Colour Sergeant 24th.(2nd.Warwickshire) Regt.1879

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This is the infantry uniform that was worn in the Zulu War at Isandlwana and at Rorke’s Drift, by the famous 24th., more popularly, although incorrectly for that time, called The South Wales Borderers.

The equipment shown is the 1871 Valise equipment, perhaps the first serious attempt at providing the soldier with a means of carrying all his equipment in a way that distributed the load evenly by putting most of it on the shoulder straps. The valise, a black waterproof canvas bag, was worn low and was used to carry items of spare clothing and personal equipment.

In 1879 during the Zulu War, the valise was not worn, but carried in the company wagon. Men were thus able to fight less encumbered, and wore only the waistbelt, pouches, haversack, waterbottle and messtin. The helmet badge shown here is the last pattern shako plate of 1868. In 1878 a new helmet plate had been issued, but the 24th. were abroad at that time and did not take delivery of new stocks before their famous engagements in January 1879.


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