The Field Intelligence Department played a crucial role in bringing the conflict to a close. At the beginning of the Campaign, the maps and general knowledge of the vast areas to be fought over were sketchy and the creation of an Intelligence Department became a vital necessity. The Guides and Agents infiltrated the countryside and towns and allowed the Head Quarters to keep subversives and rebels in a closer check than would otherwise have been possible. The F.I.D. was created by Major (later General Sir) David Henderson who summarised their role:
'In November 1900 the strength of the Field Intelligence Department was approximately 30 officers and 250 white subordinates. On 31.5.1902 the strength was 132 white officers and 2,321 white subordinates. Apart from any share which they may have had in the captures made by columns, the Intelligence employees while in search of information, have, in the last six months of the war, killed 88 and captured 550 of the enemy. A very large proportion of surrenders have also directly been due to the the influence of Intelligence agents.
Many small expeditions have been organised and sent out from Head Quarters to the outlying parts of the theatre of operations to gain information and interrupt the enemy's communications and sometimes to investigate particular matters which have been reported. There has been no lack of suitable volunteers for these dangerous enterprises, and they have, in most cases, been skilfully carried out, with valuable results. In more than one case, a small party of this kind has exercised considerable influence on the enemy's plans and movements' (War Office records refer).