This article discusses the homecoming of the 2nd West India Regiment following their contribution to the Ashanti War (1873–74). 20 officers and about 600 ‘disciplined negro troops’ returned home after doing ‘some important services’. Upon their arrival they marched to Queen’s House, where the governor of Barbados addressed the men and provided them with refreshments.
At the garrison, where the Regiment were based, further entertainment was provided to celebrate the troops’ safe return. The troops would have been happy to return home, especially after so many of their number had died of illness whilst waiting to depart from the West African coast.
The article highlights the fanfare that British troops returned to when coming back from colonial wars of expansion, and the illustration shows that large crowds turned out to welcome them back. In the illustration it is possible to see the Regiment lined up in their Zouave uniforms under a canopy of trees. Opposite them are crowds of local people in formal dress, eager to see them on parade.
- Article by:
- Melissa Bennett
Melissa Bennett explores the West Indian Regiment’s presence in West Africa, their involvement in the Anglo-Ashanti War in the 1870s, and its immediate consequences for both the regiment and the British Empire at large.