have a look at this museum link for the overview of Canada's place in that war that straddled centuries. The South African War was one that shifted from battlefields to guerilla warfare, and is often overlooked when you consider the great cataclysm that was just over a decade away. The War Museum's second section opens up with a look at this conflict that most people today have forgotten. It includes this mock-up of a soldier in uniform.
Uniforms and other items of that war are in this display case. They include items ranging from weapons to the more personal like a tobacco pipe or a personal bible.
A Lee-Enfield rifle and crocheted scarf are in this display case. Both belonged to Canadian privates; the scarf was one of eight done by the Queen for battlefield valour in that war.
This field artillery gun, a 12 pounder saw action at a battle called Leliefontein, used by D Battery of the Royal Canadian Field Artillery against Boer opposition. It had a range of up to four thousand metres and fired both shrapnel and high explosive shells.
Over seven thousand Canadians served in various capacities in South Africa during the war. 267 of them were killed in action. It was the first time Canadian troops served in action outside of North America. A few years later Canadians would be drawn into the First World War.
Some of you might remember this large painting that we find in the next section of the Museum, focusing on that war. Canada's Answer is a painting by Norman Wilkinson, depicting the ships carrying 32 000 Canadian soldiers in October 1914, the first wave of Canadians to head to the front. They would be the first of many to come.
Rifles of the period are in this display case.
This cannon, advanced compared to what Canadians had used in South Africa, stands nearby in an area focused on the Second Battle Of Ypres, the first major battle involving Canadian soldiers.
For today I finish off with this spot nearby, which deals with wartime propaganda. The sculpture of an apocryphal story- the crucifixion of a Canadian soldier on a barn door by Germans- is at the left. At the right is a porthole taken from the passenger ship Lusitania, which was sunk by a German submarine, accompanied by other items in the case.