South Africa 1877-79,

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Lot 8
South Africa 1877-79,

Sold for £ 5,760 (US$ 7,448) inc. premium
South Africa 1877-79,
one bar, 1877-8-9 (Capt. J.M.G.Tongue, 1-24th Foot.). Good very fine. (1)

Footnotes

  • Major General John Moore Gurnell Tongue was born on the 23rd June 1839 and joined the 24th Regiment without purchase on the 24th February 1857, aged 17 years 8 months. He embarked for India on the 6th May 1857 after less than 3 months, where he was to serve for the next four years. During this period he was promoted to Lieutenant on the 16th April 1858 and was involved in the pursuit of rebels under Tantiu Tope. He returned to England on the 27th July 1861 and spent the next five years at the Home Depot. He was appointed Instructor of Musketry 1st Class on the 15th February 1862 and was promoted to Captain in his regiment on the 29th August 1866. A month later he embarked for Malta for a short stay of approx 3 months returning to England again on the 27th Jan 1867. A period of 3 years as a Musketry Instructor on the staff at Fleetwood followed from 1st April 1867 until 31 March 1870.

    He was then appointed to Captain musketry instructor at the Small Arms School at Hythe followed from the 1st Jan 1871 until the 29th September 1871. On the 30th Sept 1871 a posting to Gibraltar was ordered and he remained there until 31st March 1872. During this period he held the appointment of D.A.A.G. Musketry Gibraltar from 18th October 1871 to 27 Feb 1877.

    At this time the Battalion was sent in the Kaffir War of 1878 where he saw active service on the Intaba Ka Ndoda, and was mentioned in Lord Chelmsfords despatch of Friday May 17th 1878. Early in 1879 with Colonel Glyn he was with the ill fated column which advanced into Zululand by the Rorkes's Rift station. Early on the 22nd Jan he was with the force which led by Lord Chelmsford, advanced further into Zululand, and later that same day returned to the camp at Isandhlwana to find it overrun. His promotion to Major was from that day due to the automatic procedure following on the deaths of his fellow officers. It was Major Tongue that recognised the body of Captain Younghusband on the battlefield.

    Major Tongue was transferred to the 2nd Battalion and was with the reformed force which was part of General Newdigate's Division during the second invasion of Zululand. He was one of a relatively small number of the regiment to be present at the Battle of Ulundi in June 1879. In the following year as Bt Lt.Colonel Tongue he commanded the colour party which was received by Queen Victoria in July on the visit to Osborne where the Queen received the colours which had been rescued from the battlefield at Isandhlwana by Lieutenants Melville and Coghill at the cost of their lives. During this ceremony the Queen decorated the colour with a wreath of immortelles.

    He was promoted to Lt Col in the South Wales Borderers on 1st July 1881 and placed on Half Pay on 31st Jan 1885. Then followed almost 5 years as Commandant of the School of Musketry at Hythe. Colonel (Army) 29 Nov 1885: Substantive Colonel 19 Sept 1890; Colonel on Staff (Barbados) 19.9.1890, with local rank of Major General. He died in Barbados.

    Sold with a photograph of him with other Officers at Osborne House on 28th July 1880 with the Colours that were saved at Isandhlwana, with a further framed and coloured photograph.
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