".John Pennington was one of two identical twins and both served with the Alexandra Mounted Rifles. Their father immigrated to Natal from Lancashire sometime before 1860 and acquired a large estate where he farmed. The two twins continued to run the estate after their father was mauled by a leopard and died in 1865. Both John and James volunteered for the Alexandra Mounted Rifles and when the Anglo-Zulu War broke out they were immediately called up for service, their unit being assigned to Colonel Pearson’s No. Column. Initially the A.M.R., the Durban Mounted Rifles and the Natal Hussars were stationed at Potspruit, high up on the Greytown Road above the Tugela River.
Later the unit crossed into Zululand and was engaged in escorting the convoy when the column was attacked by the Zulus at the Nyezane River on 22 January 1879. The column then proceeded to Eshowe where most of the Infantry were besieged for two months. Under orders the mounted units escaped back to the Tugela. For the remainder of the war the A.M.R. were used to patrol and guard the Natal border. Four months later, when it appeared that a large Zulu Impi was preparing to cross the Tugela, the A.M.R. once again moved into Zululand.
There was a running fight and several Zulus were killed. It was about this time that it was decided to issue fresh ammunition and to shoot off the old ammunition in a competition. It is recorded that James Pennington scored 52 points, coming eight in the competition.
At the end of hostilities the twins returned to their estate. An interesting highlight in the lives of the two twins was that at the age of 77 years they both took part in a march past of war veterans during the visit of the Prince of Wales – Prince George to Durban in 1934. They were later presented to the future King and had the opportunity of speaking with him."