Fighting Bob Sale

Havelock described this incident from the battle at Kumaroot on 8 July 1824: 'Here a singular combat took place. A Burman chief singled out a soldier of the 13th. He aimed a blow at his head. Major Sale, who was near, interposing his own sabre, parried the cut. He, in his turn, made a cut at the Chief. The blow caused the Burman to stagger, but the major's sabre shivered like glass to the very hilt. Instantly closing with his enemy, he wrested from him his broad gilded weapon and striking the Barbarian with his full force below the ribs, nearly severed his body into two portions.'

Bob Sale wears a red undress shell jacket and white trousers. His shako is the bell-topped type with silver lace around the top and black light infantry cap-lines and tassels. The flowing green plume on the top may well have been a hot climate alternative because the 1822 Dress Regulations call for an upright green feather plume. The private, in tail-coat and grey trousers has a plainer shako with black cords and bugle badge. He also has a green plume which would have drooped down when worn. In marching order and in combat the plumes would have been removed.

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by Stephen Luscombe