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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 298

(x) Natal Carbineers

Raised originally in Pietermaritzburg in 1855, this famous corps employed a small contingent during the Zulu War of 1879, most memorably at Isandhlwana where over 20 of its men were slain.

75 Medals were awarded to the Natal Carbineers, all of them with the '1879' clasp.

South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1879 (Qr. Mr. London, Natal Carbineers.), harshly - perhaps acid - cleaned, with consequent erosion to surfaces, thus fair

William London was killed in action at Isandhlwana on 22 January 1879. He appears in various accounts of the action, some of them of an eye-witness nature. Trooper Sparks of the Natal Mounted Police is quoted in Saul David's Zulu: the Heroism and Tragedy of the Zulu War of 1879:

'I noticed Quarter-Master London of the Natal Carbineers opening one of these [ammunition] boxes and he was killed by a bullet wound in the head while doing so.'

London had earlier been with the Carbineers at Cetchwayo's coronation and was present at Bushman's Pass during the Langalibalele Rebellion. By profession a book seller from Pietermaritzburg, he left a widow and three children.

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