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DateOriginal Topic
24th January 2004Isandlwana
By sally
Meaning no disrespect to our heroic British soldiers, but shouldn't we also in fairness salute those incredibly brave Zulu warriors who faced such immence odds and won !!

Believe this site should try and get more input from the Zulu perspective - how and where I'm not sure - but any form of participation should be encouraged for interest don't you think.

Very needed, but sadly untimely heavy rains in Zululand over past few days - nevertheless many gatherings of personalities and events
which will no doubt be related here soon.
24th January 2004Robert
I agree---it takes a very special courage to charge head on into a hail of lead.
The Zulu have every right to feel extremely proud of their historical background.
24th January 2004l.j.knight
wouldnt agree with the last part of that sentiment, the Zulu forged there early nation through annihiation, then assimilation...regards
24th January 2004Keith Smith
I simply cannot agree with Mr Knight's view expressed above. Certainly Shaka forged an empire for his people, but didn't the British do the same thing?

If he had read the history of the relationship between the Zulu kings and the colonists since their settlement in 1824, he would find that the Zulu only once crossed the Thukela river to attack Port Natal (Durban), and then only because of the duplicity of one of the settlers. It was the rapacity of the white people, both Boer and British, which caused the problem through their coveting of Zulu land. He should remember that it was the British who invaded Zululand, and not the other way round.

As to the Zulus themselves, their courage was astonishing and their will to defend their country from the depradations of the white men shoudl fill their successors today with enormous pride. Anyone who has been there in recent times will, like me, be amazed at their cheerful and friendly reception of white visitors to their country - they have had precious little to be cheerful about since 1879.
25th January 2004Diana Blackwell
Sally, I totally agree. I have as much admiration for the Zulus' courage as for that of the British.
25th January 2004alun jones
Sally, I agree, and at Chatham this weekend this was done.
Also the new book "Rorke's Drift - by those eho were there" tries to put a balanced view from the Zulu side of things
25th January 2004l.j.knight
read the the early accounts of Natal on a regular basis,Farewell,King ect, and i most certainly stand by the above. Shaka from a nucleus of about 500 warriors trained personally by Shaka systematically routed all the indigenous tribes in the immedate vicinity slaughtering most and absorbing the rest. with astonishing success he roamed at will till hundreds of square miles and thousands of "converts" were at his disposal, the results of his endevers speak for Smith simply cant understand why the above would be such a problem for you. its historical fact.i feel that any people on this site who have read any of my comments would know that i love and respect theZulu people. i am from a lower working class back ground so sometimes know what deprivation means. but i cast away my rose tinted specs a long time ago. so sorry if my remark upset anybody. but i of course stand by them.could at this point start quoting reams of sources...well only one..currently reading..Noel Mostert"the epic of South Africas creation and the tragedy of the xhosa people" its called "Frontiers"..regards
26th January 2004James Garland
The Zulus have as much right to be proud of their background as the British despite the atrocities committed by Shaka. Britains early history contains just as many atrocities but I am still proud of my history despite those bloody episodes. There is nothing that Shaka did that can't be matched in ferocity by Britain, Germany, France or America at some stage in our histories.
26th January 2004l.j.knight
James...if by Ian u mean me.l.j.knight..[leslie james knight] this is not just for u, but all above. im not dissing the zulu people comment was based on historical fact. nothing else,no hidden agenda, bleeding liberal hearts dont they make you smile.wryly...regards.i have absolutley no connection with my famous namesake.
26th January 2004John Young
Returning to Sally's original remarks, those of us were present at the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham over the last few days, did nothing but praise the Zulu warriors of 1879.

That praise was reflected with great pathos at yesterday's service at Rochester Cathedral. When Sir Timothy Ackroyd, whose great-great uncle died on the battlefield of Isandlwana, recited the words of Bishop John William Colenso, words his great-great grand parents & his great grandmother actually heard on 12th. March, 1879:
"What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
…Wherein, in our invasion of Zululand, have we shown that we are men who ‘love mercy’? Did we not lay upon the people heavily, from the very moment we crossed their border, the terrible scourge of war? Have we not killed already, it is said, 5,000 human beings, and plundered 10,000 head of cattle? It is true that, in that dreadful disaster, on account of which we are this day humbling ourselves before God, we ourselves have lost very many precious lives, and widows and orphans, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, are mourning bitterly their sad bereavements. But are there no griefs – no relatives that mourn their dead – in Zululand? Have we not heard how the wail has gone up in all parts of the country for those who have bravely died – no gallant soldier, no generous colonist, will deny this – have bravely and nobly died in repelling the invader and fighting for their King and fatherland? And shall we kill 10,000 more to avenge the losses of that dreadful day? Will that restore to us those we have lost? Will that endear their memories more to us? Will that please the spirits of any true men, true sons of God, among the dead? Above all, will that please God, who ‘requires of us’ that we ‘do justly’ and ‘love mercy’? Will such vengeance be anything else but loathsome and abominable in His sight…? …"

The Acting Dean & R.E.'s Chaplain, also chose to recall the deeds of the Zulu people. How apt too was the reading given by His Royal Highness Prince V.A. Shange, descendant of Prince Dabulamanzi kaMpande, 'Ephesians 2: 13-18', which talks of reconcilation.

Lest we forget,

John Young,
Anglo-Zulu War Research Society.
26th January 2004l.j.knight
thank you for that John. after reading that you reminded me of a word i dont often suscribe to..humility..regards
26th January 2004sally
John Young - Excelllent to hear your report about Chatham.

Ian Knight - I happen to agree that according to historical reports Shaka was indeed a ruthless leader and certainly attempted to destroy anyone or any tribe who would not follow him. (perhaps there is some psychological reason for his attitude considering his birth/upbringing).

However, my original comment was not in regard to the ancient history or Shaka, it was merely to acknowledge that their battles in 1879 were mostly fought bravely in defense of their kingdom.

Their barbarism either during or after battles (disembowling etc) has foundations in witchdoctors beliefs or releasing spirits and although totally unacceptable to the western world was part of their culture.

27th January 2004l.j.knight-
thanks Sally, really did'nt mean any offence...leslie
30th January 2004andre
were no interviews conducted with Zulu veterans of this conflict? after all, 20 year old survivors of the conflict could feasibly have lived to 1930-1940. it would be good to see such information compiled into a book.
31st January 2004sally

Ian and others may be able to answer this more accurately.

But, there were a couple of interviews done I believe - I have seen a copy of at least one somewhere.

Some of the local historians who take the trouble to talk to the old indunas in the area, have stories they tell which have been handed down verbally.

The problem being that at the time, few spoke English, and fewer still could read. The reading and writing side is still a problem and even the Head of the Zulu Language Dept at Natal University admits that it is a tragedy that there is no definitive Zulu History written BY Zulus rather than Englishmen interpreting it in our own way. He is keen to produce such a work - time and information being the problem.
31st January 2004John Young

There were interviews conducted with Zulu survivors. See 'The James Stuart Archive' books for examples.

There are also Zulu accounts in the Natal newspapers of 1929, 50 years after the war. Some of which we have reproduced.

King Cetshwayo left his own account of the war, which the Anglo-Zulu War Research Society printed in Volume 8/1.

Other works suchas 'Later Annals of Natal' edited by A.F. Hattersley, contain Zulu accounts.


I think you're confusing Leslie Knight, with Ian Knight.

John Young
2nd February 2004L.J.Knight
thanks John,pointed it out a few times, hi sally...caps lock from now..regards