WWW.1879ZULUWAR.COM

Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command. Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  PublicationsPublications  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  
Latest topics
» Service of Re - dedication of the grave of Lt Col FV Northey.
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:43 pm by Herbie

» They fell like stones
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:11 am by 90th

» Mansel letter?
Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:13 pm by Drummer Boy 14

» Braves mens blood
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:36 pm by 90th

» The Battle of Isandlwana
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:26 pm by xhosa2000

» redcoats with Durnford
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:50 am by 90th

» Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies
Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:44 pm by ADMIN

» Lamaci, Natal
Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:49 pm by Mike Morley

» Shepstone's last stand
Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:44 pm by xhosa2000

» Hamers 'rocketeer'
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:27 pm by SRB1965

» Cairns east of Isandhlwana
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:48 pm by rusteze

» William Henry Orchard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:08 pm by Frank Allewell

» Lt Col Northey grave rededication
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:46 pm by John Young

» Captain Charles Lacon Harvey, 71st Regiment
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:43 pm by ADMIN

» South Africa 1877-79, 1 bar 1879 CAPT: C.W. MURRAY 61st FOOT;
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:21 pm by ADMIN

Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff
Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff: 2/60th KRRC-Zungwini,Hlobane, Khambula, Ulundi [Mac and Shad] Isandula Collection
Anglo-Zulu War 1879 - Dr David Rattray
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 
Rechercher Advanced Search
Top posters
90th
 
littlehand
 
Frank Allewell
 
ADMIN
 
Chelmsfordthescapegoat
 
John
 
Mr M. Cooper
 
1879graves
 
impi
 
rusteze
 
Fair Use Notice
Fair use notice. This website may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorised by the copyright owner. We are making such material and images are available in our efforts to advance the understanding of the “Anglo Zulu War of 1879. For educational & recreational purposes. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material, as provided for in UK copyright law. The information is purely for educational and research purposes only. No profit is made from any part of this website. If you hold the copyright on any material on the site, or material refers to you, and you would like it to be removed, please let us know and we will work with you to reach a resolution.
Top posting users this month
ADMIN
 
Frank Allewell
 
rusteze
 
xhosa2000
 
SRB1965
 
90th
 
John Young
 
Drummer Boy 14
 
ymob
 
Julian Whybra
 
Most active topics
Isandlwana, Last Stands
Pte David Jenkins. 'Forgotten' Survivor of Rorke's Drift Returned to Official Records
Durnford was he capable.5
Durnford was he capable.1
Durnford was he capable. 3
Durnford was he capable.2
Durnford was he capable. 4
The ammunition question
Pte David Jenkins. 'Forgotten' Survivor of Rorke's Drift Returned to Official Records
The missing five hours.

Share | 
 

 Zulu war veteran's heroic tale uncovered by relative

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
24th

avatar

Posts : 1838
Join date : 2009-03-25

PostSubject: Zulu war veteran's heroic tale uncovered by relative   Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:10 pm

THE heroic background of a soldier buried in an unmarked grave in Highgate Cemetery has been unearthed by his granddaughter's husband.

John Roker has painstakingly researched the life of Thomas Lewis and found that he was one of the few to survive the siege of Rorke's Drift in 1879.

Bombardier Thomas Lewis of the N Battery 5th Brigade Royal Artillery escaped death at the battle immortalised in the 1964 film Zulu starring Sir Michael Caine.

Mr Roker, who lives in Gloucestershire, said: "My research started nearly two years ago. My late mother-in-law Gladys Blackwell always maintained her father fought at the defence of Rorke's Drift.

"To my shame, I did not pursue this while she was alive. My knowledge then was confined to watching the film Zulu which I now know to be historically inaccurate.

"I believed, again to my shame, that the research would take only a few hours, I would prove it was a load of rubbish and still be in time for a pint and a pipe in the village pub."

But Mr Roker found there was certainly more than a grain of truth in his mother-in-law's stories and that his wife's grandfather was a "brave and gallant soldier, who while an ordinary man, led a most eventful life".

Born in Brecon, Wales, Thomas Lewis joined the Royal Artillery in 1874 and was dispatched to South Africa in 1878. After being injured when a wagon fell on him, he was taken to Rorke's Drift, a supply station and makeshift field hospital. On the morning of January 22, 1879, Rorke's Drift became the stuff of legend when 150 soldiers successfully defended it against some 4,000 Zulus.

In 1882, Bombardier Lewis met Queen Victoria and was also awarded the South Africa Medal with Zulu Wars Clasp.

He left the army around 1885 and later came to London, where he worked as a horse tram driver. He and Annie Price had six children and the family lived in several places, including Despard Road and Highgate Hill. In August 1910, Thomas developed appendicitis and was taken to The London Hospital in Whitechapel.

After studying his post mortem notes, Mr Roker said: "They left a swab inside him after one of his three operations.

"Thus after surviving the horrors of Rorke's Drift and Victorian working class society, Thomas's demise was at least hastened by the negligence of his surgeon."

With the help of staff at Highgate Cemetery, Mr Roker located his relative's grave.

Simon Moore-Martin, manager of Highgate Cemetery said: "He's buried in a common grave so there's likely to be more than one person buried there. It's not visible from the path so we cannot include it in the tour but it could be mentioned."

He added: "Mr Roker has spent a long time researching the truth and we are very pleased for him.

See Pictorial catalogue of AZW graves
Back to top Go down
 
Zulu war veteran's heroic tale uncovered by relative
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
WWW.1879ZULUWAR.COM  :: GENEALOGY-
Jump to: