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DateOriginal Topic
16th May 2003Treatment of fugitive or wounded Zulus
By Peter Ewart
The recent debate (I use the word advisedly) on the despatching of fleeing or wounded Zulus at Rorke's Drift or after Kambula has, coincidentally, cropped up this week in an interesting article in the latest issue of the AZWHS Journal.

Stephen Manning discusses the reaction among the British columns to the heavy losses and mutilations at Isandlwana and traces the story behind several accounts of reported British cruelty towards wounded, fleeing or trapped enemy during the war. The article is based chiefly upon newspaper reports and comment, and focuses on the individual who found himself at the centre of a storm of protest in the English press of 1879 - Pte Snook of the 13th, whom I mentioned in the previous discussion but whose name momentarily escaped me then.

The piece is presented in a mature, balanced way, the research appears to be sound and the author's viewpoint is cogently argued throughout. It also tends to remind us that there is certainly little new in accusations or claims of atrocities, especially as the whole disturbing subject was aired quite openly in 1879 and Parliament (and The Times) debated it quite heatedly, much of the agitation coming from the Aborigine Protection Society. I know that editorials in the Guardian (no, not today's Guardian, nor the Manchester Guardian, but an ecclesiastical paper of the time) published strong views, and the matter of atrocities has been covered in a number of publications since then. Although odd primary sources may still emerge here and there, it seems unlikely to me that much will change about what is know today.

Anyone else seen it?