The Cape Mounted Riflemen
were South African military units. There were two separate successive regiments of that name. Some military historians distinguish between them by labelling the first as "imperial" and the second as "colonial".
Cape Mounted Riflemen (1827-1870)
The first, so-called "imperial", unit, was formed by the Dutch administration of the Cape Colony
in 1793, to enlarge its garrison because of the threat posed by the war in Europe
. It was originally called the Corps van Pandoeren
, i.e. "Corps of Pandours", and consisted of Khoisan
men under White officers.
The British retained the unit after taking over the colony in 1795, and renamed it the Cape Regiment
. When the Dutch resumed the administration in 1803, they changed the name to the Corps van Vrye Hottentotten
, i.e. "Corps of Free Hottentots
" and again, in 1805, to the Hottentot Ligte Infanterie
, i.e. "Hottentot Light Infantry".After British rule was reinstated in 1806, the unit was called the Cape Regiment
again. In 1817, it was divided into mounted and infantry sections, and was renamed the Cape Corps of Cavalry and Infantry
, or "Cape Corps" for short. When the infantry section was disbanded in 1827, the corps was renamed Cape Mounted Riflemen
The unit was deployed in several operations and campaigns: the 4th Frontier War
(1811-1812), the 5th Frontier War
(1818-1819), the 6th Frontier War
(1834-1835), the siege of......