There was a history of tension between the British colonies along the coast of South Africa at the Cape and in Natal, as well as in the inland Dutch republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. This had greatly intensified following the discovery of gold and diamonds in the Transvaal and the dramatic growth of a rumbustious British-dominated ‘uitlander’ community concentrated on Johannesburg. Imperialists at the Cape, notably Cecil Rhodes and his trusty supporter, Frederick Jameson, Prime Minister of Cape Colony, desired the extension of formal British control over all of southern Africa. Through the later 1890s, Henry Wilson followed the developing crisis in South Africa with quite close attention, particularly the Jameson raid. This chapter focuses on Wilson's war service in South Africa as brigade major of Ireland's 4th or ‘Light’ Brigade (as the 3rd Brigade was known), under the command of Major-General Neville Lyttelton.
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