"John Key attested at Secunderabad, India, on 28 August 1871, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, 24th Foot. Appointed a Drummer in 1873, he reverted to Private in September 1877 and was appointed Lance-Corporal in May 1878. He was promoted Corporal in July 1878 and appointed Lance-Sergeant on 19 February 1879. He thus served as a Corporal in “B” Company at the epic defence of the mission station at Rorke’s Drift on 22nd/23rd January 1879. He was promoted to Sergeant in March 1880 and placed on the unattached list at Secunderabad on 1 March 1884".