Page 93n3.3 Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
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Whatever became of....

Recently we were wonderfully surprised to receive an update on a favourite historical figure of ours, of whose "afterlife" we could not find anything... until...

DEAR SIR,MADAM

I AM THE GRANDSON OF JOHN FRANCIS DUNNE (BUGLER DUNNE).

MY GRANDFATHER (Bugler Dunne) PASSED AWAY ON THE 1/2/1950 HIS LAST ADDRESS WAS 35 VIEW ST WOOLLAHRA SYDNEY N.S.W AUSTRALIA.

MOST OF MY GRANDFATHERS PERSONAL BELONGINGS WERE SENT BACK TO IRELAND BY MY MOTHER, BUT I STILL HAVE A FEW ITEMS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO YOU.

MY MOTHERS SISTER NORAH AND HUSBAND BILL MANAGED A LARGE SHEEP STATION CALLED NEILPO NEAR WENTWORTH N.S.W

I ALSO HAVE THE NEWSPAPER CUTTINGS OF HIS DEATH AND 3 OR 4 IRISH COMICSĀ  WHICH TELL HIS STORY.

MY GRANDFATHER ALSO OWNED A BAR IN FIJI BEFORE HE MOVED TO AUSTRALIA I STILL HAVE HIS COCKTAIL BOOK WHICH HE USED IN THE BAR.

THANK YOU

Bugler Dunne - Dublin Fusiliers - Bugles 3

1 3 5 7 9 11
2 4 6 8 10 12

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Bugler Dunne, 1900
Orig. bisque - Size - 15 cms
Found - Barrie, ON
14 Year Old Bugler Hero

Memorabilia for Generals, during the Boer War, is easy to find, whether jugs, or busts or plates. The common soldier had to make do with Tommy Atkins mugs, or Gentleman in Kharki match strikers, or the Handyman cups.

A striking, and we believe, the only, departure from this practice, is this fabulous bisque, which though unnamed, can be none other than the celebrated Bugler Dunne of the Battle of Colenso fame, where, in a disastrous British attack, he was wounded and lost his bugle in the Tugela River.

Queen Victoria herself presented him with a new one in the hospital.

With such a hero, at only 14 years of age, the bisque manufacturers were not about to miss an opportunity to create a sales item featuring the popular hero of Colenso. Though not signed, anyone who sees the cabinet card of Dunne below, and knows the story, can tell this is the Hero of Colenso and no one else.

Sadly, though these bisque statues show up from time to time, almost always, they have the bugle missing, and a few fingers off as well. The bisque right features a replacement bugle as well.

Both bisques are from the same mould but there are minute differences.

The blood on the bandage was a favourite touch, sure to evoke a tremour in the heart of an erstwhile buyer, and maybe even tip the customer in favour of a purchase...

Bugler Dunne - Dublin Fusiliers - Memorabilia

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Bugler Dunne, 1900
Orig. Cab Card - Image 11 x 17 cms, frame 19.5 x 25 cms
Found - Berkshire, UK
Photo by WV Amey Landport Portsmouth
Fabulous Discovery

Offered for auction, by a UK dealer on the internet recently, was this photo advertised as an anonymous "Portrait of a very young soldier in a Bush Hat and Khaki Drill."

Nobody in the UK, apparently, recognized one of the most famous faces of the entire Boer War, that of heroic Bugler Dunne, of Colenso fame. No one else put in a bid... and we became the new owner, and brought Bugler Dunne to Canada, where his deeds - and face - are well known, and he is fondly remembered.

This original CDV is fabulous beyond belief. It is extremely rare to find any portrait of Bugler Dunne, anywhere, except on tiny pinbacks usually of the 23 mm size. This CDV is a whopping 10 x 14 cms in size, and still in its original frame and glass, backed with cedar shakes held with square nails.

The 14 year-old bugler's portrait, which was taken in Portsmouth, UK, has been lovingly preserved by a succession of owners for over 100 years.

The Hero of Colenso: One of the biggest British disasters during "Black Week" (in December 1899) produced the second bugler hero of the Boer War, 14 year old Bugler Dunne.

General Hart (below), the architect of one of several disasters that befell British arms at the Battle of Colenso, Dec. 15, 1899, committed one of the gravest military mistakes possible, by unwittingly ordering his men, from the left, into a loop in the Tugela River (outlined by trees in center right), in order to make a crossing to get at the Boers on the heights on this side.

Thanks to the folly of their general, the Irish Fusiliers who charged into Hart's Loop, fell by the hundreds, as they came under a withering fire from three sides. In the middle of them all was Bugler Dunne, who was among the few to reach the river itself. Then, surrounded by drowning men, and a faltering British advance, he should have blown the "Retreat." Instead, legend claims, he blew the "Charge" and won undying fame. He dropped his bugle in the Tugela when he was shot in the bugle arm in the melee that followed. Men, made of lesser clay than he, restrained him from going back to retrieve it.

Queen Victoria visited him in the hospital and invited him to Windsor Castle where she presented him with a specially engraved silver bugle to replace the one he had lost in that gallant charge.

(Right) Bugler Dunne, still nursing his wounds, practices on the Queen's present.

(Above) Bugler Dunne as he was carried in triumph through cheering throngs in the streets of Portsmouth, England, on the shoulders of a bluejacket and his father (above right).

It is very likely he was afterwards taken directly to WV Amey Photographers, of Portsmouth, who made this CDV. Aside from marginal staining - only on the back - from the cedar backing, the photo is in mint condition. Before releasing it, a studio employee wrote copyright on it to dissuade people from duplicating the image of the hero.

Bugler Dunne

Bugler Dunne, Bugler Dunne, you are missing all the fun,
And another chap is bugling where the battle's being won.
Don't you hear the ringing cheers of the Dublin Fusiliers,
Bugler Dunne?

Yet you sing, yet you sing, though your arm is in a sling,
And your little bone is broken where the bullet left a sting,
And you show a bloody scar.
Guess you dunno' where you are,
Bugler Dunne.

(But Bugler Dunne replies.)

Yes I do, yes I do, for I've got a bugle new,
And it's shining all with silver, and its sound is good and true.
Left the old one in the river, and I'll go back there, no never -
Least not for you.

But I'll go back for the Queen, the finest lady that I've seen -
Yes, I've seen her, she's a nailer - and I say just what I mean.
She's a heart that's warm and true for the lads in red and blue.
God save the Queen!

The advertising logo of WV Amey shows how the art of personal portraiture changed in Victorian times, as the firm tries to bridge the past and future in the same phrase in the public consciousness.

Traditionally portraiture had always been done by "Portrait Painters," which is probably how WV Amey started. But sitting took time, and cost money. Portraits like this were only for the wealthy.

Then the camera appeared in the 1840s providing "quick" portraits, that were more affordable for the lower orders. Photography studios soon sprang up and started offering photographs painted by contract artists, so combining the two approaches to portraiture - the "fill" colour of oil portraits with the snapshot of the camera.

Right is a rare Canadian image - a photo overpainted by William Lockwood - at the dawn of the new age in portraiture.

But, judging from WV Amey's promise to "People who have never come out well in a photograph," not all photo portraits were well received. Probably women complained they looked too fat; men, that they had more hair and didn't glower that much. And probably more than once, "Goodness Mabel, but you do look so awfully stiff!"

Amey asked the disenchanted to "give us a sitting as no matter where previously taken we can insure a successful portrait in any case without exception." That almost sounds like a guarantee!

Somehow, the talent the painters obviously had, was not associated with someone who just pressed a shutter on a mechanical contraption. With the coming of the Kodaks in the 1890s, clearly, anyone could be a shutterbug and click away making portraits of people.

In 1900 WV Amey still advertised as having a foot in both camps - traditional portraiture and newfangled Kodaks. But with "Artist Photographer" it announced that creative excellence, like the painter's, was possible with the camera.

Business became so good, for photo studios, that soon the "Miniature and Portrait Painter" association slipped off their promotional cards entirely, and into today's comparative obscurity.

Only rich men continued to have oil portraits painted - so they had at least some record of their former wives. These wretched looking oils - sometimes wives - now turn up routinely at art auctions, and fetch twenty or thirty dollars from a pitying dealer looking for yard sale material.

By the time of Bugler Dunne, the portrait photographer was here to stay, and reached a new high - at least in income - with the wedding photographer.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Rosalie-Caroline Debartzch, c 1844 - Wm Lockwood
Orig. painted photo c. 1844 - Size - 5.5" x 6.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
Labelled on the back "...... Debartzch, daughter of Dominique Debartzch, Born at St. Marc. Painted by Lockwood." John Russell Estate

Bugler Dunne, Dublin Fusiliers - Hero of Colenso, Dec. 15, 1899


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