How many men to a section

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How many men to a section

Postby nthornton1979 » 02 Jan 2015 20:28

Hi all,

Can anyone tell me how many men were in a 'section' during the Zulu War period?

I have an account from a Corporal which states he had sixteen men.

Does that sound about right?

Cheers
Neil
Last edited by nthornton1979 on 02 Jan 2015 20:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How many men to a section

Postby rd72 » 02 Jan 2015 20:36

Neil,

There were four sections in a company. A company was, say, 80 all ranks. Sometimes more but often much less (depending on circumstances), maybe 50-60. That said, a section of 16 (8 files) would not be out of the question. Commanded by a Sgt of which there were supposed to be four in the company. The Lieutenants commanded the "half-companies" (two sections) and, of course, the Captain commanded the whole.
Cheers,
Rob
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Re: How many men to a section

Postby nthornton1979 » 02 Jan 2015 20:48

Cheers Rob,

The Corporal described the taking out his section and describes them with the words "my sixteen".

That threw me a bit.

Thanks again
Neil
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Re: How many men to a section

Postby grumpy » 03 Jan 2015 17:01

The official Establishment for a Company in the field in 1877 was:

captain
2 of subalterns [except in one company, reduced to a single subaltern because used for Transport]
1 of colour-srgeant
4 sergeants
5 corporals
2 drummers or buglers
113 privates and
1 driver.

I am not sure if this was the 1879 establishment.

A nominal section "the fourth part of a company" would be full sergeant, full corporal, a few lance-appointments, and the balance of about 28 privates. In the field, wastage from all causes could easily reduce the strength to near 50%.
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Re: How many men to a section

Postby nthornton1979 » 04 Jan 2015 16:15

Many thanks for that Grumpy.

Very helpful.

Cheers
Neil
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Re: How many men to a section

Postby Army aviation » 15 Jan 2016 21:31

In today's speak the Sgt would be in charge of the section ,and his Cpl would be his 2i/c and would be ready to step into the Sgt's roll if required, so am guessing the Sgt was away that day so his Cpl took out the section
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Re: How many men to a section

Postby nthornton1979 » 21 Jan 2016 18:34

Thanks AA,

It's actually regarding an account I found on the battle of Rorke's Drift. The corporal is describing his part in the action.

Neil
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