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8th November 2003Lt William Weallens - try again!
By Steve
Whoops,.. the earlier one got away!
Thanks Martin for your earlier reply. My interest in Weallens began because I have his copy of Historical Records of the 24th. I find him an intriguing figure, having been so close to the events at Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift but, by fate, just missing both by a whisker! He must have been heartily glad about that I suspect - particularly when he returns to Isandlwana with Chelmsford and finds the awful results of the Zulu attack. I will certainly follow up your Kew references for which thanks. Did Bromhead present the relics to QV after she had granted the wreath of immortelles? I have a copy of the Graphic illustration of the colour party at Osborne on 28 July 1880 with Weallens offering up the recovered colour. Interesting that he should have been chosen for that honour - any clues as to why? Finally, does anyone know where I might track down The Uppingham School Magazines for 1879 which contained the Weallens letters that Emery quotes in the The Red Soldier?

8th November 2003Martin Everett
Dear Steve,
Everything about the Colours is on our web site - under fact sheet B7. Click on 'museums', then page down to SWB Museum, then select 'fact sheets'. A wreath was first placed on the Colours (or the relics) by the ladies of Durban before the 2/24th left South Africa. This gave Queen Victoria the idea when the 1/24th returned home, The relics of 2/24th colours remained at Windsor Castle until 1923, when they were returned to the Regiment. These relics are now in Brecon Cathedral just below the 1/24th Colours which were carried in the Zulu war.
Both battalions of the 24th were granted the privilege of carrying a silver wreath on the Colour Pike of Queen's Colour - this is really the Battle Honour for Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift. No other Regiment of the British Army has this type of honour.
One of my best friends went to Uppingham. I am seeing him in two weeks time. I can certainly raise the question with him.

Please remember thast I may be a bit slow in responding, but I have 300+ years of history to cover, unlike the many on this site who lucky and can devote of their energies to the AZW. This week I was in France doing a reece on 'The Retreat from Mons' for a party which I am hosting in July 2004. I do not think that Weallens was especially chosen, just think that most young officers of the 1/24th were killed. He happened to be with Lord Chelmsford on 22 January and was afterwards posted to 1/24th. The Colour ensigns had to have served in the campaign tio see the Queen - so there wasn't much choice. Sorry, it's not a romantic answer.