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14th September 2003Zulu War Medal Roll
By Edward Garcia
Does anyone out there know if there is a published medal roll of the Anglo-Zulu War? I have the Casualty Roll book by Travander but that volume as the title suggests only lists casualties of the war. I am currently researching a Long Service and Good Conduct medal issued to #1977 Sjt.W.Thake 1st.Bn. The Connaught Rangers. It was issued in April of 1893 so Thake could very well be a veteran of the war if he served his entire career with the 88th Foot/1st.Bn. The Connaught Rangers.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
15th September 2003Justin Young
Hi Edward

The book you would be after is: 'The South African War Medal 1877-8-9, The Medal Roll'
By D.R.Forsyth, Roberts Publications.
This fantastic reference work details the medal rolls for everyone entitled to the above medal, with every clasp (or none as the case may be). Both Colonial and Imperial by Regiment/ unit.

I've had a quick check for you and Thake does not appear under the Connaught Rangers (although possibly he may have served in a different unit at some point).
As you have his name and service number, your could get in touch with a researcher, who will search for this mans papers at the PRO (for a small sum of Money).
This will tell you what this man service conisted of and where he served.

Hope this helps.
15th September 2003John Young

Pte. W. Thake, 88th (Connaught Rangers) Regiment, appears in the roll John Radburn was compiling when he died. John actually had a file on Thake, which I haven't seen.

John Y.
16th September 2003Edward Garcia
Justin and John,

Thank both of you for your comments regarding Sgt. Thake and his LS&GC Medal that I now own. When I bought it about 10 years ago I did so simply because it was a excellent example of the type and only recently noticed the possibility that he may have served in the 1879 Campaign.

I suppose Thake not showing up in “The South African War Medal 1877-8-9, The Medal Roll” but appearing in John Radburn’s research is not that surprising given that there are several different rolls listing the defenders of Rorke’s Drift – including one by Chard himself – that all differ on exactly who was there on January 22/23, 1879. Given the number of troops involved in the entire campaign discrepancies are bound to exist.

John, if you ever find out anything more about Thake or get a peek at the file that Radburn had please by all means let me know.

Now the big question is just where has Sgt. Thake’s South Africa Medal gotten itself to?

Thanks again to both of you.
16th September 2003Justin Young
Hi Edward

I rechecked the 88th medal roll after John's post and there is a pte W.Thake on the roll but the Service number is different (this one is 191, not 1977) -this is maybe just an error on the roll, which seems to be not uncommon.

16th September 2003Martin Everett
Dear All,
i wrote an article about number of 24th soldiers for the OMRS Journal (June 03). I assume the 88th followed same lines. Up to 1873, soldiers were allocated battalion numbers. After that date brigade (or depot) numbers and after 1881 regimental numbers. Any soldier re-enlisting after 1873 would be allocated a number in the new series (brigade, or after 1881 regimental). The 88th were in 68th Brigade (Galway).