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 Private Henry Turner, 1st Battalion, 24th Foot

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PostSubject: Private Henry Turner, 1st Battalion, 24th Foot   Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:50 pm

"Henry Turner was born at Ball Bridge, Dublin, and attested at Aldershot on 27 March 1874, aged 23 years, a bricklayer by trade. He was posted to the 2nd 24th on 31 March 1874 but transferred to the 1st Battalion on 26 November the same year. He was struck over the left ear by a black bottle when on piquet duty in 1876, the wound scar being evident. Since that time he suffered epilepsy, the first attack being at Simons Town, Cape Colony, in 1876, and this could well explain his presence at Rorke’s Drift, although he is not known to have been one of the hospital patients at the time of the attack. Colour-Sergeant Bourne records him as being present during the defence by Lieutenant Chard, and, on his amended roll. Turner was examined by a medical board at Pietermaritzburg on 9 September 1879 and found to be unfit for further service. On arrival in England he was sent to Netley, having suffered two further epileptic attacks, one of which was on board the ship bringing him home. Medical opinion considered his disability to be permanent and that he ‘may not be able to struggle for a precarious livelihood’. He was consequently discharged as unfit for further service on 4 May 1880. At this time his conduct was described as ‘very good’ and as being in possession of two good conduct badges and a fourth class Certificate of Education. Turner was granted an Out-Pension at the Royal Hospital Chelsea of 8d per diem for 18 months and intended to reside at Borough, Surrey."

Only one Sergeant and nine privates of the 1st 24th Foot were present at Rorke’s Drift, the majority of those present being from the 2nd Battalion. Of the ten 1st Battalion men, four were killed or died of wounds, two were wounded and one awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Source: Dix Noonan website
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