Lithograph of Black Zouave Soldiers. Two pages, 8.75" x 10.5", antique print from Major Thomas Strong Seccombe's Army & Navy Drolleries, circa 1876, depicting two black Zouave soldiers with an accompanying poem. The soldiers are from the British West India Regiment who fought on the Gold Coast in West Africa during the Ashanti War.

    Along with the pages from Seccombe's book is a separate page from an unknown book, 11.5" x 9", with a photograph of the First West India Regiment at the barracks in Barbados, captioned : "For hard work bravely undertaken and well performed, the West India Regiment holds a high place in the army to which it has the honour to belong. The dark-skinned soldiers of whom it is composed have learnt under their British officers the discipline and self-restraint which are demanded of soldiers in the Queen's service, but they retain to the full warlike qualities of their race, and have proved themselves in many actions worthy of the trust which has been reposed in them. To the two already existing battalions a third has just been added (1897), a testimony of the esteem in which the regiment is held by the War Office. It is in the West Indies and on the West Coast of Africa that the West India Regiment is employed. Its first battalion is here shown on parade at Barbados. The handsome zouave uniform worn by the men is well suited to the climate, and is exceeding attractive in appearance."

    The West India Regiment was originally formed in 1795 with twelve battalions. Over the years, several battalions were disbanded or consolidated, but one unit was always stationed in the West Indies. Other battalions were stationed on the Gold Coast or at St. Helena guarding prisoners from the Boer War. The Zouave uniform was introduced to the regiment in 1857. Most of the non-commissioned officers and men were black, and wore the Zouave uniform. Officers and Englishmen wore only the usual infantry uniform.

    Condition: Small, clean tear at bottom right corner of lithograph. Slight toning and foxing on all pages, else good.

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