With the discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1896, large numbers of prospectors from Canada, the United States, and Europe made their way to the goldfields of the Yukon. The North-West Mounted Police did not have adequate resources to maintain law and order in the area, and, in the spring of 1898, the government of Canada ordered the formation of the Yukon Field Force to augment the police presence.
The force consisted of 203 volunteers from Canada's Permanent Force, which included 133 men from the Royal Canadian Regiment. The Yukon Field Force also included a medical service unit composed of two field surgeons and four members of the Victorian Order of Nurses. Lieutenant-Colonel T.D.B. Evans of the Royal Canadian Dragoons commanded the Yukon Field Force. In 1900, the force was withdrawn from the Yukon. A locally raised militia unit, the Dawson City Rifle Company, assumed the duties of the Yukon Field Force in July 1900.