Oliver 'Jack' Hindon was born in Stirling, Scotland, on 20 April 1874. He joined the army at a young age (only about fourteen years old) as a 'band boy' and was sent to Zululand, where he deserted. He then went to live in Wakkerstroom, and during the Jameson Raid in 1895/6, he fought so bravely on the side of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) forces that he was immediately made a full citizen.
Four years later, at the start of the Anglo-Boer War, Hindon joined the Middelburg Commando. At the battle of Spioenkop, Hindon once again showed great bravery under enemy fire when he flew the Vierkleur on the summit of the hill. It was then that he formed his own scout unit which proved so successful that Lord Kitchener stated that Hindon had caused him more problems than any other Boer.
Hindon and his men would become notorious train-wreckers, particularly along the Delagoa Bay Railway Line where they fought under the command of General Ben Viljoen with Captain Henri Slegtkamp and his men.