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 Alfred Henry Hook His account of the battle Rorke's Drift

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PostSubject: Alfred Henry Hook His account of the battle Rorke's Drift   Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:35 pm

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Alfred Henry Hook was 28 years old, and a private in B Company of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later The South Wales Borderers), British Army during the Zulu War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. Hook and five other privates were ordered on the afternoon of 22 January to protect approximately 30 patients unable to be moved from the temporary hospital at Rorke's Drift station.
On 22/23 January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, a distant room of the hospital had been held for more than an hour by three privates, and when finally they had no ammunition left the Zulus burst in, and killed one of the men and two patients. One of the privates (John Williams) however, succeeded in knocking a hole in the partition and taking the last two patients through into the next ward, where he found Private Hook. These two men then worked together - one holding the enemy at bayonet point while the other broke through three more partitions - and they were then able to bring eight patients into the inner line of defence.
Born in Churcham, Gloucestershire, Hook originally joined the Monmouth Militia before enlisting in the regular army in March 1877, aged 26. He received a scalp injury during the battle of Rorke's Drift, and retired from the regular army 17 months later in June 1880, but later served 20 years in 1st Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, reaching the rank of Sergeant-Instructor. He received his VC from Sir Garnet Wolseley, GOC South Africa at Rorke's Drift on 3 August 1879. He retired in 1904, returning to Gloucestershire, where he died the next year.
After his 1880 discharge he worked at the British Museum and lived at Sydenham Hill. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 12th March 1905 at Osborne Villas, Roseberry Avenue, Gloucester and is buried in St Andrew's churchyard, Churcham. Location can be found at: 51°51'42.20"N 2°20'15.07"W

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the South Wales Borderers Museum (Brecon, Powys, Wales).

Click on link to read his account of the battle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Henry_Hook

See Pictorial catalogue of AZW graves


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