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Zulu Dawn:“Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
 
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 Lieutenant G. D. Hayward, Frontier Light Horse

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PostSubject: Lieutenant G. D. Hayward, Frontier Light Horse   Lieutenant G. D. Hayward, Frontier Light Horse EmptyFri Jun 04, 2021 3:26 pm

"Lieutenant G. D. Hayward, Frontier Light Horse, one of the officers mentioned in Brigadier-General Evelyn Wood’s despatch for gallantry in bringing dismounted men out of action during the reconnaissance made before Ulundi on 3 July 1879; gallantry that was further recognised by the award of the Victoria Cross to Captain Cecil D’Arcy and Sergeant Edmund O’Toole of the same regiment, and to Captain Lord William Beresford of the 9th Lancers.

The following extract is taken from a despatch from Brigadier-General Evelyn Wood, Commanding Flying Column, Camp, Umvolosi River, near Ulundi, July 5, 1879, published in the London Gazette of August 21, 1879:

‘About the same time Colonel Buller crossed the river lower down, with the mounted men of this column, and advanced very rapidly towards Ulundi to reconnoitre the ground in that direction. Moving out parties to cover his flanks, he pushed forward in a very dashing manner to within two hundred yards of the Ulundi River. Here he came on about five thousand Zulus lying concealed in the valley. The latter opened fire on the advancing horsemen, while the bodies of from three thousand to four thousand of the enemy, moving down on each flank, tried to cut off his retreat. At the Ulundi River the long grass had been carefully plaited near the banks to impede or trip up the horses while the enemy lay concealed in the river bed.

Colonel Buller, having effected the purpose for which he had gone forward, now withdrew his men. He suffered a loss, however, of three men killed, notwithstanding the gallant exertions of his officers to save them. Commandant D’Arcy took up behind him on his own horse Trooper Raubenheim, Frontier Light Horse, but the horse fell, and Commandant D’Arcy was much injured thereby. The trooper was so shaken that he was unable to mount again.

In a similar manner Trooper Peacock, Natal Light Horse, was put up by Lieutenant-Colonel Buller and Captain Prior, behind Sergeant Kerr, Natal Light Horse. Sergeant Kerr behaved exceedingly well, but was eventually pulled off by Trooper Peacock, who was either killed or so stunned that he was unable to rise again. Lord William Beresford and Lieutenant Hayward also brought dismounted men out of action. Considering that in each of these cases crowds of Zulus were rushing on these courageous men and were only about 150 yards off, their noble conduct will doubtless be noticed by His Excellency the Lieutenant-General Commanding.’

In the London Gazette of 10 October 1879, the award of the Victoria Cross was conferred on Captain Cecil D’Arcy and Sergeant Edmund O’Toole, both of the Frontier Light Horse, ‘for their several Acts of Valour in endeavouring to save lives of soldiers during the reconnaissance made before Ulundi on the 3rd July, 1879.’

The Victoria Cross was also awarded to Captain Lord William Beresford, 9th Lancers, announced in an earlier London Gazette of 9 September 1879, for saving the life of Sergeant Fitzmaurice, 1/24th Foot Mounted Infantry, on the same occasion. He was aided on this rescue by Sergeant O’Toole, Frontier Light Horse, and when the Victoria Cross was proposed for Lord William he said he ought not to have it unless it was awarded to Sergeant O’Toole as well. This was done. There can be little doubt that Lieutenant Hayward’s name was also considered for this high honour at the same time."

Source: DNW
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