Isandlwana Staff Button

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Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby AlexReece » 13 Sep 2017 18:52

Hello Fellow Members

I have been given this relic button from a very good reliable source from the battlefield of Isandlwana.

The button was found 1984 at the battle site

Would it have been only Staff Offices or could any other have worn ? and how many Staff Officers was present at the defeat ?

I know I will never pin down who worn the button but a near miss would be excellent.

DSC_0005 (800x534) (700x467).jpg
DSC_0005 (800x534) (700x467).jpg (241.7 KiB) Viewed 308 times


Thank you

Alex
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Re: Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby Isandlwana » 13 Sep 2017 23:19

Alex,

As the person who identified the Staff Corps button to AMAFA - the organisation responsible for the battlefield - that was recovered with a partial skeleton back in 2009.

Can I suggest you look at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... utton.html

The photograph that accompanies the article is not that of Colour-Sergeant M. C. Keane. Nor am I a British military medal expert as suggested in piece.

John Y.
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Re: Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby AlexReece » 13 Sep 2017 23:42

Isandlwana wrote:Alex,

As the person who identified the Staff Corps button to AMAFA - the organisation responsible for the battlefield - that was recovered with a partial skeleton back in 2009.

Can I suggest you look at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... utton.html

The photograph that accompanies the article is not that of Colour-Sergeant M. C. Keane. Nor am I a British military medal expert as suggested in piece.

John Y.



Hello John

Ok most interesting John Y & thank you

But would some others present at this battle have wore this pattern button also ? I think it would be very doubtful that this button belonged to Colour-Sergeant M.C.Keane.


Regards Alex
Last edited by AlexReece on 15 Sep 2017 08:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby Isandlwana » 14 Sep 2017 01:01

Alex,

To my knowledge Keane was the only member of the Staff Corps present at iSandlwana.

I believe that no other unit present at the action wore that pattern of button. I will let you draw your own conclusions, as I did.

I never physically saw the button, only a photograph of it. After I gave the information to AMAFA I read some absolute nonsense about the button in question. A number of so-called experts stated it was a Royal Engineers button, or it belonged to the 'Victorian Rifles'. Whoever they were, based on the VR cypher.

Most of the Staff Officers in Chelmsford's ill-fated first invasion were regimental officers seconded on Special-Service, so I would doubt any of them would have worn a uniform with Staff Officer's buttons. There are obvious differences in the uniform that they wore that appears in any photographs I have seen but these are limited to their forage caps, and in some cases - but not all - to the pattern of patrol jacket worn.

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Re: Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby AlexReece » 14 Sep 2017 07:13

Thank you for that John Y

Its one of those questions that when you get the answer it leads to more quandaries ?

Ok John Y thank you

regards Alex
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Re: Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby Potts1972 » 17 Sep 2017 13:16

The General staff button in question is obviously not from the grave in which c/sgt.Keane's remains were discovered, as it lacks the residue left during the decomposition of the body as can be seen on the button found with him. I cant believe that the only staff buttons at Isandlwana were on the tunic c/sgt Keane was wearing when he was killed. As a senior nco who worked on lord Chelmsford's headquarters staff' I'm sure he would have had more than one jacket also a couple of spare buttons in his housewife he would have wanted to be well turned out in front of the officers he worked for, I'm sure this held true then as it did in my day,so it stands to reason that his spare jacket and buttons would have been lost during the looting of the camp, also if there were other staff corps men with Lord Chelmsford when he went to dish up the Zulu impi's he was looking for then there kit would have been in camp also as this was Chelmsford's base of operations. It would be interesting to know if there were any other men from the staff corps attached to the column beside c/sgt Keane. If anyone can throw some light on this I would love to know.
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Re: Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby Isandlwana » 19 Sep 2017 11:03

Potts1972,

No Keane was the only member of the General Staff Corps with the advancing section No. 3 Column.

The only other member of the unit with No. 3 Column was Colour-Sergeant George Mabin, who was based at the supply depot at Rorke's Drift, and was present at the defence on 22nd-23rd January 1879.

In all there were only less than a dozen - I would be more precise, but I several thousands of miles from my research - of the unit present throughout the entire campaign. Some of whom never left Pietermaritzburg, others were attached to other columns of initial invasion.

As to your suggestion regarding spare tunic/frock and spare buttons in a housewife, that is something I have already put forward myself.

John Y.
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Re: Isandlwana Staff Button

Postby Frogsmile » 24 Sep 2017 18:43

Is this in reference to the Corps of Military Staff Clerks? There is much confusion online about this unit, as Britain did away with it whilst Canada, Australia and India all retained units of the same or similar name. I have really struggled to learn more about its history, although I know it was merged first into the Army Service Corps and then, much later, into the Army Ordnance Corps. I would be interested to learn more if anyone can help.
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