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1878 - 1878: 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot Uniform


Captain Godwin-Austin enlisted with the 24th on August 11, 1864 at the age of 20. He was promoted to Captain at the age of 31 in May 22, 1875. During service in South Africa, he was wounded in the last stages of the ninth Cape Frontier War (1878), which took place immediately prior to the invasion of Zululand. The tear in the back of his tunic, where he was wounded can clearly be seen. He was evacuated back to Britain where he served on the Depot staff in Brecon.



It is likely that Captain Godwin-Austin wore the white foreign service helmet that was authorised for all ranks on 1 June 1877. Made from a lightweight material known as pith, the helmet offered protection from the sun’s rays while allowing ventilation for the wearer. While initially white in colour, it was common practice when on active service to dye the helmet using a solution of tea or coffee to create a more muted and camouflaged shade.



Compare this tunic to Lieutenant Nevill Joseph Aylmer Coghill VC. It gives an indication of what was actually worn on campaign. Although Captain Godwin-Austin was an officer, this is an other-ranks undress frock coat. The coat is stripped of all ornament except for the green collar tabs. It is highly likely the coat was made locally in South Africa to replace the badly worn or torn coat.



The coat has gilt buttons with a shield surrounded by a prancing lion and unicorn on them.


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