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
By ron clayton
I understand that the average age of the above was 24 but the subject of their fate is not touched much in what I have read.As to the subject of the Zulu War I first came acrossit in an article by John Prebble in a comic and also The book by Rupert Furneaux.Also in Zulu BAker and Caine use ww1 and ww2 service revolvers while in Zulu Dawn Hoskins has a revolver when he should not also 24 th use carbines-shocking! Excellent website and what a wealth of knowledge.Did the brave Zulu people ever fight in the world wars and are they part of of the SouthAfrican Defence Forces now?
14th March 2004Julian whybra
This has been discussed in detail on the site before - the average age was not 24.
14th March 2004Martin Everett

As Julian has said - go to the home page and do a google search on the site to find details of drummer boys.

I am not sure where you are coming from. However you should be aware that the Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot) does have an official alliance with 121 Infantry Battalion of South Africa Defence Force. This battalion is mainly recruited from Zulu people. I am unable to think of a similar alliance between former foes. This is an indication of the respect that the British Army and Zulu people have held for each other over many years. The world needs more reconcilliation and forgiveness.

14th March 2004John Young

In answer to your query of did the Zulu fight in the two World Wars? Yes they did, but their weapons were picks and shovels, not rifles and bayonets.

For the most part they were in the Labour Battalions in the 1st World War, and in the 2nd World War they served in the Pioneer Corps.

Hardly a task befitting their warrior status!

John Y.
14th March 2004Chris
I havent seen Zulu Dawn in a while, so forgive me for my stupidity, but was Bob Hoskins carrying a Mauser pistol? That dident come out until 1896. Yes, Zulus serve in the SANDF. Does anybody know if the type of revolvers used by Caine and Baker are still made or the name of the gun?
14th March 2004Ron Clayton
Thank you both for giving me a flavour of the website/ pointing me in the right direction. Forgive me if its been discussed before, how do you pronounce Isandlwana? [in a Yorkshire accent]


14th March 2004Ron Clayton
Webley,Enfield,Smith and Wesson.Possibly still made for American market.As for Hoskins could be wrong but not a Mauser.Going back to errors what about the one in Zulu where the Induna uses his men as 'rifle counters'


15th March 2004Julian Whybra
15th March 2004jim
16th March 2004RON CLAYTON
is the pronouncation the same in small case?
16th March 2004[email protected]
Has Rorkes Drift has been superseded by Isandulwhana as the catalyst for our facsination for this campaign? Nevertheless a superb website.A lot of knowledge to absorb.
16th March 2004Martin Heyes
To Martin Everett
Shame on you Sir!
You state that you are unable to think of a similar alliance between former foes. Then think for a moment of those marvellous and formidable fighting men from Nepal - the Gurkhas. These tough men were foes of the British as far back as 1815 - but it did not take the latter long to realize that they wanted those foes as allies.
An alliance which has endured, (perhaps only just), for nearly 200 years.
16th March 2004ron Clayton
Martin and Martin,
I thought ofthe gurkhas but they actually fought for us[we have treated them shabbiliy] I admit I am not certain what keeps my facsination going re this campaign but its akin to the fall of Singapore in1942.Can anyone else give me any insights?
16th March 2004Julian whybra
how's that?
sorry for shouting
16th March 2004Ron Clayton
Mon Ami thank you.The pronounciation has always thrown me.I must agree with earlier commentators.Is it something to do with a game adversary?.Would we ever recognise the Brave Japanese? There's something about the Zulu WAr but I am not sure what.Somebody please tell me.


17th March 2004John Young
Picking up on Martin Heyes' comment of 16th inst., it is interesting to note that one of the British units engaged in the campaign against Nepal, was the 24th Regiment.

Also weren't the S.W.B.'s allied at one time to the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs, formerly the 45th Rattray's Sikhs. They'd met before the 24th & Sikhs, under different circumstances, at Chilianwalah, hadn't they?

John Y.
17th March 2004ron clayton
.Are we frustrated followers of Kipling? Has the gatling jammed? Should not we be thinking about the siege of Kut? Sorry lads but me shoulders aching from me Martini [on the Rocks] and me barrels hot.Off to Flashman Bahudur.

Regards Ron
19th March 2004Peter Ewart

Kipling? Gatling jammed? Newbolt, surely! Unless it is the Indian flavour you refer to.

Siege of Kut (-al-Amara)? Now there's a thought. What on earth can the mathematical odds have been for an officer such as Townshend getting himself holed up in two separate sieges during his career, as he did at Chitral & Kut?

Incidentally, are you THE Ron Clayton?

21st March 2004richard
On the subject of the pistols the officers would have carried at Rorkes Drift, if they carried issue revolvers they should have been Webley .45 problably the mark 4.
21st March 2004John Young

In 1879, officers didn't have issued pistols, like the rest of their kit their weapons had to be purchased. They were free to purchase whatever pistols their purse could extend to.

John Y.
21st March 2004Ron Clayton

In Zulu both Chard and Broomhead are shown as being adept with the bayonet,in fact would they have received any such? instruction ? Presumably rockets also faded out shortly after 1879 to be replaced by mechanical machine guns.
24th March 2004ron Clayton
eye up the've left us behind while they are out on the g&t and in the serious moonlight.meanwhile back in the donga...

Sir Henry Newbolt, Peter, as who used to play Drakes Drum on the last night of the proms.Ronnie Clayton the wild rover perchance?
24th March 2004John Young

Bromhead, I would guess as yes, he was that sort, I don't know if he took part in an "skill at arms" events, but it is possible.

John Chard, frankly I don't know, I might have to do some delving elsewhere.

Rockets - we were still using them in later campaigns in the 19th century.

Maxim's gun despite its trails only five years after the Anglo-Zulu War, would not make its debut with the British Army until 1891.

John Y.
25th March 2004Peter Ewart
That's the one, Ron.

27th March 2004ron clayton

Are the circumstances of Col Pulleines death established beyond doubt?

27th March 2004John Young

No they are not, neither is where his body was actually found.

John Y.
27th March 2004Keith Smith

The only information that I have regarding Pulleine's location is to be found in Edward Durnford's panegyric to his brother "A Soldier's Life and Work in South Africa", p. 234:

'Lieut.-Colonel Pulleine, with about 40 men of the 24th, was seen about 800 yards on the Natal side of the Nek, and near this spot were afterwards "found about forty men in the bed of the [Manzimnyama] stream, and no doubt it was these very men.' Durnford attributes this information to Inspector George Mansel, Natal Mounted Police, who was out with Chelmsford at the time. I have copies of two letters from Mansel to Edward Durnford, but neither of them contains this information.

29th March 2004ron clayton
Thank You John and Keith,

I had always assummed that Pulleine had died in his tent after goingthere to write a last letter.Does such a letter exist?

Regards to all correspondents,

29th March 2004John Young

I would think that letter writing would have been the last thing on his mind given the circumstances. I think we have the late Donald Morris to blame for the suggestion, page 378 of the 'The Wahing of the Spears'.

The makers of 'Zulu Dawn', obviously liked it though.


George Hamilton Browne (Can we trust him?) states that he saw Pulleine's body as he was riding back from his camp on the extreme left of the line. See page 141 of 'A Lost Legionary in South Africa'.

John Y.
29th March 2004ron clayton
Any reflections any George McDonald Fraser's introduction of Col Sebastian Moran's introduction ito the AZW? Why is he and lashman not mentioned on the roll? I think we should be
29th March 2004Keith Smith

Thanks for the reminder about 'Maori' Browne's words. However, like you, I am not too sure how far he can be trusted because he published his book in 1912. One simply has to compare his account from the book with his official report, written only days after Isandlwana, to see how confused he could be.

31st March 2004Peter Ewart
Presumably Morris inserted the "killed in his tent" death for Pulleine simply by picking up the story of Maqedindaba, who says he sprung into a tent looking for some alcohol ("the White man's drink - but could be a cuppa, I suppose!) and had his fight to the death with an officer sitting at a desk, who shot & wounded the Zulu first.

As JW points out somewhere, the Zulu does not identify the man as Pulleine, only as an officer, and presumably the account which appears in the "..Blood Drenched Field ..", which I don't have, is the same as in A.W. Lee's "Once Dark Country"? The two were published within ten years of each other and appear to have had the same source in Lee, whose grasp otherwise of the battle was rather tenuous, despite his meeting during his work at Isandlwana and Hlazakazi a number of Zulus who'd fought in the battle.

However, the Zulu did claim that it was the "chief induna of the army" so it is understandable that Lee went for Pulleine. The Zulu claimed that his name meant "he who finishes things off" and still bore the scar from (?Pulleine's) bullet.

Are the two accounts identical? I have Lee, who devotes a chapter to the battle, but not the other account. Did Morris pick up the story from this/these accounts?

31st March 2004Peter Ewart
And at about the same time as Morris, did FWD Jackson pick up the same story from the same published source(s)? Coupland published his work only a year before Lee's autobiography. Can someone say whether Lee is the original and/or only source for this Zulu's story (he certainly says he was told the story by the Zulu direct to himself but this would have been around 40 years before he recorded it - and his Zulu was definitely far from good at that stage).

(I see in "Hill of the Sphinx" FWDJ has moved on & now casts his personal doubt on the likelihood of the Zulu having killed - or knowing he had killed - Pulleine, acknowledging that he probably killed someone, however).