The Kaffrarian Rifles were a Cape Volunteer unit raised in East London in 1883. The Regiment was mobilised in October 1899 with a strength of 26 Officers and 723 other ranks, including a Machine-Gun Detachment, Signallers, Cyclists, and a Mounted Infantry Company. They were immediately sent to hold and defend Molteno, Bushman's Hoek and several bridges on the Cape Eastern System Railway line. Under the command of General Gatacre when he landed at East London in November 1899, Major Pollock wrote that he was impressed by the Kaffrarian Rifles:
'The General paid some well deserved compliments to that excellent corps, and thereby pleased them greatly. Really, the Kaffrarians had done plenty of hard work during the past three weeks and they had, moreover, been exposed to no inconsiderable danger, holding the post of honour at the head of the Division ...' (With Seven Generals refers).
During the War the Kaffrarian Rifles saw much fighting in Cape Colony and the Orange Free State and took part in the De Wet hunts.