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VIEW-8799
© McCord Museum
Photograph
Strathcona Horse Regiment at Ottawa, ON, about 1890-1900
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1890-1900, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
VIEW-8799
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Thanks to his investments in the Hudson's Bay Company and the CPR, Lord Strathcona (Donald Smith) became enormously wealthy. He was also a patriot and a supporter of the British Empire. When the Boer War broke out in 1899, the Canadian government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier was reluctant to support it, largely because the war was highly unpopular in Quebec. Lord Strathcona's reaction was to raise a mounted regiment at his own expense and send it to South Africa. The regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse, was made up largely of westerners, including members of the Mounted Police, and was commanded by Superintendent Sam Steele of the North-west Mounted Police (NWMP). The men are shown here in Ottawa, probably in 1900, before setting out for the war. One member of the force, Sergeant Arthur Richardson, received the Victoria Cross for bravery during the war. Now an armoured regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse is still part of the Canadian Armed Forces.

What:

Members of Lord Strathcona's Horse, a mobile force of some 600 Canadian rough riders. The regimental colours can be seen at the centre.

Where:

The men are standing with a crowd of people in front of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.

When:

The photograph was probably taken in the spring of 1900 as the regiment prepared to leave for South Africa.

Who:

The men are volunteers for a mounted regiment, whose expenses were paid by Lord Strathcona, for service in the Boer War.

© Musée McCord Museum