The Canadian response to the initial British request for infantry was to dispatch the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel William Otter. However, after the Boers had defeated British forces at Stormberg, Magersfontein, and Colenso (10-15 December 1899), the British government requested additional troops. This new force was to include cavalry and artillery units.
As a result, a second contingent was raised. It included two additional battalions of the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, The Canadian Mounted Rifles, and the Royal Canadian Artillery Brigade. The Lord Strathcona's Horse, a volunteer regiment privately raised and equipped in Alberta by Lord Strathcona, provided additional cavalry.
The Canadian Corps, together with British regiments, formed the 19th Brigade, which was described by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, as "probably the very finest brigade in the whole army." The Canadian Corps, which numbered 8,372, would play a significant role in the British operations from 1900 to 1902.