Wearing the medal for service in the Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-80, this corporal of the 85th (Bucks Volunteers) Regiment of Foot (King’s Light Infantry) had just returned to England from foreign service that would also have included that in South Africa during the Transvaal War.
The 85th Foot had arrived in India in 1868 and took part in the Anglo-Afghan War. The regiment's involvement in the campaign was limited with its primary action taking place against the Zaimusht, a frontier tribe whose capital of Zawa was taken by a column that included the 85th Foot. The regiment was entitled to the Anglo-Afghan War medal without clasps.
After the end of the Afghan campaign, the regiment departed for South Africa, embarking on 9 March 1881 for Durban, Natal. The short but bitterly-fought Transvaal War against the Boers was all but over by the time the 85th arrived and it departed shortly thereafter to England when this photograph was probably taken. In July 1881 the 85th was amalgamated with the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment, losing its number in the process becoming the 2nd Battalion, The King's Light Infantry (Shropshire Regiment).
The corporal wears rank chevrons on both sleeves of his 1877 pattern tunic which was characteristic of light infantry regiments. He also appears to have at least one good conduct stripe on his right tunic cuff.
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Charles Knight - Photographer
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