An interesting brooch / badge from the era of the First Afghan War

£250.00

A very interesting and rather mysterious brooch combining elements from the badges of the only two regular infantry units to take part in the siege of Jellalabad with Sir Robert Sale [1841-2] during the First Afghan War – Her Majesty’s 13th Foot [later Prince Albert’s Somerset Light Infantry] and the 35th Bengal Native Infantry. The badge, unmarked despite every appearance of being made of silver, measures 1½ x 1¼ ins and takes the form of the 13th strung bugle beneath a mural crown with the honour JELLALABAD on a scroll above [the only regiment to display the honout thus on its colours. However between the bugle strings are roman numerals XXV  for the 35th Bengal NI. There are later attachments for the pin but there is also a suggestion in the centre of the crown that a lug has been removed.

Following the siege, which lasted from November 1841 until April 1842, the 35th was converted to Light Infantry following the inspiration of the 13th Foot. The most likely origin of this brooch is that it was made, unofficially, for an officer who had served in one of those regiments. It came to us from a family which produced numerous officers in the Indian Army from the late 18th century until the 1870s.             nov20/2

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