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1879 - 1879: 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot Uniform


It was unusual for a regiment in the nineteenth century to have both of its battalions participating in the same theatre of war, however this was the case for the 24th Regiment during the Zulu War of 1879. During the war, the 24th Regiment was involved in several key engagements, including the Battle of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift where it would be awarded seven Victoria Crosses. Lieutenant Nevill Joseph Aylmer Coghill VC was killed on January 22nd 1879 saving the Queen’s colour after the Battle of Isandlwana. He was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously in 1907 for his outstanding bravery on that fateful day in 1879.



The body of the shako is composed of cork with blue stitched cloth. The shako is decorated with a gilt badge with the number “24” at the centre surrounded by the garter, all encompassed in a wreath of laurel leaves and surmounted by the crown. The gilt Sphinx of Egypt at the base dates the shako to between 1869 and 1878 which is correct for the pattern still in service at the time of the Zulu war in 1879 as the Regiment was already in South Africa. The ball tuft on the top was retained in a gilt socket and represented a return to the white over red plume that was worn before 1830.



His red frock tunic is an undress item but based on the design of the dress tunic. The tunic has green facings only on the front of the collar and the front of the cuff. The tunic has gold braid on the green cuffs indicating the rank of lieutenant. Across his left shoulder is a crimson sash. He would have also worn a black sabretache across his body. His tunic has evolved to have green cloth epaulettes which would have been more practical than the previous large fringed ones. Lieutenant Coghill VC was Aide-de-Camp to General Sir Arthur Cunnyngham from 1877-78, which would account for the Captain’s badges of rank on the collar of his tunic.



The coat had gilt metal buttons with a “24” and laurel wreath on them.



He has a white leather waist-belt that would have held his sword.


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