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 The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879

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tasker224

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PostSubject: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:28 pm

"Of the 122 soldiers of the 24th Regiment present at the Battle of Rorke's Drift, 49 are known to have been of English nationality, 32 were Welsh, 16 were Irish, 1 was a Scot, and 3 were born overseas. The nationalities of the remaining 21 are unknown."

Further to this, according to Norman Holme, only 4 of these men were from the county of Warwickshire itself.

(Source: Norman Holme (1999) The Noble 24th p. 383)

Could this eventual lack of association with the county of Warwickshire be the reason why the name of this noble regiment was changed away from "Warwickshire" in 1881 to one more relevent to the make up of its personnel?
Already it seems, by 1879, the relevence of the name "Warwickshire" in the title of the regiment seems to have become somewhat reduced.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:48 pm

Tasker
Now, this post is a tad better than, "Was Lord Chelmsford a psycopath!" You've taken my advice. I doubt if this one will get binned by admin!
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:21 pm

Hi All

Quote :
The nationalities of the remaining 21 are unknown.

Does anyone or can anyone give me the names of the above Question

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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:34 pm

Here are the 122 names but which are the 21 names of the unknown nationalities scratch

25B/987 Private Robert Adams D Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1240 Corporal William Wilson Allen (or Allan) B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/913 Private James Ashton B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
B/1381 Private Thomas Barry B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/135. Private William Beckett 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/918 Private William Bennett. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1287 Private William Bessell B Coy 2nd Battn 24th Regiment.
2/24/2427 Private John Bly B Coy. 2nd Battalion. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2459 B Coy. Col.- Sergeant Frank Bourne. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1524 Private Joseph Bromwich. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1184 Private Thomas Buckley B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1220 Private Thomas Burke. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2350 Private Thomas Bushe B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1181 Private William Camp B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1241 Private Thomas Chester B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1335 Private James Chick. D Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/755 Private Thomas Clayton B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1459 Private Robert Cole F Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/801 Private Thomas Cole B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1396 Private Thomas Collins B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/906 Private John Connolly. C Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2310 Private Anthony Connors. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
2/24/1323 Private Timothy Connors. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
2/24/2453 Private William Cooper F Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/470 Private George Davies. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1363 Private William Henry Davis. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1178 Private Thomas Daw. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1467 Private George Deacon B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B1357 Private Michael Deane. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/568 Private Patrick Desmond. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1697 Private James Dick. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
2/24/1634 Private William Dicks. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/971 Private Thomas Driscoll. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B1421 Private James Dunbar. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/922 Private George Edwards B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/953 Private Frederick Evans. H Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/969 Private John Fagan. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
2/24/582 Corporal George French. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
2/24/1713 Drummer Patrick Galgey. D Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25/B81 Sergeant Henry Gallagher. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2429 Private Edward Gee B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/978 Private James Hagan. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1282 L/Corporal William Halley.. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25b/1062 Private John Harris. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1769 Private Garret Hayden D Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2067 Drummer Patrick Hayes B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1362 Private Frederick Hitch. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1373 Private Alfred Henry Hook. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
1/24/1861 Private William Horrigan. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1061 Private John Jobbins. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/841 Private James Jenkins. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1428 Private Evan Jones. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1179 Private John Jones B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B970 Private John Jones., B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/716 Private Robert Jones. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/593 Private William Jones. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24 2437 Private Peter Judge, B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/972 Private Patrick Kears. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2381 Drummer James Keefe. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2389 Corporal John Key. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1386 Private Michael Kiley. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/963 Private David Lewis B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1528 Private Henry Lines. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1409 Private David Lloyd. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1176 Private Thomas Lockhart. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1304 Private Joshua Lodge. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/942 Private Thomas M. Lynch. B.Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1112 Corporal John Lyons. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1441 Private John Lyons A. Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1731 Private John Manley. A Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/964 Private James Marshall. B.Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/756 Private Henry Martin. B Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1284 Private Charles Mason. B.Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25b/623 Sergeant Robert Maxfield. G Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2383 Drummer John Meehan. A.Coy. 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1527 Private Michael Minehan. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/968 Private Thomas Moffatt. B.Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1342 Private Augustus Morris. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/525 Private Frederick Morris. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B1371 Private Thomas Morrison. BCoy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/662 Private John Murphy. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1279 Private William Neville. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25b/625 Private Edward Nicholas. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1257 Private Robert Norris B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1480 Private William Osborne. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1399 Private Samuel Parry. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1410 Private William Partridge. G Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/372 Private Thomas Payton 1st Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1186 Private Samuel Pitt. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1286 Private Edward Robinson. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
1/24/1542 Private William Roy. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment
25B1065 Private James Ruck. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1185. Private Edward Savage. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/849 Corporal Alfred Saxty. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
25B/1051 Private John Scanlon. A Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/2404 Private Arthur Sears. A Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1618 Private George Shearman. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment
2/24/914 Private John Shergold. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1387 Sergeant George Smith. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment..
25B/1005 Private John Smith. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/777 Private Thomas Stevens. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/1812 Private William Tasker. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B973 Private Frederick Taylor. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/82 L/Sergeant James Taylor. E.Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/889 Private Thomas E. Taylor B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1280 Private John Thomas. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1394 Private John Thompson. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/641 Private Michael Tobin. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/641 Private Patrick Tobin. BCoy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B1281 Private William J. Todd. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1315 Private Robert Tongue. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/104 Private Henry Turner. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1497 Private John Wall. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
1/24/1542 Private John Waters. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/977 Private Alfred Whetton. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B1187 PrivateWilliam Wilcox. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1395 Private John Williams. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/934 Private John Williams. E Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1398 Private Joseph Williams. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1328 L/Sergeant Thomas Williams. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/56 Sergeant Edward Wilson. 1st Battn. 24th Regiment.
2/24/735 Sergeant Joseph Windridge. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
25B/1316 Private Caleb Wood. B Coy 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment.
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:12 pm

Hi Graves
i am starting to sort out my kit as I'm off to the beaks this weekend - damn this weather, starting to feel too old for this!
i will definitely aim to do some cross referencing next week with the Noble 24th against your list of RD defenders to see if i can figure out an answer to your query.
cheers
Tasker
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:21 pm

Hi Tasker

Look forward to your results next week. Idea

Have a good trip and wrap up warm, try not to get too wet !! :lol!:
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90th

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PostSubject: The Welsh Soldiers and others at RD 1879.   Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:27 pm

Hi All.
I think I may have a book that breaks the list down , I'll have a look in the next day or so .
cheers 90th. 😕
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:01 am

Norman Holme in his book 'The Silver Wreath' gives the following Welshmen at Rorke's Drift.

Breconshire 1
Glamorgan 3
Monmouthshire 5
Pembrokeshire 1

TOTAL = 10

The re-naming of the regiment had nothing whatsoever to do with where the men came from.

This was done by the government of the day when they reorganised the army (yet again) in 1881. The government had already reorganised the army in 1873, when they divided the army into districts and subdistricts, and insisted that brigade depots be established in each district. The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, notwithstanding its historic Warwickshire associations, found itself attached to the 25th subdistrict, which encompassed the counties of Cardigan, Radnor, Brecon, and Monmouth. However, by the beginning of the Anglo-Zulu campaign in January 1879 neither battalion of the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment had spent time in Brecon.

In 1881 the government again got involved and more reforms were carried out. The old regimental numbers were discontinued and new local titles were allocated, so the REAL Noble 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment were forced to change their proud and historic name, and at the same time in 1881, they were ordered to change their regimental march of 'The Warwickshire Lad' to 'Men of Harlech'. So in all instances the 24th had their depot moved, had their name changed, and had their march changed by the government of the day, not of their own accord.

I think that someone in the government at the time must have had a brain storm, the 24th was raised in England for the defence of England, it had an English county title, but was moved to the Wales. Yet the 43rd Monmouthshire regiment was moved to England and became part of the Ox and Buck's, does this make any sense????

I think someone should have had their backside booted for doing a stupid thing like that, it just doesn't make sense. scratch

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90th

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PostSubject: The Welsh Soldiers and others at RD 1879.   Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:10 am

Hi all.
I thought I'd seen a breakdown list of where the soldiers were from but I looked through Julian's England's Son's and Rorkes Drift
by Those who were there and unfortunately not a list .
cheers 90th. 😕
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bill cainan



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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:41 am

Hi All

It never ceases to amaze me how some people have become totally fixated by the number of Welshmen at Rorke’s Drift.

The plain answer is that we don’t know and never will know !

It all comes down to definition and record keeping.

What defines a nationality ? Is it where a person is born; is it where the person’s father was born ?; is it where he lives ?; is it where he works ?; is it where he “feels” he is from?; is it where the soldier enlists ?; etc, etc. To get a definitive answer you would have to apply the same criteria to EACH individual, and quite frankly the information to do that is just not available. So, just because a soldier says he’s from Merthyr Tydfil, is not proof that he was Welsh !! Nor because he’s called Jones, or Evans, etc. And how accurate are the enlistment records ? The documentation may well have been done by someone who was not a Welsh speaker, and it is much easier for a “Sais” (Englishman) to write down and spell, for example, “Monmouth” rather than “Pontllanfraith”

All previous attempts to ascribe nationalities to the defenders of Rorke’s Drift tend to mix the criteria, and can thus not said to be definitive.

I think all we can say for certainty is that, because the 24th’s Regimental Depot had been in Brecon since 1873,.and the fact that the Regiment had been given the counties of Cardigan, Radnor, Brecon, and Monmouth for recruiting, then the 24th Regiment would have contained a higher proportion of Welshmen than most other British Regiments (excepting of course the 23rd and 41st Regiments).

Bill
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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:21 pm

Hi Bill and all

I think tasker is trying to make more of this than needs be. In his attempt to show that there were more Welshmen at Rorke's Drift, he is quoting from 'The Noble 24th' by Norman Holme, but what he isn't telling you is that the figures he quotes are not where the men where born, but where they enlisted, a bit of a cunning ploy what? Read appendix 7 on page 383.

Yes, the 24th's depot had been moved to Brecon by the government in 1873, but both battalions of the regiment had never been there when the Zulu war started in 1879, and both battalions consisted of long term service men, meaning that it would have been well after Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift before newly trained recruits would have started to filter through to the ranks.

No matter which way people like to think about all this, the truth is that Stanley Baker and the 1964 film 'Zulu' tried to alter historical facts, and make it appear that the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, was a Welsh regiment, which it was not, they said that it was full of Welshmen with a few forigners from England, which it was not, they implied that the regimental song was 'men of harlech. which it was not, it was actaully 'The Warwickshire Lad', they said it was called the SWB which it was not, it was called the 2nd Warwickshire regiment, they tried to imply that most V.C's went to Welshmen, which they did not. Stanley Baker appears to have had score to settle with the English, he did his best to make things appear so very Welsh, yet ironically he played an Englishman Lt Chard (because he wanted to play the part of the supposed hero), how two faced can some people get?

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bill cainan



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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:23 pm

Martin

You state above: “both battalions consisted of long term service men, meaning that it would have been well after Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift before newly trained recruits would have started to filter through to the ranks” . What is your source for this, Martin ?

I would question this as a fact. In 1870 the Army Enlistment Act reduced the amount of time spent with the colours from 12 to 6 years. Let’s say there were 1700 men serving with the two battalions of the 24th in 1870. On average, one twelfth of these men would leave (being time served) each year from 1870. So by 1879, over a period of 9 years, some 1270 “long service” men would have been replaced by 1270 “short service” men. Thus in 1879, 74% of both battalions would in fact be “short service” men and nearly 850 of these (that is, about 50% of the men serving in 1879) would have done their training at Brecon !!!! These are of course mathematical average figures – the actual figures could be gleaned by going through the enlistment details of each of the men who served in the 24th from 1870 to 1879, but they are not going to produce substantially different figures.

There is no doubt that Stanley Baker, as a proud Welshmen, certainly wanted to emphasise, and indeed over emphasise, any Welsh involvement in this battle. Bit, how much did he actually alter historical facts ? I would refer you to Sheldon Hall’s epic “Zulu – With Some Guts Behind It” pages 37 to 39 under the sub-title “Wales Prevails”. Sheldon makes some interesting points:
• Of the principle characters only 5 (Owen, Thomas, Williams 612, and the two Jones’) are portrayed as Welsh.
• No officers or NCOs are portrayed as Welsh
• NONE of the characters mention the County title of the Regiment during the film.
• Only Richard Burton’s voice over in the closing scene mentions the South Wales Borderers.
• In the original article by John Prebble, on which the film script was based, the Regiment is only identified once as the Borderers, in a footnote. Apart from that it is identified throughout as "the 24th".
• The draft script only called for the men to sing an “old Welsh march”. Men of Harlech was not originally specified. However, there is no doubt that the choice of Men of Harlech provided an emotive moment in the film. I don't think singing "The Warwickshire Lad" would have had quite the same impact !

Finally, on page 346 Sheldon sums it up nicely – “The film is faithful only to the broad general outlines and basic sequence of events of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. Many details, including all the characterisations, were wholly invented and many incidents embellished and fictionalised for dramatic effect.”

So, there you are – it WASN’T a documentary !!!!!


Bill
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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:21 pm

Hi Bill

If you have got a copy of Ian Knights book 'Companion to the Anglo-Zulu War' take a look at page 222 under the heading 'Wales and the Zulu war', this will explain what you refer to.

Yes, I know that the film was not a documentary, but it's through the efforts of Stanley Baker and this almost fictional film, that many uninitiated people believe that the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment was actually a Welsh regiment called the SWB. If enough of these uninitiated people swollow this myth and believe it as fact, then eventually the truth gets hidden behind the myth and history itself gets altered, but it is when people start to ask questions that the myth starts to get exposed, and the truth begins to emerge, and in history all one is owed is the truth.

You are right that Sheldon summed it up nicely, he more or less admitted that it was almost all a load of fiction.

Regards.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:51 pm

Hi,

For what it's worth, my father showed me a letter written to the telegraph newspaper about 20 years ago where the writer suggested the Irish had made up near on a third of the defenders, some here may have seen it?
His letter specifically addressed the 'myth' as he put it, that it was a welsh affair.
I will ask if he has it as he had cut it out to show me when I visited him and I recall asking to see it some years later and he had it in a drawer, if he hasn't thrown it, I will endeavour to find it.
In surviving written records of attestation, where no nationality is listed, might there be a record of where the men may have previously served ie: county militias?

Cheers

Matt
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bill cainan



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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:18 pm

Martin

Thank you for referring me to Ian Knight's book, but I'm not sure why you have done so ? YOU stated “BOTH battalions consisted of long term service men, meaning that it would have been well after Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift before newly trained recruits would have started to filter through to the ranks” and have now referred me to Ian's book as your source. However, with respect, Ian, in his book on Page 222, does NOT say this, what he actually says is that the 1st Battalion contained a high proportion of "long service" men and the 2nd Battalion contained a high proportion of "short service" men. Mis-reading/mis-quoting Ian does not really strengthen your case !!! As you are probably aware, under the two-battalion system, it was common place for the home battalion to exchange more experienced men with the overseas battalion. The 2/24th did not go to South Africa until 1878, while the 1/24th had been there nearly four years. However, the overall position in the regiment would, I suggest, be as I've described above - is there a flaw in either my logic or my mathematics ?. Perhaps you would like to come to Brecon and go through the records of the 1,000+ men to check this out ? Indeed researching primary source material would probably give you a greater perspective on this point.

And, Sheldon Hall did NOT say the film "Zulu" "was almost all a load of fiction". As I quoted below, he actually said "The film is faithful only to the broad general outlines and basic sequence of events of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift". It is surely the fact that it has been "faithful .... to the broad general outlines and basic sequence of events" that is the most important point and not that Richard Burton makes ONE incorrect reference to the Regiment's title ? I note you have chosen to ignore the (what I thought were) valid points raised by Sheldon ! If it was not for the film "Zulu" the AZW would undoubtedly still be a little known colonial war, and this website probably would not exist. Nor would be having this exchange of opinion !

With respect Simon, you appear to be very selective in what you read and how you intepret it. Whereas I can admire your defence of the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment, I would sincerely ask if needs defending ? The 24th Regiment has evolved through a number of titles and location, but remained the SAME Regiment with its traditions and heritage loyally passed on to each succeeding generation. Even today, B Company of 2 Royal Welsh is known as Rorke's Drift Company. What finer epitath could there be for the defenders of Rorke's Drift to know that their sterling defence is kept alive in this way ?

Despite the fact you are adamant that you are not anti-Welsh, I do wonder !!!!!!!

Looking forward to your visit to Brecon.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:36 pm

Anyone with a decent knowledge of the Zulu War should know that the 1st Battalion contained mainly 'long service' men, and the 2nd Battalion, 'short service' men. I think some members on this forum deliberately throw-in the odd known-mistake just to get a response!! I fell for it!!
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:03 pm

The 1st battalion, 24th regiment, spent much of the 1870's in Mediterranean garrisons - Malta and Gibraltar - before being despatched directly to South Africa in November 1874. The 2nd battalion was based in Aldershot in 1874, Dover from August 1875 and Chatham from 1877 prior to its departure for the Cape in February 1878. Throughout that time both battalions continued to receive recruits through the efforts of recruiting sergeants ACCROSS THE COUNTRY, although there had been a SLIGHT increase in recruits from the area covered by the district depot as a result of its association with the local malitia.
By the beginning of the Anglo-Zulu campaign in January 1879 NEITHER battalion had spent time in Brecon. The 1st battalion, moreover, still contained a high proportion of older, experienced men woh had joined under the 'long service' system that had prevailed BEFORE the establishment of the Brecon depot. The recent time spent at home by the 2nd battalion was reflected in a higher proportion of young recruits who had joined under the 'short service' system. Since the 1st battalion had been at the Cape, a number of men had left it on the expiry of their term of enlistment, and had been replaced by drafts from home; despite this, any MARGINAL increase in the Welsh character of the regiment had fallen rather to the 2nd battalion. In fact, however, where records are available - and they are not always complete or reliable - they suggest there were VERY FEW Welshmen in either battalion during the war. Of the men of the 2/24 who defended Rorke's Drift (B company, together with a handful of patients in the hospital) whose regional origins are known with any certainty, 62 were from England (including 5 from Monmouthshire), 25 were from Ireland and 17 from Wales.

As the figures suggest, both battalions of the 24th LARGELY reflected the general pattern of regional origins within the British Army at the time; the MAJORITY of them were English, many of them were Irish, and SOME were Scottish and Welsh.

Following the destruction of the1/24trh at Isandlwana replacements were hurried out from drafts appointed from no fewer then eleven line battalions of very mixed origins. The 24th's lasting associations with Wales TRULY DATE FROM a new wave of army reorganisation instituted in APRIL 1881 when the old regimental numbers were discontinued and new local titles allocated. (Source Ian Knight)

Reading this, it would appear that both battalions did contain a high proportion of long term service men, more so in the 1st battalion than the 2nd, but that the 2nd battalion had a higher proportion of short term service men due to them being based at home before departure for South Africa, and it does state that it would only have been a marginal increase, and that there were very few Welshmen in EITHER battalion during the war. It also says that after the destruction of the 1/24th at Isandlwana, that replacements were hurried from no fewer than eleven line battalions of very mixed origins, this would appear that the choice of men to replace the loses to the 1/24th's ranks would have been chosen from experienced men from those eleven battalions, rather than selecting raw recruits fresh from their training depots, therefor, would that not mean that raw recruits would only trickle their way into the battalions?

I have not got Sheldon Halls book, so I cannot read it for reference, however, I do note that you say that Sheldon said, "The film is faithful ONLY to the broad general outlines and BASIC sequence of events of the battle of Rorke's Dift. MANY details, including ALL the characterisations, were wholly INVENTED and MANY incidents EMBELLISHED and FICTIONALISED for dramitic effect. You also said that the draft script called for the men to sing an "old Welsh march", One could ask WHY???? Was this not to give the impression that the 24th regiment was Welsh?

The bottom line is this. The film made it appear that the 24th was Welsh, it was not, it also made it appear that the regiment contained more Welshmen than the few 'forigners from England', it did not, it gave the impression that the 24th was very much a Welsh regiment by singing 'Men of Harlech', which was not the regimental song of the 24th at the time, and this never happened anyway, it made it appear that most V.C's went to Welshmen, they did not, it did state that the regiment was called the SWB, even if it was Richard Burton saying it at the end of the film, the name of the regiment was given has being the SWB, which it was not.

The film created a myth that the general public still believe to be fact, and as I said, if myths are allowed to replace facts, then eventually history itself gets altered. When some people talk about the 24th being a Welsh regiment during the Zulu war, others reply saying that it was not, and to prove this, they go into details about how many Welshmen were actually there at the time, and what was the real name of the regiment, etc, so by saying that the regiment only had a few Welshmen in it, does not mean to say that those people are in any way, shape, or form, anti Welsh, they are just making the point that the regiment was not a Welsh regiment, and that the real name of the 24th regiment that fought at both Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift was in fact the 2nd Warwickshire regiment and not the SWB.

By the way Bill, have you noticed who started off this topic?


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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:51 pm

Because I missed out the word "mainly" in my earlier post, does not mean that I was 'deliberately throwing in the odd known mistake just to get a response'
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PostSubject: XXIV - Second Warwickshire   Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:37 pm

This again from Queen's Regs 1873, under the title Precedence And Distinctions Of Corps :- Numerical And Regimental Title - XXIV; County Title - Second Warwickshire; Badge - Egypt with the Sphinx; Uniform - Red; Facings - Grass Green.

If this is what is actually written in the Queen's Regs, wouldn't it then be the accepted definition used to describe the 24th at Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift ?


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PostSubject: XXIV - Second Warwickshire   Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:04 pm

Hi Kable

Spot on mate.

The correct title of the regiment that fought at both Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879 was

'The 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment of foot'



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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:12 pm

I'll go with that. Simple Black & White
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:10 pm

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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:51 pm

Hi LH

Yes, I am afraid that this sort of stuff is typical propaganda put out by sites like the RRW. I don't know why they do it when they know most of it to be false, and other bits embellished to give a better impression. Notice it says "The reason for the choice of Warwickshire is not known", but they don't actually give any reason why a regiment with an English county title is moved to the south Wales borders, yet a regiment with a south Wales border title (Monmouthshire), is moved to England. They also say that the scheme failed for the 24th, this is rubbish, where is their proof for this statement? and they say it was GIVEN a perminent depot in Brecon (as if it were a gift), but what they don't tell you is that it was forced by government meddling to move there. They also say a large number of young men from Wales served in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, notice they say in the AZW not the 24th, however, they do seem to be implying that these men served in the 24th. They also got it wrong about men born in Warwickshire who fought at Rorke's Drift, there was more than two. I would suggest that this sort of propaganda is just trying to make things appear different than they actually were, and that it should be treat with the contempt it deserves.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:15 pm

Martin

To answer your question - in the 18th Century most of the recruits for the army came from an agricultural background, hence the location of two regiments in Warwickshire, which is essentially rural. In the 19th Century (particularly in the latter half of the century) there was a significant change in that most recruits were by then unskilled industrial labourers. Regimental depots were thus moved (unwllingly ???? - do you have any evidence to support this view ?) to areas where industrial labourers could be recruited - like the South Wales borders with its developing iron, steel and coal industries. Perhaps you would allow me to refer you to the excellent books on the late Victorian army by Spiers and Skelley.

I must obviously take issue with your statement that "typical propaganda put out by sites like the RRW ........should be treat with the contempt it deserves". It is the RRW (and of course its successor The Royal Welsh) that keeps alive the glorious tradition and heritage of the 24th. You clearly do not (or do not wish to) understand the development of the British Army
over the centuries, but that is no excuse for condemning a fine regiment, or its web site.

You have a viewpoint, and I respect that, however, your constant repetition does your cause no favours - particularly on a site like this, where virtually everyone knows the position of the 24th during the AZW. I also find it disconcerting that when I do try to point you towards source material, you just ignore it, especially if it doesn't fit with your views ! eg I have suggested you come to Brecon and look through the individual records of men of the 24th from 1873 to 1881 to clarify the issue of 12/6 year enlistments.

I am also getting more and more concerned by your clear anti-Welsh/pro-English bias. Being English myself, I have no axe to grind on this isue ! But what have the Welsh done to you ?. Could it be in medieaval days a Welsh raiding party may have crossed the border and damaged some property of your ancestors ? !!!!!!!!!

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:11 pm

For Martin

I have done some statistical analysis of the NCOs and Men of the 24th who were at Rorke's Drift 22-23 Jan 1879 to determine who were 12 year enlistments, who were 6 year enlistments and who would have undergone recruit training at the Depot at Brecon (from 1873 onwards):

1/24th
Present at Rorke's Drift 10 x NCOs & men
12 year men 2 (20%)
6 year men 8 (80%)
Trained at Brecon 7 (70%)

2/24th
Present at Rorke's Drift 112 x NCOs & men
12 year men 20 (18%)
6 year men 92 (82%)
Trained at Brecon 84 (75%)

This analysis was essentially done on one company (B Company) of the 2/24th (12% of the 1st Battalion, and 6% of the Regiment). I have no reason to doubt the other companies would produce different statistics. If I can find the time, I will have a look at this on a battalion basis, particularly looking at the 1st Battalion.

Bill
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PostSubject: The Welsh Soldiers and others at RD 1879.   Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:20 pm

Hi Bill .
Thanks for taking the trouble to post those statistics , much appreciated .
cheers 90th. 😕
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:00 am

I feel I have to involve myself in this. The point surely is that the particular regt involved in the Zulu War was the 24th Regt of Foot , a Warwickshire regt! To say anything else is untrue. It doesn't matter about the ethnic origin of the soldiers involved, that was how it was. It is a massive problem with films, they take libertys with the truth and then say 'Oh it's only a film, not a documentary.' People believe what they see on the screen and so often it is not true. That cannot be a good thing. I don't see that it can be acceptable to change the historical truth to make a film - surely you can weave a storyline around what actually happened. I do feel very strongly on this issue. Neil
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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:36 pm

Bill

It does appear that you are not reading my posts properly, if you were, then you would see that I have given the evidence and source regarding the move to Brecon. I was not condemning the regiment nor its website, I was making a point about how the write up was worded, and I never said anything about the RRW or the RW keeping up the traditions, it is you that is trying to make it appear that way. I have explained that I do not have the books that you refer to for source material, so I am not ignoring it, how can I read something that I haven't got? You now seem to be getting rather personal with your accusations suggesting that I am anti Welsh, I have explained that I have nothing whatsoever against the Welsh, indeed, I have Welsh ancestors, Welsh relatives, and yes, I do have Welsh friends. You give statistics about the numbers of men that were trained at Brecon, but because they were trained at Brecon does not make them Welsh, neither does were they attested or enlisted. My bone of contention in this, is, and always will be, the fact that through the efforts of Stanley Baker and the 1964 film 'Zulu', that the general public has been led to believe that the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment was a Welsh regiment with the name of The South Wales Borderers, thus creating a myth, and through this misrepresentation, people still believe this to be fact when it is nothing more than a myth, and the way that the write up was worded did not do anything to dispel this myth.

I wonder how you would answer the following questions regarding the 24th regiment.
Was it raised in England?
Was it founded as part of William of Orange's defence of the English Kingdom?
Was it later given the English County title of the 2nd Warwickshire regiment?
Is Warwickshire in England?
Would you therefor say that it was an English regiment?
Was it called the 2nd Warwickshire regiment during the AZW?
Was it a Welsh regiment during the AZW?
Were there more Welshmen than Englishmen at Rorke's Drift?
Why did characters in the film say that the 24th was a Welsh regiment?
Why did they sing 'Men of Harlech' if it was not to add to the impression that it was a Welsh regiment?
Why did Richard Burton say that the regiment was called the SWB?
Was all this done to give people the impression that the 24th regiment was Welsh?

WHY?

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PostSubject: The Welsh soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:44 pm

Hi Neil

Well done, you have hit the nail on the head with that post.

I wonder how many more people feel the same way?

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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:55 pm

The 24th Regiment was a British regiment. Full stop.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:00 pm

Glad to help. This should confirm the fact with it being a reliable source, so there is no way of questioning its authenticity. XXIV - Second Warwickshire, present at both Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift.


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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:10 pm

Stanley baker could of made 'Zulu' a very good film. He twisted the facts to such an extent that he must've been anti-English!!!! I recently saw a documentary on the Royal Welsh Regiment. They all seem to be fixated by their glorious past. Pity they don't know the truth!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:32 pm

Origins and Production

"At this point, we would do well to examine the personalities of those involved in Zulu's creation. John Prebble was a Scottish historian with over twenty books to his credit, his most famous works being Culloden (1964) and The Highland Clearances (1963). Prebble's leftist political leanings are made quite clear in his own autobiography: "The passion we felt made me, like others, members of the British Communist Party" (Prebble, 1993: 14). In The Highland Clearances, Prebble sheds more light on his own particular leftist ideological philosophy, clearly influenced by English imperialism in his beloved Scotland (Prebble, 1969: 323).

Stanley Baker co-produced Zulu and starred as Lt. John Chard, an officer with a non-aristocratic background who would take practical command of the troops during the battle (Wetta and Curley, 1992: 169). Baker was sympathetic to Welsh causes and had previously collaborated with Endfield in the film Hell Drivers (1957).  He was an easy convert to Endfield's project when he learned that it would depict the battle of a regiment based out of his native Wales. With a tiny budget of two million dollars, Baker set out to produce his film on-site in Natal.

Cyril Raker Endfield was the director and co-producer of Zulu; he became involved with the Zulu project during his exile in England. He was best known for the crime drama/thriller The Sound of Fury (1951), a motion picture that was highly critical of the "American Dream" (Booker, 1999: 181). Endfield also wrote and directed a 1948 radio play, The Argyle Secrets, which blurred the lines between democratic America and fascist Germany with a commentary on class and race relations (Langman, 1995: 297). Later, he was blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) for his membership in Yale's Young Communist League during World War II, pronounced-leftist bias in various films, such as the wartime film Inflation (1942), and refusing to name other Hollywood communists.

Ethnic Groups

A few very different ethnic groups met at Rorke's Drift in 1879, and the film gave all but one an equitable treatment. The English in the film are represented most prominently in the film by Bromhead's swaggering aristocratic character, and not by the bravery of the mostly English troops that he historically commanded. The fact that the defenders at Rorke's Drift were mostly English was glossed over by the film: "This is a Welsh regiment man, although there are a few foreigners from England in it." In fact, the composition of 'B' company, 24th Regiment, although later based out of Wales, actually contained only a small minority of Welsh defenders in 1879. The most genuinely kind character in the film also happens to be Welsh, a private named Tommy who constantly worries about the fate of a calf whose mother had died [1] (Morris, 1994: 99). Additionally, at the real battle, a missionary stood watch on a nearby hill as a sentry to warn of the Zulu's approach. However, once again the film makes a slight, yet telling departure from reality, by replacing the religious figure with two Welsh sentries. In one fell swoop, religion finds itself marginalized and the Welsh are lionized as the outpost's first line of defense. Baker was Welsh by birth and Prebble had been stationed in North Wales during much of the Second World War (to say nothing of the suffering of Baker's Welsh ancestors at the hands of the English) and so it seems fair to attribute the film's pro-Welsh tone largely to its producers (Prebble, 1993: 47).

Anti-Clerical Themes

Scholars have noted a glaring irregularity in the film's treatment of religion:"There was a clergyman, the Reverend George Smith, among the defenders; he distinguished himself but is not in the film" (Frase, 1999: 267). Instead of depicting the Reverend's historic role in the battle, Endfield and Prebble choose to insert a fictional drunken coward and his hapless daughter. The film makes its stance on the impracticality of formal religion explicit when the church is requisitioned for use as a field hospital and the alter taken to be used in the construction of the outpost's defenses. When reproached by the Reverend Otto Witt for these actions; Color-Sergeant Bourne (Nigel Greene) retorts, "A prayer is as good as a bayonet on a day like this," further marginalizing religion. Later in the film, it is the Reverend who incites the native contingent to desert the outpost by preaching of "Cain killing his brother Able" as a metaphor for them killing fellow Africans. After he is jailed for this offense, he attempts to convince the young soldier guarding him to desert: "Thou shall not kill…obey the word." While imprisoned, Witt succumbs to the temptation of drink and begins screaming: "He breaketh the bow and snappeth the spear asunder…" At this point the camera pans to Color-Sergeant Bourne manning the outpost's defenses, who finishes Witt's biblical quotation "The Lord of Hosts is with us." This clever bit of editing suggests religion's vulnerability to being interpreted in order to legitimatize a variety of actions. This scene is made all the more interesting by a passage from John Prebble's autobiography referencing the century prior to the action at Rorke's Drift: "In a century inspired, directed, and sometimes betrayed by the Old Testament, there was always divine authority to be cited for the destruction of those who were anathemas to Church or State" (Prebble, 1993: 171). As if religion had not already been marginalized enough by the character of Witt, as he is forced into a wagon and sent off with his daughter, he yells back in a drunken stupor: "Death awaits you…You're all going to die!" While the film gives credit to the camp's cook and a medical officer for distributing ammunition along the British lines, the Reverend actually performed this duty. The fact that the film's drunken missionary and all his actions were totally ahistorical, especially when so many other details were faithfully recreated, suggests that Prebble allowed his own anti-clerical feelings to distort the film's representation of the historical record for ideological reasons.

Conclusions

In the midst of this examination, one must not lose sight of the film's overt message: that all people from the British Isles could take pride in the awesome power of Imperial Great Britain during this period of history.  Still, the film's unified meaning initially eluded this author; how could the same film seemingly endorse imperialism while simultaneously promoting anti-religious and pro-indigenous nationalist messages? The correlation of several basic facts can be used to distill an explanation for the film's seemingly contradictory messages; Baker was something of a Welsh nationalist and Prebble sympathetic to Scottish causes. In addition, Prebble harbored anti-clerical feelings that could be traced back to his experiences while living with a Vicar:

It was the thought of that implacable church and its obvious disgust for me … I had learnt this day that God was…a cut above the class to which we belonged. That day, I think, the painter was loosed from its mooring and my faith began a slow drift into non-belief (Prebble 1993: 96).

Prebble was distressed by the wretched condition of the poor contrasted with the opulence of organized religion. More significantly, Prebble belonged to a generation of socialists tainted by the overly-nationalist ideas that smacked of Stalinist communism. Prebble himself remarked with approval on the shift of the Communist International from the mission of international socialism to Stalin's "socialism in one country" during the 1930s: "…'patriotic peoples nationalism'…here was an English history of which we could be proud, without the shame of industrial greed and imperial growth" (Prebble 1993: 18).  In Zulu, the producers did not intend the main theme to be the imperialist English triumphant against a colonized race. Instead it was meant to be the colonized Welsh and Scots, who having beaten off a religious threat from a Christian missionary, coming together in a common solidarity despite their national differences. Even the hospitalized anarchist-minded criminal who feigned illness fights alongside his comrades in the end. In order to make this point, the film portrayed the regiment as comprised of mainly Welsh and Scottish soldiers. Baker and Prebble must have envisioned the force at Rorke's Drift not as imperial conquerors, but more as gladiators, forced to fight a fellow colonized race by their imperial masters.

While Prebble seems to have left very little written evidence to explain his contributions to Zulu, his opinion on the nearly analogous situation of the Buffalo Soldiers [2] here in the United States lends credence to the above interpretation: "Thus men who were once slaves, commanded by junior officers who were the sons of evicted immigrants or had themselves been dispossessed, were now used to subdue, remove and confine a free people" (Prebble 1993: 140). Here, minority groups, the Irish- and African-Americans, are used by another imperialist power, America, to subdue a native people, Native Americans. Replace the Irish and Africans with Welsh and Scots, the Native Americans with Zulus, and Prebble's above quotation would aptly describe Zulu's message.

Zulu contains several key ingredients of leftist ideology; the film was anti-imperialist, anti-religion, and pro-minority before these became popular progressive ideas. It is the genius of Zulu that the film managed to package seemingly contradictory elements of leftist and conservative ideology together into a popular war film while covertly carrying a progressive message. Indeed, Zulu had created a new template for other leftists in the film industry; in order to advertise your message, first attract your audience with action, realism, and a splash of history, at which point your audience will be amenable to slight distortions of said history for ideological purposes. Zulu's release signaled the beginning of a shift from traditional industry paradigms to more progressive conventions that would come to dominate the motion picture industry for decades to come, and it did so virtually unnoticed. Our current crop of ideologically motivated war films are a direct consequence of this general movement toward polemic messages in films depicting historical events. In any event, due to Zulu's groundbreaking style, the public came to expect realism in war movies. Unrealistic, overly-patriotic John Wayne sanitations of history were on the way out, along with John Ford Westerns that seemed like elaborate musicals in the shadow of Zulu's realism, even if this new realism came at the price of subtle distortions to the truth. Indeed, Zulu's progressive messages were expertly shrouded by the fog of war."
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:20 am

Martin

The statistics I quoted were as a result of the point you raised about long service men. YOU stated “both battalions consisted of long term service men, meaning that it would have been well after Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift before newly trained recruits would have started to filter through to the ranks” (and Ian Knight does NOT say this, you have misinterpreted what he has written !). Do you not agree that the statistic of 75% of B Company having been trained at Brecon tends to disprove your statement ?

The statistics were not related to any attempt to prove who was “Welsh” and who was not. As I’ve said a number of times, even with a good definition of what you class as “Welsh”, with the information available, it is IMPOSSIBLE to calculate the exact number of Welshmen (or indeed Irish) with any degree of certainty in the 24th All we can say is that in 1879 the 24th contained a higher proportion of Welshmen than regiments whose depots were not located in Wales.

No one on this site, or in the Brecon museum, disputes the fact that the Regiment was titled the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment in 1879. If the film “Zulu” indicated otherwise (once !) then your beef is with the film producers. The questions you posed to me relate to the film and should be answered by people connected with it – though after 48 years it’s probably a bit late to do much about that ! I think Littlehand has raised some interesting points with regard to the motivation behind the making of the film. However, the point I have made time and time again to you is that British regiments evolve, they change titles and locations. The men who fought as part of B Company 2nd Bn/24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment at Rorke’s Drift were two years later part of B Company 2nd Bn The South Wales Borderers. So I suppose in 1881 you could (with a degree of truth) say that men of the South Wales Borderers did fight at Rorke’s Drift – and this is probably where any confusion started. However, although the regimental title had changed, they were the SAME men and were part of the SAME regiment !!!

Officially there were NO English regiments and NO Welsh regiments – as Julian has just said – they were BRITISH regiments. As to affiliations, certainly where a regiment was located would affect the perception of belonging. I can see no problem with the public associating a regiment with its depot in Wales as being “Welsh”. Again, as I’ve said before, this is how the Welsh press were reporting it in 1879. This might not be palatable to you – but hey, you can’t please everyone !

Merry Xmas/Nadolig Llawen

Bill


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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:50 pm

This is a fact that no one on this forum disputes!
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:28 pm

Well said Julian and Bill.
At the end of the day, this was, and still is a British regiment.
The title of the regiment would have been a trivial irrelevence to the men in it, who served the Queen in it both before and after 1879. Whatever their nationality, they would have lived, laughed, ate, slept, fought and died with each other and for each other.
Take it from me, all blood is red, it smells the same, whether it dripped out of a black, brown or white man, or whether the man is Welsh, English, Irish, Scottish, African, German, American, Bosnian, Afghan or Australian. When that man is next to you and you are both in mortal danger, that man is your brother.
In regards to RD and iSandlwana, the nationalities of the men of the 24th involved, really is irrelevent.

Norman Holme however is an authority on this subject and his work "The Noble 24th" is recognised as being the magnus opus that it truly is. Holme makes an honest and authoritative attempt to quantify the nationalities of the men of B Coy, the 24th Warwickshire regiment, who defended RD, based on his in depth and thorough research of the military records and papers of EVERY SINGLE MAN of both the 1st and 2nd Btns, of the 24th regiment, involved in the South African campaign of 1877 - 9.
Whilst I respect the opinion of forum members, with all due respect to you all, I continue to prefer the objective, educated and unbiased research and opinions of Norman Holme.
Here are the results of Norman Holme's attempts to quantify the nationalities of the men who defended RD (which he himself states, no one can ever be completely certain of). But read them one more time. They are the best estimate we have or will ever have; read it just one more time, in black and white.


"Of the 122 soldiers of the 24th Regiment present at the Battle of Rorke's Drift, 49 are known to have been of English nationality, 32 were Welsh, 16 were Irish, 1 was a Scot, and 3 were born overseas. The nationalities of the remaining 21 are unknown."

Further to this, according to Norman Holme, only 4 of these men were from the county of Warwickshire itself.

(Source: Norman Holme (1999) The Noble 24th p. 383)

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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:11 pm

So are we all in agreement it was a "BRITISH REGIMENT"
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:31 pm

Admin wrote:
So are we all in agreement it was a "BRITISH REGIMENT"

Absolutely. Perhaps a good time to draw the thread to a close. Nothing much else to discuss!
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:35 pm

Wasn't part of the discussion on the forum to do with the wrong naming of the 24th at these battles ? Quoting from the Queen's Regs was just to clarify this matter. I'm just an outsider looking on.


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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:36 pm

Agreed. Topic Locked. If anyone wants to re-open with a valid reason please drop me a PM.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:03 pm

Kable wrote:
Wasn't part of the discussion on the forum to do with the wrong naming of the 24th at these battles ? Quoting from the Queen's Regs was just to clarify this matter. I'm just an outsider looking on.


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I don't think the title of the 24th Foot in 1879 was disputed by anyone on this forum, it is written down in black and white and is an historical fact, just as you posted. However, many less informed people under the incorrect impression that it was entitled the SWB in 1879, when of course it was entitled this only in 1881 due to the Carden reforms.
What has been challenged by certain revisionists on this forum - and i hate the term "revisionist" as it brings about images of holocaust deniers and other pseudo historians with unpleasant hidden agendas - is other well established facts. I even had one poster on here attempt to tell me that Robert Jones VC, was English not Welsh, and claim that Monmouthshire was an English County in order to justify that claim!
But thanks very much for your post, it was completely relevent, and do enjoy the forum.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:09 pm

tasker wrote - But thanks very much for your post, it was completely relevant.

I know, that's why I posted it.


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PostSubject: XXIV - Second Warwickshire   Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:46 pm

Let us see what Robert Jones V.C. Born in Monmouthshire, has to say about this.

quote; "On the 22nd January, 1879, the zulus attacked us, we being only a small band of English soldiers. My thought was only to fight as an English soldier ought to for his most gracious sovereign, Queen Victoria, and for the benefit of old England" end of qoute.

So it would appear that Robert Jones V.C. himself said that he was English.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:30 pm

Let me add my twopenn'orth! As far as I'm aware Monmouthshire was considered part of England from the sixteenth century until very recently. It wasn't until the 1970's Local Government reorganisation that it was definitely incorporated into Wales. My grandfather, born in 1889, certainly considered it English. My main issue with all of this though is that historical accuracy is maintained, rather than allow the general factual sloppiness shown by film makers and other parts of the media. Neil
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:51 pm

Let us just take a look at just one of a multitude of online biographies that anyone can find just by googling "robert jones vc."

Robert Jones VC (19 August 1857 – 6 September 1898) was a Welsh recipient of the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke's Drift in January 1879, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces
He was born at Penrhos near Clytha between Raglan and Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, Wales.

In regard to Monmouthshire:
"The historic county of Monmouthshire was formed from the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Act 1535. It bordered Gloucestershire to the east, Herefordshire to the northeast, Brecknockshire to the north, and Glamorgan to the west. These Acts of Union nowhere state that the area is removed from Wales and added to England, but between the 16th and 20th centuries some considered that there was ambiguity as to whether the county was part of Wales or England. Since 1974 the area has been placed definitively in Wales." Pretty unequivocal to me!

Note the word "some" in the third line down. A little further research tells us these "some" were English mineral and coal exploiters!
Remember that until very recently, the Encyclopedia Britannica entry for "Wales" read "see England."
So sure, if you believe that Wales is just part of England, then yes, Robert Jones was English.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:05 pm

Quote :
The nationalities of the remaining 21 are unknown.
A request has been made to re- open this thread, so research can be made on the above. Your help with this would be greatly appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:09 pm

The point to bear in mind surely is how things were viewed at the time. I'm certainly not saying that Monmouthshire is part of England now. My grandfather was not a mineral or coal exploiter but fairly representative in his views of the working man of his generation.

One of the big problems with history is that people are always using the received wisdom of their own time to colour what happened in the past. As L.P. Hartley said 'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.'
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PostSubject: Re: The Welsh Soldiers and others at Rorke's Drift 1879   Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:18 pm

Hi All

I have requested this thread remain open as I would like to do further research into the remaining 21 unknowns.

So if anyone can come up with the names, that would be a appreciated.

My concern does not lie with their nationalities, I just see an opportunity for further unresearch area.

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PostSubject: XXIV - Second Warwickshire   Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:23 pm

Robert Jones V.C himself said that he was English.

What other people and websites consider him to be is irrelevant.

If he himself said that he was English, then that is how he felt about his nationality.

Who are others to try to deny him this?

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PostSubject: XXIV - Second Warwickshire   Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:47 pm

Well said Neil.

What we have to think about is how people born in Monmouthshire AT THE TIME considered themselves to be, some may have thought themselves Welsh, while others may have thought themselves English. We have to respect how THEY thought of themselves, not how others today consider them to be.
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