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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 252

(x) The 2/21st Regiment

The 2nd Battalion, 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers was stationed at the Curragh Camp when on 12 February 1879 it received orders to proceed to Natal. About 300 volunteers from other regiments in Ireland were sent to the Battalion to bring it up to strength for active service.

On 22 February the men embarked at Queenstown in the hired transport City of Paris; it would not be a smooth journey. Whilst entering St. Simon's Bay the vessel struck on the Roman Rock and was severely damaged, so much so that the troops were hastily transferred to H.M.S. Tamar. On reaching Durban on 23 March, the Battalion marched via Pietermaritzburg to Ladysmith and on to Dundee.

Detailed to Newdigate's Division, the Battalion was involved in the construction of Fort Ayr and joined with the K.D.G's and 17th Lancers in their forays into Zulu territory. At the battle of Ulundi, the regiment formed a portion of the right of the hollow square and, according to The South African Campaign of 1879, 'with the 58th, bore the brunt of the first desperate onslaught of the enemy, large numbers of whom got to within thirty yards of the line before the galling and destructive fire which was poured into them could stay their advance.'

On the break-up of the Division, the Battalion proceeded to the Transvaal.

1015 Medals were issued to the 2/21st Regiment, 862 of them with the '1879' clasp.

South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1879 (2061. Pte. L. B. Barnett. 2-21st Foot.), better than very fine and toned

L. B. Barnett was severely wounded in the action at Sekukini's Kraal on 28 November 1879.

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