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
15th February 2004False claims
Can anyone tell me just how many men " claimed " to have been at Rorkes Drift on Jan 22 / 23 1879 ??? . Two i know of were Pte Comberton of the 24th and " Sgt Jones VC " whose photo i have sen at a training camp in South Africa . In fact there is an article i have printed in 1966 in which at length there is described the " actions " of Comberton as a Butcher and what he did that day according to him . Who was " Sgt JONES VC " and was he found out and punished ? ..

Finally a small point to correct , the full and correct name of FRED HITCH`S wife is EMILY MATILDA MEURISSE as often her name is incorrectly reported and a report that she died in 1909 is also false as she re-married a few months after FRED died and herself died on Jan 3rd 1936 .
16th February 2004John Young

"Sergeant Jones VC" was actually the technical adviser on the 1918 film 'Symbol of Sacrifice' - rather than a training camp, I believe it was a film set.

There were others who claimed to have been at RORKE'S DRIFT, my turn to shout in the hope you might start spelling correctly.

For example the "spirit" of John Williams V.C. haunted the 'Blue Boar' public house in Brecon, well into the 2nd World War, where a white-haired old man would recount the tale of daring-do of Rorke's Drift to the new recruits from the depot. Not bad for someone who had been dead at least seven years before the imposter started his little venture.

What actually happened to him or the others I can't say. Tales like rumours get embellished with every re-telling.

John Y.
16th February 2004Julian whybra
There are lots of false claimants i've come across. I was going to include a section on these in a publication I have coming out in March but there were literally too many to include (valuable page space is spent in better ways). I have included a section on false Isandhlwana survivors though which makes more interesting reading!
16th February 2004Peter Ewart
If Lee Stevenson & Alan Baynham Jones are listening, presumably we can all look forward to a companion volume to their recent excellent publication.

Shall we say, "Rorke's Drift by Those Who Weren't There" ???

16th February 2004John Young

Now you've given away the title to my next book!

John Y.
16th February 2004Jim
I believe there is a book by Major Spalding called "Rorke's Drift by Those Who Were Nearly There" !!!
17th February 2004Martin Heyes
And I take it, Jim, that Adendorf was a co-author!!
17th February 2004John Young

I don't know about Adendorf, but Adendorff, gets more the one or two mentions in Lee Stevenson's & Alan Baynham's book.

John Y.
17th February 2004Julian whybra
How about a single volume 'Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift By Those Were At Both' with Adendorff being the sole contributor.