Edith Orchard was a Victorian ladies maid in one of Englands great homes. Her early life had been spent sitting at her fathers feet enthralled by his stories of his travels and in particular his adventures in Zulu Land.
As Williams time drew near she spent her time listening and writing down his story, from the time of his first enrolment to the great war, his part in it and the sacrifice his family made. Edith was a product of her time, a young Victorian miss believing in the honor and code of conduct of thee age. Her writings and poetry reflect that part of her, as does her mission to set down her fathers story.
Its a story from an ordinary English soldier, a story of bloody carnage, his love of the Zulu race, his humble shame at the widows and orphans left behind partly as a result of his own actions. A shame that shines strongly through his writings.
I discovered this manuscript a number of years ago and have been loath to share it with the wider world because of the passion it generates.
Its close to Christmas now and I feel its appropriate that the first public airing of William Henry Orchards life should be on the forum. Its my way of honoring a 'gentleman' and at the same time making it my Christmas Gift to the Forum members.
Pete has been sent all the pages and copies of all the research documents.