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In October 1899, the colony of Victoria responded quickly to the call for support from England.  The first Victorian contingent of 125 volunteers soon arrived in Capetown and was in action on February 10, 1900.  There was a strong sense of patriotism in Victoria and a further four contingents departed for South Africa in 1900 and 1901.  All were volunteers, amongst them, were 10 Victorian nurses who were urgently needed to care for the large numbers of casualties, predominantly suffering from infectious diseases.

Australia federated in 1901 so Victoria like all other States provided volunteers to the newly formed Australian Commonwealth Horse.

Victoria sent 207 officers, 3,401 men and 10 women to the war, of which 131 men and 1 woman died.

The South African War Memorial, unveiled in 1924, was funded with public money raised by subscription since 1911. The Memorial designed by Melbourne architects features a stone obelisk representing death and glory above which is mounted a Crusader's bronze sword. At each corner of the Memorial is a crouching lion symbolising the nobility and strength of the British Empire.


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