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
31st December 2003'Present at Isandwhlana 22/ 1/79'
By Brian Green
My gt gt grandfather William Green, who was in the 5th Bde R.A., has the notation 'Present at Isandwhlana 22/ 1/79' alongside the heading 'Distinguished Himself' on his service history. Would anyone know if this means he actually was in the battle and survived or was close by, as the word 'Present' is ambiguous. The odd coincidence is that I visited the battle site in April 2003, guided by Alan Turner of Babanango and had no idea that I had a connection. Any information would be gratefully received.
Best Regards
Brian Green
31st December 2003John Young

Gunner 665 William Green, 'N' Battery, 5th Brigade, Royal Artillery.

Attested 6th February, 1863, then aged 19 yrs.

He survived the Battle of Isandlwana on 22nd January 1879. His presence is mentioned in another survivor's account. At the present time, an injury precludes me doing a paper check for you, though!

He received the medal and with clasp 1877-8-9.

In November 2002 his medal was on auction.

Hope this helps,

John Y.
31st December 2003Brian Green

That's incredible! Its the right man because I have some of the details you mention. How on earth did he survive? I've seen that rocky way going over and down by the side of the mountain and at the time could not imagine anyone surviving the melee and crush. Do you know who bought the medal, as I would'nt mind bidding for it ,or who sold it, as I am still trying to trace other members of the family and it may be a descendant of his other sons who sold it? Hope injury heals soon, thank very much for some fantastic news and best wishes for the New Year.

Best Regards

Brian Green
4th January 2004Julian Whybra
Green is mentioned in Driver Elias Tucker's letter home describing his survival. It was published in The Western Morning News 28.3.1879. I can send you a copy if you wish or you can go to the Newspaper Library at Colindale and see the original for yourself.
4th January 2004Brian Green
I would very much like a copy of that letter. I can advise you of my home address by direct email if it is a hard copy, if it is in digital format, as an attachment to my email would be fine. Please advise of any expenses that would need to be covered. Thank you for adding to what is becoming an amazing family military story. His son was a sailor, his grandson served as a gunner during WW1 and was mentioned in despatches. His son in turn served thoughout WW2 and my son is a serving soldier. Guess its in the blood!

Best Regards

Brian Green
28th March 2005Andy Denholm
Whilst doing research for the British War Memorial Project I discovered a headstone in a graveyard in Lytham, Near Blackpool for
William Ashton Green who was slain in the Battle of Isandula January 22nd 1879 aged 30 years