|Carte de Visite
G. A. Oldham - Photographer
8 Mersea Road, Colchester, England
This carte de visite depicts – I believe – a sergeant of the 1/24th with his wife and was probably taken sometime in 1881 while the battalion was stationed at Colchester – just prior to the
battalion being redesignated the 1st Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. All the details in the photo point to the 24th. He wears a Long Service & Good Conduct Medal which
means – along with his apparently graying hair – that he had probably been in the ranks since the early 1860s. He wears the 1877-81 pattern tunic with sphinx collar badges and when
viewed under magnification a general service belt clasp. His lack of a South Africa Medal would indicate that he did not in fact take part in the Anglo-Zulu War but it seems likely that
he had yet to receive his campaign medal for the Anglo-Zulu War. The regimental medal roll for the campaign was complied at Gosport on 20 August 1880 after the battalion arrived
back in England from South Africa so is appears quite probable that this old soldier was still awaiting the presentation of his campaign medal. One would love to have a photograph of
this same sergeant taken towards the end of the Anglo-Zulu War after the battalion's South African field service which had begun in 1875.
Since the sergeant depicted in this carte is unfortunately unidentified one might fancy to presume that as a member of the 1/24th he was attached to one of the companies that
accompanied Lord Chelmsford on his reconnaissance from Isandlwana on that fateful 22nd day of January 1879.