Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire

From our Records - January 2015

This year we will produce a regular monthly news item that will reflect, from our records some of the history of our antecedent regiments.

This month sees the 200th anniversary since the end of the 1812-1815 War with America.  Although the peace was signed in France in December 1814, it took some time to be physically announced in America.  The 62nd Regiment were garrisoned in Maine and once the news was announced in USA they returned to Nova Scotia in 1815.  We actually commemorated the 200th Anniversary of the start of the 1812-15 War with the Brock/Queenston Heights Exhibition which was opened in 2012 and is still being used in the museum.

Also in January, in 1879 – 136 years ago, the 99th Regiment occupied Fort Eshowe during the Zulu War.

January 2015 is the 50th anniversary (1965) of the Independence of Malta and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment  (DERR) were the ceremonial troops. They left Malta that year to become a Mechanised Battalion and undertook an exercise in Sardinia.



Our photograph shows ‘Fort Ekowe’(or Eshowe).  It is believed this photograph was taken on the 10th June 1879. The mission station was occupied on the 24 January 1879 by the 99th Regiment without opposition. The mission buildings, though deserted for many months, were not in bad repair and steps were taken to fortify them. Two companies of the 99th, including the band, worked very hard to ensure that the defences were substantial enough to withstand any attack by the Zulus. A soldier later remembered, ‘From that time up to January 30th we had to work almost day and night... and we have at last got it completed. It is a massive looking work, and can afford shelter to all the troops. The moat no Zulu can get over, and I should venture to say that, arranged as it is now is, the whole Zulu force would fail to get an entrance, although we only number 400 men’. The garrison was provided by soldiers of the 99th Foot and the Buffs.