SOUTH AFRICA 1877-79, CLASP, 1877-8-9 ‘LIEUT: H. L. ALLEN, FRONTR. L. HORSE’
Henry L, Allen joined the Frontier Light Horse on 23 March 1878 and took part in the operations against the Gcaeleka 1878, during the ninth Frontier War. Commissioned Lieutenant on 18 June 1878, he further took part in the campaign against Sekukuni; September – October 1878, before resigning his Commission on 30 November 1878. General Orders note Allen was appointed Temporary Clerk, Commissariat and Transport Department 11 December 1878. According to the ‘Natal Witness’, a Conductor H. R. Allen was appointed to the Mule Train, Commissariat and Transport Department on 30 May 1879 with payments for Field Rations. Though the second initial is different, its certainly possible it is the same man as countless issues with spellings of men’s names and initials are to be found in printed General Orders.
Medal roll for the Frontier Light Horse notes Allen was entitled to the '1877-8' clasp, not the ‘1877-8-9’. Clasp is appears entirely as issued, so it’s either and issuing error, or he was entitled to the ‘79’ date with another unit. Though he was clearly serving with the Commissariat and Transport Department from December 1878, entitlement for the ‘79’ date has at this time, not been confirmed.
The Frontier Light Horse were probably the finest Irregular unit to serve in the Cape Frontier and Zulu Wars. Raised by Lieutenant F. Carrington at King Williams Town, Cape Colony, in 1877. Command soon passed to Major Redvers Buller, K.R.R.C., under whom the F.L.H. served in the final stages of the Ninth War, suffering casualties. In July 1878, the unit, 276 of all ranks, marched from King Williams Town to Pietermaritzburg in Natal, and from there to Sekukuniland in the Transvaal. During September and October the corps saw service against the Sekukuni, and in November returned to Natal and fought through the Zulu War of 1879 with Wood's Column.
Condition GVF, minor official correction to ‘N’ of surname, or NEF. A very scarce Officers medal to the famed Frontier Light Horse.