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28th April 2005'Rorke's Drift Men'.
By Tony Jones.
At the recent Sgt.Gallagher re-dedication,Roger Lane refered to his great grandad as 'A Rorke's Drift Man',a term which maybe was coined by Roger.This is intelligent use of words which reflects the collective bravery,spirit of co-operation,guts and grit which saw those brave fellows through their ordeal on 22nd/23rd Jan 1879.I hope that this is a term that the AZW community will adopt as a reference to the collective that defended the mission station when refering to the group in general;'Rorke's Drift Men' is a tribute to these heroes and i hope that in the future that this term 'sticks'.
28th April 2005Martin Everett
Dear Tony,

I have nothing against Roger Lane's term to discribe his great grandfather, but the term 'Rorke's Drift Defender' has been used for many years. It is just that almost all members of the 2/24th were stationed at RD in the weeks following the battle - who can cliam to be at RD - but RD Defender singles out those who were there on the night of 22/23 January.
28th April 2005Tony Jones.
Dear Martin,
yes,the term 'defender' seems to have more immediate impact than 'man',more reflective of the groups collective efforts to defend their post.Cheers.
29th April 2005Alan Critchley
'Defender' would also include the dog.

29th April 2005Graham Mason
If you are lucky enough to see Sgt Gallaghers ACTUAL medals as i have you will see the words " RORKES DRIFT MAN " above the trio of medals , if we are going to use titles then defender of RORKES DRIFT Jan 22 / 23 1879 should indicate if a certain individual was there on that day .

Soldiers who claim to have been at Rorkes drift were in fact there but not on the 22nd of Jan 1879 but later , as is the case of pte Comberton whose lurid account of his actions can been seen in the 1966 article of which i have a copy , makes great reading until you find out Pte Comberton who died in 1919 did not even arrive in South Africa till April 1879 if my memory serves me correctly ? .

much talk has been about recently to as to the SENIOR SGT at Rorkes drift , had been promoted in Oct 1877 to this rank and again if memory serves me correctly Windridge who first was a Sgt back in 1862 reduced himself to Sgt in April 1877 and at one stage was a QM Sgt as is well known , Gallagher went on to be a Garrison Sgt Major while Windridge went as low as private and back to Sgt before his discharge .

I am often asked about the SENIOR SGT story and for my money at least it falls to WINDRIDGE if i have my facts in order , Graham
29th April 2005Graham Mason
Sorry folks , the gremlins have hit again , i omitted the word Sgt Gallagher at the start of the third paragraph, apologies , Graham.
4th May 2005Colum O'Rourke
After watching 'Timewatch' last night, Roger Lane felt that his great grandad should have received more recognition for his 'defence' of Rorke's Drift. Mister Lane believed that Sgt Gallagher shouted 'Here they come, as black as hell and as thick as grass'. I believe it was Bob Hall who cried out that as he rode past the station towards Helpmakaar. Mr Lane also felt that Sgt Gallagher should have received a VC for his fight. I am not saying anything bad about Sgt Gallagher or Mr Lane's notion as I respect all defenders and their families but he had no significant role at RD except being a Sergeant. Why should he receive a VC? What about the other brave defenders? Gallagher was stationed at the south-wall and would have put up a brave fight against the first wave and the snipers on Shiyane mountain but what about Private Dunbar who apparently fired eight shots without a miss or so Lt Chard says.