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vital crossroads behind La Haye Sainte, which had been under constant French attack.
Napoleon; mistaking the nature of these troop movements and believing a retreat was imminent, ordered a huge attach of cavalry at this critical point led by Marshall Ney, with the aim of smashing the British and Allied centre and taking the farm building there. The British regiments of the centre formed squares in response and with concentrated musket fire they bitterly resisted the cavalry and subsequent attacks of columns of infantry which followed in support. At 6.30pm the position of the 40th became particularly desperate as the French temporarily captured La Haye Sainte, but the 40th held their square. Following the repulse of the elite Old Guard, Wellington called out to Lambert’s Brigade: ‘No cheering, my lads, but go on and complete your victory.’ And so, the ‘Fighting Fortieth’ fixed bayonets and went on to rout the French columns to their front and recapture La Haye Sainte, continuing with general advance until exhausted and called to halt.
During the battle, Lieutenant Glynne served in Captain C Ellis’s Company, and was himself severely wounded in the action. During the battle all five officers of his company were wounded. Sold with a quantity of research, confirming his entitlement to this medal, and the Military General Service Medal with 9 clasps.
Lot 37 A Rare and Emotive South Africa 1879 Casualty Medal awarded to Trooper Francis ‘Louis’ Secretan, Natal Mounted Police, killed in action at the Battle of Isandhlwana during the final retreat along the Fugitives’ Trail towards the Buffalo River, the location of his death confirmed as reported by his brother Archer Jeston Secretan in The Standard, March 25th, 1879, comprising: South Africa Medal, 1877-79, single clasp, 1879 (Tr F. Secretan. Natal Md Police.); officially engraved in large upright capitals, court mounted for display. Light and attractive tone, small lower reverse edge bruise and tiny nick, otherwise good very fine, and extremely rare when found with such detailed biographical and historical information.
Francis Louis Secretan was born in 1856 in Croydon, Surrey. His father Francis Herbert Secretan was a Stockbroker at the Stock Exchange in London, who had married Ellen Elizabeth Levin at Hackney, Middlesex, in 1853. Francis Louis Secretan was raised with his three brothers and two sisters, with whom he soon relocated to Camden Town by the time of the 1861 Census, later moving towards his father’s place of birth in Leyton, Essex by the time of the 1871 Census.
Francis Louis Secretan and his brother Archer Jeston Secretan both appear to have taken the decision for an adventurous move to South Africa c.1877-8, at the age of 21 and 20 respectively. The two brothers appear to be new arrivals at the time of the Anglo-Zulu War, when both joined the Natal Mounted Police at Pietermaritzburg, Natal, on the 23rd of April 1878 (their recent arrival indicated by the lack of a local contact address used upon enlistment by A J Secretan, deferring instead to