Welcome to the forum. I am always happy to find someone who shares an interest in the Royal Navy and/or the Royal Marines who served, or were called up for service, in the Zulu War. The marines from Portsmouth and Chatham boarded transport HMS Jumna at Portsmouth on June 5, 1879 and sailed for Plymouth. On June 6 the marines from the Plymouth Division boarded Jumna which sailed that day for South Africa. The marines from the Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth Divisions of the Royal Marine Light Infantry plus the marines of the Royal Marine Artillery numbered over 1,100. On July 7 1879 Jumna arrived at Simon's Bay, South Africa. The ship sailed out of Simon's Bay on July 9 for Durban, but was soon called back by a signal from a lighthouse. The marines remained at Simon's Bay, eventually finding out that they were no longer needed and would be returned to England. On July 24 HMS Jumna set sail from Simon's Bay for England.
The Royal Marines did not quality for the South Africa medal, but they were recognized as having "served in the Battalion of Royal Marines sent to South Africa for special service in the Zulu war, 1879." There was one member of the Battalion, however, who I believe was entitled to the South Africa medal. He was Private William Miller of 31 Company, Plymouth Division who was detached as the servant to Lieutenant Colonel Hall, Royal Engineers, in order to accompany him to Port Durnford. He was seconded to the Flag Ship HMS Boadicea, but his name does not show up on that ship's medal roll.
Is there anything in particular that you are looking for? Send me a Private Message when you have access to the PM.