It was the famous Boer War in which the small South African Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic, tried to confront the vast British Empire. Gandhi was very successful in the battle, so he later even received a medal.
On this day a battle took place in South Africa in which young Gandhi, the future famous Indian statesmen, participated. Is seems unusual that Gandhi, the peacemaker, was at one time a British soldier, but he was. Gandhi was 30 at the time, and as a born Indian was also a British colonial official and so he ended up serving in the British army. It was the famous Boer War, a battle between David and Goliath of a sort. Namely, the small South African Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic, tried to confront the vast British Empire (Boers were descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa).
Gandhi was so successful in the battle that he later even received a medal. In fact, he managed to organize an ambulance corps and he himself was apparently a stretcher-bearer. Therefore, his war efforts were actually humane because he took care of the wounded. At the end, the British won despite the heroic Boer efforts. Just to mention, Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa, and it seems that most of his views were formed precisely there.