In 1899, South Africa had been a site of growing tensions between the British colonies and the independent republics of Dutch- Afrikaner settlers (Boers). British subjects in the region were engaged, and the British response became known as the Boer War.
Early Australian contingents were sourced from the colonial militia, but later ‘bushmen’ delegates were recruited from many more diverse settings, funded by the imperial government in London.
Later ‘draft contingents’ were subsidised by Australian state governments after Federation.
Australia supported the British counter-offensive from 1900-1902, seizing major Boer towns, and forcing the Boers into small pockets of resistance. Overwhelmingly, Boer guerrillas were outnumbered and conquered by Australian troops.
Of the more than 16,000 Australians who fought in the Boer War, 282 died in battle or of wounds, and 286 succumbed to disease. Six Australians joined the elite rank of Victoria Cross recipients.
Part of the Australia at War series, to feature 18 coins which will reflect the nation’s pride in these brave servicemen and women.
Coin’s reverse features an artistic representation of a statue paying tribute to Australia’s Light Horsemen.
This tribute to those who served in the Boer War, defending the lives and honour of British subjects in South Africa. As a symbol of history, commitment, tradition and pride.