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British 24th Foot Cheering, No.1, 1879
A cry of “Huzzah for the company!” rings loud after a desperate struggle against a determined foe vanquished. The origin of the exclamation “huzzah” is not certain, but was probably influenced by war cries from various languages including Norse, Dutch, Russian, and Prussian. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was identified as a sailor’s cheer or salute, possibly related to words like heeze and hissa, which are cognates of hoist. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, three huzzahs were given by British infantry before a bayonet charge, as a way of building morale. In Richard Holmes’ book Redcoat: The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket he indicates that two short huzzahs, followed by a third sustained one, were sounded as the charge was carried out.
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