On this day in 1879...

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by Angels one-five, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Angels one-five

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    Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Isandlwana and the subsequent defence of Rorke's Drift. In engagements spanning the 22nd and through the night to the 23rd Jan, the 1/24th Foot was effectively wiped out and Lord Chelmsford's advance into Zululand halted. The defence of Rorke's Drift by the small garrison centred upon B Coy of 2/24th Foot is something that has passed into legend and still represents the highest number of VCs awarded for a single action.

    "I regret to have to report a very disastrous engagement which took place on the 22nd (January) between the Zulus and a portion of No.3 column left to guard a camp about ten miles in front of Rorke's Drift - the former came down in overwhelming numbers and, in spite of gallant resistance made by six companies of the 24th Regiment, 2 guns, 2 Rocket-tubes, 104 mounted men and about 800 natives, completely overwhelming them. The camp, containing all the supplies ammunition and transport of No 3 Column, was taken and but a few defenders escaped. Our loss, I fear, must be set down as 30 officers and about 500 non commissioned officers, Rank and File of the Imperial troops and 21 officers and 70 non commissioned officers and Rank and File of the Colonial Forces".
    Extract from Chelmsford's telegram to the Secretary of State for War.



    VCs awarded:

    Pte Samuel Wassell 80th Foot for actions at Isandlwana:

    For his gallant conduct in having, at the imminent risk of his own life, saved that of Private Westwood, of the same regiment. On the 22nd January, 1879, when the Camp at Isandhlwana was taken by the enemy, Private Wassail retreated towards the Buffalo River, in which he saw a comrade struggling, and apparently drowning. He rode to the bank, dismounted, leaving his horse on the Zulu side, rescued the man from the stream, and again mounted his horse, dragging Private Westwood across the river under a heavy shower of bullets.

    Lt Nevill Coghill 1/24th Foot for actions at Isandlwana (awarded Posthumously in 1907)

    Lt Teignmouth Melvill 1/24th Foot for actions at Isandlwana (awarded Posthumously in 1907)

    After the disaster of the Battle of Isandhlwana, South Africa, Lieutenants Melvill made gallant efforts to save the Queen's Colour of his Regiment. He Melvill and Coghill were pursued by Zulu warriors and after experiencing great difficulty in crossing the swollen Buffalo River, during which time the Colour was unfortunately carried downstream, the two men were overtaken by the enemy and following a short but gallant struggle both were killed. The Colour was retrieved from the river 10 days later.

    The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Soldiers of Her Majesty's Army, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty's approval, for their gallant conduct in the defence of Rorke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus, as recorded against their names, viz.:—

    Lieutenant John Rouse Merriott Chard, 5th Field Coy, Royal Engineers

    Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead; B Coy, 2nd/24th Foot

    Corporal William Wilson Allen; B Coy, 2nd/24th Foot

    Private Frederick Hitch; B Coy, 2nd/24th Foot

    Private Alfred Henry Hook; B Coy, 2nd/24th Foot

    Private Robert Jones; B Coy, 2nd/24th Foot

    Private William Jones; B Coy, 2nd/24th Foot

    Private John Williams; B Coy, 2nd/24th Foot

    Surgeon James Henry Reynolds; Army Medical Department

    Acting Assistant Commissary James Langley Dalton; Commissariat and Transport Department

    Corporal Christian Ferdinand Schiess; 2nd/3rd Natal Native Contingent
     
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  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  3. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Some art I use for my wallpaper.
    Isandlwana
    24th-foot-isandlwana.jpg isandlwana2.jpg isandlwana3.jpg zulu3.jpg
    Rorke's Drift
    defence-rorkes-drift.jpg
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I need to watch Zulu Dawn again.

    :salute: to the troops
     
  5. Ian Warren

    Ian Warren Member

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    Strange , I thought the exactly same thing, ZULU DAWN , the last graphic artwork place's me in a theater 30 years back .
     
  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Not "Zulu Dawn" but "Zulu" with Michael Caine and Stanley Baker. :)

     
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