Sgt. J. MITCHELL 2/21st FOOT South Africa Medal 1879.

Sgt. J. MITCHELL 2/21st FOOT South Africa Medal 1879.

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Medal 1592 SERGt. J.MITCHELL 2.21st Foot.
Sgt. Mitchell served for approx 20 Years, ending his service as unfit for further duties in 1882. He spent 10 Years in the East Indies and 2 Years in South Africa.
He rose to the rank of Sergeant/ and a number of times was reduced in rank due to drunkenness.
He won the entitlement for the South African Medal 1879.
At this time the enormous mineral wealth of this area of the continent was beginning to be realised, but probably of greater importance was South Africa’s strategic position as a critical staging post on the sea route to India.
This medal was Instituted in 1880 to commemorate a number of campaigns to bring this area under British control which effectively meant the pacification by force of the unruly local tribes in the eastern area of the Cape and the north east of that territory. One of these tribes (or more accurately affiliation of tribes) – the Zulus – was of a particular war like disposition, and hence the medal is often referred to as the Zulu war medal. The military operations commemorated in this period are generally divided into campaigns against specific tribes.

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The 1879 medal specifically covers action against the Zulu’s.
Various paperwork. In 1881 2/21st Foot became The Royal Scots Fusileers, who handled his demobilization as 1st Scotts Fusileers.

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