(1061. Pte. J. Nunn. 3/60 Foot)
JOHN NUNN was born in 1842; he enlisted in the Cambridge district 28 December 1860 and in January 1861 joined the 7th Depot Company of the 1st Battalion 60th Foot. On 24 May 1864 Nunn went absent without leave for 39 Days. On his return he was immediately arrested and on 12 July he was sentenced to 6 weeks in a military prison and forfeited 60 days pay; after release he was placed on guard duty for the remainder of the year, returning to regimental duties the following year. In March 1866 Nunn left Ireland with his company and embarked for Malta.In September 1867 the 1st Battalion left Malta for Canada arriving the following month and were stationed at Montreal. On 17 January 1868 Nunn re-engaged to serve for a further 21 years. On 10 October Nunn was sentenced to forfeit 30 days pay, fined a further 57 days pay at 1d per diem and to be held in a military prison until 3 November. In July 1870 Nunn was part of the Red River Expedition, returning to Montreal in October. Had Nunn survived until 1899 he would have been entitled to the Canada General Service with clasp Red River 1870. In November 1871 the battalion arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Between 1873 and 1874 Nunn was sentenced on four occasions for drunkenness. In December 1876 the battalion left Halifax for England. On 11 June 1878 Nunn was yet again convicted of drunkenness and on 23 August he was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, presumably for alcoholism. Released 6 months later, he almost immediately found himself on the way to South Africa; on 19 February 1879 a draft of 325 officers and men of the 3rd Battalion proceeded from the depot at Winchester to Gravesend. Amongst their numbers were a few members of the 1st Battalion including John Nunn, the battalion using the draft to clean up its ranks. On arriving at Gravesend the 3rd Battalion embarked for South Africa aboard C.M.R.S. Dublin Castle.
On 20 March 1879 the battalion arrived at Port Natal, Durban and proceeded to Fort Pearson on the Tugela River which they reached on 27 March. The following day they crossed the Tugela and marched to Gingindlovu, where, on 4 April they encountered the Zulus and a battle ensued in which Zulu killed were estimated at 1,200, while the 3rd Battalion had one man killed, one mortally wounded and six others wounded. On 6 April, there was a Zulu scare at Infuchini, when the natives of John Dunn’s Zulu Scouts panicked and retreated, causing the trench guard to assume it was a Zulu attack, as a result one man of the battalion was mortally wounded and a further four men also suffered wounds. On 22 April Cetewayo’s brother Maguindo and six of his favourite wives surrendered to the 3rd Battalion. On 29th April the battalion established a new camp and fortification lower down on the Inyezane River, which they named Fort Chelmsford. On 21 June they moved up country to the Milazi River where Fort Napoleon was built and garrisoned. On the 26 June they sent a reconnoitring party toward the Ungoya Hills, skirmishing with the Zulus and capturing over 300 cattle and other stock. On 11 August the battalion arrived at Ulundi and encamped; following the capture of Cetewayo on 28 August the battalion guarded his tent which contained the king and his several wives. On 2 September Cetewayo was taken to Pietermaritzburg in a mule wagon. On 5 October the battalion became part of the Fort Napier garrison. In March 1880 a party of 3rd Battalion which included Nunn were sentto Isandhlwana to bury remains.
In December 1880 the Boers took Heidelburg, seized a bank and proclaimed the Boer Republic. On 10 January 1881 two companies of the 3rd Battalion left Fort Napier arriving at Laing’s Nek on 28 January where they engaged the Boers, the battalion had one man killed and five men wounded. On 8 February 1881 they engaged the Boers for a second time at Ingogo, the result was disastrous owing to superior field craft and marksmanship and the resulting casualties to the battalion were 52 men killed, 65 wounded and 1 taken prisoner. On the 27 February the decisive battle of Majuba Hill took place which was to bring an end to the First Boer War in the Boers’ favour. The battalion had one man wounded and eleven taken prisoner. On 23 March peace was proclaimed. On 1 December 1881 Nunn was at the General Depot at Pietermaritzburg.
On 6 January 1882, while awaiting transportation to England for discharge as a time expired soldier, Nunn took sick at the depot and died the same day of dysentery, he had served 21 years and 8 days with the colours.