Thursday, 4 August 2016

80th Foot - South Africa 1878-1879

There's a fantastically creative and  artistic memorial in Lichfield Cathedral which must have cauised quite a stir when it was unveiled. It comes in the form of a metal gate comprised of spears and adorned with Zulu shields, which commemorates the men of the 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment, who lost their lives in South Africa in 1878 and 1879. On the shields are the names of those who died. A tablet at the base of the gate explains what it's all about.

Here are the same men  - in the same order - on the South Africa 1877-1879 medal roll. They were all killed in action at the Battle of Intombe on the 12th March 1879. Knowing their regimental numbers would now enable a researcher to work out when they must have enlisted:

Lichfield Cathedral is awash with military plaques and memorials, the vast majority of these pre-dating the First World War. The cathedral is well worth a visit to Lichfield in its own right.

Note the detail of the corn on the cob in the centre of the panel below; presumably a reference to the terrain where the men lost their lives.

There are five Zulu shields in all, each of them uniquely decorated. This is a truly wonderful and eye-catching memorial to what has become largely a forgotten campaign.

I research soldiers. Contact me if you need help.

No comments:

Post a Comment