Sam Steele, South African Constabulary

Martello Tower


On the line of the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company

An early postcard published by the Canadian View Card Co. of Toronto,

mailed from Montreal on March 4, 1904 with a 2¢ KEVII stamp to

Miss Flora Steele c/o Col. S.B. Steele, SAC,

Pretoria, South Africa

Below, reverse of card

Flora Steele was 13 years old at the time the card was sent, and was exchanging letters and postcards with Mabel Doyle of Montreal. After a legendary career in the Canadian northwest with the RCMP, her father, Sam Steele took command of Lord Strathcona's Horse, a cavalry unit, in 1900 for service in the Boer War. After returning with the unit to Canada early in 1901, Steele returned to South Africa that same year to command 'B' Division of the South African Constabulary, a position he held until 1906.

In his personal diary the day after this postcard was sent, Steele noted “a great many potty cases in the courts”, during a week of entries on generally routine matters. Steele later saw military duty in WWII, and was knighted in 1918.

For extensive information on Sir Sam Steele’s career and times, see the Sir Sam Steele Collection at the University of Alberta.