Edwin Hammerton was a Petty Officer 2nd Class on HMS Orontes during the Zulu War. “Orontes” was a troop ship which brought reinforcements (drafts for 11 different battalions) to South Africa. She departed Portsmouth on May 1st and arrived at Durban on June 3rd, and disembarked her troops on the 4th. On the 6th of June “Orontes departed Durban for Simon’s Bay, where she arrived on the 9th. There the ship was painted grey, for mourning, as she had been selected to transport the body of the Prince Imperial to England. On Sunday, June 15, the body of the Prince arrived at Simon’s Bay on HMS Boadicea, and then was transferred to HMS Orontes with all appropriate ceremony, after which “Orontes” departed for England, arriving at Portsmouth on July10th.
When the Admiralty issued the notice of award of the South Africa medal, "Orontes" was granted the medal for the period 3rd to 6th June, 1879, which is the time the ship was in Natal waters.
All officers and men of HMS Orontes were entitled to the South Africa Medal without clasp.
E. Hammerton appears on the Medal Roll as entitled to the medal, and it was sent to him in September 1881.
Petty Officer Tom