Simkin's painting of the 24th at Talavera does not give any sense of the terrible loss caused by artillery fire or the horror of the burning grass. The commanding officer sits on his horse at the back while the battalion advances in line with Colours flying. Prominence has been given to the drum-major and drummers for some reason. In the middle distance an officer is pushing the men on from behind but the high casualty figures suggest that they led at the front.

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by Stephen Luscombe