Colours of the 1st Battalion 1880

The Queen's Colour, seen here, on the left of the photo, is the actual Colour saved by Melvill and Goghill from the disaster at Isandhlwana on 22nd Jan 1879. It was washed downstream in the Buffalo River and recovered 10 days later. It is the Union Flag with XXIV sewn on in the middle. It was very badly damaged but continued to be paraded by the 24th until the 1930s. After World War 1 the ten emblazoned battle honours were sewn on. The green Regimental Colour was not carried at the battle even though it features in the famous painting of the battle by Fripp. It was kept at Helpmakaar where 2 companies of the 24th were posted at that time. The Colours of the 2nd Battalion were in a tent at Isandhlwana and must have been captured or destroyed by the Zulus. The Queen's Colour has the original wreath of Immortelles presented to the regiment by the Queen at Osborne House on 28th July 1880. A silver version was made to act as a permanent adornment for the top of the Queen's Colour, continuing to the present day. Two subalterns who carry the colours are seen here with the white leather Colour belt. The field officer on the left is probably the CO of the First Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Dunbar who served with the 34th Regiment in the Crimea and Indian Mutiny, and exchanged to the 1st/24th in 1863. He commanded the battalion in the second advance into Zululand.

Regimental details | Regimental Colours


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by Stephen Luscombe