Troop Sgt. Major - 1st King?s Dragoon Guards 1879

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This uniform is as worn during the Zulu Wars. On 9th April 1879 the KDG disembarked at Durban for service in the Zulu Wars. On 20th May they reached Rorke?s Drift and the following day they helped bury the dead Isandlwana following the infamous massacre. On 28th August a small detachment led by Major Marter captured Cetshwayo, the Zulu King, who was hiding in a cave.

Dragoon Guards, together with the household cavalry, formed the ?Heavy Cavalry?, usually made up from larger men on heavier mounts. They carried lances, sabres and the Martini-Henry carbine and were generally allocated to shock duties, literally battering their way through the enemy?s ranks. 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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