Cape of Good Hope - 9th Frontier War

Ref: K4215
  • £1900.00

FINGO AND GCALEKA WAR. (9th FRONTIER WAR) 1877 envelope to Ireland endorsed at the top ‘On Special Service from Private Christian, Prince Alfred’s Volunteer Guards’. The cover has been countersigned at the lower left by Lt. G Gordon, the commanding officer for Private Christian to get the 1d concession rate. The letter was written at Fort Bowker. As no post office was available the letter would have been prepaid 1d in cash and then carried to London where it was put in the postal system. The war between the Fingo and Gcaleka tribes erupted on 3rd August 1877 when Gcaleka forces of 8000 attacked a Cape police outpost near the frontier at Ibeka; a fierce shoot-out followed but the Gcaleka forces were dispersed. Soon, several other outposts and stations along the frontier came under attack. Sir Bartle Frere, Governor of the Cape sought volunteers to support the loyal Fingoes. A detachment of Prince Alfred’s Volunteer Guards left on October 4 and on arrival in East London were moved to operate out of Ibeka. The war lasted a little over three weeks. An exceptionally rare letter from this war in the Eastern Cape. Private Christian was killed in action on 22nd January 1879 at Isandhlwana in the Zulu War.