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 Zulu War kit bags

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Magnus



Posts : 12
Join date : 2019-11-11

Zulu War kit bags Empty
PostSubject: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptyTue Nov 12, 2019 11:19 am

I have in my collection a Zulu iklwa (18 inch blade) and knobkerrie.  Both have been cut shorter than they would have originally been.  Both were acquired separately from different places but they both have exactly the same overall length (27 inches).    

My theory is that returning soldiers shortened their war trophy souvenirs, so that they would fit into their kit bags.

This is something that has intrigued me for a some time.  I have tried looking on the Internet to find information that would support this theory, but without success.  Brecon Museum advise me that kit bags were not issuesd to British soldiers on active service in the Zulu War.  Perhaps they were issued with kit bags for the sea journey and the march ashore to and from their base camp.  Were their kit bags 27 inches long?
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Herbie



Posts : 39
Join date : 2017-11-16
Age : 54
Location : Epsom, Surrey

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptyWed Nov 13, 2019 6:46 pm

Hi Magnus
Not aware if soldiers had kit bags in 1879 but 27” seems a bit short if they did. I’m sure mine was more like 3 foot long or so and I think the design stayed similar throughout the 20th century. I would have thought it more likely trophies would be gathered by an officer and maybe cut to fit in a trunk? Don’t think ORs had the same opportunities to take home the spoils of war!
Phil
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John Young

John Young

Posts : 2017
Join date : 2013-09-08
Age : 64
Location : Lower Sheering, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptyThu Nov 14, 2019 7:22 am

Magnus,

I pretty certain that they referred to as “sea-bags” then.

Here’s a couple of what appear to be examples taken from the Illustrated London News and The Graphic.

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JY
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Magnus



Posts : 12
Join date : 2019-11-11

Zulu War kit bags Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptySun Nov 24, 2019 9:29 pm

Thank you both for your replies. Very interesting and helpful. Good to see the images from the Illustrated London News and the Graphic. Perhaps the sea bags came in different sizes. The one in the tent could be 27 inches long judging by the width of his shoulders. I later found two other similar but different images from the Zulu War period showing embarkation of the 60th Rifles at Gravesend on their way to the Zulu War, as well as images of them on board. Small sea bags here. Thanks for your response to my message.
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Magnus



Posts : 12
Join date : 2019-11-11

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptyFri Feb 28, 2020 11:20 am

For those who are interested. Following the lead that John gave me, I found 2 more illustrations that show their kit/sea bags - links below

https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/illustration/60th-regiment-on-board-2-going-below-3-looking-for-bags-stock-graphic/681886179

https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/illustration/embarkation-of-60th-rifles-at-gravesend-united-kingdom-stock-graphic/681886045
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Magnus



Posts : 12
Join date : 2019-11-11

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptySat Mar 07, 2020 6:04 pm

Just to complete my line of enquiry for those who are interested, here is a photograph of the assegai and a knobkerrie that have both been cut off at 27 inches.    

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90th

90th

Posts : 10039
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 63
Location : Melbourne, Australia

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PostSubject: Zulu War Kit Bags    Zulu War kit bags EmptySat Mar 07, 2020 11:38 pm

Very nice Magnus .
90th Salute
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timothylrose



Posts : 65
Join date : 2013-09-07

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptySun Mar 08, 2020 9:13 am

Can't vouch for Zulu stuff but the old story of lads getting kit out via their kitbags is a reoccurring theme for the British Army - I have a Tula Arsenal Russian musket cut down by about a foot or so to fit within a sea bag and more recently you can tell the Martinis and Sniders that came back from Aden / Oman as they have the woodwork cut at the middle band to allow them to be put in three parts inside a kitbag - plus sa change IMO
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Magnus



Posts : 12
Join date : 2019-11-11

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War kit bags   Zulu War kit bags EmptySun Mar 08, 2020 3:46 pm

Thanks - very interesting
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