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24th August 2003Nottingham streets named by the Zulu War
By Marc Jung
Hi, please stop me if you've heard this one before. There are four named streets in an area of Nottingham , called Zulu Road, Pearson Road, Durnford Road, and, strangely, a road next to them called 'Isandula Road'. Can anyone tell me about this? Perhaps the Victorians named the latter 'Isandula' because it was easier to pronounce/took up less space, or did they actually call it Isandula at the time? They were obviously named after the war.
25th August 2003Peter Ewart

I have a shortish article somewhere about these Nottingham street names. Had an idea it was published in the AZWHS Journal but a quick flick through didn't turn it up. I fancy they've been discussed before on this site as well.

Isandula was the name by which the battle was known in this country, at least for some months. Early reports of the location of the battle contained quite a mish-mash of garbled names but after a few weeks - going by official reports and the press - Isandula was the spelling and pronunciation which emerged as the most commonly used. The Natal press eventually got it right a little earlier than the London press, not surprisingly given the time lag of 3 to 4 weeks, but the term Isandula hung around for quite a while. At one time during 1879, one of the London papers - I forget which one - expressed exasperation at the sheer proliferation of different names for the engagement and, when "Isand(h)lwana" seemed about to settle the argument once and for all, it haughtily announced Isandula was good enough, had been settled on as acceptable and that therefore no other version would be used by that particular organ!

I think throughout the first half of 1879 at least, the British public (those that read the papers, that is, and this was a very small minority) knew the affair as Isandula and certainly found it the more easily pronounceable of the variations on offer, which, for the British, was a good enough reason!

While on the question of the press and the public and their reaction to the news over the months of Feb and March 1879, we read much about the shock & disbelief & when one reads the reports in the papers, one can see why. However, although the newspaper and magazine reading public were eventually well informed, I don't believe more than a small (tiny?) minority read The Times, the Graphic, ILN or even their own local newpapers, where coverage of the AZW was huge. Despite the news no doubt passing from the literate to the illiterate in conversation; the obvious effect on garrison towns; the publicity through later music hall skits & the eventual return of the troops etc etc., I still have a sneaking feeling that the whole affair passed by without the majority of the British public being particularly aware of it. I think it is easy to confuse the newspaper-reading public with the public at large, who were far more aware of the Crimean War and the 2nd Boer War (admittedly they were much bigger & literacy & popular publications had grown enormously between 1879 & 1899) than they were of the AZW.

Just my thoughts!


26th August 2003Neil Aspinshaw
Being from and living in Nottingham the Zulu roads are well know, there is also EKOWE street and Chelmsford Raod . These streets are in the Basford are of Nottingham, all are 1880's roads of terraced houses. The Sherwood forresters museum at Nottingham castle has some very interesting Zulu artefacts, includind an assegai found near the body of Louis Napoleon, I believe they belonged to Smith Dorrien (Sherwood forresters).
There is a village near Mansfield called Spion Kop! and the stand at Notts County FC is the Spion Kop stand.
Derby has some Boer war roads in the Spondon area, Ladysmith Road, Kimberly Road, to name but a few.

cheers NEIL
29th August 2003David Glynne Fox
Peter Ewart is right, he does have an article on the "Zulu" roads in Nottingham in the journal of the AZWHS, I wrote it. You can also see my photographs of these roads on the Keynsham Light Horse website if you click the Links button on the left of your screen.Neil, As I also live in Nottingham, we ought to meet up and "compare notes" sometime? Also in Nottingham is an old shield which is labelled as belonging to king Cetshwayo. This shield is dark brown in colour and therefore unlikely, I would have thought, to belong to a senior Zulu chieftain, let alone the King! In all fairness though, despite the well published colour of King Shaka's shield, white with a central black spot, I have yet to come across any shield colour for King Cetshwayo. Pehaps John Young or others could enlighten us on this topic?
18th January 2005Ian Seagrave
I was a schoolboy at the Magnus Grammar School, Newark, in the 1950's, and one of the four houses (Hogwarts style!) was named Bromhead. The much earlier comment about lack of awareness at the time probably rings true; it wasn't even common knowledge about the Zulu Wars within the school (at least not amongst the pupils-perhaps the familar lack of attention had something to do with it Neither had the film 'Zulu' appeared yet!). However, since the Bromhead family lived near Newark, I have always found it strange that Gonville Bromhead, being a local man, was not commemorated in the Basford street names, particularly in view of his VC. This must have generated great interest at the time, at least amongst the newspaper-reading fraternity, which you would have thought would have included those responsible for allocating the street names.
Can anyone shed any light on this apparent discrepancy?
2nd June 2005kevin reader
i noted today that there is an additional street named after one of the heros of Rorkes Drift " Chard " couldnt recall which actor played him in the film " Zulu " then it gets even more interesting with other names like " Gordon " could this be in relation to Gordon of Khartoum ?