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DateOriginal Topic
26th May 2005Cpt Mostyn & Lts Anstey, Daly & Bromhead Dec 1878
By Sean Sweeney
These four were the Regimental Board and Bromhead Witnessed the declaration, and appear on my Gt Grandfather's Discharge Document of 12th December 1878, Pietermaritzburg.Could be their actual signatures ? I have scanned to .pdf
I wondered if anyone i.e. rrw museum etc was interested in this sort of information and document. Still History, however trivial.
Robert William Sweeney was the BandMaster of 2Bn/3rd Foot, and served 28yrs 273 days, was present Crimea with 79th Highlanders, and awarded LS&GC.(One of Four brothers in the 79th, plus Father and GrandFather)
He was in first intake into 'Kneller Hall' after Crimea, and youngest BandMaster in British Army, 1860.
Enlisted at age 11yrs, (said he was 14). Was he the youngest soldier in the British Army ??
His Brother-In-Law was Trumpeter John Brown, Light Brigade Charge (later Adj and Col 17th Lancers, and 79th Highlanders)
My father was born Pietremaritzburg, and I Zululand.
My son is an Officer in the New Zealand Army.
26th May 2005Mike McCabe
As well as being a very special piece of family history, you might find that it was also of interest to the Corps of Army Music, formed in 1994 as the body providing the Musicians for all British Army Bands less the Territorial Army, and Gurkha Band. Based at Kneller Hall, they do not yet maintain a Museum, but the Royal School of Military Music does have a historical collection, and may well appreciate hearing from you. Details are at

26th May 2005Mike McCabe
Sorry, slight 'bum steer'. There is a Museum. See
26th May 2005Mike McCabe
Oops. Whole site is:
26th May 2005Martin Everett
Do do not mention the name of your great grandfather?

Mostyn, Anstey and Daly were all in F Company 1/24th. Bromhead may be Major C J (Charles) not Lt Gonville Bromhead VC. I would be interested in a copy of the document you have.
26th May 2005Sean Sweeney
Thanks Guys !
I'll send you a copy Martin.
The name/signature ? is not very legible, but appears to be more like GS than CJ.
Can't make out the rank. More like Lt than Maj
Most of the 24th would have been in Fort Napier Garrison at that time, I guess.
I did mention GFr's name.
Robert William Sweeney
Born Stirling Castle Barracks 15/2/1835
Attested 79th Highlanders Cavan 29/5/1846
As a father, my heart goes out to those young boys.
Has anybody documented the underage 'boys' at Isandhlwana. I believe that there were trumpeters/buglers and drummers, all slaughtered by the Zulu without regard.

26th May 2005Michael Boyle

Check the topic '24th Regiment Bands' 16 Jan. 2005. There's also a link there you might enjoy.


27th May 2005Sean Sweeney
Thanks Michael.
I did enjoy the link.
Buglers/drummers/pipers and bandsmen were often in the thick of it.
My Gt G'father, a teen bandsman, was hospitalised at Scutari, (He remembered Florence Nightingale there.)
He was present at The Alma, Balaklava, and Sebastopol, and went on the Kertch expedition with the 42nd.
He lost a brother there, invalided out and died Fort George 1855, and another invalided from the Mutiny and died.
A nephew was k.i.a. at the Aisne with the 1st Camerons B.E.F.
So not all beer and skittles !
I remember reading somewhere the ages of some of those slaughtered at Isandhlwana, and noting that some of them were just 'boys'.

27th May 2005Peter Ewart

I seem to recall there was a thread on the ages of the "boys" at Isandlwana a year or so back in which Martin explained that (going by what records were available) most were older than was supposed and not really boys at all.

It's probably still there somewhere.

27th May 2005Martin Everett
Dear Dean,

Thank you for a copy of WO97/2116 which I have looked at.

I am sorry to have to tell you that the Witness signature is NOT that of Bromhead - Gonville Bromhead never served in the 1/24th only 2/24th. My best guess is Lt. Arthur Anderson MORSHEAD 1/24th - who was District Adjutant as the time - that fits the story

Your GGfather appears on the medal roll for the South Africa War medal (often known as the Zulu War medal) without clasp - without clasp means that he never reached Zululand - understandly as he was discharged in 1878. His replacement as Bandmaster 2/3rd was H Quinn - he also appears on the medal roll.

The discharge document is signed by Bt Major W R B Chamberlin 2/24th who was Commandant of Depot Natal - Fort Napier - at the time.

I trust that helps.
27th May 2005Michael Boyle

Check the topic "Drummer Boys - the myth becomes reality" 4th Dec. 2003 (currently page 41). Martin compiled a list there.


30th May 2005Sean Sweeney
Thanks Martin.
I have my doubts.(still looks more like G S Bromhead than AA Morshead ?)
I must be 'one eyed' !
Never mind, we'll let it rest !
(It'll be a good story to tell the Grandchildren, anyway !)
I thought that the Chamberlain might be Field Marshall Sir Neville, but he was in India.
Ref The DAAG, Curtis.
Post Zulu War, Col Curtis was the Adjutant General
Thanks for the info,

Thanks Michael, lots of speculation there !,
and looks like the 'drummer boys' weren't 'boys' , but men !
Sean Sweeney
New Zealand
30th May 2005Martin Everett
Dear Sean,
I had a hard look at this one - Bromhead did not fit because he was in the 2nd Battalion and elsewhere at the date when the discharge document was signed. Lt. Morshead was the adjutant at Fort Napier at the time and therefore fits as do all the other signatories. I am sorry this does not tell the story you would like it to be. As regards Major Chamberlin and Field Marshal (note correct spelling of Field Marshal - one of my hobbyhorses I am afraid) - later who spells his name Chamberlain and of course was an Indian Army General and in 1878 was Commander in Chief of the Madras Army. That year the Field Marshal was on a special mission to the Ameer of Afghanistan in Kabul at the request of Lord Lytton, the Viceroy - but the mission was called off at the last moment. According to my notes he never set foot in South Africa (but may have stppoed at the Cape on the way to India). Remember we are looking at similar documents each day as we get many requests of the type so have become familar with Victorian handwriting.
30th May 2005Martin Everett
Dear Sean,

I forgot to add that Gonville Bromhead had only one first name - Gonville. That is really the clincher to confirm that it is not his signature - as much as you would like it to be.
31st May 2005Sean Sweeney
I believe you,...honest !
What was Morshead's fate ?
About the GS, I got it from somewhere ???
Buggered if I know where though ?
There is a VC winners site that lists it.
(Bromhead, Lieut. (late Major) G.S. 24th Reg. Zululand 1879 )
31st May 2005John Young

Michael Barthorp in his earlier editions of 'The Zulu War: A Pictorial History' refers to Bromhead as 'G.S. Bromhead' - I tracked down a source he used which included a group photograph of the 2nd/24th circa 1872, in that group H.B. Pulleine is wrongly identified as 'G.S. Bromhead'.

As to the VC site - I would apportion the blame to D.H. Parry's 1895 work 'Britiain's Roll of Glory...' which also lists Bromhead with the initials 'G.S.'

Why not compare your signature with the Bromhead signature on the site, to put your mind at rest.

John Y.
2nd June 2005Martin Everett
Dear Sean,
You seemed to have to put 2 and 2 together and made 6 as they say.

Your man 'Curtis' had nothing to do with the Zulu war. Yes he was one of SEVEN Assistant Adjutant Generals at HQ Madras Army under Lt Gen Sir Nevile Chamberlain and later Lt Gen Sir F S Roberts VC. It is not Gen Chamberlain's signature of your Gt Grandfather's discharge document.

But have you got the right man - his real name was Bt Major ATWILL CURTOIS - not Curtis - commissioned into the Madras Cavalry.

Stop guessing. Perhaps John Young can work out Curtis signature for you. By the way Bromhead was godfather to the son of his brother officer G S Banister. That's probably where the 'G S' crept in.
7th June 2005Sean Sweeney
Thanks John,
just so that Martin doesn't think I 'guess' ed everything !
The signatures are certainly different, although there is the odd similarity.
My 'guess' is that he would have signed differently anyway between 'Autograph' and just putting your name on an Official War Office Document, so no real help there.
But never mind, it doesn't really matter, ..I'm 'over it' anyway !
With hindsight, the Curtis/Curtois signature is possibly the DAAG at Horse Guards, 25th February 1879, anyway ?
I assume that post Board proceedings of 12th December, 1878, the discharge was sent on to the War Office, as it is also stamped with the 'Royal Hospital Chelsea' Pensioners stamp dated 19th February, 1879.
In the absence of the individuals concerned, ...Guessing is fun !
7th June 2005Martin Everett
Dear Sean,
If you really wish to pursue this, why not trace the out-pension records in WO22 in the National Archives.

Now located DAAG Horse Guards:

Major Reginald Lawrence Herbert CURTEIS Befordshire Regiment appointed 9 December 1878. Did not serve in Zulu War.
8th June 2005Sean Sweeney
Thanks Martin,

That'll be the Reg Curteis daag signature on the dischage then.

He ended up as a Maj Gen and Colonel of the Regiment.

Fitting,... I made Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire my home for 16 years.

There's a photograph of him as a Colonel with the Duke of Connaught on the Lafayette Military images site,