Elements within the South African colonies had become disgruntled with the increasing interference in local affairs by the British.  The Boer farmers (descendants of the Dutch settlers) of the Transvaal and Orange Free State, declared war on Brittan in 1899.  The British Government called for assistance from within the Empire, and Australia (after federation on 1901), sent a contingent of up to 20,000 men and 80 women in support.  After 3 years at war, the Brittish defeated Boer resistance in 1902.

The Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour lists 598 Australian casualties, with 6 servicemen being awarded the Victoria Cross for their Boer War service.