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  1. #1

    Default Zulu Wars late 1870s and India in early 1880s

    Did not know where to post this although I know there has been some discussion of the Zulu Wars under this heading. Please forgive. How do we start a new heading is required ?

    My great grandfather John Alfred Jarman was a soldier who signed up in December 1876 in 1 / 23 RW Fusi. I assume this means the 1st battalion of the 23rd Regiment Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

    I do not know if this regiment served in South Africa ??
    Please can anyone advise ?

    On 6 Dec 1878 he transfered to the 11th Bde 2/4.
    Again I assume this was the 11 Brigade, 2nd Battalion of the 4th Foot ( King's Own ) Regiment. On 17th January 1879 they were in Natal.

    By August 1880 they were in Preston and on their way to their Home Barracks.

    On Census night 1881 he is listed on board Serrapis in Home Port.

    He landed in India 14 April 1881. This seems to some afterwards if Serrapis was in Home Port on census night. Maybe she was already on route to India ?

    He spent several years with the regiment in India.

    Does any one have any further information about the movements and campaigns of these Regiments during the time my Great Grand Father was serving.

    Best Regards, SloopJB.

  2. #2
    Knowledgeable and helpful keith9351's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Here's the deployment of the 2 Regiments, hope this helps

    1st Battalion, 23rd Regiment of Foot
    1875 Ireland
    1880 India
    1881.07.01 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh Fusiliers
    1881 India: Dum Dum
    1885 Burma
    1887 India: Lucknow

    2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment of Foot
    1877 England
    1878 Natal
    1879 Zululand
    1880 India
    1881.07.01 2nd Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
    1881 India: Bombay
    1884 Poona


  3. #3

    Smile Regimental History


    Thank you very much for this information. Where did you find all this ?

    Is there any further details of campaigns, etc.

    The information fits my gg's records very well.

    Looks like the regiment was very much involved in the Zulu wars.
    How would I find out more about its involvement ?

    The information 1 July 1881 presumeable relates to the re-organisation of the army at that time. Is this when the regiments got their modern names ?

    What was the regiment doing in India ?
    Where is Poona ?
    What campaigns was it involved in ?

    Thanks again, SloopJB.

  4. #4
    Marie C..


    Try the kevinAsplin site for history. It is a wealth of info.
    For Zulu wars, India, Boer wars etc.just Google
    The regiments were sent wherever they were needed.

  5. #5
    Knowledgeable and helpful keith9351's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    The dates are from sadly this site has been off line for quit some time now, it can only be accessed from a web archive site.

    Here are the actions in South Africa

    'Ladysmith' on this forum could may be able to help you with more detail

    December 1878 - On Active Service in South Africa

    28 March 1879 - Battle of Inhlobana Hill

    29 March 1879 - Battle of Kambula

    3 July 1879 - Reconnaissance before Ulundi

    4 July 1879 - Battle of Ulundi

    8 September 1879 - Attack on Manyanyoba's Cave

    Have you tried this site :-

    The 1 July 1881 dates are the Cardwell Reforms - the regular and milita battalions of the army were amalgamated into territorial regiments with local names and local depots.

    Poona (Pune) was in Western India, Britain built a large military cantonment there.


  6. #6


    Just as an aside, one the most useful resources for finding out about campaigns, actions, expeditions and a lot more, is the London Gazette
    There's a certain knack to searching, but it is free to use and well worth a try.

    PS - Poona is in Western India. enter the place name (try Poona and also Pune) into a search engine, you should get some hits.

  7. #7

    Smile 2nd/4th Foot Activities 1878 t0 1885

    Hi Sloop

    Here I have reconstructed the 2nd batt/4th Foot (later King's Own Royal Lancaster Regt) regimental movements from various sources pulled together.

    Time Line

    Nov 1878 Stationed at North Camp, Aldershot
    1-7th Dec 1878 Received orders to proceed to Natal on active service.
    10th Dec 1878 6 companies embarked in transport ship “Dunrobin Castle”
    13th Dec 1878 3 companies embarked in transport ship “Teuton”
    1 –15thJan 1879 “Dunrobin Castle” arrives Cape Town, South Africa.
    3 companies landed at Cape town and garrisoned at Cape Town.
    3 companies led by Major Elliott and Capts Knox and Leggett and 2nd Lieuts. Bonomi and Ridley are landed at Durban
    “Teuton” arrives and 3 companies landed and join others waiting in Durban
    Jan 1879 6 united companies marched to Pietermaritzburg
    Jan 1879 Receive news of the disaster at Isandlwana
    Jan 1879 6 companies march to Helpmakaar
    Jan 1879 6 companies moved from Helpmakaar to Utrecht and Greytown
    Jan 1879 3 companies garrisoned previously at Cape Town receive orders to join HQ.
    26th Jan 1879 These 3 companies embarked in the “African” a privately owned mail ship, rented by an entrepreneur to the Gov't to quickly get reinforcements to Durban.
    29th Jan 1879 These 3 companies arrive at Durban
    2nd Feb 1879 These 3 companies reach Maritzburg
    Feb 1879 These 3 companies await arrival of 21st Regiment
    Feb 1879 These 3 companies continue on viâ Colenso, Ladysmith, and Newcastle to
    Utrecht and Greytown, from there they were despatched to Balte’s Spruit, Conference Hill, and Lüneberg. During this march Major Blake and Capt. Moore were surrounded by a Zulu impi (which, it is understood, was under orders to join the King), but were not attacked.
    The companies of the battalion were distributed 'in reserve' over a wide area of country, including the Utrecht district, Potgreter’s Farm, Lüneberg, Balte’s Spruit, Conference Hill, etc.
    28 Mar 1879 Involved in Battle of Inhlobana Hill
    29th Mar 1879 Some 2nd/4th casualties incurred at Kambula.
    3rd Jul 1879 Reconnaissance before Ulundi
    4th Jul 1879 Battle of Ulundi
    Jul 1879 After the battle of Ulundi, the companies were relieved by those of the 24th Regiment of Foot and then proceeded to Lüneberg and Standerton in the Transvaal.
    6th Sept 1879 Colonel Bray, with three companies of the regiment, assisted by the Frontier Light Horse and a detachment of Engineers, blew up the caves known as Mbilini’s, in the neighbourhood of the Ntombe River.
    Sept 1879 Manyanyoba, the independent chief who had long given great trouble, now surrendered. He had been holed up in the Mbilini's Cave, so commonly referred to as Manyanyoba's Cave.
    8th Sept 1879 Some 2nd/4th casualties incurred at Luneberg
    Sept 1879 The regiment received orders to return.
    Sept 1879 2 companies left at Greytown with the other forces which, under Major Twentyman, were destined for the defence of the frontier.
    Sept 1879 On the road back, the companies which had been stationed at Newcastle, Ladysmith, and Dundee rejoined the regiment passing through Pretoria and
    Standerton en route.
    26th Jan 1880 Regiment arrives at Pinetown
    8th Feb 1880 Battalion embark for Bombay minus the 2 companies left at Greytown.
    End Feb 1881 News of disaster at Majuba Hill
    Xx Apr 1881 Census in England taken, some 2nd/4th on troopship ‘Serapis’
    1st Jul 1881 Cardwell reforms, new name assigned ‘King’s own Royal Lancaster Regiment’
    Nov 1881 Earl Frederick Roberts arrives in Madras
    Xxx 1881 –5 India Poona (Pune) and elsewhere

    NB Not quite finished collating movements in India from 1881 to 1885

    NB Some named S Africa deaths included:
    2nd Battalion 4th Foot (Infantry Regiment)
    631 Private R. Beswick - killed in action at Kambula 29 March 1879
    910 Corporal I. Pomfret - killed in action at Luneberg 8 September 1879
    1644 Sergeant-Major E. Smith - killed in action at Luneberg 8 September 1879

    Hope the above is some help in filing your gaps.

    My GGfather was on Serapis too!

  8. #8


    According to the Zulu War medal roll:
    2797 Pte J.Jarman, 2/4th Regt
    Was with the regimental depot at the time the roll was compiled

  9. #9

    Default Medal Roll

    Neil when was this medal roll compiled ?

    He was back at Preston in August 1880.

  10. #10

    Default Regimental Movements and Actions


    It must have been a lot of hard work compiling this.

    What were your sources ?

    Your relative was on the Serapis with my G Grandfather.
    I wonder if they were left in Greytown ?
    What happended there ?

    According to your notes the regimental ent directly to India early in 1880.

    My GGF was back in Preston in August 1880, suggest he may have stayed in in S Africa and come back to UK, before shippiong out to India on Serrapis.

    Do you anything of the trip on Serrapis ?

    My GGF transferred to the regiment only days before the Dnrobin and Teuton sailed. Do you know where these records are as this should give us further details of who was on each ship and therefore which companies they were assigned to ?

    Please can anyone help with any info or sources to check ?

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