SOUTH AFRICA 1877-9, CLASP 1879 ‘TPR HEWARDINE VICTORIA MD RIFLES’
The Victoria Mounted Rifles, including Trooper Hewardine, left Verulan on 2nd December 1878 for the Zululand Frontier as part of the Natal Volunteer Force. They saw action at Inyezane on 22nd January 1879 and with the rest of the mounted troops returned to the Natal border when it was clear Eshowe was to be besieged. Trooper Hewardine took part in the Relief of Eshowe and was again in action at the battle of Gingindlovu on 2nd April 1879, this time as one of the Natal Volunteer Guides. This scratch unit was made up of approximately 55 volunteers from 6 of the Natal Volunteer units. These men had all volunteered to again serve in Zululand and were under the overall command of Major Barrow, 19th Hussars. They further took part in the second invasion of Zululand seeing much hard service with Crealock’s Division.
During the first couple of weeks of March 1879, just prior to the second invasion of Zululand, a call was made by Major Barrow for volunteers to serve in an ad hoc unit. This would be made up from volunteers from the Colonial Volunteer units that had served with Pearson’s column; Durban Mounted Rifles, Alexandria Mounted Rifles, Victoria Mounted Rifles, Stanger Mounted Rifles, Natal Hussars and additionally, members of the Isipingo Mounted Rifles who had not served in Pearson’s Column.
This unit which was approximately 55 in number, commanded by Captain Friend Addison, would be called the Natal Volunteer guides. The guides would take part in at the battle of Gingindlovu and other operations, before finally returning home in August 1879.
Condition NEF. Just 50 SA medals to the VMR’s, this one of only 38 men of all units recorded to have served in the NVG’s, so very scarce indeed.