George Wardell’s earlier service

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George Wardell was born in Toronto in 1840 to a landed family with connections in Canada, Britain and Ireland. He came from a family with a rich military tradition, following in the footsteps of his father, Major William Wardell, a veteran of several wars, and his grandfather, Lt.-Col. Wardell. George Wardell’s journey to Isandlwana began when he enrolled as an ensign in the 24th Regiment in May 1858. In 1861 he became a lieutenant, with purchase, and, as detailed in his letters, subsequently served in Mauritius, Rangoon, Madras, Malta, Gibraltar and Brecon. On 23 February 1872 he was promoted to captain. As company commander, Wardell was stationed on St Helena before being posted to South Africa following an increase in native disturbances.


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