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» Bearing The Cross by Ken Blakeson | BBC RADIO DRAMA: Ken Blakeson's play tells the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift and the effect it had on three of the soldiers who fought in it.
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 Abandonment of Rorkes Drift

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turkey1954




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PostSubject: Abandonment of Rorkes Drift   Abandonment of Rorkes Drift EmptySat May 21, 2011 1:52 pm

Is there testimony from any accounts of this battle which states that Chard and Bromhead were going to quit the post. Some say that Dalton persuaded them to stay and build fortifications. The reason I ask is when the news of Isandlwana got to RD Chard was at the river and Bromhead in the camp. If my memory serves me correctly Chard states that when he got back to camp work on the barricades had already started. There are also reports that these two officers were not the sharpest tools in the box but surely even a lunatic could see that to leave a defensive position would have been suicide
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat


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PostSubject: Re: Abandonment of Rorkes Drift   Abandonment of Rorkes Drift EmptySun May 22, 2011 2:38 pm

Turkey1954. See link below.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Abandonment of Rorkes Drift   Abandonment of Rorkes Drift EmptySun May 22, 2011 7:26 pm

Turkey. Your correct on all accounts. Dalton mentioned it would be better to stay fortify and fight. But would they have been ok if they left when they first received the news of the Zulu Victory at Isandlwana. The link posted by CTSG discusses just that.
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turkey1954




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PostSubject: Abandonment of Rorkes Drift   Abandonment of Rorkes Drift EmptySun May 22, 2011 8:07 pm

I read through the link from CTSG. Hook mentions 2 wagons had been loaded in preparation to abandon. The senior officer commanding was down at the drift. When he got back fortifications had started. Bromhead may have taken it upon himself to order withdrawal but was dissuaded by Dalton. I can only assume panic had set in if this order was given as it flies in the face of common sense.

Also the link mentions that they had been sent a note to hold the post. Now I remember this in the film but I always thought that this was another bit of artistic licence. Did the OC actually have orders to hold?

Thanks for the replies
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Abandonment of Rorkes Drift   Abandonment of Rorkes Drift EmptySun May 22, 2011 8:41 pm

I think the orders came from Gardener. Yes I agreed. It must have been the first thought to get the hell out of it. Dalton was an old sgt of the line and had Battle exprience. It does seem that Chard wasn't included in the decision to stay. As you say fortifications were already on the way when Chard came up from the river. But his engineering knowledge did came in handy when constructing the redout, which of course was there last safe haven.
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