Band, Zululand 1879

The band of the 1st Battalion served in the Sekukuni War in the Transvaal and in Zululand in 1878-9, returning home in the following year. Some of the men have beards and had probably been with the band for many years. The bandmaster stands at the front in a special pattern patrol jacket, not braided like the officers but of blue cloth with black silk edging. His forage cap is similar to the officers', green with a red cap-band. The men are either in the red frock or a pullover. The straps over their left shoulder are probably for a water-bottle. The frocks have 5 brass buttons down the front and trefoil braid on the red cuffs. The collar was the only part of the frock that was in the blue facing colour. The chevrons are somewhat puzzling. Rank chevrons were worn on both sleeves in the light infantry, on the upper arm. The good-conduct stripes were normally worn only on the lower right arm (transferred to the left in 1881), but they appear to be on both sleeves. The man standing third from the right has three chevrons on both forearms. If he gained a further stripe he could be confused with a warrant officer at that time. The drums belong to the band and not part of the corps of drums. The larger drum is carried by a time-beater, and the snare drum was to establish the rhythm.

Regimental Details | Musicians and Drummers


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by Stephen Luscombe