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WIP Sgt Anthony Booth, VC, 80th Foot, 1879

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by valiant, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Guys,

    I am pleased to show you current pictures of my latest project, based on Richie's new 24th Foot bust.
    As soon as I saw this bust I envisaged this version, so I contacted Richie to see if he minded me chopping his original about a bit!! He represents Sgt Anthony Booth, VC, at Ntombe Drift in 1879.

    The biggest mod was to give the original a bit of a haircut - as Booth was a sergeant, I figured he would have to show a good example! I slightly repositioned the left arm (not because it needs it, just to ring the changes, a bit!) and have replaced the 24th Foot insignia with that of the 80th Foot, later 2nd Batt, South Staffordshire Regt, which had yellow facings. I still need to modify the belt buckle, too.

    Many thanks to Richie for allowing the surgery to take place, I hope you like the mods! It is a cracking kit in its own right and I thoroughly recommend it if this is your thing!

    Steve(y)

    Attached Files:

  2. baronband Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi
    a very nice conversion on a great bust, I would like to see him painted

    John
  3. Richie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Steve,
    What is there not to like(y). Love what you have done so far:) and glad I could help you out with a bit of the research. Looking great mate, you have set off at a rate of knots. By the way did you buy that V.C. I pushed at you? Following with interest. Intombe is another great episode in the Zulu wars.
    My only comment would be to put a bit of the background history behind this brave Sergeant for the viewers;).
    cheers
    Richie
    garyhiggins and Wings5797 like this.
  4. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Cheers, mate - will do! And thanks again!(y)
    Richie likes this.
  5. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi guys,

    In response to Richie's idea for some information about this brave individual, here goes;

    "Anthony Booth was born in a typical three-storey framework knitters’ house in what is now Hucknall Road in April, 1846, into a family of lace workers in the small village of Carrington, Nottinghamshire. These were hard times, with poverty rife, and Anthony decided that when he was old enough he would join the Army. The Royal Marines turned him down on medical grounds, so he travelled to Sheffield and enlisted in the 80th (South Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot. He was 18.

    Less than two years later, he married Lucy, the 19 year old daughter of an Irish shoemaker.


    His overseas service began in 1872 in Singapore and by 1878, when the regiment landed in South Africa, he had been made a colour sergeant. (According to records, Booth was up and down the ranks several times throughout his service!)

    A year later, British forces led by Lord Chelmsford invaded Zululand and soon after, suffered a desperate defeat at Isandhlwana. More than 1,000 soldiers and native bearers died. A few weeks later, 100 men of the 80th Regiment were camped on both banks of the Intombe River guarding a convoy of supply wagons. As dawn broke on the morning of March 12, 1879, a shot rang out. Sgt Booth peered across the river and through the mist saw swarms of Zulus attacking. Among the first soldiers to fall was the officer in charge, then the Zulus began stabbing redcoats with their short-bladed assegais as they emerged from their tents. On Sgt Booth’s side of the river, about 35 men began laying down a volley of fire. Their senior officer Lieutenant H.H Howard told his men to retire to a nearby farmhouse and rode off, apparently to find help. Command fell to Sgt Booth who organised a small group to cover survivors fleeing across the river.


    “We fought the Zulus for three miles in retreat,” he reported after the battle. “We kept close together, firing volleys at our pursuers as they prepared to rush us.” By now Lt Howard had found reinforcements and when the large force of infantry was spotted by the Zulus, they fled, carrying their booty with them. A few days later, Sgt Booth wrote to his wife Lucy about the battle, telling her only 41 men out of 154 had survived the battle. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, which was presented by Queen Victoria in 1880.


    Lt Howard was court-martialled for having ‘misbehaved before the enemy’ when he left the field of battle. Although he was acquitted, it ended his military career.

    Colour Sergeant Booth retired from the Army in 1898 and died a year later of cirrhosis of the liver. He was buried with full military honours at St Michael’s Church, Brierley Hill, West Midlands and his medal is now held in the Staffordshire Regimental Museum, Whittington, nr Lichfield, Staffs."

    Steve(y)
    Scotty, Grod, garyhiggins and 3 others like this.
  6. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Thanks for taking the time to post that Steve, very interesting. Top work on the conversion too. (y)

    Roger.
  7. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thanks. Roger - Im really enjoying this one, cant wait to throw some paint at it! Ill post more progress pics soon,

    (y)
    garyhiggins and billyturnip like this.
  8. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Looking forward to seeing it once it's been on the receiving end of some thrown paint. :D
  9. Zastrow.cuirassier PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    France
    Verry nice conversion, great work as always with you!(y)
  10. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Country:
    France
    Between you and Richie, Steve you have come up with a very nice pair of figures.
    I am very impressed with your work Chaps...........Looking forward to the paint.
    All the very best for the coming festivities.
    Keith
    napoleonpeart and garyhiggins like this.
  11. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Looking very good.

    Mike
    garyhiggins likes this.
  12. garyhiggins A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Nice work on the conversion Steve, and thanks for the interesting backstory(y)(y).
    Merry Christmas, Gary.
  13. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Many thanks for all the comments, chaps! Thank you all for looking in, I will post more pics as it progresses. There were actually two VCs won by the 80th during the Zulu War, the other was won by a Pte Wassall. Who knows, I might attempt yet another version....!
    (y)
  14. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi again, Guys!

    Whilst on the subject of the VCs won by the 80th Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers), I have this account of Private Samuel Wassall's action at Isandhlwana, 1879.

    "Private Samuel Wassall won his coveted decoration in the Zulu war in 1879 for gallant conduct in rescuing a comrade at the risk of his own life, when the camp at Isandhlwana on the Tufela River (sic), about 10 miles from Rorke's Drift was surprised and attacked.

    Private Wassall who was attached to the 80th Regiment (Mounted Infantry Section), during a retreat towards Buffalo River, saw a comrade struggling in the water and in great peril of being either drowned or killed by the advancing enemy. He at once galloped to the riverside, dismounted and under a hail of bullets, entered the water and succeeded with great daring in dragging his comrade to the bank and afterwards, effecting his escape.

    In that action, which was fought on January 22nd, 1879, Private Wassall was one of a small number of British soldiers who were assailed by an overwhelming force of Zulus whom they succeeded in eventually driving off. Private Wassall was only 21 years of age and had the distinction of being the youngest man in the British Army at that time to win the V.C., for which honour he was gazetted on July 17th, 1879."

    I hope this is of interest,

    (y)
  15. Richard Baxter Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Scotland
    Always enjoy the history behind the figures. Interesting that Booth joined the Staffs in Sheffield, which is a fair way from Staffordshire. Wonder why he didn't join a Yorkshire regiment and what the Staffs were doing recruiting in Steel City?
  16. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Richard, that has occurred to me, too! As a Staffycher man myself, I do not understand how that could be, but I shall try to find out on one of my many trips to the museum at Whittington Barracks!

    Steve(y)
  17. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    I think recruiting parties were sent out to where they would find recruits and if the local Sheffield regiment, KOYLI, Yorks & Lancs? were fully up to strength and weren't recruiting then Sheffield (or any big city) would be a good source for men.
  18. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I think that is probably right, Roger. It certainly sounds feasible!

    Steve(y)
  19. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    I read it somewhere but the big question is where.:D
  20. 1969 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Nice conversion Steve, will be following with interest on this one.

    Cheers
    Steve

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