Mr. Edward Hudson, a meat packer from Crewe, Cheshire, attested to the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards on 11 November, 1869. Mr. Hudson enlisted for a bounty of 1 Pound and a free kit. His attestation papers indicate that he signed up for a twelve year enlistment. Pvt. Hudson re-enlisted and served with the Dragoons until 19 November 1890 with 21 years and 9 days with the colours.
From 1869 to 1874 the KDGs were stationed in Dublin, transferred to Edinburgh in 1875 and remained there and northern England until 1877. The regiment was ordered to Aldershot and arrived May 1878.
In January of 1879, British forces under the command of Lieutenant General Lord Chelmsford, invaded Zululand in South Africa. Lord Chelmsford intentions were to march into Zululand with three columns and advance toward the Zulu capital, Ulundi. On 22 January 1879, the British center column (led by Chelmsford) was annihilated by a Zulu Impi at Islandwana. After the battle at Islandwana a small British contingent of approximately 150 men withheld the attack of some 4000 Zulu at Rorke’s Drift.
On 11 February 1879 an unexpected order was received for the 1st King's Dragoon Guards to go to South Africa on active service against the Zulus. The regiment arrived at Durban (South Africa) and disembarked on 9 April 1879. As part of the reinvestment of Zululand, the KDGs headed out on the 21st of May. The regiment left camp passing through the hills by the valley of the Bashee to the Nqutu Plateau, descending to the battlefield of Islandwana.
Major Marter (KDGs) wrote:
"Before daylight we forced the Buffalo River, and made our way along a track between hills covered with scrub jungle, in which it was very difficult to keep a lookout. As daylight broke, the wagons of the ill-fated force could be clearly seen in the distance against the sky. On arrival there was the camp, the oxen in spanned in the wagons, the horses at their picket post, the Officers Mess and their baggage, the Quartermaster's Stores and supplies, and officers and men lying about in their uniforms-dead-but singularly lifelike, as from the state of the climate the bodies had only dried. Many were recognizable. They had not been mutilated. Birds and beasts did not seem to have molested them, and the Zulus had removed nothing but arms and ammunition, and part of the canvas of tents." With such light tools as we had, we buried some of the bodies, Colonel Durnford among them, and, having brought every spare horse and tackle procurable, dragged about 40 wagons back to Rorke's Drift."
The 1st King Dragoon Guards were ordered to stay at Rorke's Drift and provide escort duty to keep the lines-of communication to Chelmsford open. On 1 June, the 17th Lancers and a four Troops of he KDG (186 all ranks) composed the cavalry brigade on the march to Ulundi. On that day the French Prince Imperial (Son of Napolean III) was killed, and early next morning, Major Marter and his Squadron, with some of the 17th Lancers, was sent out to find his body. It was on the 2 June that "D' and "H' troops of the KDGs discovered the remains of the Prince Imperial at the Ityotosi River. One troop escorted the body, covered with a blanket and on a bier made up of lances, to the camp on Itelezi Hill.
Pvt. Hudson's service papers indicate that he was with "D" troop at the time of his discharge
The detachment of the KDG Troops and the 17th Lancers were engaged in the Battle of Ulundi where they charged and annihilated the fleeing Zulus at the end of the battle.