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DateOriginal Topic
16th January 2004Ardendorff
By Steven Etchells
In his book 'The Washing of The Spears' Donald Morris accuses Ardendorff of cowardice,and even claims he wasn't at Rorkes Drift. Yet, Chard's account says differently.Does anyone know why Morris made these claims?
16th January 2004John Young

We have discussed the presence of Lt. Gert W. Adendorff, on the forum at some length. Try a search on Adendorff for some of the past responses.

Frankly, I don't know why Donald Morris made this assumption, but he has influenced other subsequent authors.

I always refer to some contemporary evidence held in the Henry Charles Harford files at the Local History Museum, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Harford was tasked with recording the addresses of next-of-kin of members of the Natal Native Contingent. He did so an a small almanac, due to the shortage of paper after Isandlwana. On one of the pages he listed those members of the N.N.C. present at the defence of Rorke's Drift. Included in the list is the name of Lt. Adendorff - that alone was enough given the other evidence to persuade me that Morris' suggestion was unfounded.

Hope that helps.

John Y.
19th January 2004Simon Copley
Sort of related - I alway find it strange (and an unfortunate continuity weakness in the film) that in "Zulu", Adendorff (played by Gert Van der Bergh, I think) turns up before the battle and advises Chard on tactics etc He is there at the end when the Zulus do the salute BUT you don't see him doing any fighting in between, despite asking Chard where he should be posted ("Choose your own ground" says Chard "It's your country isn't it?") Perhaps Gert chose to hide in the store room? Perhaps the film editors were hedging their bets with regard to history?!!!! (Unlikely!)