The peacetime routine was broken by the outbreak of the South
African (or Boer) War in 1899. Reservists were called up, passing
through the Barracks on their way to rejoin their former units,
and the Militia was also embodied.
By 1st June 1902, peace had been agreed. The most significant
event in the years leading up to the Great War was a visit
by Field Marshal Earl Roberts KG, who commanded in South Africa
and was now Commander-in-Chief. He came on 11th April 1903,
inspected troops, and visited the Soldiers' Home, where he
met the famous superintendent, Mrs Margaret Allen and her
sister Miss A.O. Allen.
The Great War marked the end of an era. Service battalions,
raised specially for the war, replaced the Regular garrison,
and women in uniform were seen for the first time in the barracks.
first women in uniform
in the barracks