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Lord Chelmsford Said .Buller is ‘one of the finest soldiers of the century’, so modest and reticent –that it was difficult to say for what individual deed he had got the Victoria Cross as he had been doing acts worthy of it all along the line
 
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PostSubject: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon Jan 05, 2009 9:41 pm

At 4:00, Surgeon James Reynolds, Otto Witt - the Swedish missionary who ran the mission at Rorke's Drift - and army chaplain Padre George Smith came down from Oscarberg, a hill overlooking the station, with the news that the Zulus were fording the river at what later became known as "Fugitive's Drift" to the southeast and were "no more than five minutes away." Soon after, one of the mounted natives under Henderson reported that the Zulus were about a minute away. At this point, the mounted natives broke. Having been the last unit to retreat from the slaughter at Isandlwana, they deserted and Henderson was unable to stop them. Upon seeing this flight, Stephenson's NNC company leapt over the barricades and followed. Outraged that Stephenson and his European NCOs also deserted, a few British soldiers fired after them, killing Corporal Anderson.

At a stroke, the defending force had been reduced by more than half to 150 men, of which only the 96 of B Company could be considered a cohesive unit, and 35 of whom were hospitalized (only about 9 of which couldn't defend themselves). Chard immediately realised the need to shorten the perimeter, and gave orders for a new line bisecting the post to be constructed, with the hospital being evacuated. As the natives disappeared, Private Fredrick Hitch, posted as lookout atop the storehouse, reported a Zulu column of four to six thousand approaching. Almost immediately after the Zulu vanguard, 600 men of the iNdluyengwe appeared from behind Oscarberg and attacked the south wall which joined the hospital and the storehouse. In what is the best-known phrase from the battle, one of the defenders yelled "Here they come, as thick as grass and as black as thunder!"

Immediately, a heavy volley of gunfire was opened up at 500 yards, and while at first ragged, the British fire soon steadied, piling up the Zulu dead. The majority of the attacking force swept around the wall, while a few took cover, from where they were either pinned by continuing British fire or retreated to the terraces of Oscarberg, where they began a harassing fire of their own. As this occurred, a large force swept onto the hospital and northwest wall, and those on the barricades - including Dalton and Bromhead - were soon engaged in fierce hand to hand fighting. The British wall was too high for the Zulus to scale, so they resorted to crouching under the wall, trying to get hold of the defenders' rifles, slashing at British soldiers with assegai or firing their weapons through the wall. At places, they clambered over each others' bodies to drive the British off the walls, but a "peculiar aversion to the bayonet" defeated these breaches.

Zulu fire, both from those under the wall and around Oscarberg, began to find its mark. Corporal Schiess was shot in the leg, and then lost his hat to a Zulu shot; Commissary Dalton, leaning over the parapet to shoot a Zulu, was wounded in the shoulder by a bullet and dragged out of the line to have his wound dressed; Keefe, 'B' Company's drummer, suffered a skin wound to the head; Corporal Scammell, of the NNC, was shot in the back, and Private Byrne, attempting to help him, was killed by a shot to the head, as was 'Old King' Cole, another private in 'B' Company (see below at hospital section). The fire from the mountain only grew worse; Privates Scanlon, Fagan and Chick were slain. At least 1/3 (five) of the 17 killed, or died of wounds, were struck at the Front wall.

It became clear to Chard that the front wall, under almost constant Zulu attack, could not be held, and at 6 o'clock Chard pulled his men back into the yard, abandoning the front two rooms of the hospital in the process. The hospital was becoming untenable; the loopholes had become a liability, as rifles poked through were grabbed at by the Zulus - but if the holes were left empty the enterprising warriors stuck their own weapons through to fire into the rooms. Among the soldiers assigned to the Hospital were the following: Corporal William Wilson Allen; Pvts: Cole; Dunbar; Frederick Hitch; Horrigan; John Williams; Joseph Williams; Alfred Henry Hook; Robert Jones; William Jones

As it became clear that the front of the building was being abandoned, John Williams began to hack his way through the wall dividing the central room and the back of the hospital. As he made a passable hole the door into the central room came under furious attack from the Zulus, and he only had time to drag two bedridden patients out before the door gave way. Pitted against the Zulus, Joseph Williams managed to kill several before being overwhelmed. The remaining men in the room, Private Horrigan, Adams, and two more patients, were stabbed to death by the rampaging Zulus. The surviving two patients were taken by John Williams into one of the corner rooms, where he linked up with Private Hook and another nine patients.

The previous scene was played out again; Williams hacked at the wall to the next room with his pick-axe, as Hook held off the Zulus. A firefight erupted as the Zulus fired through the door and Hook returned the compliment - but not without a bullet smashing into his helmet and stunning him. Williams made the hole big enough to get into the next room, occupied only by Private Waters, and dragged the patients through. The last man out was Hook, who killed the Zulus who had knocked down the door before diving through the hole. Williams once again went to work, spurred by the knowledge that the roof was now on fire, as Hook defended the hole and Waters continued to fire through the loophole. After fifty minutes, the hole was large enough to drag the patients through, and the men - save Private Waters and Beckett, who hid in the wardrobe - were in the last room, being defended by a pair of privates going by the name Jones. {Waters was wounded and Beckett died of assegai wounds}. From here, the patients clambered out a window and then ran across the yard to the barricade. Of the eleven patients, nine survived the trip, as did all the able-bodied men. According to James Henry Reynolds only 4 men were killed in the Hospital: one was a Native with a broken leg who couldn't be moved; Sgt Maxfield and Private Jenkins who were ill with fever and refused to be moved; and a Private Adams who also refused to move. A Private Cole assigned to the hospital was killed when he ran outside. Private Joseph Williams reportedly defended a small window at the far end of the Hospital, and 14 dead Zulus were found later beneath the window. Williams with Private John Williams {above} and two patients tried to hold a hospital entrance with bayonets; but the entrance was forced and Joseph Williams was seized; dragged outside and stabbed with assegais. Reportedly Jenkins was also killed after being seized and stabbed; another Hospital patient killed was Trooper Hunter of the Natal Mounted Police. Among the hospital patients who escaped were a Corporal Mayer of the N.N.C; Bombardier Lewis of the Royal Artillery and Trooper Green of the Natal Mounted Police who was wounded in the thigh by a spent bullet. A Private Conley with a broken leg was pulled to safety by Hook, although Conley's leg was broken again in the process.

The evacuation of the hospital completed the shortening of the perimeter. As night fell, the Zulu attacks grew stronger as the snipers on Oscarberg - now devoid of targets - joined the attack. The cattle kraal came under renewed assault and was evacuated by ten o'clock, leaving the remaining men in a small bastion around the storehouse. Throughout the night, the Zulus kept up a constant assault against the British positions; Zulu attacks only began to slacken after midnight, and finally ended by two o'clock, instead being replaced by a constant harassing fire from the Zulu firearms - a fire that in turn only ended at four o'clock. Chard's force had lost fifteen dead, with eight more - including Dalton - seriously wounded, and virtually every man had some kind of minor wound. They were all exhausted, having fought for the better part of ten hours, and were running low on ammunition as well. Of 20,000 rounds in reserve at the mission, only 900 remained.

As dawn broke, the British could see that the Zulus were gone; all that remained were the vast piles of dead - over 370 bodies were counted. Patrols were dispatched to scout the battlefield, recover rifles, and look for survivors. At roughly 7am, an impi of Zulus suddenly appeared, and the weary redcoats manned their positions once again. But no attack materialized. The Zulus were utterly spent, having been on the move for six days prior to the battle and having not eaten properly for two. In their ranks were hundreds of wounded, and they were several days march from any supplies. Soon after their appearance, the Zulus left the way they had come.

Around 8am, another force appeared, and the redcoats abandoned their makeshift breakfast of rum, tea and biscuits to man their positions once again. This was no Zulu force, however; the vanguard of Lord Chelmsford's relief column had arrived.[
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The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon May 25, 2009 3:34 pm

I was just browsing though my collection from the London Illustrated News. I came across this sketch by Private Mellsop 24th Regiment, of the newly constructed cemetery at Rorkes Drift. You can clearly see the 17 freshly piles of earth.

Henry Hook writes.
“As for our own comrades, we buried them. This was done the day after the fight, not far from the place where they fell, and at the foot of the hill. Soon afterwards the cemetery was walled in and a monument was put up in the middle. The lettering was cut on it by a bandsman named Mellsop, who used bits of broken bayonets as chisels. He drew a capital picture of the fight. Those who had been killed in action were buried on one side of the cemetery, and those who had died of disease on the other side. A curious thing was that a civilian named Byrne, who had taken part in the defence and was killed, was buried outside the cemetery wall. I don't know why, except that he was not a regular soldier.”

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PostSubject: IAN KNIGHT: RORKE'S DRIFT - ANGLO ZULU WAR 1879 - HOLTS BATTLEFIELD TOURS 2009   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon May 25, 2009 9:07 pm

RORKE'S DRIFT - ANGLO ZULU WAR 1879 - HOLTS BATTLEFIELD TOURS 2009

A guided tour of Rorke’s Drift with Ian Knight. Again Covers a lot of facts that you will want to know.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTRhvT6oNtU&feature=related


Last edited by Admin on Mon May 25, 2009 10:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon May 25, 2009 10:08 pm

Loved the bit, when Ian Knights talks about Christian Ferdinand Schiess and how he won the VC.
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90th

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PostSubject: re- I.KNIGHT VIDS   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyWed May 27, 2009 2:22 am

thanks pete, for posting the knight vids from isandlwana,rd etc. i must make an effort and get to these places. the money i have spent on books and collectables from the zulu war. i could have gone TWICE at least !!! :lol!:

90th.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyThu May 28, 2009 6:38 am

I was thinking exactly the same. Wink
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The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon Jun 01, 2009 10:55 am

HI all

It's well worth the trip i would love to go again and there's always something that gives you that lump in
the throte and a tear in the eye
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90th

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PostSubject: rorkes drift   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyFri Aug 28, 2009 2:08 pm

hi all
Found this , how ironic.
Chard left RD on the morning of 22nd jan with , Corp gamble, sapppers Cuthbert, Mclaren and Wheatley 5th R.E..
Chard went back to RD, and the others met their fate at Isandlawna. Now on the 22nd at Isandlwana , PVT Cooper
was sent back with a small party ( others unknown) to collect fresh rations from RD to supply the regt at Isandlwana.
Cooper survived RD. Its all about fate and luck of the draw by the look of it.
cheers 90th.

A side note with the party which left ISANDLWANA on the 22nd , Pvt Thomas Cole 2/24th , accompanied Cooper and the others back to RD, Thomas Cole was killed at RD. There is that word fate, again.
cheers 90th.
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90th

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PostSubject: rorkes drift roll.   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon Sep 07, 2009 10:35 am

hi all.
JULIAN WHYBRA posted this link on the RDVC FORUM, thought i would post it here.
http://www.genealogyworld.net/azwar/garr.html
cheers 90th.

ps. I should write the list was compiled by GRAHAM MASON.
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24th

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon Sep 07, 2009 1:10 pm

Hi 90th. I saw this as well. Julian seems to have some trouble finding a member of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Natal Native Contingent
A Private Umkungu. I have been looking for this chap. But came up blank. I will keep looking.

I do own a copy of Julians Book. thats why i have taken an interest, in the chap he looking for.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon Sep 07, 2009 1:21 pm

There is a Umkungu mentioned in Natal; a History and Description of the Colony: Including Its Natural .(1876)
Not sure if its the same chap.

http://www.archive.org/stream/natalahistoryan00manngoog
Pages 299, 301,302,
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptySun Oct 04, 2009 5:11 pm

Letter from Africa: 'This is Britain's own version of the 300 Spartans'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/audio/2009/apr/20/david-smith-rorkes-drift-africa
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptySat Oct 24, 2009 3:54 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Time line of attack. 2 Second change
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyFri Jan 01, 2010 7:35 pm

I read an account by V.D. Hanson's and his take on Rorkes Drift. In "Carnage and Culture."

Question being “Why did the British win against the odds?

Hanson putts forward, that it was European discipline: that of which "grew out of the training and regulations of the British army, the fear of and respect for their officers, and the comradeship and allegiance to one another." Entrenched behind makeshift fortifications of biscuit tins and mealie bags.

British riflemen fired constantly without let-up for ten hours, cutting down scores of Zulu attackers as they sought to penetrate British defences. Their enemy could do little in the face of such co-ordinated defensive strategy. They came as individuals; the British defended as a team. The Zulus had "no understanding with a modern force of disciplined riflemen who would aim, fire, and reload modern firearms on command, and when shooting individually do so according to strict protocols concerning the range and nature of the target." Neither did they have any experience in handling those firearms. Lacking the sort of training that the British soldiers had received, the Zulus were unable to understand "Western decisive battle in which lines of soldiers sought to charge or fire in careful unison, and to do so in order and on command before, during, and after the melee." For them, Western victories were due to magic, and the only way to counter that was by even more potent witchcraft. But science knows no cultural boundaries.

Logical and plausible. Comments from other members most welcome..

G.
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptySat Jan 02, 2010 10:41 pm

In this book by V.D. Hanson, does he just mention Rorkes Drift, or doe's he give his opinions on other Battles relating to the Zulu War of 1879. His account of Rorkes Drift made ggod reading, and I think he does have a point.
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PostSubject: Re: The Battle Of Rorke's Drift .   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptySat Feb 06, 2010 12:59 am

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PostSubject: Those awarded VC's Rorkes Drift.   The Battle Of Rorke's Drift . EmptyMon Apr 05, 2010 4:00 pm

CHARD, John Rouse Merriott (Reg. No 203)Lieutenant. Corps of Royal EngineersVC London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879Born on 21st December 1847 at Pathe, Bridgewater, Somerset.Died on 1st November 1897 at, The Rectory, Hatch Beauchamp, Somerset.Memorials on grave and stained glass window at St. John the Baptist's Church, Hatch Beauchamp; Othery Church, Somerset; Rochester Cathedral, Kent; John Chard VC House, TA Centre, Swansea.Digest of Citation reads:On 22nd and 23rd January 1879 at Rourke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, Lieutenant Chard shared the command of the defenders of the post with Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead (Reg. No.124) of the 2nd Battn. 24th Regiment, setting a fine example and conducting himself with great gallantry in most trying circumstances.Additional information: John R. M .CHARD was Born on the 21st of December 1847. He was the son of Mr. W. W. Chard of Pathe, Somerset and Mount Tamar, Devon He was educated at Plymouth New Grammar School Cheltenham, and then at Woolwich. He join the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1868. Whilst he was serving in Bermuda the Zulu Wars began and he was shipped to South Africa. Whilst serving at Rorke's Drift, Natal, he was awarded the Victoria Cross along with Lieutenant Bromhead. London Gazette, 2nd May 1879 stated: J.M.R. Chard, Lieut. (Now Captain and Brevet Major) and G. Bromhead, Lieut. (Now Captain and Brevet Major) 2nd Battn. 24th Regt. For their gallant conduct at the defence of Rourke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack, by the Zulus on the 22nd and 23rd of January 1879Queen Victoria caused the names of Lieutenants Chard, Bromhead, Melvill and Coghill, (the latter two getting the VC for gallantry at Islandhlwana) to be inscribed on the colour pole of the 24th Regiment.Not long after the siege of Rourke's Drift, John Chard became ill with fever and was sent to Ladysmith to recuperate. When well he was able to take part in the Battle of Ulundi. Nearing the end of 1879 he was ordered home where he received a telegram from the Queen to join her at Balmoral. Colonel Chard retired from the Army in August 1897 to Hatch Beauchamp ,Somerset, where he died at the Rectory, three months later on November the 1st that year of Cancer of the tongue.The Memorial on his grave reads:COL. J.R.M.CHARD V.C. R.E.THE HERO OF RORKE'S DRIFT.BORN 21. DEC. 1847. DIED 1. NOV.1897.SON OF W.W.CHARD OF PATHE, SOMERSETAND MOUNT TAMAR, DEVON

BROMHEAD Gonville.(Reg. No 124)Lieutenant 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment (later South Wales Borderers)London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879.VC Medal's Custodian is the South Wales Borderers Museum, Brecon, Wales.Born on 29th August 1845 at Versailles, France.Died on 9th February 1891 at Allahabad, India.Memorials at grave in The New Cantonment Cemetery, Allahabad, India Also a plaque in the Havard Chapel, Brecon Cathedral. Memorials also at Magnus Grammar School, Newark on Trent and in Thurlby Church, Lincolnshire.Digest of Citation reads:On 22nd and 23rd January 1879 at Rourke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, Lieutenant Bromhead shared the command of the defenders of the post with Lieutenant J.R.M.Chard (Reg No.203) of the Royal Engineers, setting a fine example and conducting himself with great gallantry in most trying circumstancesAdditional information: Gonville Bromhead was Born in Versailles, France to Sir Edmund de Gonville Bromhead Bart. and Judith Christine (née Wood) daughter of James Wood Esq. Of Woodville, Sligo. Gonville was educated at Magnus Grammar School, Newark. He joined the 24th Regiment as an Ensign on the 20th April 1867 Serving in the South African War of 1877 to 1879, He was mentioned in Despatches. (London Gazette dated 1st March and 15th March,1879He was promoted to Captain and was given the Brevet* of a Major. He also received the South African Medal with clasp as well as being awarded the Victoria Cross. The London Gazette 2nd May 1879 told the following.Lieut. Chard, Royal Engineers, and Lieut. Gonville S. Bromhead, 2nd Battn. 24th Regt.. For their gallant conduct at the defence of Rourke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus on the 22nd and 23rd of June,1879.The Lieut. General commanding the troops, in his report, stated that if it was not for the fine conduct and excellent behaviour of these two officers under the most trying circumstances, the defence of Rorke's Drift post would not have been conducted with that intelligence and tenacity which so essentially characterised it.He was presented with his Victoria Cross at a ceremony held on the 22nd of August 1879 at Utrecht, Holland by Sir Garnet Wolseley.Major Bromhead served in the Burmese Expedition of 1885 and 1887-9 receiving the Medal and two clasps. He Died on at Lucknow, India on the 10th of February 1891.



ALLEN, William Wilson. (Reg No 21.) (or ALLAN)Corporal, 2nd Battalion, The 24th Regiment. (Later South Wales Borderers)London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879VC Medal's Custodian is the South Wales Borderers Museum, Brecon, Wales.Born around 1844 (Date not known) in Newcastle on Tyne..Died on 12th March 1890 at Monmouth.Memorial on grave at Monmouth Cemetery.Digest of Citation reads:On 22nd and 23rd January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, Corporal Allan and another man (See F. Hitch Reg. No.574) kept communication with the hospital open, despite being severely wounded. Their determined conduct enabled the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital, and when incapacitated by their wounds from fighting, they continued, as soon as their wounds were dressed, to serve out ammunition to their comrades during the night.Additional information: William Allan later became a Sergeant Musketry Instructor. His Victoria Cross and campaign medal were bought by a Mr Philip Wilkins on the 21st of June 1906.

SCHEISS, Ferdnand Christian. (reg No. 1113). Corporal. Natal Native Contingent. South African Forces. London Gazetted on 29th November, 1879. Born on 7th April 1856 at Bergedorf, Berne, Switzerland. Died off the coast of Angola on board the Seraphis bound for England on 14th December, 1884 . Buried at sea. Position Lat 13.00deg South by Long. 7deg 24' West (Recorded point of Ceremony) Memorial not known. VCs Medal's Custodian is the National Army Museum,London.Digest of Citation reads: During the battle at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa on the 22nd/23rd January, 1879, Corporal Schiess,who had been wounded in the foot a few days previously, greatly distinguished himself when the garrison were repulsing, by use of the bayonet, a series of determined assaults by the Zulus. He showed great activity and devotion to duty throughout the defence. When the garrison had retired to the inner defences and the mealie bags were now occupied by the Zulus , Corporal Schiess crept along a wall, without any instruction, to deal with a Zulu who was shooting rather accurately. He succeeded in killing him and two other Zulus before returning to the inner defences. Additional information:. Corporal Schiess, a Swiss national, was the first person, while serving with South African Forces under British Command to win the Victoria Cross. He is one of 14 foreigners to win the VC.Not being able to find employment after his force was disbanded: he was found in Cape Town suffering from malnutrition. He was offered passage to England, paid for by the Royal Navy. During the voyage on the Seraphis, he became ill and died. He was buried at sea on 14th December 1884. There have been reports that he was seen in Allahabad and spoken to by a Captain Penn-Symons. this seems unlikely as the reporting of his fare for England being paid by the Royal Navy, as well as his death and position of his burial so accurately recorded.

HITCH, Frederick (Reg No 574)Private 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment. (Later South Wales Borderers)London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879Born on 28th November 1856 at Edmonton, London.Died on 7th January 1913 at Ealing, London.Memorial on grave at St. Nicholas Churchyard, Old Chiswick, London.Digest of Citation reads:On 22nd and 23rd January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, Private Hitch and another man (See W.W. Allan. Reg. No. 21) kept communication with the hospital open, despite being severely wounded. Their determined conduct enabled the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital, and when incapacitated by their wounds from fighting, they continued, as soon as their wounds were dressed, to serve out ammunition to their comrades during the night.Additional information: Whilst he employed at the R.U.S. Institute, his Victoria Cross was stolen from his jacket. King Edward Vll ordered a new one to be made. It was presented to Mr. Hitch by Lord Roberts Later he became the owner of a cab, even later becoming a taxi driver.He was an unassuming man and extremely modest. It was only after his death at 63, Cranbrook St, Chiswick on the 7th of January 1913 that his colleagues realised that he was one of the heroes of Rorke's Drift.

HOOK, Alfred Henry. (reg.No.592).Private. 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment. (Later South Wales Borderers)London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879.Born on 6th August 1850 at grave in St. Andrew's Church Yard, Churcham, Gloucestershire.Died on 12th March 1905 from pulmonary tuberculosis at Osborne Villas, Roseberry Ave.Gloucester.Memorials on grave at St Andrews Church, Churcham, Gloucestershire and the Havard Chapel, Brecon Cathedral, Wales.Digest of Citation reads:On 22nd and 23rd of 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 men, Private J.Williams (Reg No.1313)however succeeded in making a hole in the wall large enough to get through,and taking the last two patients into the next ward, where he found Private Hook. Working together; the two men, one holding the Zulus at a distance with his bayonet, while the other managed to knock through three more partitions; and they were able to bring eight patients into the inner line of defence.Additional information: No. 1373 Private Alfred H. Hook was born at Churcham in Gloucestireshire on the 6th August 1850. He served with the Monmouth Militia, for five years, before joining the 24th Regiment. He saw service in the Kaffir War of 1877-8 and also served in the Zulu War 1879 where he won the Victoria Cross at Rorke's Drift. He later served as a Sergeant in the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. He was also on the staff at the British Museum.His first wife believing he had been killed in South Africa went of with another man. He remarried in 1897 at Islington, London.His gravestone is a Cross mounted on a plinth surmounted with a laurel wreath, in the centre of which is engraved, the Victoria Cross.

JONES, Robert (Reg. NO. 656)Private 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment (later South Wales BorderersLondon Gazetted on 2nd May 1879 Born on 19th August 1857 at Raglan, Monmouthshire.Died on 6th September 1898 of gunshot wounds* at Madley, Herefordshire.Memorial at grave* at St Peter's Church, Peterchurch, Herefordshire.Citation readsOn 22nd and 23rd January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, in a ward, of the hospital. facing the hill, Private Robert Jones and Private William Jones (Reg. NO.659) defended the ward to the last, until six out of the seven patients had been removed. The seventh, Sergeant Robert Maxfield of the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment, was delirious and although they managed to get him dressed, they could not induce him to move and when they returned to carry him away he was being stabbed to death, by Zulus in his bed.Additional information: Private Robert Jones S/No 716 enlisted in the 24th Regt. Around August 1875. He joined the 2nd Battn. at Dover on 10th January,1876. After the Zulu War he went with the Regiment to India. He left the Army as a reservist.He got employment as a farm labourer, marrying Elizabeth Hopkins in 1885 and having five children.On the 6th September 1898, he had borrowed his employers gun and gone off to shoot crows. He was found dead from shot-gun wounds.The coroners verdict was suicide as he had been complaining of headaches. He had suffered from nightmares since Rorke's Drift and taking this into consideration the Coroner returned a verdict of suicide. His family disputed this verdict.At his funeral,he was allowed to be buried in the churchyard of St Peter's, Peterchurch but only after the coffin had been passed over the wall. His gravestone,because he was a suicide, his tombstone faces the opposite direction to the others interred there.

JONES William (Reg.No.659)Private 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment (later South wales Borderers)VC London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879Born on: Date ? 1840 at Evesham, Worcestershire.Died on: 15th April 1913 at Ardwick, Lancashire.Memorial at: Philip's Park Cemetery, Manchester.Digest of Citation reads: On 22nd and 23rd January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, Private William Jones and another man (See R. Jones Reg. No.656) defended one of the wards of the hospital to the last, until six out of the seven patients had been removed. The seventh was delirious and although they managed to dress him, they could not induce him to move and when they returned to carry him away he was being stabbed to death in his bed.Additional information\; Private William Jones S/No 804 was discharged from the Army Reserve on the 26th January 1888.

WILLIAMS, John (Born FIELDING)Private 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment (later South Wales Borderers)VC London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879Born on 24th May 1857 at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.Died on 25th November 1932 at Cwmbran, Monmouthshire.Memorials at Llanfihangel Churchyard, Llantarnam, Mon.; John Fielding Home, Llantarnam.Digest of Citation reads: On 22/23 January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, Private Williams and two other men held a distant room of the hospital for more than an hour until they had no ammunition left, when the Zulus burst in and killed one of the men and two patients. Meanwhile Private Williams had succeeded in knocking a hole in the partition and took two remaining patients through into the next ward. He was there joined by another man (See A.H.Hook. Reg No.592) and working together,(one holding the enemy at bayonet point while the other broke through three more partitions) they were able to bring eight patients into the inner line of defenceAdditional information: Having been discharged from the Army Reserve on the 22nd May 1893, Williams then joined and served in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion of The South Wales Borderers for the duration of the war. He served the at Depot of the Regiment at Brecon, from 1914-20.

REYNOLDS, James Henry. (reg No. 1042). Surgeon Major. Army Medical Department. * London Gazetted on the 17th June 1879. Born on 3rd February 1844 at Kingsdown, Dublin. Died on 4th March 1932 at London. Memorial on grave at St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Rise, London. On the 22nd/23rd January in 1879, at the Swedish Mission at Rorke's Drift, Surgeon Major Reynolds attended constantly to the wounded under fire. He also exposed himself to enemy crossfire, going and returning, as he conveyed ammunition from the store to the defenders.* now Royal Army Medical Corps.Additional information:. Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds was the son of Mr L Reynolds JP, Daliston House, Granard, Ireland. In 1880 he married Elizabeth McCormick. His education was first at Castle Knock and then at Trinity College in Dublin.

DALTON, James Langley. (reg No. 296). Acting Assistant Commissary. Commissariat and Transport Department. (Royal Army Service Corps). London Gazetted on 17th November, 1879. Born in December 1832 (actual date not known) in London. Died on 8th January, 1887 at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Memorial at grave in Russell Road Cemetery, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Digest of Citation reads: On 22nd January, 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal , South Africa, Acting Assistant Commissary Dalton actively superintended the work of defence and was amongst the foremost of those who received the first attack at the corner of the hospital, where the deadliness of his fire checked the mad rush of the enemy. He saved the life of a man in the Army Hospital Corps by shooting the Zulu who was attacking him. Although wounded himself this officer continued to give the same example of cool courage throughout the action .
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