"HMS Active, 1/14/1878, 196 officers, seamen and Marines
which included a rocket party. This Brigade saw
action at Quintana, 2/7/'78. Originally landed
at East London. Re-embarked (possibly) 6/'78
11/19/1878 Numbers: 174 seamen, 42 Royal
Marines, 10 officers, 14 West African Kroomen*,
2x12 pounders, 1x10-barrelled Gatling, and 2
rocket tubes. This force landed at Durban,
proceeded to the Zululand frontier and garrisoned
Fort Pearson and smaller posts on the Lower Tugela
river. This Brigade, as part of Pearson's column,
crossed into Zululand 1/22/1879 and participated
in the defeat of a Zulu force at the Inyezane River.
The Brigade had 7 men wounded in this action.
Pearson, with HMS Active's Brigade, garrisoned
Ekowe fort until 4/3/'79. One officer of this Brigade
was attached to Lord Chelmsford's staff.
HMS Tenedos, 12/20/1878 3 officers and 58 men. Crossed
the Tugela and built and garrisoned Fort Tenedos.
HMS Shah, 3/7/1879 16 officers and 378 men (in addition to
which the captain, Captain Richard Bradshaw, had,
upon hearing of reverses in Zululand, embarked
all the available infantry <200> from St. Helena
with the governor's permission and landed them at
Simon's Bay on 2/12/'79). Shah's Brigade was
landed at Durban and doubled the Naval strength
in and around Natal.
HMS Boadicea, 3/18/'79 10 officers and 218 men.
On 4/2/'79, all three Naval Brigades were combined
into one command under Commander John William
Brackenbury, although the senior RN officer
present was Commodore Frederick William Richards.
The combined Brigades fought at Ginginhlovo on
4/3/'79, holding the corners of the British square
and suffering 1 officer and 6 men wounded.
Following the relief of Pearson's column at Ekowe fort,
the combined Brigades numbered approximately 800 officers
and men. Tenedos re-embarked her men on May 8,1879.
Active and Shah re-embarked their men on July 21, 1879.
Boadicea's men re-embarked on 7/31/1879 (Boadicea would
have landed a Brigade even sooner than she did but for
Smallpox in her crew. HMS Flora, at Simon's Bay, also
had smallpox inboard, which meant she only dispatched 2
of her officers to the front on 4/20/1879).
Other RN assets present: 2 members of the Royal Naval
Artillery Volunteers traveled to the front at their own
expense and attached themselves to Active's Brigade.
A Royal Marine batallion arrived too late to particpate
in any actions.
At the major battles of Ulundi and Isandhlwana, the RN was
represented by ONE person at each battle, Lt. A. B. Milne
(serving on Chelmsford's staff) being wounded at Ulundi
and Signalman William Aynsley, of HMS Active, killed in
action at Isandhlwana. The only other RN member who died on
active service was Mid. Lewis Cadwallader Coker, of disease,
at Ekowe fort.
Primary source for this information _The Royal Navy:
A History_ , Sir Wm. Laird Clowes, London, 1903 (volume
7 has the Zulu war information.)"