The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

The Cameronians’ cross

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A brass cross taken from the church in Maqdala and given to the 26th Foot (The Cameronians) – a regiment which arrived too late to take part in either of the main battles

Where: The Cameronians Regimental Museum (Scottish Rifles), Mote Hill, off Muir Street, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, ML3 6BY, UK

There is no mention of the cross on the museum’s website.

According to The History of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), Vol 1 1689-1910:

“The 26th [Foot Cameronians] took no part in the march to Magdala. It was not among the units forming part of the original expeditionary force. Not until 31st March, 1868, did it land at Zula, armed with the new Snider breech-loading rifle. The regiment then marched, in great heat, across the desert of 14 miles to Kumayli. From here it began the long ravine, known as the Passes, which led up to the plateau of Senafe, five marches away. At this point the 26th heard that the war was over, and on 10th May began to move back again to the coast. By 11th June the regiment was back in Bombay after an absence of less than three months. A battle honour had been won without casualties.

“On arrival at Bombay the ship carrying the 26th was ordered round to Calcutta, and there the regiment disembarked to march to its new quarters at Dum Dum. While it was there it received from Sir Robert Napier an ornamental brass cross taken from one of the Coptic churches in Magdala before the town was burned.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *