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"Philip Robert Anstruther (1841- 1880) was a member of the Scottish family of Anstruther of Balcaskie. He was commissioned as an ensign in the 94th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers) on 31 December 1858. In 1870 he married Zaida Mary, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Erskine of Cambo, Fife. The couple had two sons. Lt Col Anstruther died of wounds,having been ambushed by the Boers at Bronkhorstspruit on 20th December 1880. He saw a lot of action in a short time in South Africa. A major in the 94th Regiment of Foot, he fought at Ulundi in the Zulu War in 1879 and, later in the year against, Chief Sekhukhune in the Transvaal. When war with the Transvaal Republicans broke out in 1880 he was severely wounded in a skirmish near Bronkhorstspruit and died of his wounds on 26th December.
Philip Robert Anstruther of the 94th Regiment of Foot wrote of Ulundi 'We walked about burning the whole place and picked up shields and assegais. I got five shields & 2 assegais - could not carry more. He wrote again a few days later describing some shields he was sending home: 'The shields … 4 of them are quite new and are made out of the king's cattle and are the ones chiefs carry … I picked up a lot of shields, assegais & guns but could not carry them and had to drop them all again except the small shields & assegais.' An observation that probably best describes this sweeping collecting is in a letter home written by Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) Arthur Harness of the Royal Artillery:
Major Anstruther, who took part in the campaign against Sekhukhune, principal chief of the Pedi people, near Lydenburg in December 1879, recalled that they took 'a magnificent elephant's tusk out of Sekukuni's kraal, weighs 62 lbs and we are going to have it made into a snuff box. I think we have now about a dozen snuff boxes of sorts in the mess but this one will take 2 men to carry it round.'45 It was mounted in silver and presented to the Officers' Mess of the 94th Regiment by Lt Col Murray where it remained until the disbanding of the Connaught Rangers in 1922 and was transferred to the National Army Museum.)Just after the Anglo-Zulu War, Anstruther wrote home that hewas 'sending … 5 shields, some assegais, 3 or 4' and a mat and suggested that his family should 'put a pedestal on to the bottom of the sticks' because 'they would make nice fire screens for the dining room'.Sir Bartle Frere had similar thoughts and in later years exhibited a 'Fire Screen made of a small Zulu shield, picked up by the exhibitor on the battlefield of Ulundi'. The symbolism of Zulu shields is aptly illustrated by the use of five replicas in a screen in Litchfield Cathedral installed to commemorate the soldiers of the 80th Regiment who died in the war.
Philip Robert Anstruther of the 94th Regiment of Foot wrote home on 12 August 1879 that 'a lot of Zulus have come, I should think nearly 500 and have given up arms & assegais & cows … I got six assegais but they are not very good ones as I was late in choosing.' Nine days later he wrote that he had 'got some more assegais and am trying to get some chiefs' sticks for general distribution'. A few days later he concluded that he now had '8 assegais' and was 'waiting for an opportunity to send them home' In the days before the battle of Ulundi, Fleet Surgeon Henry F Norbury writes of the surrender of 'some 600 Zulus, about 240 of whom were men; they brought with them 53 guns, and a large number of assegais"' Source'Both curious and valuable':African art from late 19th-century south-east Africa
Posts : 7077 Join date : 2009-04-24 Age : 53 Location : Down South.
Subject: Re: Nothing Of Value. Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:56 am
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] "The above image of the smart British soldier soon disappeared once on campaign. Taking the 94th Regiment as an example of a typical unit, they had embarked from England in February 1879, and had worn the same tunics and trousers from then right through the Zulu War and the campaign against Sekhukhune. It seems that new tunics and trousers were received sometime in 1880, but a description by Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Philip Anstruther, 94th Regiment, of his men prior to the arrival of this consignment conjures up a vivid picture of a regiment in the field: 'Their coats and trousers are all colours -cords, blue serge, red ditto, any mufti they can lay their hands on patched all over with sacking, skin or anything.' It seems that their equipment also suffered from fatigue, and helmets had not been replaced prior to the outbreak of war. The white helmets that had looked so pristine and smart when the 94th left England were now hardly recognisable as head wear. Some crumpled examples survived, but many men wore anything they could buy, find or make from skins".
Posts : 2101 Join date : 2010-07-30 Age : 55 Location : North London
Subject: Re: Nothing Of Value. Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:40 pm
The article mentions "military trophies" and "souvenirs" then in another breath, "looting". (I am not sure what point the article is trying to make here).
The taking of helmets, arms, badges and the like from slain foe has always and will always happen. It is even expected. Even though a remf myself in Iraq and Afghanistan and unlikely to have happened to me, I always made sure that when deployed, I had nothing on me that I would want to lose, even in death, such as my wedding ring, diary, personal info etc.
I would think of an enemy taking my helmet, weapon or anything else off me as no different to swapping shirts at the end of a rugby match.
This is certainly not "looting" - looting would be the theft of the property of civilians - an entirley different matter.
Posts : 2101 Join date : 2010-07-30 Age : 55 Location : North London
Subject: Re: Nothing Of Value. Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:38 am
Posts : 10482 Join date : 2009-04-07 Age : 66 Location : Melbourne, Australia
Subject: nothing of value Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:18 pm
Hi sa1 . Good find , I also thought it an interesting and informative read . cheers 90th.
Posts : 1862 Join date : 2009-03-25
Subject: Re: Nothing Of Value. Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:20 pm
It seems Philip Robert Anstruther, was more of a collector than a soldier.
Posts : 95 Join date : 2010-01-10 Age : 70 Location : Taunton
Subject: Re: Nothing Of Value. Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:48 am
Here is a further excellent article on the same theme. Although it extends to other wars during the same period its main content relates to the Zulu war.