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Another Rorke's Drift identified item..Really?
Mikey29211


Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 226
Location: Central Nebraska, USA
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I didn't know that the Royal Welch Fusilliers RWF fought at Rorke's Drift.

Maybe I'm wrong?

http://cgi.ebay.com/VERY-RARE-British-zulu-wars-pith-helmet_W0QQitemZ270058822052QQihZ017QQcategoryZ4070QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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Michael Boyle


Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 595
Location: Bucks County,PA,US
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Ah yes who can ever forget the amazing fight at Rockes Drift? Actually, I would be interested in any comments concerning "1361 [no B number?] J P Jones J162 Boy", did 'Boys' have different numerical designators that they exchanged when they became ptes.? 6th Btn. would seem to indicate the Great War and the RWF did serve then in France, Flanders, Gallipoli, Palestine, Mesopotamia and Italy, I believe that pith helmets were worn in Palestine and Mesoptamia but were they this type? (And when did they stop using 'Boys'?)

On a slightly tangentital note, now that the RWF have joined the 24th/41st/69th (the latter having been the original 2nd Btn 24th and served as Marines) as The Royal Welsh (the RWF had been one of the only five Regts, along with The Royal Scots, The Green Howards, The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment and The King's Own Scottish Borderers to have avoided amalgamation previously) what's to become of Brecon, the 24th's Wreath of Immortelles, the RWF Flash and the Naval Crown of the 69th?

Thanks

Michael
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Dawn


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 610
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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Can't be as bad as this:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/a.asp?I'd=79265286

Someone's trying to put him right!

Dawn
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 780
Location: Brecon
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Dear Michael,

You raise a number of points.

Yes, there were a number of boys at Isandlwana (i.e. soldiers under the age of 18 years) - this topic has been covered in many postings on this site. However the term 'drummer boys' was often used collectively even when some of the drummers referred to were actually in their 20s and 30s. Following the AZW it was certainly unusual for boys to go into action - it did not happen for the ABW 20 years later. Of course, many young men enlisted under age for WW1 - some of them were sent home and even discharged having served a period in the trenches under fire.

Turning to the new regiment The Royal Welsh - I currently working on a history of the regiment which brings together the traditions and events of the former regiments. This will be available early next year I can tell you:

1. The Flash is being worn by all soldiers in all three battalions and the cadet battalions of the Royal Welsh.

2. New Colours are planned for 2009 (tbc). The Queen's Colour of each battalion will have a Wreath of Immortelles.

3. The Regimental Colour of each battalion will have the devise 'The Naval Crown' as it represents two Battle Honours of the new Regiment.

I do not really want to get into Overease patten helmets now - it is a complex subject. Needless to say that quite often people without the knowledge put items on e-Bay. The other day - a 'WW2' camp bed - with an officer's name clearly marked - that officer served only served in the Boer War! A rarer item than vendor thought!

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Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 920
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Martin,

Being ordered to the rear is not of course the same thing as actually going!

Boy Dunn/Donne was WIA with Hart's Brigade in the 'Loop' at Colenso, and afterwards was presented with a silver bugle by the Queen to replace the one he lost in the battle. I think he was RDF from memory.

I have a vague recollection too of a very young Brit (I think from a Highland Regt) being singled out by the Akrikaners and buried in a solo grave near the Boer monument/cemetery just up the road from Magersfontein.

Regards

Mike
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Mikey29211


Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 226
Location: Central Nebraska, USA
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Back to the topic, i wouldn't mind having that helmet but it does look like the top has collapsed a bit.
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Michael Boyle


Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 595
Location: Bucks County,PA,US
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Thank you Martin, it's good that the traditions remain well represented. However my question on 'Boy' pertained more to when that position stopped being carried on the strength (as opposed to actual underage enlistments) as those assigned 'Boy' as opposed to 'drummer boy' tended to come from the OR's children. The helmet in question seems to me to offer an intriguing possibility that J P Jones, lacking a Brigade number, may have been enlisted prior to 'B' numbers as well as even earlier having been a 'Boy' in the RWF. To me it would be a rather unique historical documentation. It all depends on the time-line, the RWF did have a 6th Btn (TA apparently) prior to the Great War but if the 6th inscribed in his helmet pertained to the Great War 6th it would seem that he would have been a particularly long service soldier. As you pointed out mistakes in provenance have happened! [As to Brecon, please tell me that it too has survived the amalgamation, even without a depot!]

Dawn, in retrospect I imagine the amaZulu wish they'd had a recurve with a pistol grip. (Can you picture the irony of a Zulu reverse-Agincourt at Ulundi?) The gent selling it does seem to be taking the news well!

Mikey, it does seem a bit off all around, if it had been stored in a dry place the cork would have shrunk with age I suppose. I wouldn't mind having it either but starting at $600 and going large from there puts it well out of my price range!

Best

Michael
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Keith Smith


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 540
Location: Northern NSW, Australia
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Dawn

It is my understanding that the Zulu did not use the bow and arrow. I wonder how he knows that the arrows are 'poisen'? Hopefully he gave himself a jab!

KIS
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 780
Location: Brecon
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Dear Michael,

I will keep it short (you need to know a lot about the allocation of army numbers). Your Pte Jones 1361 is a territorial. If you look at the WW1 Medal Index Cards, he is

1361 Pte John Edward Jones of the Welsh Regiment. Only by accessing the card itself - and finding the date he arrived in theatre - this may give a clue as to the which battalion.

www.documentsonline.nationalarchives.gov.uk

There you go.

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Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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Michael Boyle


Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 595
Location: Bucks County,PA,US
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Martin

Thank you yet again. My only exposure to army number allocations come from the A-ZW 24th were the 'B' numbers seem to have post-dated the straight numbers. Alas for my vision of the son of a mid-Victorian NCO changing his position from dependant on the stregnth to 'Boy' to Pte and going on to serve in WWI as perhaps a senior NCO himself. Would've made an interesting story (not that Pte Jones' true story wouldn't be anyway.)

Best

Michael
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 780
Location: Brecon
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Michael,

Numbering in 24th Regt

1/24th allocated number 1, i.e. 1-24/1 to Perkins who enlisted on 20/12/1856. By 1873 numbers in 1/24th had reached 1-24/2003.

2/24th - which was raised in June 1858. 2-24/598 was allocated to William Jones (later VC) who enlisted on 21/12/1858. By 1873 numbers in 2/24th had reached 2-24/2459.

On 1/7/1873, on the establishment of the Depot at Brecon, 25th Bde number series was started - number 25B/2 being allocated to Drummer Orlopp who enlisted on 12/7/1873. Then in July the SWB series was introduced. Any AZW veteran who re-relisted in the SWB era was allocated a fresh number in SWB series. Those from other regiments who volunteered to serve in the 24th after the disaster at Isandlwana, lost their old regimental number and were allocated one in the 25B series.


Last edited by Martin Everett on Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total

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Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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Mikey29211


Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 226
Location: Central Nebraska, USA
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Sold for $600.00

I just bought mine for $75.00 Laughing Laughing
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Dawn


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 610
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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Still no bids on the bow and arrows - I wonder why??

Dawn
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Michael Boyle


Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 595
Location: Bucks County,PA,US
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Dawn, it's because they no longer accept US Dollars! (Joke, no emote!)

Martin, I see what you mean about 'serial numbers', regimental as opposed to army wide. I thought it was bad when they switched us from serial numbers to Social Security Numbers!

MAB
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I can just imagine thousands of Zulus unleashing a hail of arrows from inside dongas, or behind cover, guided by an induna directing their fire Shocked

Remember the last scene in '300 Spartans' ? Rather than lose any more men in hand-to-hand fighting, the enemy brought the archers and rained arrows down onto the Spartan 'square' ?

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Another Rorke's Drift identified item..Really?
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