Second war between the British rulers of Cape Colony in South Africa and Dutch-Afrikaner setters, known as Boers. The first, in 1880-1881, saw the British experience significant losses and when a second conflict broke out in 1889, the Australian colonies offered to send troops to assist. The first Australians arrived in December 1899. About 16,000 Australians fought in the Boer War, mostly in mounted contingents, of whom 282 died in action or from wounds and 324 from disease or accidents. Six Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross.