I love detective work.

Something Over Tea

A button was lost near Bathurst in the Eastern Cape. Not any old button, but a rounded brass button that had once shone brilliantly on the tunic of a soldier. How it was lost will remain a mystery. So many things go missing when armed forces are constantly on the move during a war: buttons, buckles, stirrups, cap badges and so on.

Over a hundred and twenty years later the button was found by Theo van der Walt, who has developed an eye for such treasures from the past.

He looked closely at the embossed design on the button and made out the figure of a horseman and the number five. Could it have come from the Light Dragoons, he speculated, and turned to members of the Eastern Cape branch of the South African Military History Society for assistance in identifying the origin of the button, made from gilded brass.

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