The ad-hoc nature of manning the Intelligence effort during the Boer War is illustrated by this painting, taken from the Army and Navy Gazette of 6th May 1899, which depicts an Officer and Rifleman of the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles, a unit that provided manpower for the Field Intelligence Department.
The ability to cover the enormous expanse of the South African veldt quickly meant that horses and trained riders were essential for reconnaissance and intelligence collection as well as communications and taking the fight to the highly mobile Boer fighters.
Whilst the riders are here shown in ceremonial uniforms, intended for wear in the UK, they would have worn khaki for service in the field. There are however, contemporary photos of officers and soldiers wearing a mix of different uniform items, most often when in camp and off duty. A favourite cap or a comfortable pair of boots may be hard to put aside even if they are not the issue of the day!