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
29th January 2004Ulundi Participants
By Peter Weedon
Does anyone know where there might be a list of 17th Lancers who took part in the battle at Ulundi?

Peter Weedon
29th January 2004David Glynne Fox
Hi Peter,
I am glad you asked this question as I have wondered about this for some time. I have a South Africa Campaign medal to a private of the 17th Lancers with clasp 1879 and would like to know if this chap took part at Ulundi.
29th January 2004Mark Hobson
If you look at this will take you to the website of the Queens Own Royal Lancers. At the cost of a small fee (about 5) you can make enquiries into the 17th Lancers history. Alternatively you can do this yourself, by visiting their archives department, but a prior appointment must be made. Also, if you look at the SHOP area on the website you'll find some good regimental histories for sale. These might contain a few details. Hope this helps.
29th January 2004John Young

I can name the officers who were present but the 285 other-ranks are more of a problem.
I can name these only: Farrier-Sergeant J. Taylor (k.i.a.); Sergeant-Major Paul of 'G' Troop, Trumpeter Connor & Privates E. Jones (mortally w.i.a.); J. Keegan (slightly w.i.a.) & C. Waite (dangerously w.i.a.).

Sources: 'The South African Campaign of 1879' & 'The Death or Glory Boys' by D.H. Parry.

John Y.
30th January 2004Edward Garcia

D. R. Forsyth's "The South African War Medal 1877-8-9, The Roll" (I believe I have the title and author right) should list all the members of the 17th who qualified for the medal.

30th January 2004Mark Hobson
On page 150 of "The Red Book" there are details of the 17th Lancer's officers, but whether they all took part at Ulundi is another matter. Normally the other-ranks only get a mention if they appeared in the casualty lists, as John lists above.
30th January 2004John Young

I can assist with the 17th Lancers officers at Ulundi, they were:
Colonel D.C. Drury-Lowe, formerly of the 17th(Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers;

17th (D. of C.'s Own) Lancers:-
Major S. Boulderson,

Captains: J.C. Duke; T.A. Cooke; The Hon. E.V. Wyatt-Edgell; E.A. Belford; J.F. Alexander; The Hon. J. Pleydell-Bouverie; W.T.S. Kevill-Davies & C.E. Swaine.

Lieutenants: G.A. Wood; M.G. Neeld; H.C. Jenkins; C.H. Purvis; E.B. Herbert & The Hon. L.H.D. Fortescue.

2nd Lieutenants: C.J. Anstruther Thomas & C.H. Butler.

Quartermaster J. Berryman, V.C.

Veterinary Surgeons: J. Lambert & G.J.R. Rayment.

Three other officers were attached to the regiment.

John Y.
31st January 2004Mark Hobson
Still on the theme of the 17th lancers, but in regard to the horses.
I understand that many horses died enroute to South Africa whilst others found it difficult to adapt to the different climate and fodder, with many succumbing to disease. As these were much larger than those found locally, as well as trained specifically for their role, I just wondered how this shortfall was made up? Also, how many horses per trooper? Was it just one or did each man have several like their officers?
31st January 2004Peter Weedon
Thanks chaps.

Edward - Not all the Lancers entitled to the South Africa medal would have been present at Ulundi.

According to "Narrative of Field Operations Connected with the Zulu War", there were 3 squadrons of Lancers within the square. Does anyone know which squadrons?
31st January 2004John Young

I'll quote from D.H. Parry's 'The Death or Glory Boys', published in 1899.
"The strength on embarkation was 570 of all ranks and 522 horses, five of the latter dying on the 'England' during the voyage, and six on the 'France'."

I think it was the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards, which had a problem with their mounts as the 17th had to give up their mounts to these heavy cavalrymen, on 15th July 1879 at Dundee. The 17th had to march to Pinetown, I assume from there they took the train.


The only help I can give you is that Sergeant-Major Paul was from 'G' Troop. It was 'G' Troop which had improvished the stretcher for the body of the Prince Imperial.

'G' Troop were part of the 'wing' made-up of 'B', 'C', 'G' & 'H' Troops, which were initially under the command of Drury-Lowe, that 'wing' having embarked on the 'England' on 25th February, 1879.

But that still does get far, does it?

John Y.
3rd February 2004Peter Weedon

I had an enjoyable - but ultimately fruitless - time at the National Archives today searching for a list of Ulundi participants.

Three supplementary questions arise from my original inquiry.

Does anyone know if an Order Book exists for the 17th Lancers for this period (I have emailed the QRL Museum but thought that someone on this forum may know).

Did all of the 17th Lancers who served in South Africa embark on 25th February or were there other departures?

3rd February 2004Peter Weedon
And the third question....

Does anyone know how many men would have constituted a troop?

3rd February 2004John Young

According to 'The Narrative...' those on the 'England' left on 26th February, from Southampton. Those on the 'France' left Victoria Docks, in the Royal Group of Docks, London, on 24th February. Which obviously contradicts Parry's '25th February'.

John Y.