A wave of military enthusiasm arose throughout the empire, and as the formation of a seventh division practically drained the mother-country of trained men, a scheme for the employment of amateur soldiers was formulated, resulting in the despatch of Imperial Yeomanry and Volunteer contingents, which proved one of the most striking features of the South African campaign.
Nevertheless the struggle turned gradually to the advantage of the laborer, and ended in the creation of the sturdy and prosperous farming yeomanry who were the strength of the realm for several centuries to come.
This increase of villenage morally depressed the peasantry, and widened still further the breach between the yeomanry and the gentry.
By the end of the year the blockhouse system was complete, but this phase of the war was destined to close badly as De Wet on Christmas Eve captured a large force of Yeomanry at Tweefontein, west of Harrismith.
There was as great a social distance between the planters and their families on the one side and the masses of people in Virginia on the other as that which separated the nobles from the yeomanry in Europe; and there was still another chasm between the small farmers and the negroes.
The Admirable Crichton of his day, he was keen alike on field sports and the arts, the friend and admirer equally of Cecil Rhodes and of Rodin, a railway director and a yeomanry colonel.