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 zulu Film in a Nut Shell

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Dave

Dave


Posts : 1603
Join date : 2009-09-21

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PostSubject: zulu Film in a Nut Shell   zulu Film in a Nut Shell EmptyTue Aug 09, 2011 5:09 pm

"The Secretary of State for War
received the following dispatch
from Lord Chelmsford,
Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s
forces in Natal, South Africa.
“I regret to report
a disastrous engagement
which took place on the morning
of the 22nd of January
between the armies of the Zulu king
Cetewayo
and our Number 3 Column,
consisting of Five Companies
of the 1 st Battalion,
24th Regiment of Foot,
and One Company
of the 2nd Battalion,
a total of nearly 1,500 men,
officers and other ranks. “
“The Zulus, in overwhelming numbers,
launched a highly disciplined attack
on the slopes of the mountain
ISANDHLWANA,
and in spite of gallant
resistance…”
What did he ask, Father?
Whether a man of God like myself
was pleased
to see so many warriors married
to so many maidens at one time.
How can he imagine
it would please anyone?
Do you think I said it pleased me,
daughter?
I told him I was unhappy
to see so many brides
who may soon become widows.
That was a very good answer, Father.
Why do they have those little spears?
The girls, I mean?
It’s a symbol of their chastity,
daughter.
Oh.
It’s splendid, I know, but
it’s quite horrible too, isn’t it?
The Book says, “What went ye
out into the wilderness to see?”
- “A man clothed in soft raiment?”
- Yes, Father.
You must understand these things
if you’re going to stay in Africa.
That’s why I brought you here.
They are a great people, daughter.
But how can they
let themselves be married in droves?
Young girls to… to old men.
In Europe, young women accept
arranged marriages with rich men.
Perhaps the Zulu girls are luckier.
Getting a brave man.
Margareta.
- Wait. Alright.
- Father!
Wait. Wait, Margareta.
- O Lord in heaven!
- What is it? Father?
1,000 British soldiers
have been massacred.
While I stood here talking peace,
a war has started.
Ishiwan! Ishiwan!
Ishiwan!
Didn’t you say that Ishiwan…
Yes. It’s their name for our mission
station at Rorke’s Drift.
- They’re going to destroy it.
- Why?
There are British soldiers
at Rorke’s Drift.
- But only a handful.
- Come.
- It’s a hospital. Tell him.
- Do you think he will listen?
We must get there.
There’ll be a massacre.
Father! Father!
- Alright, Corporal Allen.
- Sir. Corp? Let go.
Right turn.
Quick march.
Colour Sergeant Bourne,
what’s that shooting?
- A rifle, Hughes.
- Hey?
If you’re sick in hospital,
I suggest you lie down.
Yes, Colour Sergeant.
Hookie,
who’s doing all that shooting?
- Hey? Who do you think?
- Who do you think?
Mr Bromhead
is shooting defenceless animals
for the officers’ dinner.
I wish he’d bring us
some fresh meat.
I wonder
what they’re cooking for supper.
Same as usual.
Horse meat and axle grease.
Which one has got the bullet?
She was as beautiful as a butterfly
She was as beautiful as a butterfly
And as proud as a queen
Was pretty little Polly Perkins
of Paddington Green
Shut up, you cripple!
She was as beautiful as a butterfly
And as proud…
Come on, make your mind up.
- It’s turning blue.
- Yes, very pretty. Which one?
It’s under that one.
The boy’s clever. The boy’s good.
How about putting some money on?
Five rounds!
Independent! Fire!
Stuff me with green apples.
If a dog was as sick as him,
they’d shoot him.
Five rounds! Independent!
Fire!
Shut up, you rotten, sick…
Why don’t you leave him alone?
He’s sick enough. You’ll kill him!
Wouldn’t bother Hookie, would it?
Wouldn’t bother
if Maxfield was dead.
I don’t care if you were all dead.
Blimey!
Rorke’s Drift. It’d take an Irishman
to give his name
to a rotten, stinking,
middle-of-nowhere hole like this.
Hold that pont!
- Corporal Allen?
- Sir.
- Get some men in the water!
- Sir.
Hey!
You heard that officer of Engineers.
Get it.
Heave! Put a bit more weight
on that rope, you men.
He’s even got a voice
like a corporal.
Sort of like a female hippopotamus
in labour.
- Hot work?
- Damned hot work.
Still, the river cools you off
a bit, though?
- Who are you?
- John Chard. Royal Engineers.
Bromhead. 24th.
That’s my post, up there.
You’ve come down from the column?
Right. They want a bridge
across the river.
Who said you could use my men?
They were sitting on their backsides
doing nothing.
I’d rather you asked first, old boy.
I was told their officer
was out hunting.
Er…
Yes.
I’ll tell my man to clean your kit.
- Don’t bother.
- No bother.
I’m not offering to clean it myself.
A chap ought to look smart
in front of the men.
Don’t you think?
Well, chin-chin. Do carry on
with your mud pies.
You.
- What’s your name?
- Owen.
Sir.
- Are you supposed to be here?
- Yes, sir.
Well, not exactly. You see, sir…
Only, you’ve got my solo tenor
out there.
- I’ve got your what?
- 612 Williams, sir.
We were going to practise this
afternoon with the company choir.
But you’ve got my only solo tenor
working in the cold water.
Well, I hope he sings
better than he works.
Indeed, sir, he does.
Every piece of wood in this
blistering country’s eaten by ants.
The heat and the dust, sir.
Very nasty on the larynx.
Mr Bromhead lets you have a choir?
Every Welsh regiment has a choir,
sir.
Mr Bromhead is English,
but he is a proper gentleman.
There’s no doubt of that.
- And what do you sing?
- Me, sir? Baritone, sir.
Good.
I can find work for baritones
as well as tenors.
See what you make of that.
Below the escarpment.
- Two riders.
- Gallopers from the column, sir?
Very wonderful things,
these, sir, aren’t they?
- Corporal Allen?
- Sir?
Get your party ashore at the double.
Alright, you heard
that officer of Engineers.
Make fast and back to the bank. Move.
Come on, lad.
- Trouble, sir?
- Could be.
I can anchor the ponts midstream.
This is a situation you think
an engineer officer can’t handle?
- No, sir. Beg your pardon, sir.
- Fall them in.
We ain’t finished the bridge, sir.
- Fall them in, Corporal.
- Sir.
Get fell in, you men.
Squad. Squad, ‘shun.
Left turn.
Left wheel. By the left.
Quick march.
Left, left.
Left, left, left, right, left.
Left, left.
Hey, you! What’s going on down there?
- They’re building barricades.
- What’s that?
Ride like hell. Tell them
they can’t get here too soon.
Corporal, I want all these people
out of here.
Douse these fires
and turn the boilers over.
- They’ve got soup in them.
- Pour it on the fires.
- Get a rifle.
- A rifle? But I don’t…
Mr Chard? Mr Chard?
- Commissary Dalton, is it?
- That is correct.
- You’ve just asked this man…
- To pour the soup on the fires.
See that he does it. All these bags
of maize inside the perimeter.
I don’t want these tents
providing cover for the enemy.
Does he know what it’s like to make
soup for 100 men in this heat?
Don’t distress yourself, dear fellow.
There’s your own officer.
- Go and speak with him.
- Yes, sir.
Chard?
This is Adendorff,
Natal Native Contingent.
From Isandhlwana.
Bromhead, 24th Foot.
You’ve come from there?
Alright, man, is it true?
Beg your pardon, sir.
About the soup, sir.
What about the soup?
This gentleman, sir,
said to put it on the fire.
- He did?
- We have thatched roofs here.
No need to make the Zulus
a present of fire.
Yes.
Then get on with it.
- There’s a good fellow.
- Am I to take a rifle, too, sir?
The entire column.
- It’s damned impossible. 800 men?
- 1,200 men.
There were 400 native levies also.
Damn the levies.
More cowardly blacks.
What the hell do you mean,
cowardly blacks?
They died on your side.
Who do you think is coming
to wipe out your command,
the Grenadier Guards?
What the deuce is the matter
with him?
- Adendorff? Are you staying?
- Is there anywhere else to go?
Talk to our levies, will you?
Tell them whose side they’re on.
Did the runner bring orders?
He brought orders
to the commander of this post.
- To do what?
- To hold our ground.
To hold our ground?
What military genius
thought up that one?
Somebody’s son and heir,
who got a commission
before he could shave?
I rather fancy
that he’s nobody’s son and heir now.
- Who are they?
- The Witts.
- Witts?
- The Swedish missionaries here.
This is their station.
They’ve chosen a damned odd time
for a prayer meeting.
I think you’d better
get them out of here.
Are you giving me an order, old boy?
Bromhead?
Let’s get one thing clear.
I’m no line officer. I’m an engineer.
- I came here to build a bridge.
- Lucky for you.
Otherwise, you would’ve been chopped
with the rest of the column.
Alright. What’s the date
of your commission?
Now, don’t tell me.
I suppose you have seniority.
1872. May.
1872. February.
Oh, well. I suppose there
are such things as gifted amateurs.
- You question my right to command?
- Not your right. Never mind.
We can… cooperate, as they say.
- I’ll be here, won’t I?
- Bromhead?
Have you been here long enough
to put a lookout on that hill?
Erm…
Not since we’ve been chatting, no.
I’ve started the barricades, though.
I managed to think of that.
Who’s the sergeant with the muscles?
Sgt Windridge. Good man.
Not you again?
Yes, sir, Surgeon Reynolds.
It’s my arm, sir.
The only trouble is
you never work with it.
Pretty terrible pain, sir.
Alright. Off with your vest.
- Now, sir?
- Now, sir.
Yes, sir.
It’s cruel to bend, sir.
You know what you’ve got there,
my malingering Hector?
No, sir. Hook’s the name, sir.
You’ve got a fine, handsome boil,
my friend.
There’s one glistening boil
for every soldier in Africa.
You may not win many medals
on this campaign.
But you’ll certainly get more boils.
For every gunshot wound I probe,
I expect to lance three boils.
Medicinal brandy would set me up.
Brandy’s for heroes.
The rest of you will make do
with boils in your skin,
flies in your meat
and dysentery in your bellies.
Now, then. This is going to hurt you
a lot more than it will me,
I’m happy to say.
Mr Bromhead? Cetewayo is coming
with two impies to destroy you.
You must talk to Lt Chard, Mr Witt.
He commands here. Margareta.
I am ready to take away
your sick and wounded.
Please supply the wagons.
Daughter, tell the men to get ready.
One moment, Miss Margareta.
Mr Witt?
I don’t suppose
you hold the Queen’s commission?
I am a man of peace, sir.
Allow a Queen’s officer
to give orders to her soldiers.
Now, how do you know
what Cetewayo is doing?
We have just come from his kraal.
He’s a member of my parish.
Your parish? Are you sure you’re on
the right side of the river?
I am here to do my duty.
I expect your cooperation.
What’s our strength?
Seven officers,
including surgeon, commissaries.
And Adendorff now, I suppose.
Wounded and sick, 36.
Fit for duty, 97.
And about 40 native levies.
Not much of an army for you.
There are 4,000 Zulus
coming against you.
You must abandon this mission.
Mr Chard?
Adendorff sent his trooper
to Helpmekaar.
- There’s a relief column there.
- There was three days ago.
Mr Bromhead, issue our walking
wounded with arms and ammunition.
You will all be killed
like those this morning.
And now the sick in their beds.
All of you.
I don’t think so, Mr Witt.
The army doesn’t like
more than one disaster in a day.
Looks bad in the newspapers and
upsets civilians at their breakfast.
Sir, the Book says, “There is no king
that can be saved
by the multitude of a host…”
Mr Witt?
When I have the impertinence
to climb into your pulpit
and deliver a sermon,
then you may tell me my duty.
It is not your duty
to sacrifice the sick.
Are you a student of tactics too,
Miss Witt?
Are you a Christian?
Sgt Windridge?
It is your duty
to let us take those men away.
Not that way, Miss Witt.
- Sir.
- Come, daughter.
Sergeant, put two good men
on that hill.
Tell them to keep their eyes peeled.
- Mr Bromhead, sir?
- Double up, dammit!
Carry on, Sgt Windridge,
there’s a good fellow.
Colour Sergeant Bourne?
Mr Bromhead?
I had a calf like you once,
back home in Merioneth.
I’ll get you some milk.
I’ll make you strong.
Would you like that, then?
What the hell do you think
you’re doing? Shut up!
Men of Harlech, stand ye steady
It cannot be ever said ye
- Fought…
- Owen!
Yes, Sergeant?
- You’ve got a voice?
- Yes, baritone, Sergeant.
Get up on that hill
and sing out if you see anything.
You too.
And take your bandook,
you dozy Welshman!
The classical attack of the Zulus
is in the shape of a bull buffalo.
The head, the horns and the loins.
First, the head moves forward.
The enemy moves in to meet it.
But it’s only a feint.
The warriors in the head disperse
to form the encircling horns.
The enemy is drawn in on the loins.
The horns close in
on the back and sides.
Finish.
It looks jolly simple, doesn’t it?
It’s jolly deadly, old boy.
Well done.
We’ll make an Englishman of you yet.
No, thanks. I’m a Boer.
The Zulus are the enemies of
my blood. What are you doing here?
You don’t object to our help?
It depends what you damned English
want for it afterwards.
Alright. Hospital. Church.
Cattle kraal. Stables.
An outside perimeter
joining the buildings here and here.
We don’t move out to meet
the feint of the buffalo head.
We hold the outside perimeter.
If that collapses, we move back
into this area here. How high
can you build a wall, Bromhead?
It should be shoulder high.
But if the fuzzies
moved out of Isandhlwana immediately,
they could be here, well, now.
It’s just a matter of time.
We’ll have to make the time.
Your only plan is to stand behind
a few feet of mealie bags,
and wait for the attack?
That’s right. We wait.
If 1,200 men couldn’t hold
a defensive position this morning,
what chance have we with 100?
Listen, I’ll take the company
up into the hills.
I know how to disperse them.
Ambush, you see?
We cut them down in the passes.
Bromhead? I want that line of boxes
across here,
from the cattle kraal
to the outside perimeter.
If they get over this… redoubt.
And a final redoubt here.
Put it in the middle.
What are you doing in here?
This is a church! Don’t you realise,
this is an altar table?
I’m sorry. There’s nothing larger.
We need it now.
There’s no chloroform.
Go to the hospital.
Tell the sick to be ready to leave.
I want cold water, lots of it,
a probe, a saw, some nitric acid.
Don’t take it too badly, Mr Witt.
Isn’t this as good a place as any
for a man to be when he’s in pain?
Excuse me, sir. Tuck your heads in
afore they fall off.
Sorry, sir. I have orders
to get some of these bags outside.
Alright, get on with it.
I was praying that your officer
may turn to God’s word.
That’s right, sir. A prayer’s as good
as a bayonet on a day like this.
- Have you prayed?
- There’ll be a time for it, sir.
What will you say?
Pick it up.
Bit of the Psalms, I suppose.
My father was a lay preacher.
A great one for the Psalms, he was.
There was one that might have been
written for a soldier.
Say it, man. Lift your voice to God.
- Now, sir?
- Yes. Let them hear your voice.
They know my voice.
Let them hear it now
in praise of the Lord.
Call upon him. Call upon him, man,
for your salvation.
As far as I can remember, sir,
it goes something like this.
“He maketh wars to cease
in all the world;
he breaketh the bow
and snappeth the spear in sunder.”
D’you know it, sir?
“I shall be exalted
among the heathen,
I shall be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us.”
That’s it, sir.
Nobody told you to stop working.
You lead-backsided… Get sweating.
I’ve been thinking.
I’ve got it all sorted out.
Company!
What are you doing here, Miss?
He doesn’t need any help.
I’ll look after him.
Won’t I?
You are all to be evacuated soon
in the wagons.
- Who says?
- My father.
That’s nice, isn’t it? Your father.
You and me, Hookie.
Mr Chard’s orders. In this room.
Here we are.
What are you talking about?
I’m sick. I’m excused duty.
What are you doing?
I’m making a loophole, see?
Me and Hookie’s gonna fight in here.
You’re joking! I’m sick.
Nobody’s got any right to ask me
to muck around in a battle.
I’m getting out.
- Private Hook!
- Yes?
Yes, Sergeant.
I know you, Hook.
Yeah, you ought to.
You’re no good, Hook.
They gave us you
because you are no good to anyone
except the Queen and Sgt Maxfield.
Thank you very much, the both of you.
Take this rifle, Hook, and get to it!
I’ll make a soldier of you yet.
What for? Did I ever see a Zulu
walk down the City Road? No!
So what am I doing here?
You are here
because you were a thief.
- And you still are one…
- Certainly.
…Hook, my lad.
And now you can be a soldier,
like what they pay you for.
You got me 28 days’ field punishment
in Brecon. Isn’t that enough?
Pick up the bayonet
and help Williams.
And put your tunic on!
28 days’ field punishment. No pay.
Know what he did?
Sent money to my missus.
What did you do that for?
You hate him for it?
What do you want me to do?
Cry my heart out?
Give him a big kiss?
I thought you might pray for him.
She’s a dry one. Very cool.
You know what she needs.
Play your cards right,
and it could be you.
Can I help anyone?
There will be wagons soon
to take you away.
He’s dying.
There’s nothing you can do.
Nothing?
There must be.
- ‘Shun!
- Pay attention.
Are there any walking sick
without rifles?
Me.
You, Dutchy?
You couldn’t walk to the latrine.
This is not my first action. Come on.
Are you expecting sick men to fight?
What’s he going to do, 593?
I think he wants to be a hero, 716.
Haven’t you red necks got names
instead of numbers?
This is a Welsh regiment, man.
Though there are some foreigners
from England in it.
I am Jones from Bwlchgwyn.
He is Jones from Builth Wells.
There are four more Joneses
in C Company.
Confusing, isn’t it, Dutchy?
What’s your name, then?
It’s Schiess. And I’m not Dutch.
I’m Swiss.
There’s a silly man, by damn.
He’s got himself into a private war.
I belong to Natal Mounted Police.
Is that true, then?
He’s a peeler, 716.
Come to arrest the Zulus.
What do you know about Zulus?
Bunch of savages.
Hmm!
Alright, how far can you red necks
march in a day?
15, 20 miles, is it?
A Zulu regiment can run 50 miles
and fight a battle at the end of it.
There’s daft. I don’t see no sense
in running to fight a battle.
What are you doing here?
Why don’t you go?
No. Not until you have gone.
You know Cetewayo has a regiment
of young girls, warriors,
called Ripen At Noon.
There’s pretty.
Hey, come on. Come on. Here.
Here! Give us… Just a little kiss?
Come on!
Hey! Hey, boys! Take a look at this.
- What is it, boyo?
- Flaming dust. What else?
No, by damn, it’s horses!
The cavalry!
It’s the relief column,
you long-range sniper, you.
Colour Sergeant?
Sir?
Stephenson, Darnford’s Horse.
- Thank God you’re here.
- I’m surprised you’re still here.
There are 4,000 Zulus
coming this way.
Can you throw out your men
in a screen to the south?
You know how Zulus feel
about cavalry.
I know how my men feel about Zulus.
We’ve just got through them.
- Stephenson.
- Bromhead. What price, this?
Your whole regiment’s gone.
Bromhead? You know this man.
Tell him we need him.
I’m sorry. Look at my men.
Stand fast, all of you!
Where are they going?
Get them back here!
- Let go of my bridle!
- Get them back here!
If they’re going to die,
they’ll die on their own farms.
You’re the professionals.
You fight here if you want to.
We need you! Don’t go!
Don’t go! Stay!
We need you, damn you!
We need you.
You didn’t say a single word to help.
When you take command, old boy,
you’re on your own.
The first lesson the General,
my grandfather, ever taught me.
Alright, then.
Nobody told you to stop working.
Brothers! O brothers! The way
of the Lord has been shown to us.
“Thou shalt not kill,”
saith the Lord.
Brothers! O brothers!
God’s love is peace.
- Colour Sergeant Bourne?
- Go in peace!
Stay not to kill and be killed.
Go, I say.
The sin of Cain will be upon you.
“Am I my brother’s keeper?”
asked Cain.
Yea, we are all our brother’s keeper.
“The nations
are but a drop of a bucket,
and are counted as the small dust
of the balance.”
Bring him along.
Mr Witt,
I’m getting you off this post.
Sir, they’ve all hopped it.
All of them.
Give me those wagons
and I will save the sick.
You want the wagons?
Mr Bourne? Windridge?
Get those wagons in.
God loves a sinner
come to his understanding.
Hey, we’re in luck.
Looks like the old parson
got Chard to let us go.
Heave!
Right, lads. Heave.
Heave!
O Lord God, give me strength!
Oh, God! God forgive me.
I have the strength of thousands
while the spirit of God is with me.
Colour Sergeant Bourne?
Oh, God, forgive me.
Get him away from here.
Leave him alone! Leave him alone!
Miss Witt!
Animals! All of you!
- Animals!
- Sgt Woodridge.
We shall not go. If you send us away,
we shall come back.
Lock him in the storeroom.
Put a man on the door.
Alright, men, get back to work.
And you…! Put Miss Witt
in the church with Surgeon Reynolds.
It was sad, you know. And sick.
Had a battle coming, see?
Animals are very sensitive to noise.
Why worry about a calf?
I thought I was tired of farming.
No adventure in it.
But when you look at it,
this country’s not a bit as good
as Bala and the lake there.
Not really green, like.
And the soil.
There’s no moisture in it.
Nothing to hold a man in his grave.
Chard? One of my men, Hook.
- Do you know him?
- No.
In the hospital, malingering,
under arrest.
He’s a thief, a coward and
an insubordinate barrack-room lawyer.
- And you’ve given him a rifle.
- What?
In Queen’s regulations,
it specifically states…
Damn funny.
Like a…
Like a train in the distance.
You were saying about Hook?
Mr Bromhead, sir?
Sentries’ve come in from the hill.
Colour Sergeant?
You have something to report?
- Sir?
- Then tell me.
Very good, sir. The sentries
report Zulus to the southwest.
Thousands of them.
Alright, Colour Sergeant, stand to.
Stand… to.
Look to your front. Mark the orders.
Mark the target when it comes.
Look to your front.
Mark your target when it comes.
Look to your front.
Look to your front.
Mark your target when it comes.
Mark your target. Look to your front.
- Hitch, do your tunic up.
- My tunic?
Do it up.
Where do you think you are, man?
Look to your front.
Mark your target when it comes.
To your front.
- Mark your target when it comes.
- Look to your front.
Mark the orders.
Mark your target when it comes.
Boy? You hear me, boy?
Will you be Cain
and kill your brother?
“Thou shalt not kill,”
saith the Lord.
You believe in the Lord’s word,
don’t you?
Obey the word, boy. Obey the Lord.
Go to the others.
Boy, go to the others.
He’s…
- Mr Witt says…
- Never mind him, boy.
You get along back to the ramparts
with your mates.
Yes, sir.
Mr Witt, sir? Be quiet now, will you?
There’s a good gentleman.
You’ll upset the lads.
- You know my father was at Waterloo?
- He was?
He got his colonelcy after that.
Did he?
And my great-grandfather,
he was the johnny
who knelt beside Wolfe at Quebec.
Did they make him a colonel too?
No,
you don’t see what I’m driving at.
You’re telling me you’re
the professional, I’m the amateur.
No. What I mean is…
I mean, I wish right now…
…I were a damned ranker,
like Hook or Hitch.
You’re not, are you?
You’re an officer and a gentleman.
Listen.
That damned train again.
“He breaketh the bow
and snappeth the spear in sunder!”
“I will be exalted
among the heathen.”
“I will be exalted in the earth.”
“The Lord of hosts is with us.”
I hope so.
As I live and die, I hope so.
Company will fix bayonets!
Fix!
Bayonets!
Atten-shun!
You slovenly soldier, Hitch.
Load!
North rampart, stand fast!
South rampart… at 100 yards!
Volley fire!
Present!
Fire!
Reload!
Fire!
Fire!
Reload!
Independent, fire at will!
That’s very nice of him.
- They’re just asking for it.
- Keep firing, soldier.
Mark your targets before you fire.
Adendorff, what’s wrong with them?
- Why don’t they fight?
- They’re counting your guns.
What?
See that old boy
up on the hill?
He’s counting your guns.
Testing your firing power
with the lives of his warriors.
Cease firing!
- Well?
- They’ll be back.
Stand fast!
60. We dropped at least 60,
wouldn’t you say?
That leaves only 3,940.
“Rise up, my love,
my fair one, and come away.”
“Behold, thou art fair, my love!”
How long?
10, 15 minutes. Maybe less.
As soon as they’ve regrouped.
“Thy lips
are like a thread of scarlet,
and thy speech is comely.”
He can’t be!
He is. Drunk as a lord.
- 15 minutes.
- If we’re lucky.
Colour Sergeant Bourne?
“Many waters
cannot quench love,
neither can the floods drown it.”
Yes, sir, the gentleman has a bottle.
Then get him out of here.
Put him on his cart.
Tie him on if necessary.
The sooner we get rid of them,
the better.
Chard. They won’t stand a chance
with the Zulus.
They’re Witt’s parishioners.
But the woman,
do you want to see her killed?
Do you, Bromhead?
Because you will
if we don’t get them out of here.
Come along, sir.
There’s a good gentleman.
Alright, pick him up.
“I have sinned against heaven,
and before thee.”
Oh, no!
Father!
“Peace be within thy walls…”
Father!
Drive with the sun at your back.
You should make it safely.
Sergeant!
- Father!
- Leave me alone!
Try to understand him, Miss Witt.
Death awaits you!
You have made a covenant with death,
and with hell you are in agreement!
You’re all going to die!
Don’t you realise?
Can’t you see?
You’re all going to die!
Die!
- Death awaits you all!
- He’s right.
Die!
Why is it us?
- Die!
- Why us?
Because we’re here, lad,
and nobody else.
Just us.
Colour Sergeant.
Right, now get back to your posts.
At the double.
Here they come again!
Volley!
Fire!
- I can’t see a bloody one now.
- They’ve gone to ground.
Oh.
Reload!
There they go!
Eyes front. Look to the front!
What the devil’s going on?
Tell me what’s happening.
I’ve got to know.
They’re on both sides!
We haven’t enough men
at the north wall.
Can’t you take some from the south?
How will we hold that if we do?
Adendorff, are they going to hit us
everywhere at once?
I told you, remember?
The horns of the buffalo.
The south could have been a feint.
We can’t man the whole perimeter.
We’ve got to outgun them somewhere.
Alright, Bromhead,
take men from the south,
one section in three.
Reinforce the north wall.
But if they do come
from the south again?
Get on with it, Mr Bromhead.
At the double.
Colour Sergeant Bourne,
I want every other man
from sections one, three and five
over at the north wall.
Come on, then, at the double.
First two.
Follow me.
Where would you like me?
You pick your own ground.
It’s your country, isn’t it?
Hey, who left the door open?
Blazes! Where did they get those?
Off the bodies of your regiment
at Isandhlwana.
That’s a bitter pill,
our own damn rifles!
Keep your heads down.
- Corporal Allen!
- Sir.
This is your section now.
Keep the heads
of those marksmen down.
- Can’t see none of ‘em, sir.
- Corporal, fire at the smoke.
- Keep them pinned down, not us.
- Sir. Fire at the smoke.
Fire at the smoke.
Mr Bromhead!
- Not the best of shots, are they?
- Get a platoon together.
I’ll need more than one
if I’m going after them.
You’re not.
Get a platoon of good bayonet men.
Take head on
anything that breaks through.
- It’s still a holding action?
- Right.
Your job is to plug the gaps
from the inside.
- And get yourself a good sergeant.
- Yes, sir!
Hitch! Get down!
How can I shoot them
if I can’t see them?
Hitch!
My leg! Corp!
Corp?
Can I undo my tunic buttons now,
can I, Corp?
Stretcher bearers!
Come on, attack, damn you!
Here they come!
North wall, volley fire! Present!
At 100 yards!
Fire!
Reload!
Independent, fire at will!
- Bromhead!
- Follow me!
Bromhead!
Mr Chard, I’ll get you help.
Keep our squad on the wall, Sergeant.
Chard! Are you alright?
Take… command.
Corporal!
You’re the professional.
- Take command.
- Lance Corporal!
Now, listen, old boy,
you’re not badly hurt.
We need you!
Damn you, we need you. Understand?
Get him to Surgeon Reynolds.
Take command. You want it, don’t you?
- Sergeant Windridge!
- Sir!
Scalpel.
Orderly, damn it!
Will you keep the flies away!
Fan it!
Damn you, Chard!
Damn all you butchers!
Why?
Why?
- Why? Why?
- It’s alright, boy, you sleep.
I’m damned if I can tell you why.
You know this boy?
Name of Cole, sir.
He was a paperhanger.
He’s a dead paperhanger now.
Orderlies!
Are you alright?
There they go, boys. After ‘em!
Stand fast! They’re retiring, sir.
North wall, hold your fire.
Down!
What is it? Another blasted trick?
They’re forming up
on the south plain.
I knew it! They’re going to attack
both walls at once.
I doubt it, not unless
they have no other choice.
The old general
couldn’t use his rifles on the hill
for fear of hitting his own men.
This way, he probes
for weaknesses on the one wall
while he keeps the other pinned down.
Yes.
They’re on the move, sir!
North wall, keep those riflemen
on the hill pinned down.
South wall, volley fire!
Present!
Fire!
Reload!
- Hookie, do something!
- I’m excused duty.
- I haven’t excused you, have I?
- You want some help.
Why didn’t you say so?
This rifle!
Honestly, I can’t manage it.
Now, now, you heard
what the officer said. Come on.
But if it really came down to it,
sir, I couldn’t really shoot anyone.
Careful! Pop that chap, somebody!
Good fellow. Good fellow.
You see?
Sir!
Sir!
You’re doing fine.
Where…
You want to rest here a bit?
Watch it!
Can you move your leg?
- If you want me to dance.
- I want you to crawl.
Come on, you slovenly soldier,
we’ve got work to do.
It’s alright, sir,
we’ll do that for you.
- I’m alright.
- You’d better get to the surgeon.
I’ll try to get someone to help you.
I can manage.
Here.
Here.
Hold them!
Hey, Noel, Tommy, look!
Oh, my God!
Bromhead, reorganise your
flying platoon with Sgt Windridge.
But I… Yes, sir, of course.
Sir.
- Well done, Corporal. Stand by.
- Sir.
Colour Sergeant Bourne!
Sir? Are you alright, sir?
Thank you, Mr Bourne.
The men on the church roof,
have them support your fire
against the hillside.
- Corporal?
- Sir.
Section on the roof, bring your
rifles about on the hillside.
Fire at the smoke.
The men on the hospital loopholes,
they’ve nothing to fire at.
Bring them to the front windows
to support the north wall.
Colour Sergeant?
- Sir.
- I want half your men now.
An even number, sir?
- Form two lines on the double.
- Sir!
Company!
Company! En garde!
Fall back! Clear the line of fire!
Front rank! Fire!
Rear rank!
Fire! Advance!
Rear rank!
Fire! Advance!
Rear rank! Fire!
Advance!
Rear rank! Fire!
Advance!
Rear rank!
- Fire!
- Advance!
Rear rank! Fire!
- Advance!
- Rear rank!
- Fire!
- Advance!
Rear rank! Fire!
Advance!
Rear rank!
- Fire!
- Advance!
Independent, fire at will!
Cease firing!
Hey, Thomas. There’s some water.
Oh, thank God!
- 470 Davies was hit, you know?
- No!
Aye, in the throat.
What a pity.
The man is a great bass baritone.
In the throat, is it?
Aye.
Hey, where are you going?
- I’m going to see that calf, man.
- Come back! What are you doing?
Tommy!
Mr Bourne, there should be 12 more
men working on this redoubt.
They’re very tired, sir.
I don’t give a damn.
I want this nine foot high,
firing steps inside.
Form details to clear away
the Zulu warriors.
Rebuild the south ramparts.
Keep them moving.
- You understand?
- Yes, sir.
Very good, sir.
Alright, lads, keep it moving.
We’re next, boys.
This is the blind spot.
Even if those flaming officers
ain’t seen it, I bet the Zulus have.
- Howarth, put your money up.
- Are you stupid?
What bloody good
will it do you if you do win?
- We’re all goners!
- Well, it don’t matter if you lose!
Hey, Hookie.
Hughsie.
There’s brandy in Reynolds’
medical cabinet. Borrow some.
- It’s locked up.
- Kick it down, then.
Hey, that’s company punishment.
Company punishment.
On the right.
Form close columns of platoons.
- By the right!
- You lucky bastard!
Oh dear, oh dear.
Well, your mum will need somebody
to milk her now, won’t she?
Stand to!
Alright, alright, I can hear you.
Out you get, Hookie,
you’ve done your bit.
Quick! Thousands of ‘em! 612!
Knock a hole in that wall!
Better get down now, sir.
Sir!
Get down now, sir!
No! Jones, it’s me!
Come on, get through,
you bloody Englishman!
Get out! Get out! Get out!
Jonesy!
Come on up!
Get to Surgeon Reynolds.
Right, get on the wall.
Hook!
I know you!
What about the money
you sent my old woman?
Hook!
That’s it, Hook, my lad!
That’s it!
Hookie!
Stay where you are, Maxfield!
Hookie!
Get out!
That’s my boy, Hook!
You’re a soldier now!
I’ve made a soldier of you!
Where’s my bloody sergeant?
Get out! Come on!
Is everybody out? On the wall.
Hookie? Where’s Hookie? Hookie!
Come down, Hookie!
Hookie!
Hookie! That’s a flogging offence!
Get out, for God’s sake, man!
- Everybody out?
- Everybody that will get out.
- Abandon the outside ramparts.
- Bugler! Retire to this wall!
Colour Sergeant,
carry on building the inner redoubt.
Sir!
Alright,
nobody told you to stop working!
Look at that.
- Do you think he wanted it that way?
- Look at it burn!
Any more in there?
Then we’ll have to take them
from the outside walls.
- Colour Sergeant Bourne.
- Sir?
Hey, Owen?
- Are you awake, man?
- What is it?
I didn’t think it was going to die.
- Can you see something?
- No, the calf, I’m talking about.
There’s sorry I am.
Aye.
Seems a pity, doesn’t it?
How many times have they come
since sunset?
I don’t know.
Do you reckon they’ll come again?
I think they’ve got more guts
than we have, boyo.
Soldiers!
Alright, back to your posts.
You, hold there.
Orderly, see to these men.
Colour Sergeant.
Put a third of our men
in the redoubt.
Send the bugler to me.
I was asleep, sir.
You let me sleep?
You shouldn’t have done that.
Is there any water?
I sent what was left to Reynolds.
Yes, of course.
It’s fear dries the mouth, isn’t it?
When a man’s as thirsty as this.
I could have drunk a river.
Thank you for what you said.
Hmm?
Oh, you mean about our needing you?
Yes.
Don’t bother, old boy, it’s true.
Sir?
Come with me.
Get in the redoubt, my lucky lads.
Make a move.
Come on. Come on.
Alright, lads, take up your positions
on the firing step.
Keep your heads down.
- How old are you, boy?
- Sir?
It doesn’t matter.
You know what to sound?
Yes, sir.
Stay by me.
Do you think the Welsh
can’t do better than that, Owen?
Well, they’ve got a very good
bass section, mind,
but no top tenors, that’s for sure.
Men of Harlech, stop your dreaming
Can’t you see
their spear points gleaming?
See their warrior
pennants streaming
To this battlefield
- Sing!
- Men of Harlech, stand ye steady
- Come on, sing!
- It cannot be ever said ye
For the battle were not ready
Stand and never yield
The mighty foe surrounding
Men of Harlech, on to glory
This will ever be your story
Keep these burning words before ye
Welshmen will not yield
Men of Harlech, stop your dreaming
Can’t you see
their spear points gleaming?
See their warrior
pennants streaming
To this battlefield
Men of Harlech, stand ye steady
It cannot be ever said ye
For the battle were not ready
Stand and never yield
From the hills rebounding
Let this war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria’s call
At 100 yards!
Volley fire! Present!
Men of Harlech, on to glory
Aim!
Fire!
Right, stand by. Lips dry?
- Sergeant!
- Prepare!
Now!
Spit, boy! Spit!
Redoubt party!
Fire!
Volley by ranks!
Front rank, fire!
Second rank, fire!
Third rank, fire!
Front rank, fire!
Second rank, fire!
Third rank, fire!
Front rank, fire!
Second rank, fire!
Third rank, fire!
Fire!
Fire!
Fire!
Cease firing!
Three hours
and they haven’t come again.
Mr Chard, sir.
The patrol’s come back.
The Zulus have gone. All of them.
It’s a miracle!
If it’s a miracle, Colour Sergeant,
it’s a short-chamber
Boxer-Henry.45-calibre miracle.
And a bayonet, sir,
with some guts behind it.
- Fall them in. Call the roll.
- Sir.
- Fall in.
- Well, you did it.
Me?
- Abel?
- Sir.
Adams?
Adams?
- Barry?
- Sir.
- Beckett?
- He’s wounded, sir.
- He’s dying, sir.
- It’s sad.
Keep your voices down.
Byrne?
- Camp?
- Sir.
Chick?
Cole?
- Who was left in here?
- I don’t know.
They had names and faces.
What do you mean, you don’t know?
Chard!
Alright.
470 Davies?
- 363 Davies?
- Sir.
Well…
…you’ve fought your first action.
Does everyone
feel like this afterwards?
How do you feel?
Sick.
Well, you have to be alive
to feel sick.
You asked me, I told you.
There’s something else.
I feel ashamed.
Was that how it was for you?
The first time?
The first time?
You think I could stand
this butcher’s yard more than once?
I didn’t know.
I told you…
…I came up here to build a bridge.
Fagan?
Green, 459?
Sir.
- Hughes?
- Excused duty.
No comedians, please.
- Hughes?
- Yes, Colour Sergeant.
Say “sir”. Officer on parade.
Sir!
Hayden?
Hitch?
Hitch, I saw you.
- You’re alive.
- I am? Oh, thanks very much.
- Answer the roll. Say “sir”.
- Sir!
Alright. Now get off into the sickbay
where you belong.
- Hook?
- Yes, sir, me too.
Stay where you are, Hook!
Well, we haven’t done too badly.
Hmm?
Oh, my God!
Adendorff, why have they stopped?
God damn you!
- I want an answer!
- Haven’t you had enough?
Both of you! My God,
can’t you see it’s all over?
Your bloody egos
don’t matter any more!
We’re dead!
What are you waiting for?
Come on.
Come on!
Those bastards!
They’re taunting us!
No.
No. You couldn’t be more wrong.
They’re… they’re saluting you.
They’re saluting fellow braves.
They’re saluting you.
Oh, my eye! Oh, my eye!
Will you look!
In the 100 years
since the Victoria Cross was created
for valour and extreme courage
beyond that expected of a British
soldier in face of the enemy,
only 1,344 have been awarded.
11 of these were won by
the defenders of the mission station
at Rorke’s Drift, Natal,
January 22nd to the 23rd, 1879.
Frederick Schiess, Corporal,
Natal Native Contingent.
William Allen, Corporal, B Company,
2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
Fred Hitch, Private, B Company,
2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
James Langley Dalton,
Acting Assistant Commissary,
Army Commissariat Department.
612 John Williams,
Private, B Company,
2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
716 Robert Jones,
593 William Jones,
Privates, B Company,
2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
Henry Hook, Private, B Company,
2nd Battalion, 24th Foot.
James Henry Reynolds,
Surgeon Major, Army Hospital Corps.
Gonville Bromhead, Lieutenant,
B Company, 2nd Battalion
of the 24th Regiment of Foot,
South Wales Borderers.
John Rouse Merriott Chard,
Lieutenant,
Royal Engineers,
Officer Commanding Rorke’s Drift.
From the hills rebounding
Let this war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria’s call
The mighty foe surrounding
Men of Harlech, on to glory
This will ever be your story
Keep these burning words
before ye
Welshmen will not yield"
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