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Sergeant Harry Edridge, 1898, Kings Royal Rifle Corps (60th) 1 week 4 days ago #88952

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Sergeant Harry Edridge served in 3 campaigns in 5 years; namely the Zulu War (1879), 1st Anglo Boer War (1881) and Egypt (1882).

Harry Edridge attested for the 60th Regiment on the 2nd October 1877 at the age of 19 years old and was promoted to corporal prior to departing for Zulu Land.

Zulu War (1879)

On 20 March 1879 the battalion arrived at Port Natal, Durban and proceeded to Fort Pearson on the Tugela River which they reached on 27 March 1879.

On the 2nd of April 1879, the battalion distinguished itself at the Battle of Gingindlovu. In this battle the brave Zulu impi charged the British lines right up to their muzzles, testing the bravery and stamina of the soldiers made-up mostly of young and inexperienced young men. The Zulu killed were estimated at 1,200, while the 3rd Battalion had one man killed, one mortally wounded and six others wounded.

On 6th April 1879, there was a Zulu scare at Infuchini, when John Dunn’s Zulu Scouts panicked and retreated, causing the trench guard to assume it was a Zulu attack, as a result one man of the battalion was mortally wounded and a further four men also suffered wounds.

On 22 April 1879 Cetewayo’s brother Maguindo and six of his favourite wives surrendered to the 3rd Battalion.

On 29th April 1879 the battalion established a new camp and fortification lower down on the Inyezane River, which they named Fort Chelmsford.
On 21 June 1879 they moved up country to the Milazi River where Fort Napoleon was built and garrisoned. On the 26 June 1879 they sent a reconnoitring party toward the Ungoya Hills, skirmishing with the Zulus and capturing over 300 cattle and other stock. On 11 August 1879 the battalion arrived at Ulundi and encamped; following the capture of Cetewayo on 28 August 1879 the battalion guarded his tent which contained the king and his several wives.

In March 1880 a party of 3rd Battalion was sent to Isandhlwana to bury remains and on the 26th October 1880 Harry Edridge was promoted to Sergeant.

After the Zulu War the battalion was based at Pietermaritzburg where this contingent was stationed until the outbreak of hostilities in December 1880.

1st Anglo Boer War (1881)

On 10 January 1881 two companies of the 3rd Battalion left Fort Napier arriving at Laing’s Nek on 28 January where they engaged the Boers, the battalion served as a guard to the left flank and as a reserve to the main assault, they covered the British retreat after the column was repulsed by the Boers. In this engagement the battalion had one man killed and five men wounded.

On 8 February 1881 they engaged the Boers for a second time at Ingogo, the result was disastrous owing to superior field craft and marksmanship and the resulting casualties to the battalion were 52 men killed, 65 wounded and 1 taken prisoner.

On the 27 February 1881 the decisive battle of Majuba Hill took place which was to bring an end to the First Boer War in the Boers’ favour. The battalion had one man wounded and eleven taken prisoner. On 23 March 1881 peace was proclaimed.

Egypt (1882)

The battalion left South Africa for Malta on the 23rd February 1882 and subsequently left for Egypt on the 18th July 1882.
It was here that the battalion took part in Battle of Tel El Kebir on the 13th September 1882.

The 3rd battalion was in the 4th Infantry Brigade along with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. The brigade, commanded by Colonel C Ashburnham, was in support of Brigadier Alison's Highland Brigade positioned on the left of the line.
Nearly all illustrations and paintings of the battle of Tel-el-Kebir show the Highlanders scaling the steep earthworks, but the King's Royal Rifle Corps backed up the Black Watch very effectively in their struggle against stiff opposition. The battle, fought at daybreak after the men had spent the night moving silently into position, was a complete success. Casualties were relatively light; out of a force of more than 17,000, the number killed amounted to 48 other ranks and 9 officers, wounded: 355 other ranks and 27 officers.


Sergeant Henry Edridge left Egypt for England on the 19th November 1883 having served in 3 campaigns in 5 years and was awarded the South Africa General Service Medal with clasp ‘1879’, Egypt 1882 medal with clasp ‘Tel-El-Kebir’ and the Khedive Star.
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