In 1877, the British annexed the Transvaal in northeast South Africa. Led by Sir Theophilius Shepstones, they were met by powerful protests from the farmers. The Boers rebelled in 1880 and war broke out. With the help of guerrilla warfare, the farmers managed to win the war and gained independence in the region. In 1900, Transvaal was occupied again. The second Boer war would have a devastating effect on L.O. Smith’s life. Transvaal became an English colony before it became a South African province in 1910.