History of a Regiment
The prairies of Western Canada in the late 1890's were considered by many to be a part of the Wild West frontier. However, in reality, Western Canada was a peaceful, well-policed area that was beginning to prosper in the young Dominion. Donald Smith
In January 1900, Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal) offered to raise and equip a mounted regiment at his own expense to serve in the South African or "Boer" War.
His Regiment was recruited largely from cowboys and frontiersmen of Western Canada and members of the North West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.). Command of "Strathcona's Horse" was given to the now famous Superintendent of the N.W.M.P., Sir Sam B. Steele.
Lord Strathcona's Horse arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on April 10, 1900 and quickly became essential to the British Army. Employed as scouts because of their background as frontiersmen and cowboys, the Regiment was involved in numerous skirmishes and bloody battles against the Boer mounted riflemen. The bravery of the soldiers of the Regiment was best illustrated by the actions of Sgt Arthur Richardson during an ambush at Wolver Spruit. Upon seeing one of his soldiers fall wounded from his horse, Sgt Richardson rode back under a hail of Boer gunfire, retrieved the wounded man and brought him to safety. Sgt Richardson received the Victoria Cross for his valour."Perseverance".