you are currently viewing: Discussion Forum


The Rorke's Drift VC Discussion Forum
(View Discussion Rules)


PLEASE NOTE: This forum is now inactive and is provided for reference purposes only. The live forum is available at

(Back To Topic List)

DateOriginal Topic
24th January 2005A few queries about isandhlwana
By Greg Reed
im doing a visual information package for my illustration degree centered around the battle of isandhlwana. Im in need of a little information if anyone can help me.

Ive managed to gather research and visual documentation on just about all the required information. However im having real problems finding out specific details relating to certain types of cavalry who were present at isandhlwana. Im having to provide more visual information for my illustrations as opposed to written information.

Specifically i need the following:

-Descriptions of cavalry units who had a role in the battle of isandhlwana. Durnfords command is one i desperately need to research. And from which direction did he make his arrival at isandhlwana?

-In particular im looking for uniform clothing, colours etc.

A picture of one of the rocket launchers used.

Pictures/written descriptions would be helpful anything so i can construct some kind of visual depiction.

Proper eye witness accounts of events leading up to the battle and the battle itself have also proved somewhat elusive. if anyone knows where i can locate such information it would be greatly appreciated.


24th January 2005Paul Cubbin
Greg - as for uniforms and such, Osprey Publishing should be your first port of call, specifically the various Ian Knight books on the subject. The 'Campaign Series' ones will have some of the best diagramatic information on troop movements and such like. Try the links on the left toolbar, they're very good.
24th January 2005Coll

There are numerous titles available and Paul has suggested the best place to start.

I recommend also the following title :-

' The Zulu War: Then and Now '
by Ian Knight and Ian Castle.

This has portrait photographs of the main participants, accounts from survivors, images of the Isandlwana battlefield, etc.

It may not have all you require but it certainly is a good book to consider.

Hope this helps.

24th January 2005Greg King
I`d give Britsh Forces in Zululand by Osprey a look theres a couple of really nice colour plates and good info on the units you mentioned.
24th January 2005Peter Ewart

Durnford's force arrived at Isandlwana from the west. That is, he travelled more or less due east towards Isandlwana (from Rorke's Drift, to which he had moved his column shortly beforehand on the General's instructions).

I'm not knowledgable enough to nitpick on military terms but would it be correct to describe these forces as cavalry? Perhaps in very general terms it might, but would not that confuse the reader/viewer with British cavalry forces or regiments ("sword & lance" etc) who were conspicuous by their absence? Wasn't it Capt Alan Gardner, who witnessed/assisted the colonial mounted units under Bradstreet helping Durnford, and later wrote that the result may have been very different if there had only been some cavalry present?

With regard to sources for eyewitness accounts leading up to the battle & the battle itself, any reliable book on the battle or the war will provide these. I'm surprised you're not tripping over them! Try Ian Knight, JWD Jackson, Lock & Quantrill etc., (see books on this website) or Frank Emery's "The Red Soldier" for accounts from the ranks.


25th January 2005Julian whybra
All the primary source accounts and their whereabouts are listed in England's Sons.
25th January 2005Greg Reed
thanks for the information. much appreciated.