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Anglo-Zulu War Related Medals

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Here are two medals in my collection both relating to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.



The first medal on the left is the South Africa Medal of 1877-79. This medal was issued to 9265 Corporal J. Clarke of the Royal Engineers. I have been unable to uncover much about Corporal Clarke. It seems that his records were amongst those destroyed by the Germans during World War II. I have found out based upon the South Africa Medal roll that his first name was Josiah and that he served with 30th Co. Royal Engineers during the war. 30th Co. was attached to the 1st Division under Major-General H. H. Crealock during the second invasion of Zululand.

The second medal on the left is Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (2nd Type) issued to Sergeant William Thake of the 88th Foot/1st Batt. The Connaught Rangers.

Thake was born in London and enlisted in the 88th when he was 14 years old on 17 December, 1873. He was described as being four feet four and one half inches tall with a fair complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair with a former trade of musician listed.

His postings included home service from December 1873 to June 1877. The Cape (South Africa) from June 1877 to October 1879. India from October 1879 to December 1890. Aden 1890 ? 1891, Home 1891 to 1894.

His first listed rank was that of "Boy" He was appointed Drummer in July 1876, Private ? December 1876, Bandsman ? April 1878, Lance Corporal ? April 1882, Corporal - September 1883, Lance Sergeant ? October 1884, Sergeant ? May 1885, Canteen Sergeant ? November 1888.

During his years as a soldier he was afflicted with many of the usual maladies that beset soldiers on active service in places like South Africa and India. These included ague, conjunctivitis, malaria, rheumatism and gonorrhea and a bout with hepatitis. It was this last disease that ended his military career when he was listed as unfit for further military service in April 1894.

Besides the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Thake was entitled to the South Africa Medal with the 1877-8-9 clasp for service in both the 9th Cape Frontier War and the Anglo-Zulu war.

Thake was married to Miss Amy Young on 8 June, 1892 and had at least two children, both daughters: Evelyn Mary born in 1893 and Muriel Digby born in 1894.

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