South Africa Medal 1834-1853. Sergeant. J. Miller. 74th Regt. VF


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Miller served with the 74th Foot during the third Kaffir War 1850-53.

The Regiment arrived at Algoa Bay in March 1851. As a consequence of a similarity between the Lamont tartan and tortoiseshell colouring, the locals called the men of the 74th ‘the tortoises’, a name they grew to like. Consequently, the regiment began its campaign more suitably equipped for guerrilla warfare than any other regular unit.In early June the Regiment took part in the Amatola operations and in assaulting Victoria Heights, when it lost three men killed and suffered several wounded; the enemy took up the fight in the forest and several days were spent scouring the bush. In September, Major George R. Fordyce led his men on an attack on Malcom’s stronghold; the heights were scaled without difficulty but the enemy then gathered in such numbers that they threatened to over-run the advanced guard of the 74th and it was decided to withdraw down the steep, winding pass. As the troops descended, the enemy swarmed from the thick forest and for a while it was every man for himself. During the savage fighting that ensued, the Highlanders lost one officer killed and 14 men wounded; not the least lamented was their German bandmaster who was dragged off alive and cruelly tortured to death.