'Australian Mounted Rifles after skirmish at Modder River, South Africa', 1900.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of a boxed set of stereoscope photographs produced for sale to the general public by a profesional firm of photographers, Underwood and Underwood. The Second Boer War (1899-1902) was the first war to be covered comprehensively by both film and still photography. This was the result of improved technology in both photographic equipment and printing techniques; cameras were more portable and magazines reproduced half-tone photographs. Troops from all corners of the British Empire fought in the war, Australians prominent amongst them. With their horsemanship and experience of life in the outback, many of the Australians made excellent mounted infantrymen, effective troops for countering the highly mobile Boer forces.