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Lord Chelmsford. I regret to report a very disastrous engagement which took place on the morning of 22nd January between the armies of the Zulu king Cetshwayo and our own No. 3 Column consisting of a total of 1500 men, officers and other ranks.
 
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 No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.

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springbok9



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:48 pm

Chard
A big help of course was that the barricade was built on top of a rock ledge so the sacks weren't all that high.

Xhosa
Yep quite right, According to Caleb Wood: "We were so pressed on that Evan Jones hit out with his fists, and let me say he knew how to use them. When our ammunition began to run short the order was given to use cold steel. We stood back from the wll and received the enemies charges with the bayonet at the 'shorten arms'.

So the fight wasn't just about firing over a barricade, fists and all.

If you haven't read the Ilkeston Pioneer report from the 26th December 1913 your missing out, its probably the best description of the fight Ive read.
like this: " This battle had different effects on our men. Some had always been ready to crack a joke could not now speak a word. One man, unbearably vexed at our position cried like a child, fought like a lion and swore like a demon."

Gritty

Cheers
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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:49 pm

John wrote:
Wonder why they fear the bayonet more than a bullet?
Can't see a bullet coming, bayonet looks pretty nasty to stare down.


Cheers
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John



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:13 pm

Very Happy 
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Chard1879



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:10 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
Xhosa, I was being facetious..

facetious..i remember the old
reader's digest, how to increase
your word power. reckon that
qualify's as my word of today!

the next morning after the defense,
when the patrol's were were out
dispatching ( murdering?) the Zulu
wounded. they were also weapon
collecting,no mention of MH's.
                                xhosa
From Memories of Forty Eight Years Service.

"The next day I rode down to Rorke's Drift, some twelve miles, to resume charge of my depot. There was the improvised little fort, built up mostly of mealy-sacks and biscuit-boxes and other stores which had been so gallantly defended by Chard, Bromhead, and their men, and Parson Smith, and all around lay dead Zulus, between three and four hundred; and there was my wagon, some 200 yards away, riddled and looted; and there was the riem gallows I had erected the previous morning. Dead animals and cattle everywhere— such a scene of devastation ! To my young mind it appeared impossible that order could ever be restored, but I set to work, and next day, whilst sitting in my wagon, I saw two Zulus hanging on my gallows and was accused by the Brigade Major, Clery (afterwards General Sir Francis Clery), of having given the order. I was exonerated, however, when it was found that it was a case of lynch law performed by incensed men, who were bitter at the loss of their comrades. Other incidents of the same sort occurred in the next few days before law and order were re-established."
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:29 pm

i posted the same thing on here
a few month's ago, but thank you Salute 
some people thought my use of the
word murder as somehow injudicious,
either they were dead when they
hung them up ( but obviously )
we are left with the inconvenient
truth, intellectual masturbation is
fine up to a point, but murder is
murder, surly they were alive after
the relief, did not maori have some
part in this..
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6pdr



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:52 pm

xhosa2000 wrote:
some people thought my use of the
word murder as somehow injudicious,
For my part, I specifically said NOT excusing the lynchings...which were clearly murder.  

But as for the others -- the wounded intentionally left exposed to the elements waiting to die -- is it murder to put them out of their suffering?  Killing sure, but murder during a declared war when their own people had left them?

When I read this passage from his memoirs, which I have done many times, the question I have is WHY did Clery choose to blame Smith-Dorrien specifically?  By implication it is because he built the gallows...but that claim is a bit hard to swallow because as SD scrupulously explains, the gallows were built for stretching reims, a resource necessary for a transport/Commissariat officer.  I don't even think that was speculated upon in Ron Lock's book...though my memory may be faulty.  Was there bad blood between them?
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:38 am

During the afternoon it was discovered that
a large number of wounded and worn out Zulu's
had taken refuge or hidden in the mealie fields
near the laager,my two companies of Zulu's
with some of my non coms and a few of the
24th quickly drew these fields and killed them
with bayonet,butt and assagai..

It was beastly but there was nothing else to do!
war is war, and savage war is the worst of the
lot. moreover our men were worked up to a pitch
of fury by the sights they had seen in the morn-
ing and the mutilated bodies of the poor fellows
lying in front of the burned hospital.

Colonel G. Hamilton-Browne.
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:41 am

sorry 6pdr, no there was no bad
blood, as a mere Lieut, attached,
he was'nt in Clery's orbit. Salute 
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barry



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PostSubject: RD defenders incensed   Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:06 am

Hi All,
Much has been said about the brutality of war here, but specifically questions have been raised as to why the defenders acted opposite  the wounded enemy the way they did.
In answer : It was recorded that early in the battle that one of the defenders was wounded by a Zulu and was dragged away from the parapets and butchered alive in view of the men on the walls on the laager. The intention  of the  Zulu doing this was to harvest body parts.  The injured man was screaming of course and this drew the attention of the other defenders , one of whom lifted his MH and sent a .455 slug boring out the brain of the Zulu who was intent on the butchery.  The injured defender was in the meantime dying and the two lay huddled together, in death,  until the next morning.
That incident set the cat amongst the pigeons and  the tone, vis-à-vis any mercy given.
Further, with 375 dead Zulus at the parapets and umpteen  dead and injured a little further out  there was not enough  medical assistance to deal with even the Imperial wounded, never mind the Zulus. So, with that sort of pressure on the RD doctor,  one wonders how anyone could make any categorical and credible  statement  about the injuries sustained. There was certainly no time for any proper forensic examination, as all of the dead were buried by nightfall that same day (23/01), by Chelmsford's relieving force.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DrummerBoy 16



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:41 am

Well i've never heard that one before Shocked 
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:47 am

Barry
Can you please give the source for that story because it's not one I've ever come across. I'm not saying it's apocryphal because you may have come across something extraordinary but I have read an awful lot on this subject and I've never even heard of a whisper of anything close. This isn't a third-hand dramatization of Joseph Williams being dragged out from the hospital is it? I am very curious.
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24th



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:00 am

How would anyone know what the intentions of the Zulus were in relation to body parts
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:18 am

24th,i have a nice piece ( no pun )
on harvesting, as for the Zulu dead
yes they were buried the same day,
one can only hope they were all dead
before they went into that
mass grave. Julian yes re J william's.
xhosa
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springbok9



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:21 pm

Xhosa
J Williams, Doesn't that refer to him being dragged out of the Hospital and killed? AS per the statement by John Williams, comes from Henry Hooks Statement.
I think Barry was referring to a soldier being dragged over the barricades and his execution being witnessed. Josephs death was only witnessed by John Williams: "They've dragged Joseph Williams out and killed him."


Cheers Mate thanks for the help on the other issue.
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:33 pm

I've just double-checked all the casualties and their cause of death and there is no-one ripped to pieces.
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springbok9



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:00 pm

Yeah all I got was the Joseph Williams.
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:31 pm

springbok. agree  Salute 
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:58 pm

J.S.A. present..Mpatshana,Socwatsha,Nsuze.

Zibebu fetched intelezi medicines from a deceased
man, pieces were cut off him.a piece was taken from his
forehead;
it was taken by a doctor, where marked below.
( below is a crude face with incisions on the fore head).

His rectum,penis, bone of right forearm ( throwing arm )
also the cartlidge from the bottom of the breastbone were taken.
Socwatsha: the rectum is taken so as to cause fear
by causing ' agitation ' in stomach,and to bring on diarrhoea.
this is the method of causing fear. the doctor then treats
his own Impi with these bits of human flesh...

Apology's to any feint heart's out there.
xhosa
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:04 pm

i saw several of our dead ripped open
and otherwise mutilated.
Rorkes Drift and the British Museum
the life of Henry Hook vc. B Johnson p 28

cant think where the account of J William's
is,being dragged through the doorway into
the hospital corridor, by quite a few who
stabbed him, held him down and virtually
quarter'd him. i'm sure some body will fill in
the blank's..if i have,nt dreamt it. xhosa
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:17 pm

Joseph William's was fighting desperately with the
bayonet to keep the savages at bay. At this point
the bodies of fourteen warrior's lay around the doorway
before the Zulu's eventually seized Private Joseph
William's and stabbed him with their spears before
mutilating his body and ripping out his intestines.
Private John William's (Fielding ) from.
John William's vc a biography..W.G.Lloyd p 33
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:33 pm

xhosa
Not into the corridor but outside. It's in Williams's account.
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xhosa2000



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:44 pm

corrected and accepted.thank you Julian Salute 
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barry



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:06 am

Hi JW,
I presume this report I quoted becomes apocryphal  because you have never heard of it before??
So, my initial source, is Trooper Henry Lugg's statement to the  NMP C.O.I, in which this event was reported and, as well, in Tpr Clarke's war diaries, vol 1 page 168. Clarke was part of Chelmsford's relieving force and in attendance at RD, with  Dartnell on 23/01. When he arrived there early am that day he met his friend  Trooper Henry Lugg who told him, in graphic detail all that he had seen that terrible night.  Clarke saw all of the dead mutilated bodies of the defenders and questioned  Lugg who said that he witnessed this  particular killing  but said the man was alive at the time. Now Bancroft ( ISBN 1868421848)  picks up on this particular story and repeats it , but said that the man had already died.  
In terms of the general Zulu brutalities (butchery) at  RD many AZW authors mentioned it. Holt on page 69 of History of the Mounted Police of Natal does too, Bancroft mentions it many times throughout his work and Greaves on page 183 and  Glover amongst others, on page 110. Some of these authors quote Hitch's account as their source.
Now, one error reappearing in many contemporary writings on the AZW, and of academic value only, was that 375 enemy were reported  killed at the parapets at RD. This number was the count done on the first day (23/01) by the burial parties. However on the morning of the 24th another 7 dead were found under torn down roof thatch in the kraal, thus increasing the real head count of enemy kia to 382. Many others who were carried by their comrades or crawled away and expired, are not included in that tally.

regards

barry
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:09 pm

Hi Barry,
Do not take offence. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I was careful to write "I am NOT saying it is apocryphal because you may have come across something extraordinary".
No criticism was intended and I hope none taken because your post was important.
I have a photocopy of the original typescript of Clarke’s My Career in South Africa (31184 MS CLA 1.092 from KCAL) so I appreciate that the page numbering may be different from the ref you quoted. All I can find is this on page 27:
“Seeing the manner in which our wounded had been mutilated after being dragged from the hospital (men who were wounded in the skirmish on the 12th January) we were very bitter and did not spare wounded Zulus.”
As you say, Clarke was with Chelmsford’s returning force. He could not know that the bodies had not been mutilated after death but he may have assumed so and he doesn’t name any individual who told him so (including Lugg). Apart from the NNC private, the patients who were killed were not wounded on 12th January.
Lugg’s letter of 24th April makes no mention of the incident you refer to, so, since the exact wording becomes important, are you able to quote from Lugg's statement to the NMP COI which I cannot find. It would be interesting to see his exact words.
It becomes very difficult when one looks at the casualties (see below) to work out who might be being referred to. Remember that Lugg was on the storehouse roof and in front of it. He couldn’t have seen what was happening on the far side of the hospital. John Williams was the only surviving witness to Joseph Williams, Horrigan and Hayden’s death and his description does not elaborate in the way described. It certainly all took place on the far side of the hospital. No-one else fits the bill according to the wounds received and no other primary source mentions anything approaching the horrors as described.
None of the secondary sources you named give their sources (except for Hitch but when you read his account he makes no mention of it). It would be good to get to the bottom of it.
Julian

KILLED IN ACTION

Europeans:

1st battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

1-24/1861 Private William Horrigan
Assegaied
25B/841 Private James Edmund Jenkins
Unknown
25B/625 Private Edward Nicholas
Gunshot through head

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

25B/623 Sergeant Robert Maxfield G coy
Assegaied
25B/987 Private Robert Adams D coy
Unknown, killed in hospital
25B/1335 Private James Chick D coy
Gunshot
25B/801 Private Thomas Cole B coy
Gunshot through head
25B/969 Private John Fagan B coy
Gunshot
2-24/1769 Private Garret Henry Hayden D coy
Assegaied
25B/1051 Private John Scanlon A coy
Gunshot
25B/1398 Private Joseph Williams B coy
Assegaied

2nd battalion, 3rd Regiment Natal Native Contingent

Corporal William Anderson2
Gunshot through head

Natal Mounted Police

280 Trooper Sidney H. Hunter
Assegaied

Army Commissariat and Transport Department (civilian attachment)

Acting Storekeeper Louis Alexander Byrne
Gunshot through the head


African:

1st battalion, 3rd Regiment Natal Native Contingent

Private name unknown (a native of Mkungo’s isiGqoza)
Assegaied

TOTAL 15



DIED OF WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION (DIED 23rd JANUARY 1879)

Europeans:

1st battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

25B/1335 Private William Beckett
Assegai penetrated abdomen

2nd battalion, 24th Regiment (2nd Warwickshire)

25B/1328 Lance-Sergeant Thomas Williams B coy
Gunshot left side of chest fracturing ribs

TOTAL 2



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springbok9



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:42 pm

Julian
Barry is the custodian of the original Clarke diaries. I for one would really enjoy seeing Photostats of the incident in the original.
Barry has been kind enough in the past to quote extensively from the diaries, I hope he would extend that kindness. I have a collection of copies from original writings, Clark alas isn't amongst them.

Cheers
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barry



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PostSubject: Butchery at Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:22 pm

Hi JW, Springbok9,
Thanks for responding
It comes to the fore once again that the writings based on eyewitness experiences of the men on the ground  in the AZW conflict differ quite significantly with the official versions. Now, I have come to the conclusion that in terms of this mutilation issue, those gory details  were hushed up out of consideration for the families, and, or so as to prevent the breakfast marmalade curdling in the quiet English countryside.
The Clarke diaries in the public domain in the Killie  Campbell museum in Durban are a very much abridged versions of the hand written war diaries which run to some 9 manuscript size volumes  and stretch in time from 1878 until 1928, and cover three major wars and two minor ones. Whereas  the abridged version ends in about  1920 and is in the form of a general summary. This is the reason why the page numbers do not tally.
The original diaries are not in the public domain.  
This subject, however is an interesting  meaty one  for historians and  is showing enough conflict in basic substance to warrant further research.

regards

barry


Last edited by barry on Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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6pdr



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:29 pm

barry wrote:
This subject, however is an interesting  meaty one  for historians and  is showing enough conflict in substance to warrant further research.
JW, Springbok & Barry -- Idea  Exclamation  agree  Salute 
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Julian Whybra



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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:32 pm

Barry
I am sure we'd all be very interested to hear more!
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barry



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PostSubject: Mh's at RD   Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:22 pm

Hi All,
Whilst trolling through various AZW publications looking for any reference to the type of weaponry used by the Zulus at RD I came across this piece in "A Natal Family Looks Back", by Harry Lugg, the father of Henry, one of the RD defenders. In this work in which he writes about the life of Henry, and he describes an event where an old Zulu recounts the battle, and an incident in the kitchen of the laager during the attack. I have transcribed it verbatim from page 23, below, for those who don't have a copy of this interesting piece of Africana:

beginning of transcription:

Rorke's Drift was to have an interesting sequel some twenty three years later, when in 1902 Henry was carrying out inspections of war graves at RD and Isandlwana, where by chance he met an old Zulu warrior bearing a number of obvious war scars. A bullet had seared his scalp another through his shoulder and two through his calf, all received at Rorke's Drift.
Being anxious to hear the old mans version of the affair Henry got him to tell his story , being careful not to disclose his own participation in the affair. And what a story. Told as it could only by am old Zulu in a language rich in allegory and metaphor.
Soon, the old scene came back to life as the old fellow recounted the sound of rifle fire, the shouts of the Zulu war cry, "Usuthi, Usuthu. InKoma ka baba" as they rushed into the attack determined to prove their worth as worthy sons of a worthy sire., for this is what the cry implied: the crackling of the flames from the burning building , the groans of the wounded, and the din of battle generally. How often have I been privileged to hear such stories, and told in such a vivid way.
Another one of the stories Henry used to recall was of a Zulu who during the height of the RD fight , availed himself of the semidarkness to creep into the kitchen of the laager to light his smoking horn or gudu, from the glowing embers , and was promptly shot by Henry Lugg in the kitchen. When the old Zulu came to the end of this story, Henry casually asked him who the man was who had met his death inside the kitchen. Greatly taken aback the old Zulu exclaimed "kanti nawe wawukena? Wafa uMngumle! Sizinja ngaphansi kwezinyao zenu" . Translated this means "and you were there also?. and so perished uMngamule. We were merely dogs under your feet".
This was the material our men were up against, and as an example of Zulu pluck and endurance it should be known that when Isandlwana was attacked the Zulu army had only arrived there the night before after a march from Ulundi some 70 miles away.

end of transcription

What this incident illustrated too is that these two old diehards bore no animosity towards one another, only deep mutual respect.
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PostSubject: Re: No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.   Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:58 pm

Interesting story, but a bit of an unusual comment.
Barry wrote:
"We were merely dogs under your feet"
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No Martini Henry Rifles Found Among The Zulu Dead At Rorkes Drift.

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