The Star (New Zealand) 17/9/1906
The Wounded Zulu
A Rorke's Drift Experience
Those members of Parliament who have asked questions as to the treatment of wounded natives in the Natal and Zululand insurrection can have no idea of the difficulty there is to any humane man dealing with a wounded Zulu (says a writer in the 'Sketch'). I do not suppose that the natives of those parts have changed in disposition since I soldiered in South Africa, and immediately after the relief of Rorke's Drift I had some experience of succouring the wounded enemy. I was with the relieving force, and when the troops for the duties of the day were told off I was sent out on picket. There was a number of wounded Zulus in the mealie fields round the farm of Rorke's Drift, and the first one we found was an old man, with a ringed head and greying hair, a man of the veteran regiments. He had no fight left in him, and I had him picked up and sent into camp. No harm happened to him, I can certify, for I saw him off the premises myself the next day, and watched him get across the drift with the aid of two gourds, and saw him hobble into the cover of a kopje, whence, no doubt, he trekked at nightfall to join his friends and relations.
My next wounded man was a very different customer. He announced his presence by a light assegai, thrown with much skill, which whizzed past my ear, just missing me. He was one of the men of the King's regiments, with a white and brown shield, and was under the shelter of a rock in a place of vantage. I told a Basuto who was with me to inform him that we did not want to kill him, and, though my knowledge of Zulu was limited, I assured him so myself. He only showed his teeth, and got his biggest assegai into stabbing position. The Basuto saw that he had been shot through the stomach, and suggested that in an hour he would be too stiff to be dangerous; and when I came back through that mealie field an hour later and approached the rock very cautiously, I found that the Basuto had been a good prophet; the man had died of his wound.
Had he not been as unreasonable as a trapped tiger cat, he might have been in condition to join my personally despatched tour across the Blood River next day.