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DateOriginal Topic
29th February 2004Isandhlwana
By jon causier
just read the zulu war poem and in it the author makes reference to a tall and laughing soldier defying the zulus and also a mystery soldier who took pot shots at the zulus for three hours afterwards . Is this an actual fact backed by witness accounts or just poetic license ? as i can find no reference to it in the battle report on this site .
29th February 2004Julian Whybra
There are several references to the incident on this website and several Zuluus who left accounts which describe the incident. For starters, get Colenso & Durnford's History of the Zulu War and Its Origin London 1880 2nd ed. p310 (I write from memory).
29th February 2004John Young

Sounds like "The Last of the 24th", a soldier presumably from Reginald Younghusband's 'C' Company, 1st/24th Regiment, who took up a position in a cave and on the Zulu warriors below him. Here's some references to it from an earlier answer I give on the forum.

'The account given by the warrior of the uVe ibutho appears in the 2nd Edition of Edward Durnford & Frances Colenso's 'History of the Zulu War and Its Origin.' Not that I can give you it chapter & verse as I have the 1st Edition.

However, the following is from James Grant's 'British Battles on Land & Sea' it in has been culled from 'The Times of Natal':-
'He struggled up the steep hill in (the) rear of the camp, till he reached a small cave or crevice in the rocks, into which he crept, and with his bayonet and rifle kept off the enemy. The ground in front of this cave fell abruptly down, and the Zulus, taking advantage of the rocks and stones scattered about, endeavoured, two or three at a time, to approach and shoot him.

The soldier, however, was very wary, and invariably shot down every Zulu as he appeared. He did not blaze hurriedly, but quietly dropped the cartridges into the breech-block of his rifle, took deliberate aim, and killed a man at every shot. At last the Zulus became desperate, and, bringing up a number of their best shots, poured in a concentrated volley and killed him. "This had lasted far into the afternoon, when the shadows were long on the hills, probably about five p.m." '

John Y.
1st March 2004Julian whybra
I've checked my records and its (1881, 2nd ed) p. 344.
1st March 2004jon causier
thank you all for such prompt responses . how come such a gallant action does not warrant a mention in the Isandhlwana battle description ? it would have made a nice footnote
1st March 2004John Young

That's a point you should ask the author of the piece, which doesn't actually originate from this site.

John Y.
4th June 2004Mark Smith
If only he concelled himself in the cave a while longer and kept quiet, Chelmsford's Column would have approached the camp and he may wellhave been a survivor.