Past Exhibitions

Revisit our past exhibitions, captured by our friends at Point3D Commercial Imaging

The Gallant Thousand: Ottawa and the South African War (2019)

The Gallant Thousand: Ottawa and the South African War
One hundred and twenty years ago Canadians sailed for South Africa and to war. After years of tension, two Boer Republics had declared war on Great Britain and it was with some trepidation that Canada would send an initial force of one thousand volunteers – termed “the Gallant Thousand” by Minister of Militia Frederick Borden – in military support.

The South African or “Boer” War (1899 – 1902) would introduce Canadians to a new age of industrialized warfare contrasted by Boer guerilla tactics, as well as the appalling scorched earth and imprisonment policies of an overstretched and desperate British Empire. Through bitter fighting the Canadians came to be known as “the fighting germ at the heart of the British army;” their hard won victories seen as cause for national celebration among the mostly pro-British population.

This virtual exhibition explores the experiences of Ottawans during the South African War through: contemporary newspaper articles, personal accounts, biographies, artefacts, and rarely seen photographs from our primary collection. Discover this oft-forgotten and overlooked conflict first-hand as the citizens of Ottawa did over a century ago.

The Bytown Museum is a not-for-profit, registered charity. In response to COVID-19, we have been commended on our Virtual Tour and Audio Guide accessibility, and our engagement with positive messaging, however due to restrictions on large gatherings, we are taking a hit in funding from admission fees, school tours, and more. Below is the link to the Bytown Museum’s Canada Helps page. There you can donate monthly, one time, or leave us a note if you’re interested in becoming a member. Your generosity means the world to us. 

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