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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 248

(x) The 3rd East Kent Regiment

During the summer of 1878, the Headquarters and five companies of the 3rd Regiment "The Buffs", which had previously been stationed at Pietermaritzburg, were scattered over a wide area at various strategically important positions in Natal. Reinforced by further companies of the regiment from Mauritius, their first orders resulted in the construction of the earthwork which was subsequently known as Fort Pearson.

By January 1879 the regiment numbered over 800 men, and from the 4th to the 12th they assisted the Naval Brigade in completing the arrangements made for the crossing of the Tugela by Pearson's Column, of which the regiment now formed part. Under the command of Colonel Parnell, two companies of the Buffs destroyed the military kraal at Ginghilovo and then engaged the enemy in the neighbourhood of the Inyezane River. Two men of the regiment were killed and five wounded.

Following the disaster at Isandhlwana, the regiment found itself on defensive duties forming part of the garrisons at Fort Tenedos and Etshowe; six companies at the latter held strong against an enemy siege, but not without loss; two popular officers and seven N.C.O.s and men died during the blockade and no fewer than one officer and 35 N.C.O.s and men were returned on the sick-list issued on 1 April 1879.

Eventually relieved, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ginghilovo and then, as part of Crealock's Division, embarked on a series of varied 'harassing duties'. Throughout the succeeding months, the men further suffered heavily from sickness. In late July, orders were received to return to Natal and in November the Battalion was embarked at Durban for the Straits Settlement.

1011 Medals were issued to 2/3rd Regiment, 892 of them with the clasp '1879'.

South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1879 (986. Pte. T. Suckling. 2-3rd. Foot.), edge bruising, otherwise very fine

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