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DateOriginal Topic
1st July 2005During and after after the Zulu War
By Andrew Holliday
Did the 2nd Battalion 24th see any combat as a whole unit during the Zulu war. Also did either/both battalions of the Zulu war see any combat recntly after the Zulu War in a major battle?
2nd July 2005Martin Everett
Dear Andrew,
The 2nd Battalion did have an active role in the 2nd invasion of Zululand - but did not really see a shot fired in anger. There is always a misconception that the Victorian British infantry was always in skirmishes. Witness the comments on this site about the (non) experience of Col Pulleine. To summarise the services of 2/24th for which campaign medals were awarded:
Burma 1885-1887
South Africa 1900-1902
Tsingtao (China) 1914
Landings at Gallipoli (1915)
First Day of the Somme (Western Front)
Palestine (1937)
Norway (1940)
D-Day (1944) (only Welch Battalion to land on 6 June)
which is an impressive list by most battalion's records.

Most men of the 24th went through the AWZ without firing a shot in anger except for those Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift. So only 700 out of about 2,500. But this is not an unusual statistic for the British infantry at the time. Remember after Isandhlwana the 1/24th did not see 'action' again until they went to France in August 1914.
4th July 2005Julian whybra
After Isandhlwana the 24th were put 'in a bandbox' if I can borrow a phrase from the Crimean War. But there were a small group of 30 1/24th men who saw further action at Hlobane, Khambule, and Ulundi - those on detached duty with the IMI 1st squadron under Browne (this included the four IMI survivors from Isandhlwana); in addition a similar number from the 2/24th with the 2nd squadron who saw action with Pearson's column and Ulundi.
4th July 2005John Young

Are you certain that men from 2nd Squadron, Mounted Infantry served at Ulundi? I thought that they were under Percy Barrow's command as part of his 564 'Mounted troops' with 1st Division - 'Crealock's Crawlers'.

Captain William Sudgen, 24th Foot, being the second in command of the 2nd Squadron, Mounted Infantry. His service record does not mention his presence at the Battle of Ulundi.

Lieutenant (local rank of Captain) Henry de Courcy Rawlins also served with 2nd Squadron, and despite him being repeatedly mentioned in despatches there is no mention of him being at the Battle of Ulundi.

Please advise?

7th July 2005Julian whybra
John, you are quite right re 2nd sq.. Amend my last line to "with Pearson's column on the march to Ulundi".