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
2nd June 2003William Allen VC.
By Bernie Drummond.
I expect that many who log on to this excellent web-site will have seen the interesting article in The Daily Mail Weekend Mag, dated 30th May. It is claimed that the model ship used in an experiment was made by William Allen VC. Apart from the glut of mistakes made in any media article about the defense of Rorkes Drift they once again trot out the old library picture of a Zulu warrior holding aloft shield and gun. This is always attributed to Rorkes Drift, but we all know that it is supposed to be a scene from the carnage of Isandhlwana. The article also states that William Allen VC died aged 56yrs. Norman Holmes "The Noble 24th" records that he was born in 1844 and died in 1890. I make that 46yrs old at the time of death!
2nd June 2003Martin Everett
Dear Bernie,
The research was done for a TV programme to be shown on Living TV. The production team came to Brecon to do the filming. The model ship made by Allen VC is owned by an ancestor of Allen's. The ship is called the 'Marlborough' - this was the packet was sank in the Bay of Biscay in 1809 - it was carrying a letter from Sir Arthur Wellesley to Horse Guards which praised the efforts of the 2/24th at the Battle of Talvera. This letter thus never reached UK and the 24th were never given true credit for saving the Foot Guards and helping Wellington win the day. I gave the production team my notes on William Allen VC - so they should not have made a mistake about his age. There you go.
4th June 2003Bernie Drummond.
Hello Martin, thank you for the information regarding the model ship. As Alice said, "Things are getting curiouser and curiouser!" Corporal Allen's relatives think that he sailed home in the Marlborough, but if it sank in 1809 as you say, that would have been a little difficult wouldn't it ? Do you think these stories are ever checked by the journalists before going to print?