SOUTH AFRICA 1877-9, CLASP, 1877-8-9 ‘350 PTE E. JONES. 1/24TH FOOT’
Evan Jones was born circa 1852. On 4 July 1874, he enlisted in the Caernarfon District to serve with 25th Brigade. Listed in the muster rolls at Brecon between July and September 1874, he transferred to the 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot on 10 September 1874. Transferring to the 1st Battalion on 15 October 1874, the following day he embarked for Gibraltar. Embarking for the Cape of Good Hope on 1 February 1875, Jones is noted under arrest between 23 of that month and 1 March. As a member of ‘H’ Company under Captain Wardell, Jones embarked for St Helena in August 1876, remaining there with ‘H’ Company until they rejoined the rest of the Battalion at King William’s Town, in the Cape in August 1877. Jones is listed on the musters until September 1878, however the musters after this date were lost at Isandhlwana. Private Jones himself was killed in action at the battle of Isandhlwana, 22 January 1879. His effects were claimed by his father.
Only ‘H’ Company were stationed at St Helena between the dates Jones was there and he almost certainly would have remained with that company, only to be killed whilst serving with it at the Battle of Isandhlwana.
Of 1/24th Casualties only 27 non Officer casualties are noted as serving with ‘H’ company and apart from the odd man, these are the only men mentioned in the entire casualty roll as serving with a particular Company. ‘H’ Company under Captain Wardell can be well traced during the battle. A platoon of 20 men under Colour Sergeant Frederick Wolfe were overwhelmed performing a rear guard action whilst the remainder of the company retreated in square formation and was finally overwhelmed at the eastern end of the saddle of Isandhlwana. Here the bodies of 60 men of the 24th were found, including Captain Wardell and Lt Dyer. This was one of the few instances of bodies being able to be attributed to a particular Company, making this a good deal more interesting than the average 24th Foot casualty medal as his probable movements and place of death can be traced.
A well known photograph exists of ‘H’ Company, taken on the Cape Frontier. Although no men are named in it, Private Evan Jones will surely be somewhere amongst the faces. Of these 100 plus men pictured, all those still serving by 22 January 1979 would have died at Isandhlwana when the company was wiped out.
Condition GVF, very minor EK, medal with nice patina and as such a super example. Sold with full service, extracted from musters, copy medal and casualty rolls.
A fine 24th Foot casualty medal with a fair bit more interest in it than the vast majority of such medals.