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 April 2005Isandhlwana Video
By Chris
I just purchased this gem as advertised on the 'marketplace'. It is fantastic, brilliant and worth every penny. But can anyone tell me where the old footage is from? pleeeze
24th April 2005Martin Everett
Dear Chris,
It was a silent film - made in South Africa in 1919 and called 'Symbol of Victory' The Director was Kolenbrander (I hope the spelling is right) who drowned in the river Klip (just south of JHB) where the Melvill and Coghill and the No 3 Column crossed the Buffalo scenes were filmed.

It is not available commercially - and I believe the rights (and remaining footage) are held by the University of PMB. I have seen the footage and have been to the spot where Kolenbrander lost his life. Also at Brecon is a copy of the publicity brochure to support the film when is was launched. It was a significant milestone in movie history for South Africa.
24th April 2005Martin Everett
Dear Chris,

In haste I got the title of the original film wrong. It should be 'Symbol of Sacrifice'. And the Buffalo river scenes were shot at Henley on Klip. And Kolenbrander may be Colenbrander who, I believe, served himself during the AZW.
24th April 2005John Young
Dear Martin,

Just to clarify a couple of points, I believe the director of 'Symbol of Sacrifice' was actually F. Horace Rose.

Johannes Wilhelm Colenbrander did indeed serve in the Anglo-Zulu War. He was present at the Battle of Nyezane as a trumpeter in the Stanger Mounted Rifles. He saw further service in the Natal Volunteer Guides and was present at the the Battle of Gingindlovu.

He would later fight in the Zulu Civil War; the Matabele Campaigns under Rhodes & the 2nd Anglo-Boer War.

He died in 1918, while crossing the Klip River, near Johannesburg during the making of the film ‘The Symbol of Sacrifice’, in which he took the part of Lord Chelmsford.

He was buried with full military honours in Brixton Cemetery, Johannesburg.

John Y.
24th April 2005Chris
Thank you very much for that information. I wonder if the original film still exists in its entirety somewhere? That would be quite a find. Especially if it could be-remastered, cleaned-up...etc...I notice on the Internet Movie Database there are references to really early movies with the word 'Zulu' in the title. E.G. Siliva Zulu (1928),
24th April 2005Chris
Also A Zulu War Dance (1899) Zulu Love (1921), The Zulu King (1913)
24th April 2005Chris
Also A Zulu War Dance (1899) Zulu Love (1921), The Zulu King (1913)
24th April 2005Ron Lock
The old footage, as Martin says, came from "Symbol of Sacrifice", a propaganda film made in 1917 in the hope that it would inspire young South Africans to join up. I am told that some of the Zulu extras had fought at Isandlwana which, of course, is possible: twenty years old at the time of the battle, 58 in 1917. The copyright is, in fact, held by a Johannesburg company, Primedia Pictures, to whom we paid a consideration for the use of the battle scenes.
"Isandlwana: Zulu Battlefield" was made on a shoe string budget by Don Guy and Victor Hugo, both internationally renowned cameramen and directors, with P.Q. and I supplying the historical knowhow and script. It is also available on DVD.

It took over a year to 'put in the can' as they say, as we had to make it in bits and pieces as the cash became available - which was not very often, the helicopter hire being the most expensive item.

Isandlwana: Zulu Battlefield" has never been flighted on T.V. as we found, to our cost, that it is not what you have produced, but who you know! The world of T.V. documentary production is a pretty ruthless and unscrupulous place where one's endeavour is likely to either be torpedoed or highjacked.

Some footage from an even older movie "Voortrekker", copyright also owned by Primedia Pictures, is included in "Isandlwana: Zulu Battlefield".

24th April 2005Chris can get it on DVD??
25th April 2005Peter Quantrill
Yes, we updated with a couple of minor alterations to DVD which are now available from Brecon.
12th May 2005Michael Boyle

How widely was the original "Symbol of Sacrifice" distributed? Any chance the film made it to the States? It was after all the era of D.W.Griffith and if it made it here at all a print could still be languishing in some obscure archive.