John MacBride was a soldier in South Africa for a few years, fighting with the Boers (Dutch settlers) against the English over who would take the land from the tribal peoples who lived there.
There were Irish on both sides and it gave rise to this ditty, which was widely sung in Ireland at the time:
How “the English” fought “the Dutch” at the Battle of Dundee
On the mountain side the battle raged, there is no stop or stay;
Mackin captured Private Burke and Ensign Michael Shea,
Fitzgerald got Fitzpatrick, Brannigan found O’Rourke;
Finnigan took a man named Fay – and a couple of lads from Cork.
Sudden they heard McManus shout, ‘hands up or I’ll run you through’
He thought it is a Yorkshire tike but twas Corporal Donoghue
McGarry took O’Leary, O’Brien got McNamee,
That’s how “the English” fought “the Dutch” at the Battle of Dundee.