3rd (Special Service) Battalion
Following the first few difficult months of the war, Britain was anxious to send to South Africa the infantry battalion it had stationed in Halifax, which was an important British naval base. Following some negotiations, on 8 February 1900, the Laurier government announced its intention to replace the British regiment in Halifax for the duration of the war with a Canadian unit. Thus was born the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry (3 RCRI).
Numbering 1,004 all ranks, and composed of men from militia units across the country, the new battalion took up its duties on 25 March 1900. The end of the war in South Africa allowed the British to regarrison Halifax and on 1 October 1902, 3 RCRI stood down in favour of the 5th Battalion, Royal Garrison Regiment. While 3 RCRI served exclusively in Canada, its strength is included in the overall number of Canadians, 8,372, raised for service during the South African War.
The battalion had set the precedent for Canadian troops to garrison the Halifax fortress. In 1905-06, Canada assumed full responsibility for the defence of Halifax, and units of the Permanent Force took over from the last British force that garrisoned Canada.