A devotee of the Minie rifle through his service with the French staff in Algeria in 1847, Lakeman attempted to interest the British Army in the weapon. Although the army was reluctant to adopt the rifle, Lakeman was permitted to raise a volunteer corps at his own expense for service in the 1850-53 Kaffir War. Granted the rank of captain, he served through the campaign and was knighted, aged just 24. Tylden wrote in The Armed Forces of South Africa: “Lakeman’s Volunteer Infantry… called officially the Waterkloof Rangers….were a very tough lot of men and did excellent work, were clad in leather and carried the Minie rifle.”
WHAT I SAW IN KAFFIR-LAND (The Kaffir War 1850-53)
Record of a volunteer infantry unit which served throuhgout the 1850-53 Kaffir War, written by their tough Commander, who equipped them with his beloved French Minie rifle.