South Africa Medal 1877-1879 1 Clasp 1879 to 2128 Pte. R. Johnston of the 88th Foot SOLD
Condition - E.F.
Robert Johnson was born in Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland in 1857. He joined the 88th Regiment (Connaught Rangers) on the 1st August 1878, at the age of 21. Together with his Regiment, he was engaged in the war against the Zulus in 1879. The 88th Foot mainly formed flying columns attacking small Zulu forces and escorting supplies. However, they were based at Fort Eshowe under the command of Colonel C.K. Pearson for the duration of the war. As the main garrison of the fort they were heavily besieged by a large Zulu force and were involved in action against the Zulus. Fortunately, the Zulus never broke into the Fort despite several attacks and therefore the 88th's casualties were light. A relief force was sent under Lieutenant General Lord Chelmsford and on their arrival the Zulu army withdrew.
336 officers and men were entitled to the 1879 Clasp on the South Africa medal.
The medal is sold with a copy of the British Army Service Records 1760-1915 sheet showing Robert Johnston's details. It gives the Regiment as the 68th, but this is a printing error, as the service number matches with the one on the Zulu war medal.